A mountainous, semi-arid land, Iran, is located in the western part of the world’s largest continent, Asia. With an area of more than 1.648.195 square kilometers (the eighteenth largest country in the world based on area), Iran is among the countries of the middle east. Almost 90 percent of Iran’s soil is situated in the Iranian plateau.
With 2700 kilometers water border and 6031 kilometers land border, Iran shares borders in the north with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Caspian Sea, west with Turkey and Iraq, east with Pakistan and Afghanistan and south with the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea.
With a population of more than 80 million, Iran is a diverse country with numerous ethnic and linguistic groups including Turk, Kurd, Lor, Baluch as well as Qashqai, Mazani, Gilaki, Shahsoon, Lak and Taleshi. The vast majority of people speak Farsi, the official language and the native tongue of most of Iranians. Additionally, the different ethnic groups also have their own dialects, such as Gilaki, Turkish, Kurdish etc.
As the most populated city of Iran and 24th most populated city in the world, Tehran is the capital of Iran. It is also recognized as the political, economic and industrial capital of Iran. This third most populated city in the middle east, has a population of more than 8 million.
Islam is the dominant religion, of which about 90 percent are Muslim, Shiite, the official state religion, while almost 9 percent are Sunnis. The other minorities of Zoroastrians, Christians and Jewish account for the balance. These three minority religions have seats in the Islamic Council and are recognized in the constitution.
In terms of climate, a considerable part of Iran is desert and due to low rainfall, Iran is considered as both an arid and semi-arid country. However, the existence of numerous mountains and two outstanding mountain ranges, Alborz and Zagros besides some plains and green forests (HYRCANIAN forests that is UNESCO world heritage site), brings mild weather and somehow cold in some parts of Iran such as north, west and northwest. This climate diversity and geographic situation, make Iran a four-season country.