Some General Information of Iran
Iran is a vast country with an area of 1648000 square kilometers and is located in southwest Asia, between Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia in the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east, Turkey and Iraq in the west. Across the southern borders of Iran is the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea. The total land border of Iran is 5170 km, and the total maritime boundaries in the north and the south are 2510 km. Iran is located in the heart of the Middle East, connecting the Persian Gulf to the most beautiful and also largest lake in the world, the Mazandaran Sea, as well as being the connecter of the world’s East and West parts alongside with their cultural, spiritual and political manifestations.
Iran is one of the top 5 countries in the world due to its climate, and biodiversity and historically and culturally is among the top 10 countries in the world. In other words, in terms of tourist attractions, our country is among the top 5 countries around the globe.
Clear-lucid Springs, Pomegranate garden, Pistachio gardens, Row of Tabrizi trees, Migration of the nomadic people, Different Seasons, Stellar Nights of villages, Rocks, Mountains, Silent and Snow Covered Volcanoes, Massive Forest landscapes, Alborz Mountains and the shores of the Caspian Sea are among the spectacular and unforgettable landscapes of Iran’s nature that leave a unique memory in the minds of tourists. The face of the earth in Iran is varies at different times, sometimes dry as sand and stone, sometimes as wet as floods, and sometimes covered with snow, mud, or flowers and plants.
One of the most important features of Iran, which is very important in terms of tourism, is the existence of high Mountains, plains, vast deserts, rivers and lakes, and the opportunity to see 4 seasons simultaneously in different parts of this country. In winter, one can go swimming, scuba diving, and other water sports in the south, at Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea shores; while at the same time, in the north and North-west Mountains one can enjoy winter sports like skiing, or the pleasant cool-rainy-fresh air in many cities along the Caspian coast. The Caspian coastline is a beautiful green belt that separates the Caspian Sea and the Alborz Range, which is covered by elegant dense forests. The Persian Gulf coasts, consist of mountain cliffs and sandy and swampy shores, are not as monotonic as northern coasts are. The southern provinces of Iran, especially Khuzestan, which forms part of the vast Mesopotamian plain, are very flat and slightly elevated above sea level. If a tourist travels through the northern or western mountains of Iran, he will find many beautiful settlements, villages, gardens and meadows that would amaze any observer’s eyes. The high altitude of the plateau of Iran, and the fact that most of its lands are located at a height of more than 1000 meters above sea level, is another important features of this country.
The most important summits of Iran are: Damavand in north-east of Tehran with a height of 5671 meters, Sabalan in the west with a height of 4880 meters, Sahand in the south of Tabriz with a height of 3707 meters, Takht-e Soleiman in the center of Mazandaran with a height of 4820 meters, Yellow Mountain in Bakhtiari with a 4550 meters high, Dena in the north of Yasuj with a 4309 meters height, Taftan south of Zahedan with a 3941 meters height and dozens of other summits which are spread throughout Iran. The complexity and diversity of calcareous formations of mountains in Iran, has created many caves in different provinces, especially in Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Hamedan, which have attracted the attention of countless tourists who visit them. The mountains of Iran belong to the folds of the Tertiary geology, and some of them have volcanic origin, causing the formation of hot springs and minerals. Mountains of Iran have created very favorable conditions for winter and mountain sports.
Iran has more than 500 well-known hot and mineral springs, all of which are used to provide drinking water and medical and hygienic uses. Most of these springs are located in Alborz, Azerbaijan and Zagros Mountains and some of them are located near Isfahan, Mashhad and Bandar Abbas. Sarein Ardebil mineral springs, Larijan hot springs in Alborz slopes and also mineral springs of neighborhoods considering the development of tourism in the area, thousands of people have been treated in summer for therapeutic use.
The southern coast of the Caspian Sea is a lush green area with slopes covered with forests. The altitude of these shores is around 28 meters above sea level. These coasts with sandy beaches and pleasant landscapes are some of the most beautiful areas of Iran. The coasts and islands of southern Iran also have significant natural attractions, especially in cold seasons. The slopes of Alborz and Zagros Mountains and the riverbeds of Iran are the source of the springs as well as the source of lakes.
The Islamic Republic is the current government of Iran, formed after the Iranian Revolution victory in 1979, following a referendum with a vote of 98.2%.
The political structure of Iran includes the following natural and legal persons. The leader is at the top of the power pyramid. Following the leader of the Islamic Republic’s political structure, there are three branches; executive, judicial, and legislative. These 3 branches are monitored by the Assembly of Experts, the Guardian Council and the Expediency Council.
Iran now consists of 31 provinces. The current capital of Iran is Tehran.
Iran is one of the most unique countries in terms of climate. The temperature difference in winter between the hottest and coldest points can sometimes be as high as 50 ° C. Famous Iranian deserts, including the Lut and Kavir deserts, have spread over an area of more than 360000 square kilometers and are still among fascinating unknown areas. The hottest spot in the world in 2004 and 2005 has been somewhere in the Iranian Lut Desert.
The rainfall in Iran is very variable. In the north it reaches more than 213 mm (Rasht, 2009); while precipitation in the desert areas is generally very low, at around 15 mm; and it’s around 500 mm in the northwest and west, the southern slopes of Alborz and the northeast. In other areas, the rainfall does not exceed 200 mm.
The temperature difference in Iran is high in different places. While in winter the temperature in Shahrekord reaches -30 Centigrade degrees in the night, people in Ahvaz experience summer weather (50 c degrees). The northern coast is warm and humid in summer and mild in winter. The northwest and west regions have mild summers and cold-tough winters and the southern regions have extremely hot summers and mild winters.
New genetic studies by Maziar Ashrafian Bonab show that Iranian ethnic groups that reside in present-day Iran (and even beyond Iran’s current political borders) despite of some minor cultural differences and speak in different languages and/or dialects, they share same Genetic roots. These common roots traces back to the pioneer groups who lived in the southwestern parts of the Iranian plateau about ten to eleven thousand years ago. According to these reports, Aryans were not migrants who came from Europe to Iran 4000 years ago, but they were indigenous people of Iran who emigrated from Iran to Europe some 10000 years ago.
The historical background of civilization in Iran goes back to the civilizations of Elam, Burnt City, Jiroft, etc., but the beginning of Iranian political history dates back to the beginning of the reign of Iran in the Median period. The Median Empire was the first empire of Iran and is therefore regarded as the beginning of the history of the Persian Empire.
According to the World Tourism Organization’s report, Iran ranks 10th in ancient and historical attractions and fifth in natural attractions in the world, but has not been successful in attracting foreign tourists due to social and recreational constraints.
Iranian culture has its roots in history. To understand Iranian culture one must also look at the independent countries surrounding Iran. Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and even Armenia and Georgia, as well as the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey have all inherited more or less part of Iranian culture. Even the Pakistani national anthem is in Persian language.