General Information About Iran
Name of the country: The Islamic Republic of Iran
National Slogan: Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic
Geographical coordinates: 35 41 N 51 25 E
Supreme Leader: Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
President: Dr. Mahmud Ahmadinejad
National Day: 11 February
Currency unit: Iranian Rial
International dialing code: 0098
Internet Domain: ir
Exports: oil, carpet, fruits, dry fruits, pistachios, raisins, dates, leather, caviar, petrochemical products, apparels and dresses, foodstuffs.
Imports: machineries, industrial metals, medicines, chemical derivatives, electronics.
Industries: oil, petrochemical, textile, cement and other materials for building construction, food, automobile, steel, derivatives (especially refining sugar and extracting edible oil),
Agriculture: wheat, rice, grains, fruits, oily seeds, pistachios, almond, walnut, cotton.
Transportation: 7286 kilometers of railways and 158000 kilometers of roads.
Pipelines: oil derivatives 3900 kilometer, natural gas 4550 kilometer.
Ports: Abadan, Ahwaz, Shahid Beheshti port, Abbas port, Anzali port, Bushehr port, Imam Khomeini port, Mahshahr port, Turkman port, Khoramshahr, Noshahr.
Iran is a county in southwest Asian, country of mountains and deserts. Eastern Iran is dominated by a high plateau, with large salt flats and vast sand deserts. The plateau is surrounded by even higher mountains, including the Zagros to the west and the Elburz to the north. Iran is neighboring Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia on the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan on the east, and Turkey and Iraq on the west. Tehran is the capital, the country's largest city and the political, cultural, commercial and industrial heart of the nation. holding one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, Iran’s energy export makes a considerable contribution to the global supply and secures heat and light in many houses on the planet.
Iran's is a country with four seasons. Climate ranges from arid or semiarid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests. On the northern edge of the country (the Caspian coastal plain) temperatures rarely fall below freezing and the area remains humid for most of the year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 29 °C (84.2 °F). To the west of Iran, settlements in the Zagros basin experience severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall while arid eastern and central basins hold the hottest spots of the world in central desert with less than 200 mm (7.9 in) of rain and average summer temperatures exceeding 38 °C (100.4 °F). The coastal plains of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in southern Iran have mild winters, and very humid and hot summers. The annual precipitation ranges from 135 to 355 mm (5.3 to 14.0 in).
Recent archaeological studies indicate that as early as 10,000 BC, people lived on the southern shores of the Caspian, one of the few regions of the world which according to scientists escaped the Ice Age. They were probably the first men in the history of mankind to engage in agriculture and animal husbandry.
Language and literature
Official language of Iran is Persian. Persian serves as a lingua franca in Iran and most publications and broadcastings are in this language.
Next to Persian, there are many publications and broadcastings in other relatively popular languages of Iran such as Azeri, Kurdish and even in less popular ones such as Arabic and Armenian. Many languages originated in Iran, but Persian is the most used language. Persian belongs to Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The oldest records in Old Persian date to the Achaemenid Empire, and examples of Old Persian have been found in present-day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt.
Persian is spoken today primarily in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, but was historically a more widely understood language in an area ranging from the Middle East to India, significant populations of speakers in other Persian Gulf countries, as well as large communities around the World.
Persian, until recent centuries, was culturally and historically one of the most prominent languages of the Middle East and regions beyond. For example, it was an important language during the reign of the Moguls in Indian where knowledge of Persian was cultivated and encouraged; its use in the courts of Mogul India ended in 1837, banned by officials of the East Indian Company (British Colonialism).
Persian scholars were prominent in both Turkish and Indian courts during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries in composing dictionaries and grammatical works. A Persian Indian vernacular developed and many colonial British officers learned their Persian from Indian scribes.
The name of the modern Persian language is sometimes mentioned as Farsi in English texts.
Iran is very well known for its poetry. Poems by Iranian poets such as Ferdowsi, Sa’di, Hafez and Khayyam are praised around the globe by many foreign critics as well. Thanks to the richness of Iranian heritage, almost no foreigner touching Persian literature could ever escape its attractions. Perhaps the secret lies in the humane message embedded in most Persian works such as the following poem by Sa’di which appears at the entrance of the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York as it reads:
“Human beings are members of a whole, In creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, Other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, The name of human you cannot retain”.
Iranian official calendar, the Iranian solar calendar is one of the most accurate ones in the world. 21 March, equal 1 Farvardin, is the beginning of the Iranian New Year. Lunar calendar is also used in Iran for performing religious rites. Since the lunar year is 10 days shorter than the solar year, tourists are recommended to arrange their proper traveling time with related agency. Especially in Ramadan month that Muslim Iranians, are fasting and in Muharram are mournful, so these situations influence on daily & current activities and some days in these two month are public holidays. Friday is official bank holiday.
The Iranian currency is Rial (pronounced ‘reeyaal’. When talking money in Iran, you will hear the term “Toman”. Though Toman is an old term and is no longer an official currency but it is still being used on a daily basis in Iranian markets standing for ten Rials. In Tehran banks are open from 07:30 to 15:30 Saturday to Wednesday and 07:30 to 13:30 Thursday. Friday is a public holiday.from 07:30 to 15:30 Saturday to Wednesday and 07:30 to 13:30 Thursday. Friday is a public holiday.
