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Middle East :: Iran
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  • Introduction :: IRAN

  • Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces led by Ayatollah Ruhollah KHOMEINI established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to the Assembly of Experts - a popularly elected 86-member body of clerics. US-Iranian relations became strained when a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held embassy personnel hostages until mid-January 1981. The US cut off diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1980. During the period 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US, UN, and EU economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism and concerns over possible military dimensions of its nuclear program. Following the election of reformer Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 and a reformist Majles (legislature) in 2000, a campaign to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated. The movement floundered as conservative politicians, supported by the Supreme Leader, unelected institutions of authority like the Council of Guardians, and the security services reversed and blocked reform measures while increasing security repression.
    Starting with nationwide municipal elections in 2003 and continuing through Majles elections in 2004, conservatives reestablished control over Iran's elected government institutions, which culminated with the August 2005 inauguration of hardliner Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD as president. His controversial reelection in June 2009 sparked nationwide protests over allegations of electoral fraud. These protests were quickly suppressed, and the political opposition that arose as a consequence of AHMADI-NEJAD's election was repressed. Deteriorating economic conditions due primarily to government mismanagement and international sanctions prompted at least two major economically based protests in July and October 2012, but Iran's internal security situation remained stable. President AHMADI-NEJAD's independent streak angered regime establishment figures, including the Supreme Leader, leading to conservative opposition to his agenda for the last year of his presidency, and an alienation of his political supporters. In June 2013 Iranians elected a moderate conservative cleric, Dr. Hasan Fereidun RUHANI to the presidency. He is a long-time senior member in the regime, but has made promises of reforming society and Iran's foreign policy. The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions calling for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and comply with its IAEA obligations and responsibilities, and in July 2015 Iran and the five permanent members, plus Germany (P5+1) signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under which Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
  • Geography :: IRAN

  • Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan
    32 00 N, 53 00 E
    Middle East
    total: 1,648,195 sq km
    land: 1,531,595 sq km
    water: 116,600 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 18
    almost 2.5 times the size of Texas; slightly smaller than Alaska
    Area comparison map:
    total: 5,894 km
    border countries (7): Afghanistan 921 km, Armenia 44 km, Azerbaijan 689 km, Iraq 1,599 km, Pakistan 959 km, Turkey 534 km, Turkmenistan 1,148 km
    2,440 km; note - Iran also borders the Caspian Sea (740 km)
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: bilateral agreements or median lines in the Persian Gulf
    continental shelf: natural prolongation
    mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast
    rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts
    lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
    highest point: Kuh-e Damavand 5,671 m
    petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
    agricultural land: 30.1%
    arable land 10.8%; permanent crops 1.2%; permanent pasture 18.1%
    forest: 6.8%
    other: 63.1% (2011 est.)
    87,000 sq km (2009)
    137 cu km (2011)
    total: 93.3 cu km/yr (7%/1%/92%)
    per capita: 1,306 cu m/yr (2004)
    periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes
    air pollution, especially in urban areas, from vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; oil pollution in the Persian Gulf; wetland losses from drought; soil degradation (salination); inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution from raw sewage and industrial waste; urbanization
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
    strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport
  • People and Society :: IRAN

  • noun: Iranian(s)
    adjective: Iranian
    Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes
    Persian (official), Azeri Turkic and Turkic dialects, Kurdish, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Luri, Balochi, Arabic, other
    Muslim (official) 99.4% (Shia 90-95%, Sunni 5-10%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian) 0.3%, unspecified 0.4% (2011 est.)
    religious affiliation:
    81,824,270 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    0-14 years: 23.69% (male 9,937,715/female 9,449,716)
    15-24 years: 17.58% (male 7,386,826/female 6,998,188)
    25-54 years: 46.87% (male 19,534,794/female 18,817,480)
    55-64 years: 6.58% (male 2,650,049/female 2,731,997)
    65 years and over: 5.28% (male 1,990,961/female 2,326,544) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 40.2%
    youth dependency ratio: 33.1%
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.1%
    potential support ratio: 14.1% (2015 est.)
    total: 28.8 years
    male: 28.6 years
    female: 29.1 years (2015 est.)
    1.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    17.99 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    5.94 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    -0.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    urban population: 73.4% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 2.07% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    TEHRAN (capital) 8.432 million; Mashhad 3.014 million; Esfahan 1.88 million; Karaj 1.807 million; Shiraz 1.661 million; Tabriz 1.572 million (2015)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    total: 38.04 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 38.58 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 37.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    total population: 71.15 years
    male: 69.56 years
    female: 72.82 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    1.83 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    77.4% (2010/11)
    6.7% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    0.89 physicians/1,000 population (2005)
    0.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 97.7% of population
    rural: 92.1% of population
    total: 96.2% of population
    urban: 2.3% of population
    rural: 7.9% of population
    total: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 92.8% of population
    rural: 82.3% of population
    total: 90% of population
    urban: 7.2% of population
    rural: 17.7% of population
    total: 10% of population (2015 est.)
    0.14% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    74,400 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    4,100 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)
    24.9% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    3.7% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 86.8%
    male: 91.2%
    female: 82.5% (2015 est.)
    total: 15 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 15 years (2012)
    total: 28.7%
    male: 25.5%
    female: 41.3% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
  • Government :: IRAN

  • conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran
    conventional short form: Iran
    local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
    local short form: Iran
    former: Persia
    etymology: name derives from the Avestan term "aryanam" meaning "land of the noble [ones]"
    theocratic republic
    name: Tehran
    geographic coordinates: 35 42 N, 51 25 E
    time difference: UTC+3.5 (8.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins fourth Tuesday in March; ends fourth Thursday in September
    31 provinces (ostanha, singular - ostan); Alborz, Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi (West Azerbaijan), Azarbayjan-e Sharqi (East Azerbaijan), Bushehr, Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan-e Jonubi (South Khorasan), Khorasan-e Razavi (Razavi Khorasan), Khorasan-e Shomali (North Khorasan), Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh va Bowyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan
    1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed); notable earlier dates: ca. 550 B.C. (Achaemenid (Persian) Empire established); A.D. 1501 (Iran reunified under the Safavid Dynasty); 12 December 1925 (modern Iran established under the PAHLAVI Dynasty)
    Republic Day, 1 April (1979)
    previous 1906; latest adopted 24 October 1979, effective 3 December 1979; amended 1989 (2015)
    religious legal system based on secular and Islamic law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Iran
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
    head of government: President Hasan Fereidun RUHANI (since 3 August 2013); First Vice President Eshaq JAHANGIRI (since 5 August 2013)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval; the supreme leader has some control over appointments to several ministries
    elections/appointments: supreme leader appointed for life by Assembly of Experts; president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term and an additional nonconsecutive term); election last held on 14 June 2013 (next to be held in June 2017)
    election results: Hasan Fereidun RUHANI elected president; percent of vote - Hasan Fereidun RUHANI 50.7%, Mohammad Baqer QALIBAF 16.5%, Saeed JALILI 11.4%, Mohsen REZAI 10.6%, Ali Akber VELAYATI 6.2%, other 4.6%
    note: 3 oversight bodies are also considered part of the executive branch of government
    description: unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e Shura-ye Eslami or Majles (290 seats; members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by two-round vote; members serve 4-year terms); note - all candidates to the Majles must be approved by the Guardian Council, a 12-member group of which 6 are appointed by the supreme leader and 6 are jurists nominated by the judiciary and elected by the Majles
    elections: last held in two rounds on 2 March and 4 May 2012; (next to be held on 26 February 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a president and NA judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the head of the Supreme Judicial Council in consultation with judges of the Supreme Court; president appointed for a 5-year term; other judge appointments and tenure NA
    subordinate courts: Penal Courts I and II; Islamic Revolutionary Courts; Courts of Peace; Special Clerical Court (functions outside the judicial system and handles cases involving clerics); military courts
    note: formal political parties are a relatively new phenomenon in Iran and most conservatives still prefer to work through political pressure groups rather than parties; often political parties or coalitions are formed prior to elections and disbanded soon thereafter; a loose pro-reform coalition called the 2nd Khordad Front, which includes political parties as well as less formal groups and organizations, achieved considerable success in elections for the sixth Majles in early 2000; groups in the coalition included the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), Executives of Construction Party (Kargozaran), Solidarity Party, Islamic Labor Party, Mardom Salari, Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO), and