Location of Iran: Iran is situated in Western Central Asia in the area commonly referred to as the Middle East. It was geographically known as Persia until as recently as the twentieth century. In the North and Northwest, it is bordered by the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan (not to be confused with its own Iranian Azerbaijan region), Armenia and the autonomous Nakhchivan enclave. To the West lie Turkey and Iraq. Its southern boundaries extend to the scenic shores of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. It is adjacent to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the East and Turkmenistan to the Northeast.
Capital: Tehran (located in its titular province).
Area: Total 1,648,195 km2: land 99.3%, water 0.7%.
Land boundaries: Total 5894 km.
Border countries: Turkmenistan 1,148 km (713 mi), Turkey 534 km (332 mi), Iraq 1,599 km (994 mi), Armenia 44 km (27 mi), Azerbaijan Nakhchivan Enclave 44 km (27 mi), Azerbaijan 432 km (268 mi), Afghanistan 921 km (572 mi), Pakistan 959 km (596 mi).
Population: Total: 80 million (2017 est.).
Tehran: 8.5 million (proper), 15 million (metro),
Isfahan: 2 million (proper), 4.8 (metro),
Mashhad: 2.7 million,
Karaj: 2 million,
Tabriz: 1.5 million,
Shiraz: 1.5 million (proper), 1.8 (Shiraz County).
Language: Linguistically diverse, Persian (Farsi) is spoken by the majority of Iranians. Several other related Indo-Iranian languages belonging to the Indo-European language family are spoken – Kurdish, Gilaki, Mazandarani, et al. Sizeable minority languages include Armenian, Azeri Turkish, Caucasian languages such as Georgian and Circadian, and Arabic, among others.
A large percentage of millennial Iranians speak moderate to advanced English. Tourist information is available in English at many hotels and cultural attractions. As expected, signs, services and general information in rural and remote areas are less likely to accommodate the Anglophone tourist than in more populated areas.
The Perso-Arabic alphabet is the national standard. However, some signs, menus and general information are posted in English.
Administrative and territorial structure: 31 Provinces, 324 counties (shahrestans), 89 cities.
Religion: Islam is the national religion. Zoroastrianism remains active in small pockets throughout the country.
Currency: The official currency of Iran is the Iranian rial. Super-units of 10,000 (toman) are divisible into subunits of dinar.
USD, Euros, GBP and other currencies can be exchanged for rial throughout Iran.
According to the IATA, any amount exceeding 10,000 USD must be declared upon arrival as is standard when entering most countries.
Day to day expenses such as dining and transportation are surprisingly affordable compared to Western economies. Accommodation rates may vary according to location, amenities and level of service provided.
National symbols: Flag of Islamic Republic of Iran. The National Emblem features a unicon comprising a sword and stylized symbol for “ala”, collectively representative of a tulip.
Climate: The climate of Iran is as diverse as its topography ranging from mild and wet subtropical rainforest on the Caspian coast at Golan to the Mediterranean climate of Shiraz; very cold mountains of the Zagros and Alborz to the hot dry deserts of Lut and Kavir Buzurg; semi-desert of Tehran to dry coastal climate on the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman coasts.
Summers in the North are usually temperate with high temperatures averaging about 27 oC. Winters are generally mild in the South with average low temperatures around 13 oC. Summers are hot and sometimes humid, pending on the region.
Iran’s diverse climate allows for an amazing array of leisure and adventure activities. Skiing and extreme snow sports, scuba diving and snorkeling, ecotourism and safari are all within a short distance of each other almost year round.
Business & Economy of Iran
The Business and Economy of Iran is based on oil, agriculture, construction, trade, and services. The country’s economy suffers greatly from US sanctions, which were reintroduced in 2018 after the US unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). High import prices and staggering inflation are further crippling Iran’s economy.
Central Bank of Iran
Responsible for Iranian monetary policy.
Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE )
The site provides a market summary, last prices, indices, and listed companies.
Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines
With information on joint chambers and international affairs.
How To Invest In Iran
Information about Iran and its investment opportunities.
Major Iranian Companies
National Iranian Oil Company
The government-owned national oil and natural gas producer.
National Petrochemical Company
Government-owned NPC is responsible for the development and operation of the country’s petrochemical sector.
A state-owned mining company.
Arts & Culture of Iran
Miniatures, Carpets, and Calligraphy.
Iran (Persia) is one of the richest sources of fine arts in the world. Persian art includes many traditional disciplines such as architecture, painting, literature, music, weaving, pottery, calligraphy, metalworking and stonemasonry.
This is not a painting of modern Iranian art; it is a satellite view of the Dasht-e Kavir desert in the center of the Iranian plateau.
Culture of Iran
Site related to Iranian art and culture.
Wikipedia articles related to the history and the development of Persian art or Iranian art.
Carpet Museum of Iran
Fine Persian carpets. Carpet-weaving is an outstanding manifestations of Iranian art and culture.
The Art of the Safavids before 1600
The Metropolitan Museum of Art article about art and culture of the the Safavid empire (1501–1722)
The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iran Aseman Airline
Mahan Air is a privately owned Iranian airline based in Tehran; it serves destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Tourism in Iran
Destination Iran – Travel and Tour Guides
Discover Iran (Persia): Damavand Mountain (highest point: 5 610 m), Caspian Sea, Lake Urmia, Persepolis, Bam (Arg e Bam), Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz.
Official travel and tourism information for Iran by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, Iran.
Iran Tourism & Touring Organization
Comprehensive travel and tourism information for Iran.
Portal for Iranian-Persian history and culture.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran
There are 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran and 56 sites on the Tentative List (see the List)
Bam and its Cultural Landscape
Bam is a city situated in a desert environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau in Kerman Province of southeastern Iran. Arg-e Bam was an enormous citadel on the Silk Road; its origins can be traced back to the time of the Achaemenid Empire (6th to 4th centuries BC).
The fortress was the largest adobe building in the world; it was in large parts destroyed by an earthquake on the 26 December 2003. The site was partially reconstructed in the following years.
Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire; it was founded by Darius the Great, the fourth Persian King of the empire. The ruins of Persepolis are located about 60 km northeast of modern-day Shiraz. The palace complex was built on an immense half-natural, half-artificial terrace. The ruins were excavated in the early 1930s.
Environment & Nature
Department of Environment
Iran’s Department of Environment (DoE).
Earth Watchers Center
EWC is a non-profit environmental organization in Iran.
Green Party of Iran Environment
The site includes articles about Iran’s drought, air and water pollution, agriculture, flora, and fauna.
International Institute of Khazar Sea Studies
Studying political, economical, social, cultural, environmental issues of Caspian sea.
The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS)
Site about art, archaeology, culture, history, and languages of the area known as the “Greater Iran.”
Virtual reconstruction of Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Persian Empire.
History of Iran
Wikipedia’s main page about Iran’s history, it is part of a series on the History of Iran.
Iran | History, Culture, People, Facts, & Map | Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica article about Iran’s history.
Map of Iran
Other countries and territories in the Middle East