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Iran Facts

Iran Facts | Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics | Persia

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  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  
Background: Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and the shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority nominally vested in a learned religious scholar. Iranian-US relations have been strained since a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces between 1987-1988. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement. Following the elections of a reformist president and Majlis in the late 1990s, attempts to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction floundered as conservative politicians prevented reform measures from being enacted, increased repressive measures, and made electoral gains against reformers. Parliamentary elections in 2004 and the August 2005 inauguration of a conservative stalwart as president, completed the reconsolidation of conservative power in Iran's government.
Common Name: Iran Local Official Name: Iran
Abbreviated Name: Islamic Republic of Iran Official Name: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
Official Script Name: Iran Local Common Name: Iran
Former Name: Persia Territory of: NA
Head of State: Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI
Government Type: theocratic republic
Independence: 1979 April 1 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)
Constitution: 1979 December 2-3; revised 1989 to expand powers of the
National Holiday: Republic Day, 1 April
International Organization Participation: ABEDA, CP, ECO, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Administrative Divisions: 30 provinces (ostanha, singular - ostan); Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan-e Janubi, Khorasan-e Razavi, Khorasan-e Shemali, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh va Buyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan
Dependent Areas: NA
Legal System: the Constitution codifies Islamic principles of government
Suffrage: 15 years of age years
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: chief of state: Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989) head of government: President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD (since 3 August 2005); First Vice President Parviz DAVUDI (since 11 September 2005) cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval; the Supreme Leader has some control over appointments to the more sensitive ministries note: also considered part of the Executive branch of government are three oversight bodies: 1) Assembly of Experts, a popularly elected body of 86 religious scholars constitutionally charged with determining the succession of the Supreme Leader, reviewing his performance, and deposing him if deemed necessary; 2) Expediency Council or Council for the Discernment of Expediency is a policy advisory and implementation board consisting of permanent and temporary members representing all major government factions, some of whom are appointed by the Supreme Leader; the Council exerts supervisory authority over the executive, judicial, and legislative branches and resolves legislative issues on which the Majles and the Council of Guardians disagree; 3) Council of Guardians or Council of Guardians of the Constitution is a 12-member board of clerics and jurists serving six-year terms that determines whether proposed legislation is both constitutional and faithful to Islamic law; the Council also vets candidates for suitability and supervises national elections elections: Supreme Leader appointed for life by the Assembly of Experts; president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 17 June 2005 with a two-candidate runoff on 24 June 2005 (next to be held in 2009) election results: Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD elected president; percent of vote - Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD 62%, Ali Akbar Hashemi RAFSANJANI 36% Legislative Branch: unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami (290 seats - formerly 270 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 20 February 2004 with a runoff held 7 in May 2004 (next to be held in February 2008) election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - conservatives/Islamists 190, reformers 50, independents 43, religious minorities 5, and 2 seats unaccounted for Judicial Branch: Supreme Court - above a special clerical court, a revolutionary court, and a special administrative court
Party Leaders: formal political parties are a relatively new phenomenon in Iran and most conservatives still prefer to work through political pressure groups rather than parties; a loose pro-reform coalition called the 2nd Khordad Front, which includes political parties as well as less formal pressure groups and organizations, achieved considerable success at elections to the sixth Majles in early 2000; groups in the coalition include: Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), Executives of Construction Party (Kargozaran), Solidarity Party, Islamic Labor Party; Mardom Salari, Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO), and Militant Clerics Society (Ruhaniyun); the coalition participated in the seventh Majles elections in early 2004; a new apparently conservative group, the Builders of Islamic Iran, took a leading position in the new Majles after winning a majority of the seats in February 2004
International Disputes: Iran protests Afghanistan's limiting flow of dammed tributaries to the Helmand River in periods of drought; Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which are occupied by Iran; Iran stands alone among littoral states in insisting upon a division of the Caspian Sea into five equal sectors
Illicit Drugs: despite substantial interdiction efforts, Iran remains a key transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe; domestic narcotics consumption remains a persistent problem and according to official Iranian statistics there are at least 2 million drug users in the country; lacks anti-money-laundering laws 
  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  
Location of Iran: Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan
Continent: Asia Land Area Total: 1,648,000 sq km 
Region: Central Asia Land Area Land: 1,636,000 sq km
Capitol City: Tehran Land Area Water: 12,000 sq km
Latitude: 032 00 N Border Boundary Land: 5,440 km
Longitude: 053 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 2,440 km 
Arable Land: 9.78 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 1.29 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
Highest Elevation: 5,671 m Location: kuh-e Damavand
Lowest Elevation: -28 m Location: Caspian Sea
Largest City in Iran: Teheran Teheran Largest City Population: 7,158,000
Threatened Species: 63
Environmental Issues: air pollution, especially in urban areas, from vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; oil pollution in the Persian Gulf; wetland losses from drought; soil degradation (salination); inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution from raw sewage and industrial waste; urbanization
Environmental Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Irrigated Land: 76,500
Bordering Countries: Afghanistan 936 km, Armenia 35 km, Azerbaijan-proper 432 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 179 km, Iraq 1,458 km, Pakistan 909 km, Turkey 499 km, Turkmenistan 992 km
Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
Geographical Terrain: rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts
Comparative Area of Iran: slightly larger than Alaska
Iran's Geography: strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport

