About Iran, The ancient land of Persia
Persia that is known as Iran (Land of the Aryans) since 1935, officially called the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country which is situated in both Southwest Asia and the Middle East. It is 1, 648, 195 square kilometers (the 18th largest in the world) and on the basis of the 2012 census has a population of about 78, 189, 669. The political and administrative capital is Tehran.
The 1979 revolution overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty and its current government is an Islamic Republic which was put to a referendum and approved by the Iranian people at the revolution. The Supreme Leader is the highest authority. Iran’s Supreme Leader and President (who holds power for a term of 4 years) should follow the official religion of the majority of the Iranian people; however, their race and ethnicity are not important for their selection.
Islam is the official religion and Persian(Farsi) is the official language of the country. As a country and a nation, Iran has an ancient historical past and is considered to be one of the most historic countries of the world. According to the World Tourism Organization, Iran is globally ranked 10th for ancient and historical attractions and fifth 5th for natural attractions.
Iran is an influential regional power in Southwest Asia and has an important role in the global economy because of its oil, petrochemical and natural gas industries. Iran consists of 31 provinces and its population includes 61% Persian, 16% Azerbaijanis, 10% Kurd, 6% Lor, 2% Balouch, 2% Arab, 2% Turkmen and 1% of other ethnic minorities. Mazandarani, Gilaks, Lak, Taleshi, Khalaj, Mandaean (Sabean), Sistani and Jewish are included in the other ethnic groups in Iran.
More than half of Iran is desert and semi-desert and about a third of that is mountainous and a small part of the country (including the plains in south of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan plain) has fertile plains. Iran is one of the most unique countries considering its climate. The difference between the temperatures of the hottest and coldest cities in winter is sometimes over 50° C. Considering precipitation, Iran is semi-arid and arid and rainfall rate is highly variable. In the north rainfall can be more than 2113 mm (Rasht, 2005). In desert areas, it is mainly very low at about 15 mm.