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Internationalized Domain Names

An internationalized domain name (IDN) is an Internet domain name that contains non-ASCII characters.

Dot-IR (.ir)

IDNs are not allowed under dot-ir (.ir) TLD. Domain names under dot-ir contain ASCII characters only.

Dot-Iran (‏.ایران)

Persian domain names (IDNs) are only allowed under dot-iran (‏.ایران). The rules and restrictions of Persian domains names are as below.

Rules and Restrictions

The list of all allowable characters can be found on page Allowable Characters (under dot-iran).

There are certain differences between Persian and Arabic letters and numerals; these have been taken into account. Arabic versions are automatically converted into Persian when you apply for a domain. In order to help users with non-standard keyboard, protect against abuse, and bolster security, up to five additional domains that can be confusingly similar (homographs) to the requested domains are also automatically assigned to the applicant. These together with the standard domain constitute the ‘bundle’ of up to six variants.

The only allowable characters are those in Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3. No other characters are allowed. Thus Latin alphabet, punctuation marks (other than hyphen-minus), pronunciation marks (such as TANVIN and SOKUN), and Unicode control characters (except for zero-width-non-joiner and zero-width-joiner) are not allowed in Persian domains.

A Persian domain should begin and end with a letter (letters are designated along with their type in Table 1). Numbers and other characters can be used inside a domain but not at the extremities. Thus purely numerical domains are not allowed.

As Persian characters are converted into ASCII, and ASCII labels in domain length are limited to 63 characters, a character-length of approximately 30 needs to be observed for Persian domains.

Zero-Width-Joiner (ZWJ) and Zero-Width-Non-Joiner (ZWNJ)

Within a word, some Persian letters are never joined to the next letter, e.g. ALEF "ا" and DAL "د". Some others may or may or may not be joined, such as HEH "ه" in "کلمیها" and "کلمه‌ای", which are two distinct words. In order to type "کلمه‌ای" on a keyboard, the ZWNJ should be used between HEH "ه" and ALEF "ا".

Since white spaces are not allowed as a character in a domain names, ZWNJ maybe usefully employed, instead. Thus "فرهنگستان‌هنر" may be used for non-allowable "فرهنگستان هنر". Of course on could also use hyphen for demarcation within a domain name.

ZWNJ can be entered in the following ways:

  • In standard Iranian keyboard, use [SHIFT + SPACE] or [SHIFT + b]. (The former may not work on same operating systems.)
  • In "Farsi" keyboard of Microsoft, use [CTRL + SHIFT + 2].
  • On any Microsoft windows, you can use [ALT + 0157] on keypad when Num-Lock is lighted.

Letters KAF "ک” and YEH "ی” in Persian and Arabic

These two letters look somewhat different In Persian and Arabic, and they are represented differently in Unicode as well. Some users may miss this difference, but there is nothing to worry about as the Arabic versions are automatically converted into Persian ones (Look at Table 3.) and the Arabic form of that domain name will also be reserved for the registrant.

Using Persian Domains

To access webs configured on Persian domains, or IDN in general, you have to use browsers that support IDN (e.g. FireFox 0.6 or higher, Netscape 7.1 or higher, Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Safari 3.0.3 or higher), or Internet Explorer's 6.0 or 6.5 plugin to enable IDN support.

For applications such as Email, FTP, Telnet and SSH one has to use appropriate software with IDN support as well, such as applying Outlook plugin.

The following site gives a list of IDN enabled applications: http://www.verisign.com/…/internationalized-domain-names/page_002201.html

For resolving a Persian IDN domain, you can use one of the following methods:

  • Use 'a.irnic.ir' or 'b.irnic.ir' as DNS server of your operating system. In this case you do not have to add ".ir” to the end of Persian domains. Your ISP may also be able to help you with this.
  • You can add ".ir” to the Persian domain and use it normally. For example if you want to resolve "مثال.ایران", first enter "مثال.ایران", then change to Latin keyboard and add ".ir". In most operating systems the result will look as "مثال.ایران.ir".

Dot-Test (‏.آزمایشی)

In order to fully deploy IDN domains to the Internet, annonced a new project which is called "example.test". The domain "example.test" has been translated into 11 languages and successfully inserted into the root servers. More info about this project are available on page Example-Dot-Test.