  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  
General Climate: mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast
Natural Hazards: periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes
  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  
Economic Overview: Iran's economy is marked by a bloated, inefficient state sector, over reliance on the oil sector, and statist policies that create major distortions throughout. Most economic activity is controlled by the state. Private sector activity is typically small-scale - workshops, farming, and services. President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD has continued to follow the market reform plans of former President RAFSANJANI, with limited progress. Relatively high oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass some $40 billion in foreign exchange reserves, but have not eased economic hardships such as high unemployment and inflation. The proportion of the economy devoted to the development of weapons of mass destruction remains a contentious issue with leading Western nations.
GDP: $569,900,000,000 USD Currency: Iranian rial
GDP per Capita: $8,400 USD Currency Code: IRR
GDP Growth Rate: 6.90 %
Currency Exchange Rate History: rials per US dollar - 8,964 (2005), 8,614 (2004), 8,193.9 (2003), 6,907 (2002), 1,753.6 (2001) note: Iran has been using a managed floating exchange rate regime since unifying multiple exchange rates in March 2002
GDP of Agriculture: 11.60 % GDP of Industry: 42.40 %
GDP of Services: 46.00 %  
Inflation Rate: 13.50 % Population in Poverty: 11.20 %
Unemployment Rate: 11.20 % Tourism: 1,321,000.00 visitors each year
Consumption by lowest 10%: 0.00 % Budget Revenue in USD: $48,820,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 0.00 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $60,400,000,000 USD
Electricity Production: 142,300,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 840,000,000 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 132,100,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 600,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 94.24% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 5.76% Other Electricity Production: 0.00%
Oil Production: 3,979,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 79,000,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 1,425,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 79,000,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 2,500,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 3,400,000,000 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 4,920,000,000 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 133,300,000,000 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 26,620,000,000,000 cu m
External Debt: $19,060,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $408,000,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
Agricultural Products: wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar
Primary Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabrication, armaments
Industrial Growth Rate: 3.00 %
Import Amount in USD: $42,500,000,000 USD - industrial raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services, military supplies
Import Partners: Germany 13.8%, UAE 8.3%, China 8.3%, Italy 7%, France 6.2%, South Korea 5.4%, Russia 4.8%
Export Amount in USD: $55,420,000,000 USD - petroleum 80%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets
Export Partners: Japan 16.6%, China 11%, Italy 5.8%, South Korea 5.7%, South Africa 5.7%, Turkey 5.6%, Netherlands 4.5%, France 4.3%
GINI Index: 43.00%
Labor Force Number of People: 23,680,000
Labor Force by Occupations: agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45%
  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  
Radio Broadcast Stations: 82 Number of People with Radios: 17,000,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 28 Number of People with Televisions: 4,610,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 18,986,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 7,222,000
Internet Service Providers: 5,246 Internet Users: 7,500,000
Internet Country Code: .ir Newspapers: 28
Two Letter Country Code: IR Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 98 Electricity Voltage: 230 Volts
Telephone Systems: general assessment: inadequate, but currently being modernized and expanded with the goal of not only improving the efficiency and increasing the volume of the urban service but also bringing telephone service to several thousand villages, not presently connected domestic: as a result of heavy investing in the telephone system since 1994, the number of long-distance channels in the microwave radio relay trunk has grown substantially; many villages have been brought into the net; the number of main lines in the urban systems has approximately doubled; thousands of mobile cellular subscribers are being served; moreover, the technical level of the system has been raised by the installation of thousands of digital switches international: country code - 98; HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; submarine fiber-optic cable to UAE with access to Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line runs from Azerbaijan through the northern portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with expansion to Georgia and Azerbaijan; satellite earth stations - 9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat
  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  


Highways: 118,115 km Railways: 7,256 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 33,844 km Waterways: 850 km
Airports: 129 Heliports: 15
Motor Vehicles: 16 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 287,940,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 4.50 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
Merchant Marines: total: 141 ships (1000 GRT or over) 5,086,702 GRT/8,878,829 DWT by type: bulk carrier 39, cargo 45, chemical tanker 4, container 12, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 30, roll on/roll off 3 foreign-owned: 1 (UAE 1) registered in other countries: 22 (Bolivia 1, Cyprus 2, Malta 14, Panama 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1)
Ports and Harbors: Assaluyeh, Bushehr
  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  
Population: 68,688,433 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 17.00 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 38.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 5.55 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 1.10% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.80 babies born per woman
Population Male 0-14: 9,204,785 Population Female 0-14: 8,731,429
Population Male 15-64: 24,133,919 Population Female 15-64: 23,245,255
Population Male 65+: 1,653,827 Population Female 65+: 1,719,218
Population 0-14: 26.10% Literacy Rate: 79.40%
Population 15-64: 63.70% Literacy rate of Males: 85.60%
Population 65+: 4.90% Literacy rate of Females: 73.00%
Population that is Male: 52.00 % Population that is Female: 48.00%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 70.26 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 40.30 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 68.86 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 71.74 years
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.00% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 31,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 800
Disease Risk:
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: -0.48
Nationality: IRANIAN
Ethnic Groups: Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1% 
Primary Language: Persian
Other Languages: Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
Primary Religion: Shi'a Muslim
Other Religions: Shi'a Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 9%, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i 2%
  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  
Branches: Islamic Republic of Iran Regular Forces (Artesh): Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force (includes air defense); Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Eslami, IRGC): Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force, Qods Force (special operations), and Basij Force (Popular Mobilization Army); Law Enforcement Forces
Manpower Fit to Serve: 18 years
Manpower Available: 35,860,582 People
Manpower Fit to Serve: 30,671,322 People
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 1,670,100 People per year
Expenditures: $0 USD per year
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 3.30
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
  Iran Facts |  Islamic Republic of Iran Information | Iran Statistics  
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