Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh va Buyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan.
Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran, is a land of great beauty. It has an area of 636,300 square miles (1,648,000 square kilometres). It is bounded on the north by Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, and the Caspian Sea, on the east by Pakistan and Afghanistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and on the west by Turkey and Iraq. The government also controls about a dozen islands in the Persian Gulf. More than 30 percent of its 4,770-mile (7,680-kilometre) boundary is seacoast. The capital is Tehran (Teheran).
Once a constitutional monarchy known as Persia, the country has a southern coast line on the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Its northern border, interrupted by the Caspian Sea, adjoins Russia. It is bounded west by Turkey and Iraq. On the east it is bounded by Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its surface covering 627,000 square miles is a plateau rimmed by mountains on every side except the east. Mount Demavend is 18,500 feet high.
A narrow plain on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea has a heavy rainfall and supports a luxuriant vegetation; nearly all the remainder of the country is dry and barren. The former name, Persia, gave its name to the peach, the English word being a corruption of the Latin word for Persian.
The chief products of the country include petroleum, cotton, tobacco, rice, silk, wool, gums, fruits, opium, cereals, and the famous Persian rugs, the last being made entirely on looms operated by hand. Petroleum accounts for about half the total value of the exports.
The ancient Persians were known as Aryans who occupied territory to the east of the Persian Gulf and were for a time subject first to Assyria and then to Media. In 533 B.C. under the leadership of Cyrus the Great, they revolted against the Medes. Three years later the union of the Persians and Medes began the Persian Empire.
Cyrus pushed the boundries of his domain westward to the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, eastward almost to the Indus. He subdued Babylonia and Lydia.
His successor, Cambyses brought Egypt within his control and Darius the Great added Macedonia and Thrace in Europe and the Punjab in Indian to the Persian dominions.
Darius organized the civil government under satraps, or governors, thus separating the civil from the military authority in each province. He built splendid roads, the most important of which was the Royal Road from the capital Susa, to Sardis in Lydia which in fact was over 1500 miles long.
OFFICIAL NAME(S) Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran CAPITAL: Tehran FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Islamic republic with one legislative house HEAD OF STATE: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD ; First Vice President Parviz DAVUDI MONETARY UNIT: 1 rial (Rls); valuation (Sept. 25, 1998) 1 U.S.$ = Rls 3,000; 1 £ = Rls 5,108. OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Persian dialects 58%, Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2% POPULATION: 65,875,223 RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION : Shi'a Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 10%, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i 1% ETHNIC COMPOSITION : Persian 51%; Azerbaijani 24%; Gilaki/Mazandarani 8%; Kurd 7%; Arab 3%; Luri 2%; Balochi 2%; other 3%. LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH: male 68.61 yrs; female 71.37
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