The Islamic Republic of Iran (formerly known as Persia) has a population of 68 million and a land area of 620,000 square miles (half of India; or the size of Alaska).
Iran lies between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf. Its landscape is dominated by rugged mountains.
Iran has a rich past of ancient civilizations. Culture is at the center of the Iranian civilization. The arts, music, architecture, poetry, philosophy, traditions and ideology have made Iran an prominent nation in the global community.
There are currently 1.2 million nomadic Pastoralists in Iran, spread over 500 tribes and independent clans. This population has its own culture and arts.
Tehran, the capital, is a young and beautiful city, yet bearing the horrendous traffic and air pollution. The Glass and Ceramics Museum is one of the most impressive museums in the city, in an old mansion with beautifully landscaped gardens.
Esfahan has a stunning architecture, tree-lined boulevards; it is the undisputed highlight of Iran cities.
The Ali Sadr Caves are highly commercialized rise to a maximum internal height of 130 feet and have a deep river flowing through the middle.
Iran has magnificent ruins of ancient cities, fabulous mosques and mausoleums and rich museums. Iran has opened its doors to all world's visitors to visit and enjoy a variety of cultures, climates and sightseeing. For women travelers, a head scarf should cover the hair. At present there are 10 National Parks and 41 Protected Regions in Iran. Bakhtegan lake is a must for bird watchers, especially in winter when the migrating flamingos and Russian birds move here.
It is an Islamic Republic with its capital Tehran and Persian language. Iranians have been able to maintain their cultural and linguistic identity even at the face of trying circumstance and cultural aggressions. It is a mountainous country. Its physical boundaries are well marked. Everywhere dryness dominates and the annual rainfall is between 10 to 20 inches Most of the land is agriculturally unusable. The little usable land is found along the Caspian sea coast and a small area along the Shalt-al-Arab, the unified stream of Tigris and Euphrates. 'Iran's national economy is dependent on the petroleum exports. Abadan has oil refineries. Most of the Iranians are farmers who produce wheat, barley, rice, dates, cotton and tobacco for local consumption. Note the position, close to the mountains, of Teheran, the capital, situated on a high plain south of the Elburz Mountains; Tabriz; and Isfahan, is a valley on the slopes of the Zagros Range.
The district lying between the Elburz Mountains and the Caspian is very different from the plateau. On-shore winds from the Caspian bring rain, which, together with melting snows on the mountains, provides ample water for irrigation.
In Southern Iran there is a major oil-field, in the Karun valley, whence oil is piped to refineries at Abadan, an island port at the head of the Persian Gulf, and an oil terminal. The Trans-Iranian Railway connects the Caspian Sea with the Persian Gulf.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. The chief agricultural products are wheat, barley, rice, fruits, and sugar beet. Fishing is important along the Caspian Sea. It is one of the biggest oil producing regions. Emerald and gems are found here. This country has an integrated economy. Industrialization is financed from revenues earned by Iran's large petroleum industry. Manufacturing industries include iron and steel, copper and zinc processing, irrigation equipment, petrochemicals and food. Persian carpets indicate the skill in intricate designing.