iranIran is a West Asian country with a unique location linking it geographically to western, central and southern Asia. The Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman border Iran in the south and the Caspian Sea in the north. Iran’s capital is Tehran. The population of this oil- and natural gas-rich country was about 75 million in 2011.  Iran is divided into 31 provinces, which are further divided into counties, and sub-divided into districts and sub-districts. The country’s terrain is mountainous. The northern part has rain forests while the eastern part is covered by a large desert and a few salt lakes. Coastline areas of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman constitute plains. The climate of Iran is mostly arid or semi-arid, with tropical climate dominant along the Caspian coast and the rain forests in the north. Winters are bitter in the western areas with heavy snowfall on higher altitudes.


  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (November 2012)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson