Middle East :: IRAN
  • 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 (AOE) - 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, but the protests were quickly suppressed. 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 longtime 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. Iran held elections in 2016 for the AOE and Majles, resulting in a conservative-controlled AOE and a Majles that many Iranians perceive as more supportive of the RUHANI administration than the previous, conservative-dominated body. Iran will hold presidential elections in May 2017. RUHANI is currently favored to win a second term.
  • 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: 19
    almost 2.5 times the size of Texas; slightly smaller than Alaska
    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
    mean elevation: 1,305 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
    highest point: Kuh-e Damavand 5,625 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.)
    95,530 sq km (2012)
    population is concentrated in the north, northwest, and west, reflecting the position of the Zagros and Elburz Mountains; the vast dry areas in the center and eastern parts of the country, around the deserts of the Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut, have a much lower population density
    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

  • 82,021,564 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    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.)
    0-14 years: 24.19% (male 10,154,424/female 9,690,512)
    15-24 years: 14.69% (male 6,174,435/female 5,878,475)
    25-54 years: 48.57% (male 20,316,773/female 19,522,673)
    55-64 years: 7.22% (male 2,920,111/female 2,999,525)
    65 years and over: 5.32% (male 2,026,594/female 2,338,042) (2017 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 40.2
    youth dependency ratio: 33.1
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.1
    potential support ratio: 14.2 (2015 est.)
    total: 30.3 years
    male: 30 years
    female: 30.5 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    1.24% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    17.9 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    -0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    population is concentrated in the north, northwest, and west, reflecting the position of the Zagros and Elburz Mountains; the vast dry areas in the center and eastern parts of the country, around the deserts of the Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut, have a much lower population density
    urban population: 74.4% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: 1.78% annual rate of change (2015-20 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: 1.05 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 (2016 est.)
    25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    total: 15.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 17 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 14.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    total population: 74 years
    male: 72.7 years
    female: 75.5 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    1.97 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    77.4% (2010/11)
    6.9% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    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.)
    0.1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    66,000 (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    4,000 (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (2016)
    25.8% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    4.1% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    2.9% of GDP (2015)
    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 (2015)
    total: 26.1%
    male: 22.3%
    female: 42.8% (2015 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 Wednesday in March; ends fourth Friday 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); 1794 (beginning of Qajar Dynasty); 12 December 1925 (modern Iran established under the PAHLAVI Dynasty)
    Republic Day, 1 April (1979)
    history: previous 1906; latest adopted 24 October 1979, effective 3 December 1979
    amendments: proposed by the supreme leader – after consultation with the Exigency Council – and submitted as an edict to the “Council for Revision of the Constitution,” a body consisting of various executive, legislative, judicial, and academic leaders and members; passage requires absolute majority vote in a referendum and approval of the supreme leader; articles including Iran’s political system, its religious basis, and its form of government cannot be amended; amended 1989 (2016)
    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 19 May 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: Hasan Fereidun RUHANI reelected president; percent of vote - Hasan Fereidun RUHANI (Moderation and Development Party) 50.7%, Mohammad Bagher GHALIBAF (PJP) 16.6%, Mohsen REZAI (Resistance Front of Islamic Iran) 10.6%, Saeed JALILI (Front of Islamic Revolutionary Stability 11.4% other 10.7%
    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; 285 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by 2-round vote, and 1 seat each for Zoroastrians, Jews, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians, Armenians in the north of the country and Armenians in the South; members serve 4-year terms); note - all candidates to the Majles must be approved by the Guardians 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: first round held on 26 February 2016 and second round for 68 remaining seats held on 29 April 2016; (next full Majles election to be held in 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by coalition - List of Hope 37.2%, Principlists Grand Coalition 25.9%, People's Voice Coalition 4.5%, joint Hope/People’s Voice 4.1%, joint People’s Voice/Principlist 0.3%, religious minorities 1.7%, independent 26.4%; seats by coalition - List of Hope 108, Principlists Grand Coalition 75, People's Voice Coalition 13, joint Hope/People’s Voice 12, joint People’s Voice/Principlist 1, religious minorities 5, independent 76
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the president and NA judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the head of the High Judicial Council (HJC), a 5-member body to include the Supreme Court chief justice, the prosecutor general, and 3 clergy, in consultation with judges of the Supreme Court; president appointed for a 5-year term; other judges appointed by the HJC; judge 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
