Iran

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 66.9
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 67%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: ..
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km) : 1,633,190


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Persian46 %
Azeri16,5 %
Kurdish9 %
Gilaki5 %
Lur4 %
Mazandarani 3.5 %
Baloutche 2.5 %
Arab2 %
Other 11.5 %



Main Cities Population
Teheran 7 797 520
Mashhad 2 427 316
Esfahan 1 602 110
Tabriz 1 398 060
Karaj 1 386 030
Chiraz 1 227 331



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Teheran (GMT+3:30 in winter, GMT+4:30 in summer).
Summer time from March to September



Languages
Official language: Persian
Spoken languages: Farsi, Kurdish, Luri, Balouchi, Turkish, Arabic, Armenian.
Business language: usually English.

Free translation tools

FarsiDic
Free English-Farsi-English dictionary

IL&S
Free English-Farsi-English dictionary

Ectaco
Free English-Farsi-English dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Shiite Muslims 94.5%
Sunni Muslims 3.8%
Others 1.7%.


Political context

Iran is a theocratic Republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Iran (official name: Islamic Republic of Iran) is a member and co-founder of the United Nations, the OIC, and OPEC. Iran is also an important national in the international politics on account of its large supply of petroleum. 
The chief of state is the S upreme Leader who is the leader of the Islamic Revolution appointed for life time by the Assembly of Experts. The Supreme Leader is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, controls the military intelligence and security operations, and has sole power to declare war. The head of the government is the President who is elected by popular vote for a four year term. The Council of Ministers (cabinet) is selected by the President with legislative approval. President enjoys the executive powers, except for matters directly related to the Supreme Leader.
The legislature is unicameral. The parliament consists of Islamic Consultative Assembly having 290 seats with its members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. President cannot dissolve the parliament directly but can recommend the same to Supreme Leader who acts on the advice of Council of Guardians (a high power body which functions like a constitutional court) . The people of Iran enjoy very limited political rights.
The judiciary is not independent in Iran. The Supreme Leader directly appoints the head of the judiciary, who in turn appoints senior judges. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1979 (revised in 1989), which codifies Islamic principles of government. The judicial language in Iran is Persian; having an interpreter is possible.
Iran is not ruled by law. Foreign nationals cannot expect a fair trial from country's judicial system. There is a high degree of corruption in the country. Government departments and public sector is plagued with corruption.


Major political parties

Political pressure groups conduct most of Iran's political activities. It is quite difficult to get a clear view on Iranian political parties; however the major Political Parties are as follows:
- Islamic Society of Engineers supports acquiring scientific & technical knowledge by Iran, opposes Western culture & values, supports Islamic values;
- Executives of Construction Party - supporters of ex-President Rafsanjani and his policies;
- Islamic Iran Participation Front a reformist political party, supports democracy;
- Militant Clergy Association moderate conservative clerical party.


Major political leaders

Supreme Leader: Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since June 1989) non-partisan
President: Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD (since August 2005) Islamic Society of Engineers


Next political election dates

Presidential: Year 2009
Islamic Consultative Assembly: February 2008




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Iran 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 1,659 .. ..
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
-Teheran: Park Mellat, the Bagh-e-Melli Door which used to be a part of the royal residence.
-Ispahan: the Chehd Sotoon palace, the Si-o-Sh Pol Bridge with its 33 archs, Talar's palace
-Ashraf: religious places such as Masjed-e-Dashti.
-Mashhad: Khaje Rabi's mausoleum.

For more information about tourism in Iran , check out the following web site(s) :
Iran Tourism & Touring and Organization (ITTO)



Food


Traditional dishes
Dolmeh-e Beh: Quinces stuffed with lamb. The stuffed quince is served with bread, yoghurt and fresh herbs.
Shirin Polo: saffron rice, chicken, orange peel and pistachios.
Kabab-e kubideh: chopped meat kebab. Traditionally, lamb was the main ingredient to make these kebabs; nowadays, chopped veal or, even beef, are often used. The secret lays in the delicacy of the mince so that the meat can stick to the kebab.
Koukou-sbzi: Cheese-topped dish of herbs.
Baklava - a nut pastry: It is a rich cake that can also be found in Greece, Turkey and in all the countries of the Middle East. The origin does not matter very much, since the basic technique is the same. The sugar can be replaced by honey; nuts, almonds or a mixture of both ingredients can be used; pistachios can be added; water of the orange tree flower or rose flower can be added to the syrup.


Food-related taboos
Pork is prohibited.

Last modified on December 2006

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