General Geography of Iran
To have a good understanding of the Iran's geography, you need to look at it from different perspectives. Iran's geography is a composition of different components. Some of the items are introduced here.
A look at the Iran's location, area, cities and capital, terrain, climate, population, ethnic composition, religious groups and linguistic varieties can be helpful in depicting the whole country in a brief way.
Geography of Iran: Location
Iran is situated in Southwest Asia, the Middle East. It is bordered on the Eastern side of Iraq and Turkey, Western side of Afghanistan and Pakistan and Southern side of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkmenistan.
The largest lake of the world, Caspian Sea is at the North of Iran and The Persian Gulf as well as Oman Sea are at the South of Iran.
Geography of Iran: Area
Iran extends over an area of 1,648,000 sq kilometers, making it the second largest country in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia. The Caspian coastline on the North of Iran is extended as long as 650 kilometers. The Southern coastline of Iran, including The Persian Gulf and Oman Sea, is approximately 1770 kilometers.
Geography of Iran: Cities & Capital
The growth of the population during the recent decades has resulted in growing populations in some cities of Iran. Tehran, the capital of Iran, is inhabited by approximately 14 million people. It also hosts an additional 4 million who commute to the city for work everyday.
However, there are some other cities of Iran that are growing into industrial centers of Iran. They consist of Arak, Ahvaz, Esfehan, Kerman, Shiraz, Tabriz, and Mashad.
Geography of Iran: Terrain
There are different geographical areas in Iran with the quality of terrain particular to those areas. Around 1/3 of Iran’s entire territory is arable and only %10.4 is under cultivation. Almost %6 of the total land is used for pasture. Forested areas, which are mainly on the Northern coastal areas of Iran, account for %4.5 of the total territory.
As a Whole, looking at the geography of the world, you will soon find out that Iran is one of the most mountainous countries of the world.
In addition to other local mountain ranges, there are two major mountain ranges in Iran:
The deserts of Iran are mainly situated on the Eastern half of Iran. The two major deserts in Iran are called:
Geography of Iran: Climate
There are different climatic districts in Iran. Some of them are so varied that seem to compose a list of all climates you may find at different parts of the world.
The Caspian coastal plain remains humid all year due to the low altitude of nearly close to the sea level.
The high altitude of inhabited areas on the west of Iran creates a cold winter time that is usually below the freezing point.
The central and Eastern Iran go through seasonally climatic variations. In general, these areas are arid and semi-arid during most parts of the year.
The Southern coastal plains of Iran have mild winters, but very hot and extremely humid summer days. The temperature could exceed 48° C during July in the interior part of Southern Iran.
Geography of Iran: Population
The population of Iran has increased dramatically with the growth rate exceeding 3.1 percent. As a result, today the population of Iran is estimated to be two times more than what it used to be three decades ago, more than 66 million people.
The majority of the population has moved into the cities in search for larger job opportunities.
Geography of Iran: Ethnic Composition
Iranians consist of several ethnic groups who have been living peacefully with each other since the beginning of the central government in Iran, 550 BC, Achaemenians. As a result, they all share the same Iranian identity despite subtle ethnic differences.
Such ethnic composition includes Persians, Azeries, Kurds, Baluchis, Lurs, Turkmans, and Arabs. There are also Jews, Armenians and Assyrians among Iranians. Nomads also form another ethnic entity in Iran each of whom belong to one of the above groups.
Geography of Iran: Linguistic varieties
The official language of the people living in Iran is Farsi (Parsi), modern Persian. This is the language of education and administration that everyone is obliged to learn. Of course, different provinces of Iran use their mother tongues in their local TV channels.
The other languages spoken in Iran are Kurdish, Lurish, Baluchis, Taleshi, Gilaki and Mazandarani. The number of dialects is tens of thousands spoken differently from village to village.
Most of the languages spoken in Iran are from Indo-European origin except for Turkic, Arabic, Hebrew, Assyrian and Armenian languages.
Geography of Iran: Religious Groups
Iran has always been a country of rich religious diversity. Several religions have originated from ancient Iran like Mithraism and Zoroastrianism. Some of Iranian nobles during Partisan's Era have disseminated Buddhism in eastern part of the Parthian empire. There had even been some Buddhist temples in some of the Iranian towns and cities.
Today, there are four religions recognized by the government in Iran: Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Since 16th century, the Shia branch of Islam turned to be the official denomination of Islam in the country.
Best viewed with resolution: 1024 x 768