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General Information

Islamic Republic of Iran

Geographical condition:

Having an area of 1,648,195 km 2 Iran lies between latitudes 24° and 40° N, and longitudes 44° and 64° E. It is located on the Southeast Asia in the heart of Middle East.


About 80 million (estimation 2016).

The neighboring countries:

It is bounded on the north by Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea, on the east by Pakistan & Afghanistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf & the Gulf of Oman, and on the west by Turkey and Iraq.

Country Division:

Iran is divided into five regions with 31 provinces, each governed by an appointed governor. The provinces are divided into counties (Shahrestan), and subdivided into districts (Bakhsh) and sub-districts (Dehestan). Ardebil, Arak, Ahvaz, Bushehr, Bojnoord, Birjand, Bandar-e Abbas, Gorgan, Isfahan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khoram Abad, Mashhad, Orumiyeh, Qom, Qazvin,  Rasht, Sanandaj, Shiraz, Sari, Shahr-e Kord,Tabriz, Tehran, Yazd, Yasuj, Zahedan and Zanjan are from the main cities of Iran.


Tehran is the capital city of Iran, a bustling metropolis of 14 million people; it is situated at the foot of the towering Alborz mountain rang. The altitude is between 1,200 & 1,700 meters which city since 200 hundred years has been the capital and largest city of Iran with an area of 600 sq. Tehran is the administrative, economic, and cultural center as well as the major Industrial & transportation center of Iran.



Iran is one of the countries in the world which has the complete four seasons. In summer, the weather can be cool as well as warm, and in the cold winters it can be mild. A large part of country suffers great extremes of heat and cold between summer and winter and rainfall is mainly confined to winter and spring.
Summers are warm to hot with virtually continuous sunshine, with high humidity on the southern coasts. Winter weather is very changeable with some mild, wet spells but also some very cold periods with forest and snow.


Language & Culture:

Persian (or Farsi) is official language spoken by the majority of the population in Iran, though a significant portion of the people also speaks other languages or dialects such as Azari, Kurdish, Lori, Baluchi, Gilaki, and Mazandarani & Turkmen. Additionally, Arabic is spoken in the southwestern parts of the country.
Iranian culture has long been a predominant culture of the Middle East and Central Asia, with Persian considered the language of intellectuals during much of the 2nd millennium, and the language of religion and the populace before that. The Sassanian influence carried forward to the Islamic world. Much of what later became known as Islamic learning, such as philology, literature, jurisprudence, philosophy, medicine, architecture and the sciences were based on some of the practices taken from the Sassanian Persians to the broader Muslim world.



Iran is a diverse country consisting of people of many religions and ethnic backgrounds cemented by the Persian culture. Religion in Iran is dominated by the Twelver Shi’a branch of Islam, which is the official state religion; about 4% to 8% of Iranians belong to the Sunni branch of Islam. Although the vast majority of the Iranians are Muslims, however there are also small populations of Zoroastrians, Christians, Jewish and people of other faiths living in Iran.


Recent archaeological studies indicate that as early as 10,000 B.C., people lived on the southern shores of the Caspian, one of the few regions of the world which according to scientists escaped the Ice Age. They were probably the first men in the history of mankind to engage in agriculture and animal husbandry. Iran is known for the historical sites dating to the Persian Empire, extensive marble ruins mark Persepolis, the empire’s capital founded by Darius I in the 6th century B.C.
The first inhabitants of Iran were a race of people living in western Asia. When the Aryans arrived, they gradually started mingling with the old native Asians. Aryans were a branch of the people today known as the Indo-Europeans, and are believed to be the ancestors of the people of present India, Iran, and most of Western Europe. Recent discoveries indicate that, centuries before the rise of earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia, Iran was inhabited by human. But the written history of Iran dates back to 3200 BC. It begins with the early Achaemenids, the dynasty whose under the first Iranian world empire blossomed.
Cyrus the Great was the founder of the empire and he is the first to establish the charter of human rights. In this period Iran stretched from the Aegean coast of Asia Minor to Afghanistan, as well as south to Egypt. The Achaeamenid Empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great in 330 BC and was followed by The Seleucid Greek Dynasty.
After the Seleucid, we witness about dozen successive dynasties reigning over the country, Dynasties such as Parthian, Sassanian, Samanid, Ghaznavid, Safavid, Zand, Afsharid, Qajar and Pahlavi.
In 641 Arabs conquered Iran and Persians, who were the followers of Zoroaster, gradually turned to Islam and it was in Safavid period when Shiite Islam became the official religion of Iran. Since Qajar dynasty on, due to the inefficiency of the rulers, Iran intensely begins to decline and gets smaller & smaller.
The growing corruption of the Qajar monarchy led to a constitutional revolution in 1905-1906. The Constitutional Revolution marked the end of the medieval period in Iran. During World Wars I and II the occupation of Iran by Russian, British, and Ottoman troops was a blow from which the government never effectively recovered. The country’s name was changed from Persia to Iran in 1935 by Reza Shah, the first king of Pahlavi in 1979.
The nation, under the leadership of Imam Khomeini, erupted into revolution and the current Islamic republic of Iran was founded in 1979.


