Iran is a Middle Eastern country. The country was known as Persia until 1935 became an Islamic republic in 1979. The official name of Iran is the “Islamic republic of Iran”.
The capital city of the country is Tehran which is also the largest city of the country. Tehran is also the leading economic and cultural center of the country. The official language of the country is Farsi (Persian). Islam is the official religion of the country. The population of Iran is just over 81 millions, which makes it the world’s 18th-most-populous country. The total land area of the country is 636,372 square mile (1,648,196 square mile). It is the second largest country in the middle East after Saudi Arabia and the 17th largest country of the world.
History of Iran :
Iran is inhabited by one of the oldest civilization on earth. Ruling on the country begin with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE. Under the rule of Cyrus the great (founder of the Achaemenid Empire), the country reached its greatest territorial extent in the sixth century BCE. It is one of the largest empires in history. Alexander the great conquered the country in the forth century BCE, which led to the divide of the Iranian realm into several Hellenistic states. From mid-3rd century BCE to 7th century CE it was ruled by the Parthian Empire (247 BCE – 224 CE) and the Sasanian Empire (224 CE – 651 CE), one of the world’s leading power of that time. Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE.
Till 18th century Iran was one of the world’s most powerful states. In 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses for the country. During the 1980s, the country got in a war with Iraq, which lasted for almost nine years. Both country saw high number of death and significant economic losses.
Border areas that Iran share with other countries are enlisted below :
1) Armenia : 35 kilometers/ 22 miles.
2) Republic of Azerbaijan : 611 kilometers/ 380 miles.
3) Turkmenistan : 922 kilometers/ 616 miles.
4) Afghanistan : 936 kilometers/ 582 miles.
5) Pakistan : 909 kilometers/ 565 miles.
6) Iraq : 1458 kilometers/ 906 miles.
7) Turkey : 499 kilometers/ 310 miles.
Geography of Iran :
Iran has a total land boundary of 5894 kilometers (3662 miles), along with the coastline of 2440 kilometers (1516 miles) which also includes the Caspian Sea (740 kilometers/ 460 miles). It’s climate is mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast. The countries highest point is at Mount Kuh-e Damavand, which is 5,625 meters (18455 feet’s) high from the mainland. The lowest point is Caspian Sea, 28 meters lower than the mainland. Mount khu-e Damavand also the highest volcano in Asia. Kavir Desert is the country’s largest desert. 7% of the country is covered by forest.
There are many types of forest that can be seen through the area. The respective areas of these forest are :
1) Caspian forest : 19,000 square kilometers/ 7,300 square miles.
2) Juniperus forest : – 13,000 square kilometers/ 5,000 square miles.
3) Pistachio forest : 26000 square kilometers/ 10000 square miles.
4) Oak forest : 35000 square kilometers/ 14000 miles.
5) Sub-tropical forest : 5000 square kilometers/ 1900 miles.
Iran is located in the Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan. The country is bordered to the north-west by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the north-east by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq.
Natural resources :
Iran has many significant kind of natural resources. These are : petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur.
The country has the world’s largest natural gas supply and the world’s fourth-largest proven oil reserves.
Iran is a founding member of the UN (United nations), ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization), NAM (Non-Aligned Movement), OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries).
The country has 22 UNESCO World heritage sites, the third-largest number in Asia and eleventh-largest in the world.
Ethnic groups :
Iran is inhabited by many historically important ethnic and linguistic groups. These are :
Iran is divided into five regions with thirty-one provinces. These provinces are called “ostān” in the country. Each of these provinces are governed by an appointed governor called “ostāndār”. Each of these provinces are again divided into counties called “šahrestān”. The country is subdivided into many small districts(baxš) and sub-districts(dehestān).
Most populous city of Iran :
The country has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. From 1950 to 2002, the urban proportion of the population increased from 27% to 60%. Some of the Iran’s most populous city are enlisted below :
1) Tehran : Tehran is the capital city of the country. It is also the most populous and the largest city of the country. Around 8,800,000 people live in the city. Tehran is a very important economical and cultural centre of the country.