In other cities banks are open from 07:30 to 13:30 Saturday to Wednesday and 07:30 to 12:30 Thursday. Friday is a public holiday. Only selected shops accept Master Card and Visa credit cards.
Iran postal system extent to remotest regions of country and each traveler can comminute with farthest world regions by post, telegraph, phone, mobile phone, fax & internet. Various kinds of newspapers in native languages, Persian, Arabic, English & other languages are published daily. Different magazines are published weekly, monthly & annually and various books are published continuously that their information are accessible through computer information bank. Different local, national & international Radio & TV stations always broadcast & telecast programs, in different native languages, Persian & English and other languages daily or sometimes overnight.
Iran is a diverse country consisting of people of many religions and ethnic backgrounds cemented by the Persian culture. The majority of the population speaks the Persian language, which is also the official language of the country, as well as other Iranian languages or dialects. Turkic languages and dialects, most importantly Azeri language, are spoken in different areas in Iran. Additionally, Arabic is spoken in the southwestern parts of the country. Religion in Iran is dominated by the Twelver Shi'a branch of Islam, which is the official state religion. About 4% to 8% of Iranians belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, mainly Kurds and Iran's Balochi Sunni. The remaining 2% are non-Muslim religious minorities, including Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians.
Iranian culture has long been a predominant culture of the Middle East and Central Asia, with Persian as the language of literate people and intellectuals during much of the 2nd millennium, and the language of religion and the populace before that. After converting to Islam, Iran as a fertile land, became place of birth for much of what later became known as Islamic learning, such as philology, literature, jurisprudence, philosophy, medicine, architecture, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, geology and other sciences. The Iranian New Year (Nowruz), is an occasion traditionally celebrated on 21 March to mark the beginning of spring in nature. It is also celebrated in Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and previously also in Georgia and Armenia. It is also celebrated by the Iraqi and Anatolian Kurds. Nowruz was registered on the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity and described as the Persian New Year by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2009.
The First inhabitants of Iran were a race of people living in western Asia. When the Aryans arrived, they gradually started mingling with the old native Asians. Aryans were the origin of the people today known as the Indo-Europeans, and are believed to be the ancestors of the people of present India, Iran, and most of Western Europe. Recent discoveries indicate that, centuries before the rise of earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia, Iran was inhabited by human. But the written history of Iran dates back to 3200 BC. It begins with the early Achaemenids, the dynasty whose under the first Iranian empire blossomed.
Cyrus the Great was the founder of the empire and he is the first to establish the charter of human rights. In this period Iran stretched from the Aegean coast of Asia Minor to Afghanistan, as well as south to Egypt. The Achaeamenid Empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great in 330 BC and was followed by The Seleucid Greek Dynasty.
After the Seleucids, we witness about dozen successive dynasties reigning over the country. Dynasties such as Parthian, Sassanid, Samanid, Ghaznavid, Safavid, Zand, Afsharid, Qajar and Pahlavi. In 641 Arabs conquered Iran. Persians, who were the followers of Zoroaster, gradually turned to Islam and it was in Safavid period when Shiite Islam became the official religion of Iran.
Since Qajar dynasty on, due to the inefficiency of the rulers, Iran intensely begins to decline and gets smaller and smaller. The growing corruption of the Qajar monarchy led to a constitutional revolution in 1905-1906. The Constitutional Revolution marked the end of the medieval period in Iran. During World Wars I and II the occupation of Iran by Russian, British, and Ottoman troops was a blow from which the government never effectively recovered.
In 1979, the nation, under the leadership of Great Imam Khomeini, erupted into revolution and the current Islamic republic of Iran was founded.
Recent archaeological excavations have shed new light on the earliest arts of the Iranian plateau. These newly discovered prehistoric sites date back to at least 5000 BC, and handsome decorated pottery, some of which is eggshell thin, has been found in great quantities at sites dated 3000 BC and later. Persian art and architecture reflects a 5,000-year-old cultural tradition shaped by the diverse cultures that have flourished on the vast Iranian plateau occupied by modern Iran and Afghanistan. The history of Persian art can be divided into two distinct eras whose demarcation is the mid-7th century AD, when Iranian territory was conquered by Muslims and Iranian people converted to Islam.
Cuisine of Iran is of a wide variety and the culinary of Iran reflects the tradition of the country and the region in a great way. Cuisine of Iran comprises of both cooked and raw foods. The cooked foods are mostly non-vegetarian and the raw foods comprise of fruits and nuts, herbs and vegetables. Cuisine of Iran speaks of the wide variety of appetizers and desserts that is famous all over the world. Cuisine of Iran goes bland without the spices used in a special way in most of the dishes. Most of the dishes in Iranian cuisine are served with rice with its unique Iranian preparation style or, bread in its diverse bakery methods. Iranian Cuisines also stands famous because of the traditional drink that goes with it known as Doogh.
Architecture is an integrate part of history, economy, culture and tradition of each society.
