IRAN

Information about travelling to Iran

Iran is located in Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan

Facts about Iran
Population65,875,224 (July 2008 est
CapitalTehran
Time zoneUTC+3.5 (8.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Location Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan

General info about Iran
Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and the shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces 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. US-Iranian relations have been strained since a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 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 between 1987 and 1988. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US and UN economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism and conventional weapons proliferation. Following the election of reformer Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 and similarly a reformer Majles (parliament) in 2000, a campaign to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated. The movement floundered as conservative politicians, through the control of unelected institutions, prevented reform measures from being enacted and increased repressive measures. 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. In December 2006 and March 2007, the international community passed resolutions 1737 and 1747 respectively after Iran failed to comply with UN demands to halt the enrichment of uranium or to agree to full IAEA oversight of its nuclear program. In October 2007, Iranian entities were also subject to US sanctions under EO 13382 designations for proliferation activities and EO 13224 designations for providing material support to the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.
Disease threats
degree of risk: intermediate food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
Languages spoken
Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
What about drugs?
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; lacks anti-money laundering laws; has reached out to neighboring countries to share counter-drug intelligence
Ethnic division
Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.2% (2005 est.)
Climate
mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast
Resources
petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
Economy
Iran's economy is marked by an inefficient state sector, reliance on the oil sector (which provides 85% of government revenues), and statist policies that create major distortions throughout. Most economic activity is controlled by the state. Private sector activity is typically small-scale workshops, farming, and services. President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD has proposed reforms to Iran's system of of price controls and subsidies, particularly on food and energy, but the government's attempt to impose a Value-Added Tax (VAT) was abandoned after widespread protests. Administrative controls, widespread corruption, and other rigidities undermine the potential for private-sector-led growth. As a result of these inefficiencies, significant informal market activity flourishes and shortages are common. The recent drop in oil prices will be the most significant impact of the global financial crisis on Iran, but high oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass nearly $70 billion in foreign exchange reserves. Iranians continue to suffer from double-digit unemployment and inflation - inflation climbed to 26% as of June 2008. The economy has seen only moderate growth. Iran's educated population, economic inefficiency and insufficient investment - both foreign and domestic - have prompted an increasing number of Iranians to seek employment overseas, resulting in significant "brain drain."
Environment
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

Cities in Iran

abadan     abadeh     abdanan     abhar     abyek     agha jari     ahar     ahvaz     akbarabad     alashtar     aligudarz     alvand     amir kala     amol     arak     ardabil     ardakan     ardistan     asadabad     ashtian     astaneh-ye ashrafiyeh     astara     azad shahr     azna     babol     babol sar     bafq     baft     bahar     bam     bandar-e anzali     bandar-e lengeh     bandar-e torkaman     baneh     bardsir     behbahan     behshahr     bijar     birjand     bojnurd     bonab     borazjan     borujan     borujerd     bukan     bushehr     chabahar     chalus     chenaran     damavand     damghan     darab     deh dasht     dehloran     delijan     dezful     do gonbadan     dowlatabad     eqbaliyeh     esfahan     esfarayen     eslamshahr     falavarjan     faridan     fariman     farrokhshahr     farsan     fasa     fereydun kenar     fereydunshahr     firuzabad     garmi     garmsar     gerash     golpayegan     gonabad     gonbad-e qabus     gorgan     hamadan     harsin     hashtgerd     hashtrud     hendijan     ilam     iranshahr     jahrom     javanrud     jiroft     juybar     kalaleh     kamyaran     kangavar     karaj     kashmar     kazerun     kelishad     kerman     kermanshah     khalkhal     khash     khomeyn     khomeynishahr     khonsar     khormuj     khorramabad     khorramshahr     khoy     kuhdasht     lahijan     langarud     lar     mahabad     maku     malard     maragheh     marand     marivan     marv dasht     mashhad     masjed-e soleyman     mehran     mehriz     meybod     miandoab     mianeh     minab     minudasht     nahavand     najafabad     naqadeh     neka     neyriz     neyshabur     nur     nurabad     omidiyeh     orumiyeh     oshnaviyeh     parsabad     paveh     pishva     qarchak     qazvin     qeshm     qom     qorveh     quchan     rafsanjan     ramhormoz     ramsar     ramshir     rasht     ravar     rehnan     robat karim     rudbar     rudsar     sabzevar     salmas     sanandaj     saqqez     sarab     sarakhs     sari     saveh     semirom     semnan     shadegan     shahr-e babak     shahr-e kord     shahreza     shahriyar     shahrud     shiraz     shirvan     shush     shushtar     sirjan     sonqor     susangerd     tabas     tabriz     tafresh     taft     takab     takestan     talesh     taybad     tehran     tonekabon     torbat-e jam     tuysarkan     varamin     yazd     zabol     zahedan     zanjan     zarand    


Airports in Iran
AbadanABD
Zabol A/PACZ
ArdabilADU
AhwazAWZ
YazdAZD
BushehrBUZ
BamBXR
SarakhsCKT
HamadanHDM
IsfahanIFN
Imam Khomeini International AirportIKA
ZanjanJWN
KermanKER
KhanehKHA
KhorramabadKHD
JamKNR
KermanshahKSH
Lar A/PLRR
LavanLVP
MashadMHD
Now ShahrNSH
RashtRAS
RafsanjanRJN
RamsarRZR
SanandajSDG
SirjanSYJ
ShirazSYZ
TabrizTBZ
TabasTCX
MehrabadTHR
BirjandXBJ
ZahedanZAH


Beer in Iran (0.33l)
Karaj~ 1.5 EUR
Tehran~ 1.3 EUR

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