- Fast Facts
Iran is a county in southwest Asia, a land 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. Its neighbors are 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 nation's political, cultural, commercial and industrial center. Iran is a regional power and holds an important position in international energy security and the world economy due to its extensive petroleum and natural gas reserves.
Iran's climate ranges from arid or semiarid to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests. On the north edge of the country (the Caspian coastal plain), temperatures rarely fall below freezing, and the area remains humid for the rest of the year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 29 °C (84.2 °F). Annual precipitation is 680 mm (26.8 in) in the eastern part of the plain and more than 1,700 mm (66.9 in) in the western region.
To the west, settlements in the Zagros basin experience lower temperatures, severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall. The eastern and central basins are arid, with less than 200 mm (7.9 in) of rain and have occasional deserts. Average summer temperatures exceed 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 that, according to scientists, escaped the Ice Age. They were probably the first men in the history of humanity to engage in agriculture and animal husbandry.
Iran's history is long and complex, but its shape is determined by the rise and fall of successive dynasties - with intervals of chaos and confusion.
- Language and Literature
Article 15 of the Iranian constitution states that the ""The official language (of Iran) is Persian. Regional and tribal languages are used in the press and mass media, as well as for teaching their literature in schools, in addition to Persian." Persian is 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 the Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The oldest records in Old Persian date to the Achaemenid Empire. Examples of Old Persian exist in present-day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt.
In the late 8th century, Persian was highly Arabized and written in a modified Arabic script. This caused a movement supporting the revival of Persian. An important event of this revival was the writing of the Shahnameh by Ferdowsi (Persian: Epic of Kings), Iran's national epic, which is said to have been written entirely in native Persian. This gave rise to a strong reassertion of Iranian national identity and is in part credited for the continued existence of Persian as a separate language.
- Iranian Calendar
Iranian official calendar regulates according to the Solar year & Iranian months.21 March, equal to 1 Farvardin, is the beginning of the Iranian New Year. Also, in Iran, the Lunar calendar announces officially. The lunar year is 10 days less than the Solar year, so days of performing religious rites that adjust according to the Lunar calendar, each year is different from the next & former years. Therefore it is recommended that tourists arrange their proper traveling time with a related agency. Especially in Ramadan month when Muslim Iranians are fasting and in Muharram are mournful, these situations influence daily & current activities, and some days in these two months is a public holidays. Friday is an official holiday.