Iran is a large country in the Greater Middle East. Tehran is the capital of Iran and its most important city. Iran is one of the world's most mountainous countries.
Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is the 17th largest country in world which is situated in Western Asia. Iran borders Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan on the east and Iraq on the west. Northwest of Iran is bordered by Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Turkey. Iran is one of the middle eastern countries.
To its south, Iran has borders with the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, and to its north it is bordered by the Caspian Sea, which is the largest lake on earth, with an estimated surface area of 371,000 square kilometers.
Iran is the only country that has a coastline with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance.
Tehran is the capital of Iran and its most important city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.
To better understand Iran, we must understand how large it is. Iran has an area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi). It is the 17th largest country in world.
Iran is one of the world's most mountainous countries. The western part of this country is the most mountainous. The ranges such as the Caucasus, Zagros, and Alborz are the most famous in Iran. Alborz mountain range, in northern Iran, contains Mount Damavand, Iran's highest point at 5,610 m (18,406 ft), which is also the highest mountain on the Eurasian landmass west of the Hindu Kush.
Desert basins are mostly located at the eastern part of country. The largest and most important deserts are Kavir Desert and Lut Desert.
Iran is divided into five regions consisted of thirty one provinces (in persian: ostān). Each province is subdivided to counties, or Shahrestan in persian.
in each county, there are some cities and rural districts.
This map only gives an indication of the administrative divisions of the country:
As the map shows, Kerman is the largest province of Iran and Alborz is the smallest.
according to the 2016 census, Iran’s population is 80.28 million.
Tehran, with a population of around 8.8 million (2016 census), is the capital and largest city of Iran. It is an economical and cultural center, and is the hub of the country's communication and transport network .
Mashhad is the second most populous city of Iran and is capital of the province of Razavi Khorasan, where is located Imam Reza Shrine, the 8th Imam of Shia Muslims.
The table below shows the largest and the most populous cities of Iran according to the 2016 census:
Iran's climate is diverse. In general, this country has a hot, dry climate that its summers are long, hot and dry and its winters are short and cool. This sort of climate is influenced by the location if Iran, which is between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean area.
On the coast of the Caspian Sea, the weather is often mild and quite wet. In high mountains, it is cold and in the south and southeast parts, it is often hot. in the west and the north, the rains are more abundant than in the east and the south.
In Tehran, per year, only 230 mm of rain fall, most of which occur from November to April .
As the climate is vast in Iran, it is difficult to find a period and a season that is best all over the country, however, you can choose spring, in particular April: in this month, in the north and in the mountains, it is still a bit cold and it can already be hot in the south, in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Even Autumn can be nice season to choose for traveling to iran, especially the month of October, but it must be considered that in the south it's even hotter than in April, while it may be rainy on the Caspian Sea.
Iran has the 28th largest economy in the world but ranks only 71st in per capita gross domestic product.
Iran is a multi-ethnic and multicultural country. Azerbaijan, is mainly populated by Iranian Azeris. The province of Kurdistan is largely inhabited by ethnic Kurds. There are also Armenians, Arabs, Lurs, Turkmens, Georgians, Assyrians. The people of different racial and social groups have been living in Iran peacefully for years.
Official religion in Iran is Islam. Most of the people are Muslim (Shia) but there also exists several religious minorities as well. The most notable religions are Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Judaism, all three of which are recognized as minority religions by the Iranian constitution.
Persian is the official language of Iran and The majority of the population speak Persian. But there are other languages spoken in Iran. Percentages given by the CIA's World Factbook include :
- 53% Persian
- 16% Azerbaijani Turkish
- 10% Kurdish
- 7% Mazenderani and Gilaki
- 7% Lurish
- 2% Turkmen
- 2% Balochi
- 2% Arabic
- 2% the remainder Armenian, Georgian, Neo-Aramaic, and Circassian
Truth be said, Iran is a pretty relaxed country to visit, locals are friendly and very willing to help. In tourist areas, these days, you will find more people speaking English than before, so you will hardly have problems.
There are many tourism attractions in Iran that some of them are Masjed Vakil mosque (Shiraz), Hafezieh Mausoleum (Shiraz), Sadie Mausoleum (Shiraz), The Ali Qapu palace (Isfahan), The Imam Mosque (Isfahan), Vank Cathedral (Isfahan), Atashkadeh (Yazd), Towers of Silence (Yazd), Milad Tower (Tehran), Sa'dabad Complex (Tehran), Azadi Tower (Tehran).