Militant Clerics Society (MCS; Ruhaniyun); the coalition participated in the seventh Majles elections in early 2004 but boycotted them after 80 incumbent reformists were disqualified; following his defeat in the 2005 presidential elections, former MCS Secretary General and sixth Majles Speaker Mehdi KARUBI formed the National Trust Party; a new conservative group, Islamic Iran Developers Coalition (Abadgaran), took a leading position in the new Majles after winning a majority of the seats in February 2004; ahead of the 2008 Majles elections, traditional and hardline conservatives attempted to close ranks under the United Front of Principlists and the Broad Popular Coalition of Principlists; several reformist groups, such as the MIRO and the IIPF, also came together as a reformist coalition in advance of the 2008 Majles elections; the IIPF has repeatedly complained that the overwhelming majority of its candidates were unfairly disqualified from the 2008 elections; hardline and traditional conservatives failed to overcome their political differences ahead of the Majles election in 2012, resulting in the formation of two rival conservative blocs: the traditional conservative Unity Front and the hardline conservative Steadfast Front. Both groups are in talks about uniting behind one conservative list ahead of the Majles election in February 2016
    groups that support the Islamic Republic: Ansar-e Hizballah
    Democracy Party (Hezb-e Mardom Salari)
    Executives of Construction Party (Kargozaran)
    Followers of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent (Rahrovan)
    Followers of the Line of the Imam and the Leader (Peyrovan)
    Islamic Iran Freedom Party (Hezb-e Azadegi)
    Islamic Coalition Party (Motalefeh)
    Islamic Labor Party (Hezb-e Kar)
    Militant Clerics Society or MCS (Ruhaniyun)
    Moderation and Development Party (Hezb-e Etedal va Tose-eh)
    Nation of Iran Unity Party (Hezb-e Etehad)
    National Trust Party (Hezb-e Etemad-e Meli)
    Qom Theological Lecturers Association
    Reform Front Coordination Council (Shora-ye Hamahangi Eslahat)
    Society of Devotees (Isargaran)
    Society of Modern Thinking Muslim Women of Iran ( Jamiat-e Zanan-e Noandish)
    Steadfastness Front (Paydari)
    Tehran Militant Clergy Association or MCA (Ruhaniyat)
    Voice of Iranians (Neda)
    Wayfarers of the Islamic Revolution (Rahpuyan)
    armed political groups repressed by the government
    Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan or KDPI
    Harekat-e Ansar-e Iran (splinter faction of Jundallah)
    Jaysh l-Adl (formerly known as Jundallah)
    Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization or MEK (MKO)
    People's Fedayeen
    People's Free Life Party of Kurdistan or PJAK
    CICA, CP, D-8, ECO, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, SAARC (observer), SCO (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    none; note - Iran has an Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy; address: Iranian Interests Section, Pakistani Embassy, 2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007; telephone: [1] (202) 965-4990; FAX [1] (202) 965-1073
    none; note - the US Interests Section is located in the Embassy of Switzerland No. 39 Shahid Mousavi (Golestan 5th), Pasdaran Ave., Tehran, Iran; telephone [98] 21 2254 2178/2256 5273; FAX [98] 21 2258 0432
    three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red; the national emblem (a stylized representation of the word Allah in the shape of a tulip, a symbol of martyrdom) in red is centered in the white band; ALLAH AKBAR (God is Great) in white Arabic script is repeated 11 times along the bottom edge of the green band and 11 times along the top edge of the red band; green is the color of Islam and also represents growth, white symbolizes honesty and peace, red stands for bravery and martyrdom
    lion; national colors: green, white, red
    name: "Soroud-e Melli-ye Jomhouri-ye Eslami-ye Iran" (National Anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran)
    lyrics/music: multiple authors/Hassan RIAHI
    note: adopted 1990
  • Economy :: IRAN

  • Iran's economy is marked by statist policies, inefficiencies, and reliance on oil and gas exports, but Iran also possesses significant agricultural, industrial, and service sectors. The Iranian government directly owns and operates hundreds of state-owned enterprises and indirectly controls many companies affiliated with the country's security forces. Distortions - including inflation, price controls, subsidies, and a banking system holding billions of dollars of non-performing loans - weigh down the economy, undermining the potential for private-sector-led growth. Private sector activity includes small-scale workshops, farming, some manufacturing, and services, in addition to medium-scale construction, cement production, mining, and metalworking. Significant informal market activity flourishes and corruption is widespread. Fiscal and monetary constraints, following the expansion of international sanctions in 2012 on Iran's Central Bank and oil exports, significantly reduced Iran's oil revenue, forced government spending cuts, and sparked a sharp currency depreciation. Iran’s economy contracted for the first time in two decades during both 2012 and 2013, and grew only slightly 2014. Iran continues to suffer from high unemployment and underemployment. Lack of job opportunities has prompted many educated Iranian youth to seek employment overseas, resulting in a significant "brain drain." In June 2013, the election of President Hasan RUHANI generated widespread public expectations of economic improvement and greater international engagement. In connection with ongoing international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program the limited sanctions relief for Iran provided under the Joint Plan of Action of November 2013, helped to forestall the decline in the economy in 2014.
    $1.357 trillion (2014 est.)
    $1.301 trillion (2013 est.)
    $1.326 trillion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 19
    $416.5 billion (2014 est.)
    4.3% (2014 est.)
    -1.9% (2013 est.)
    -6.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    $17,400 (2014 est.)
    $16,700 (2013 est.)
    $17,000 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 96
    34.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    39.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
    43.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    household consumption: 50.6%
    government consumption: 10.7%
    investment in fixed capital: 26.2%
    investment in inventories: 7.2%
    exports of goods and services: 24.2%
    imports of goods and services: -18.9%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 9.2%
    industry: 37.7%
    services: 53.1% (2014 est.)
    wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, sugarcane, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar
    petroleum, petrochemicals, gas, fertilizers, caustic soda, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), ferrous and nonferrous metal fabrication, armaments
    4.9% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    28.4 million
    note: shortage of skilled labor (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    agriculture: 16.3%
    industry: 35.1%
    services: 48.6% (2013 est.)
    10.3% (2014 est.)
    10.4% (2013 est.)
    note: data are according to the Iranian Government
    country comparison to the world: 115
    18.7% (2007 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.6%
    highest 10%: 29.6% (2005)
    44.5 (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    revenues: $62.11 billion
    expenditures: $67.07 billion (2014 est.)
    14.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    -1.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    10.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    10.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
    note: includes publicly guaranteed debt
    country comparison to the world: 160
    21 March - 20 March
    15.5% (2014 est.)
    34.7% (2013 est.)
    note: official Iranian estimate
    country comparison to the world: 219
    14% (31 December 2014 est.)
    11% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    $42.59 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $43.57 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    $273.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $222.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    $44.83 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $42.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    $172 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $140.8 billion (31 December 2012)
    $107.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    $15.94 billion (2014 est.)
    $26.52 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    $86.47 billion (2014 est.)
    $93.12 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    petroleum 80%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets, cement, ore
    China 29%, India 11.9%, Turkey 10.4%, Japan 6.5%, South Korea 4.8% (2014)
    $65.08 billion (2014 est.)
    $61.16 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    industrial supplies, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services
    UAE 30.6%, China 25.5%, Algeria 8.3%, India 4.6%, South Korea 4.4%, Turkey 4.1% (2014)
    $93.95 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $109 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    $6.922 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $7.646 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    $42.47 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $40.36 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    $4.33 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $3.725 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Iranian rials (IRR) per US dollar -
    25,912.3 (2014 est.)
    25,912.3 (2013 est.)
    12,175.5 (2012 est.)
    10,616.3 (2011 est.)
    10,254.18 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: IRAN