    Followers of Walayat [Ali LARIJANI]
    Front of Islamic Revolutionary Stability [Morteza AGHA-TEHRANI, general secretary]
    Pervasive Coalition of Reformists: The Second Step [Ali SOUFI, chairman] (includes Council for Coordinating the Reforms Front, National Trust Party, Union of Islamic Iran People Party, Moderation and Development Party)
    Principlists Grand Coalition [Alireza ZAKANI] (includes Combatant Clergy Association and Islamic Coalition Party, Society of Devotees and Pathseekers of the Islamic Revolution, Front of Islamic Revolution Stability)
    Progress and Justice Population of Islamic Iran or PJP [Hossein GHORBANZADEH, General Secretary]
    Resistance Front of Islamic Iran [Yadollah HABIBI, general secretary]
    political 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 corruption, 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.
    The lifting of most nuclear-related sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in January 2016 sparked a restoration of Iran’s oil production and revenue that drove rapid GDP growth, but economic growth declined in 2017 as oil production plateaued. The economy continues to suffer from low levels of investment and declines in productivity since before the JCPOA, and from high levels of unemployment, especially among women and college-educated Iranian youth.
    In May 2017, the re-election of President Hasan RUHANI generated widespread public expectations that the economic benefits of the JCPOA would expand and reach all levels of society. RUHANI will need to implement structural reforms that strengthen the banking sector and improve Iran’s business climate to attract foreign investment and encourage the growth of the private sector. Sanctions that are not related to Iran’s nuclear program remain in effect, and these—plus fears over the possible re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions—will continue to deter foreign investors from engaging with Iran.
    $1.631 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.576 trillion (2016 est.)
    $1.401 trillion (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 19
    $427.7 billion (2016 est.)
    3.5% (2017 est.)
    12.5% (2016 est.)
    -1.6% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    $20,000 (2017 est.)
    $19,600 (2016 est.)
    $17,600 (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 88
    41.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    37.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    37.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    household consumption: 50.2%
    government consumption: 13.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 21.3%
    investment in inventories: 14.1%
    exports of goods and services: 22.5%
    imports of goods and services: -21.3% (2017 est.)
    agriculture: 9.8%
    industry: 35.9%
    services: 54.3% (2017 est.)
    wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, sugarcane, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar
    petroleum, petrochemicals, gas, fertilizer, caustic soda, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), ferrous and nonferrous metal fabrication, armaments
    7.1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    30.5 million
    note: shortage of skilled labor (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    agriculture: 16.3%
    industry: 35.1%
    services: 48.6% (2013 est.)
    12.4% (2017 est.)
    12.5% (2016 est.)
    note: data are Iranian government numbers
    country comparison to the world: 160
    18.7% (2007 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.6%
    highest 10%: 29.6% (2005)
    44.5 (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    revenues: $77.22 billion
    expenditures: $86.26 billion (2017 est.)
    18.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    -2.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    14.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    13.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
    note: includes publicly guaranteed debt
    country comparison to the world: 194
    21 March - 20 March
    10.5% (2017 est.)
    9% (2016 est.)
    note: official Iranian estimate
    country comparison to the world: 204
    13% (31 December 2017 est.)
    18% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    $51.61 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $47.59 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    $436.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $366 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    $366.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $315.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $89.43 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $116.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $345.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $21.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $16.39 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    $91.99 billion (2017 est.)
    $83.98 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    petroleum 60%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets, cement, ore
    China 30.1%, India 16.7%, South Korea 9.7%, Turkey 9.5%, Japan 6.8% (2016)
    $70.53 billion (2017 est.)
    $63.14 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    industrial supplies, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services
    UAE 27.4%, China 13.2%, Turkey 7.8%, South Korea 4.3%, Germany 4% (2016)
    $132.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $133.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    $10.56 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $8.196 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    $50.33 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $46.02 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    $5.226 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.656 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Iranian rials (IRR) per US dollar -
    32,769.7 (2017 est.)
    30,914.9 (2016 est.)
    30,914.9 (2015 est.)
    29,011.5 (2014 est.)
    25,912 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: IRAN