Recent archaeological excavations have shed new light on the earliest arts of the Iranian plateau. These newly discovered prehistoric sites date back to at least 5000 B.C., and handsome decorated pottery, some of which is eggshell thin, has been found in great quantities at sites dated 3000 B.C. and later. Persian art and architecture reflects a 5,000-year-old cultural tradition shaped by the diverse cultures that have flourished on the vast Iranian plateau occupied by modern Iran and Afghanistan.
The history of Persian art can be divided into two distinct eras whose demarcation is the mid-7th century A.D., when invading Arab armies brought about the conversion of the Persian people to Islam.


Traditional Foods:

Cuisine of Iran with a wide variety and the culinary of Iran reflect the tradition of the country and the region in a great way. It comprises of both cooked and raw foods. The cooked foods are mostly non-vegetarian and the raw foods comprises of fruits and nuts, herbs & vegetables. Cuisine of Iran speaks of the wide variety of appetizers and desserts that is more famous all over the world. It goes bland without the spices used in a special way in most of the dishes. Some of the major dishes that Cuisines of Iran extensively and importantly consists of are the rice and bread. There are varieties of rice preparation; the preparation differs with region and course of the meal. Chelow, Damy, Pollo and Kateh are the most common rice preparation famous in Iran.
The bread is referred to as Nan. Iranian Cuisines also stands famous because of the wide range of drink that they make from several fruits. The traditional drink that Iranian people have with the meal is known as Doogh; Sharbat and Khak-e Sheer are the types of drink that is popular and famous in Iran.


Flora and Fauna:

More than one-tenth of the country is forested. The most extensive growth is found on the mountain slopes rising from the Caspian Sea, with stands of oak, ash, elm, cypress, and other valuable trees. On the plateau proper, areas of scrub oak appear on the best-watered mountain slopes, and villagers cultivate orchards and grow the plane tree, poplar, willow, walnut, beech, maple, and mulberry. Wild plants and shrubs spring from the barren land in the spring and afford pasturage, but the summer sun burns them away. Bears, wild sheep and goats, gazelles, wild asses, wild pigs, panthers, and foxes abound. Domestic animals include sheep, goats, cattle, horses, water buffalo, donkeys, and camels. The pheasant, partridge, stork, and falcon are native to Iran.
As of 2002, there were at least 140 species of mammals, 293 species of birds, and over 8,000 species of plants throughout the country.

Festivals & Events in Iran:

Nowruz: Also known as Persian New Year, this is one of the most important traditional holidays on the Iranian calendar. Heralding the advent of spring, this celebration with Zoroastrianism roots is a time of feasting with family, celebrating in nature, spring cleaning the home and purchasing flowers and new clothes for the New Year. Many different types of rituals are performed during this time and can vary from family to family, area to area.
Ramadan and Eiyd: The ninth and holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is observed by most in Iran and is thought to be a time of spiritual rejuvenation. For this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, refraining from eating and drinking during daylight hours. Eid marks the end of fasting with three days of feasting and celebration.


Iranian official calendar, regulate according to Solar year & Iranian months. The 21 March, equal 1 Farvardin, is beginning of Iranian New Year. Also in Iran, Lunar calendar announce officially. Lunar year is 10 days less than Solar year, so days of performing religious rites, that adjust according o Lunar calendar, each year is different from next & former years. Therefore it is recommended to tourists that arrange their proper traveling time with related agency. Especially in Ramadan month that Muslims, are fasting and in Muharam are mournful, so these situations influence on daily & current activities and some days in these two month are public holidays. Friday is the official holiday.


The currency in Iran, or the money used, is called the Rial (pronounced ‘Reeyaal’). The Rial was first introduced as the currency in Iran in 1798 as a coin. When talking money in Iran you may hear the term “Tooman”.
The Tooman is an old term but is no longer an official currency. However it is still used on a daily basis in Iran and it refers to the amount of ten Rials.

Banks opening hours:

In Tehran and main cities of Iran, the banks are open from 07:30 to 15:30 Saturday to Wednesday and 07:30 to 13:30 Thursday.

Other information

-Major mountain ranges: Elburz in the north rise to 18,603 ft (5,670 m) at Mount Damavend, and Zagros

-Major rivers: Arvand Rud, Karun, Karkheh, Zayandeh Rud.

-Major islands: Kish, Qeshm, Lavan, Khark, Large Tonb, small Tonb.

-National day: 11 February

-Date format: yyyy/mm/dd

-Internet TLD: ir

-International calling code: 0098

-Main exports: oil, carpet, fruits, dry fruits (pistachios, raisins and dates), leather, caviar, petrochemical products, apparels and dresses, foodstuffs.

-Main imports: machinery, industrial metals, medicines, chemical derivatives.

-Industry: Petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabrication, armaments.

-Agriculture products: Wheat, grain, rice, maize, various cereal, sugar beets, various fresh fruits, dried nuts, cotton, dairy products, wool, caviar and silk.

-Most important ports: Bandar-e Abbas, Bushehr, Chabahar and Khorram Shahr located in the south on the coasts of the Oman Sea and the Persian Gulf. Also the ports of Turkmen, Nowshahr, Anzali and Astara stretching along the north, on the edge of the Caspian Sea.

-Electricity: 220V, 50Hz (European plug)

-Time zone: Winter UTC+3:3 Summer UTC +4.5