2) Mashhad : Iran’s second most populous city is Mashhad. Around 3,300,000 people live in the city. Mashhad is the capital city of the province of Razavi Khorasan.
3) Isfahan : The capital city of the province of Isfahan which is also named after the province itself, Isfahan is Iran’s third most populous city having a population of 2.2 million people. Isfahan city centre is the country’s largest shopping mall and is the world’s seventh largest shopping mall.
4) Karaj : Around 1,900,000 people live in Karaj, which makes it the fourth largest city of the country. Karaj is the capital of the province of Alborz. It is also one of the major industrial city of the country.
5) Tabriz : Tabriz is the fifth most populous city of the country with a population of around 1.8 million people. It is also the capital of the province of East Azerbaijan.
6) Shiraz : Shiraz, with a population of around 1.8 million, is Iran’s sixth most populous city. It is the capital of the province of Fars.
Military of Iran :
The country has more than 0.5 million active troops in its armed forces, with more than 0.3 million Reserve Force. Since the 1878 revolution, it has produced it’s own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, submarines, military vessels, missile destroyer, radar systems, helicopters, and fighter planes. The country has the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East.
Iran has the world’s second-largest proved gas reserves, with more than 33.6 trillion cubic meters. It also has the world’s fourth largest oil reserves, with an estimated 153,600,000,000 barrels. The country is OPEC’S (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) second largest oil explorer. Due to vast amount of oil and gas reserves, the country is called an energy superpower. It also has a nuclear power plant at bushie.
Education in Iran :
As of January 2017, according to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, Iran’s top five universities are among world’s top 1000 universities. They are :
1) Tehran University of Medical Sciences(478th worldwide).
2) University of Tehran(514th worldwide).
3) Sharif University of Technology(605th worldwide).
4) Amirkabir University of Technology(726th worldwide).
5) Tarbiat Modares University(789th worldwide).
Iran’s official language is Persian. Most of the people in Iran speak Persian. According to some estimates, more than twelve languages are spoken in Iran. Percentages of spoken language in Iran are shown below :
1) Persian language : 53 percent.
2) Azerbaijani Turkish language : 16 percent.
3) Kurdish language : 10 percent.
4) Mazenderani and Gilaki language : 7 percent.
5) Lurish language : 7 percent.
6) Turkmen language : 2 percent.
7) Balochi language : 2 percent.
8) Arabic language : 2 percent.
9) Others : 1 percent.
Religion in Iran :
More than 99% of the whole population of Iran is Muslim. About 95% of the whole Muslim population is Shia Muslims. Only 3 percent of the Iranian Muslim population is Sunni Muslims. The remaining two percent are Christians, Jews, Bahais, Mandeans, Yezidis,Yarsanis, and Zoroastrians. Christianity is the second largest recognized religion after Islam.
Iran has its very own rich culture. The Iranian cultures have major impact and contribution in many countries cultures, such as Greece, Italy, Russia and Countries of middle East and Asia.
Craft works :
Iran holds the unofficial record of being the world’s largest producer and exporter of handmade carpets.
Iranian literature is one of the world’s oldest literature. The Persian language is considered as one of the four main bodies of the world’s literature. The country was home to many famous medieval poets such as Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, Abu l-Qasim Firdowsi Tusi, Khwaja Shams-ud-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi, Nizami Ganjavi, Abu-Muhammad Muslih al-Din bin Abdallah Shirazi, Omar Khayyam. These poets have played a significant role in the history of Iranian literature. The Epic poem sahname written by Abu l-Qasim Firdowsi Tusi is the national Epic of the country.
Sports in Iran :
The national sports of Iran is the traditional freestyle wrestling. The country is recognized as the birthplace of Polo. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Iran and Volleyball is the second most popular sport in the country.