  • population without electricity: 1,100,000
    electrification - total population: 98.6%
    electrification - urban areas: 100%
    electrification - rural areas: 95% (2013)
    265.1 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    220.9 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    6.822 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    4.148 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    72.94 million kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    83.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    1.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    13.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    0.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    4.068 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    1.342 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    33,710 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    158.4 billion bbl (1 January 2017 es)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    1.801 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    1.922 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    272,600 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    47,750 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    184.8 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    186 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    8.38 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    9.55 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    33.5 trillion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    650.4 million Mt (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
  • Communications :: IRAN

  • total subscriptions: 30,818,011
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    total: 74.219 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91 (July 2016 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: heavy investment by Iran's state-owned telecom company has greatly improved and expanded both the fixed-line and mobile cellular networks; a huge percentage of the cell phones in the market have been smuggled into the country
    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) (2015)
    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)
    total: 36.07 million
    percent of population: 44.1% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
  • Transportation :: IRAN

  • number of registered air carriers: 15
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 228
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 15,003,958
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 107,184,869 mt-km (2015)
    EP (2016)
    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 (2017)
    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: 25
    total: 198,866 km
    paved: 160,366 km (includes 1,948 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 38,500 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    850 km (on Karun River; some navigation on Lake Urmia) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    total: 739
    by type: bulk carrier 32, container ship 28, general cargo 340, oil tanker 26, other 313 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    major seaport(s): Bandar-e Asaluyeh, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Emam
    container port(s) (TEUs): Bandar Abbas (2,752,460)
  • Military and Security :: IRAN

  • 2.69% of GDP (2015)
    2.33% of GDP (2014)
    2.35% of GDP (2013)
    2.81% of GDP (2012)
    2.41% of GDP (2011)
    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)
  • Terrorism :: IRAN

  • Jundallah:
    aim(s): secure recognition of Balochi cultural, economic, and political rights and greater autonomy from the Iranian Government
    area(s) of operation: based in Sistan va Baluchestan Province in the southeast; targets Shia Muslims, primarily Iranian soldiers and security personnel
    Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (Kongra-Gel):
    aim(s): establish Kurdistan, which comprises territory in northwestern Iran
    area(s) of operation: has maintained an operational presence under the name Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) since circa 2004; targets Iranian Government personnel, primarily in the northwest in the Kurdish-populated region; PJAK's attack tempo has ebbed since 2011
  • 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): 2.5-3.0 (1 million registered, 1.5-2.0 million undocumented) (Afghanistan); 28,268 (Iraq) (2016)
    current situation: Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; organized groups sex traffic Iranian women and children in Iran and to the UAE and Europe; the transport of girls from and through Iran en route to the Gulf for sexual exploitation or forced marriages is on the rise; Iranian children are also forced to work as beggars, street vendors, and in domestic workshops; Afghan boys forced to work in construction or agriculture are vulnerable to sexual abuse by their employers; Pakistani and Afghan migrants being smuggled to Europe often are subjected to forced labor, including debt bondage
    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, but publically available information from NGOs, the media, and international organizations indicates that Iran is not taking adequate measures to address its trafficking problems, particularly protecting victims; Iranian law does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking; female victims find it extremely difficult to get justice because Iranian courts accord women’s testimony half the weight of men's, and female victims of sexual abuse, including trafficking, are likely to be prosecuted for adultery; the government did not identify or provide protection services to any victims and continued to punish victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; the government made some effort to cooperate with neighboring governments and an international organization to combat human trafficking and other crimes (2015)
    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