The architecture in Iran dates back to 5000 BC to the present with characteristic examples distributed over a vast area from Syria to North India and the borders of China, from the Caucasus to Zanzibar. Persian buildings vary from peasant huts to tea houses, and garden pavilions to "some of the most majestic structures the world has ever seen.
Most important properties of traditional Architecture of Iran include: harmony with the nature and environment and take benefit from natural facilities of the location, harmony with the traditions of all provinces, Iranian architecture portray detail of life, beliefs, moral, ethic code and some other. The essence of traditional Architecture of Iran consists of math and theosophy. As, in ancient Iranian books architecture is named as “alhaseb” and “almohandess”.
The traditional architecture of the Iranian lands throughout the ages can be categorized into the six following classes or styles:
Pre-Islamic:The Parsian style (Achaemenid, Median, Elamite eras), The Parthian style (Parthian, Sassanid eras).
Islamic: The Khorasani style, The Razi style, The Azari style, The Isfahani style
Available building materials dictate major forms in traditional Iranian architecture. Heavy clays, readily available at various places throughout the plateau, have encouraged the development of the most primitive of all building techniques, molded mud, compressed as solidly as possible, and allowed to dry. This technique used in Iran from ancient times has never been completely abandoned. The abundance of heavy plastic earth, in conjunction with a tenacious lime mortar, also facilitated the development of the brick.
Iranian architecture take advantage of abundant symbolic geometry, using pure forms such as the circle and square, and plans are based on often symmetrical layouts featuring rectangular courtyards and halls.
All traditional Persian houses have following sections: Hashti and Dalan-e-vorudi. Entering the doorway one steps into a small enclosed transitional space called Hashti. Here one is forced to redirect one’s steps away from the street and into the hallway, called Dalan e Vorudi. In mosques, the Hashti enables the architect to turn the steps of the believer to the correct orientation for prayer hence giving the opportunity to purify oneself before entering the mosque. A central pool with surrounding gardens
Important partitionings such as the biruni (exterior) and the andaruni (interior)
Persian houses in central Iran were designed to make use of an ingenious system of wind tower that create unusually cool temperatures in the lower levels of the building. Thick massive walls were designed to keep the suns heat out in the summertime while retaining the internal heat in the winters.
Famous Architectural Sites in Iran are; Meidan-e-Emam, Takht-e-Soleyman, Bisotun, Persepolis, Pasargadae, Bam, Soltaniyeh, Tchogha Zabnil. .Iran also enjoys some number of world known villages that has unique architectural feature like Abyaneh in the central part of Iran and Masouleh in the northern part of the country in both of villages it is the nature who is architecture.
The tradition and style in the garden design of Persian gardens has influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India and beyond. The gardens of the Alhambra show the influence of Persian Paradise garden philosophy and style in a Moorish Palace scale from the era of Al-Andalus in Spain. The Taj Mahal is one of the largest Persian Garden interpretations in the world, from the era of the Mughal Empire in India.
Iran is a culturally diverse society, and inter-ethnic relations are harmonious. The predominant ethnic and cultural group in the country consists of native speakers of Persian. But the people who are generally known as Persians are of mixed ancestry, and the country has important Turkic and Arab elements in addition to the Kurds, Baloch, Bakhtyari, Lurs, and other smaller minorities (Armenians, Assyrians, Jews, and others).
Air: Many international visitors to Iran arrive by air at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran (IKA) with excellent worldwide connections to destinations such as London, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Istanbul, Dubai, Beijing, Seoul, Bangkok and New Delhi. Airliners operating flights to IKA International Airport include: Lufthansa, Alitalia, Turkish Airlines, KLM, Emirates, Etihad and British Airways as well as domestic airlines such as Iran Air, Mahan Air and Caspian Airlines.
Arriving passengers can take a taxi or a bus into the city. Those with pre-booked accommodation can arrange to be met by a hotel representative. Other Iranian destinations offering some limited international flights include: Mashhad, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Esfahan, Tabriz and Zahedan.
Car: Iran can be reached by car from various neighboring countries, although drivers are encouraged to research their journey well in advance. Visitors are not advised to travel overland to Iran from Pakistan and anyone who must travel in this area should exercise extreme caution. We advise that you only travel on main roads and avoid travelling at night if you intending on reaching Iran by car via an international border. The border areas with Afghanistan and Iraq are considered insecure and visitors are strongly advised to avoid travel in these areas. The border with Turkey is frequently used by visitors wanting to access Iran by road.
Rail: Two international train routes to Iran are available; one is from Istanbul to Tehran, with a once weekly departure and the other is from Damascus to Tehran, again a once weekly departure. Journeys are long, but prices are reasonable and overnight services offer sleeping cars that have a capacity for four people.
Sea: Although it is possible to arrive in Iran by using a sea route across the Persian Gulf, this method of arrival is rarely used nowadays, with air travel being considered much more convenient.
Bus: Travelling by bus from Turkey to Iran is feasible, although journey times can be very lengthy. Prices of bus tickets are cheap and there are various levels of comfort available, with first class coaches offering reclining seats, air conditioning.