  • 239.2 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    195.3 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    11.03 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    3.897 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    78.3 million kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    85.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    1.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    12.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    0.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    3.236 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    1.322 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    28,140 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    157.8 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    1.823 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    1.885 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    271,800 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    18,150 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    161.3 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    157.3 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    9.307 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    5.329 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    33.8 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    603.6 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
  • Communications :: IRAN

  • total subscriptions: 30.59 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 38 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    total: 68.9 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 85 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    general assessment: currently being modernized and expanded with the goal of not only improving the efficiency and increasing the volume of the urban service but also bringing telephone service to several thousand villages not presently connected
    domestic: the addition of new fiber cables and modern switching and exchange systems installed by Iran's state-owned telecom company have improved and expanded the fixed-line network greatly; fixed line availability has more than doubled to more than 27 million lines since 2000; additionally, mobile-cellular service has increased dramatically serving roughly 56 million subscribers in 2011; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership now exceeds 100 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 98; submarine fiber-optic cable to UAE with access to Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line runs from Azerbaijan through the northern portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with expansion to Georgia and Azerbaijan; HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; satellite earth stations - 13 (9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat) (2011)
    state-run broadcast media with no private, independent broadcasters; Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the state-run TV broadcaster, operates 5 nationwide channels, a news channel, about 30 provincial channels, and several international channels; about 20 foreign Persian-language TV stations broadcasting on satellite TV are capable of being seen in Iran; satellite dishes are illegal and, while their use had been tolerated, authorities began confiscating satellite dishes following the unrest stemming from the 2009 presidential election; IRIB operates 8 nationwide radio networks, a number of provincial stations, and an external service; most major international broadcasters transmit to Iran (2009)
    AM 72, FM 10, shortwave 21 (2010)
    29 (plus 450 repeaters) (1997)
    total: 22.9 million
    percent of population: 28.3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
  • Transportation :: IRAN

  • 319 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    total: 140
    over 3,047 m: 42
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 26
    914 to 1,523 m: 36
    under 914 m: 7 (2013)
    total: 179
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
    914 to 1,523 m: 135
    under 914 m:
    32 (2013)
    26 (2013)
    condensate 7 km; condensate/gas 973 km; gas 20,794 km; liquid petroleum gas 570 km; oil 8,625 km; refined products 7,937 km (2013)
    total: 8,483.5 km
    broad gauge: 94 km 1.676-m gauge
    standard gauge: 8,389.5 km 1.435-m gauge (189.5 km electrified) (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    total: 198,866 km
    paved: 160,366 km (includes 1,948 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 38,500 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    850 km (on Karun River; some navigation on Lake Urmia) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    total: 76
    by type: bulk carrier 8, cargo 51, chemical tanker 3, container 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 2
    foreign-owned: 2 (UAE 2)
    registered in other countries: 71 (Barbados 5, Cyprus 10, Hong Kong 3, Malta 48, Panama 5) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    major seaport(s): Bandar-e Asaluyeh, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Emam
    container port(s) (TEUs): Bandar Abbas (2,752,460)
  • Military and Security :: IRAN

  • Islamic Republic of Iran Regular Forces (Artesh): Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force (IRIAF), Khatemolanbia Air Defense Headquarters; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Eslami, IRGC): Ground Resistance Forces, Navy, Aerospace Force, Qods Force (special operations); Law Enforcement Forces (2015)
    18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 17 years of age for Law Enforcement Forces; 15 years of age for Basij Forces (Popular Mobilization Army); conscript military service obligation is 18 months; women exempt from military service (2012)
    males age 16-49: 23,619,215
    females age 16-49: 22,628,341 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 20,149,222
    females age 16-49: 19,417,275 (2010 est.)
    male: 715,111
    female: 677,372 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: IRAN

  • Iran protests Afghanistan's limiting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which are occupied by Iran; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey
    refugees (country of origin): 2.4 million (1 million registered, 1.4 million undocumented) (Afghanistan); 32,000 (Iraq) (2014)
    current situation: Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Iranian women and children are subjected to sex trafficking in Iran, Pakistan, the Persian Gulf, and Europe; Iranian children are forced, sometimes by their parents or crime networks, to beg, to work in sweatshops, or to be prostitutes in Iran and abroad; Azerbaijani and, reportedly, Uzbek women and children are also sexually exploited in Iran; Pakistani migrant workers are sometimes subjected to forced labor, including debt bondage; criminal organizations play a large role in human trafficking in Iran
    tier rating: Tier 3 – Iran does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government does not share information on its anti-trafficking efforts making it difficult to assess the country’s human trafficking problem or the government’s attempts to curb it; Iranian law does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking; existing laws against human trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage reportedly remain unenforced because of a lack of political will and widespread political corruption; Iran has no apparent protection services or rehabilitation programs for victims and has reportedly punished sex trafficking victims for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked (2014)
    despite substantial interdiction efforts and considerable control measures along the border with Afghanistan, Iran remains one of the primary transshipment routes for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe; suffers one of the highest opiate addiction rates in the world, and has an increasing problem with synthetic drugs; regularly enforces the death penalty for drug offences; lacks anti-money laundering laws; has reached out to neighboring countries to share counter-drug intelligence