Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic
Total Area: 636,368 Square Miles, 1,648,195 Square Kilometers
Geographical Condition: 35 41 N 51 25 E
Language: Persian is the official language of Iran. Historical Iranian languages are grouped in three stages: Old Iranian (until 400 BCE), Middle Iranian (400 BCE, 900 CE), and New Iranian (since 900 CE). Of the Old Iranian languages, the better understood and recorded ones are Old Persian (a language of Achaemenid Iran) and Avestan (the language of the Avesta). Middle Iranian languages included Middle Persian (a language of Sassanid Iran), Parthian, and Bactrian. As of 2008, there were an estimated 150, 200 million native speakers of Iranian languages. Ethnological research estimates there are 86 Iranian languages, the largest amongst them are Persian, Pashto, Kurdish, and Balochi.
Currency: The Iranian Rial is available in notes and coins. The exchange rate is determined daily; several banks and exchange offices are available. Traveler's checks cant be cashed in most banks. Hotels and many shops and restaurants accept foreign currency. There is limit to the amount of foreign currency that travelers can bring cash. Hotels.
Time Zone: Western Asia Time Zone (3:30 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3:30).
Electricity: Voltage in use is 220 V.
Weights and Measures: Metric System
Opening and Closing Times: Most of the Iranian banks working hours are weekdays; 08.00 am - 05.00 pm. Mosques are usually open to the public prayer hours. Museums are generally open weekdays 9.30 am - 4.30 pm. Shops are open all day except for large malls.
Internet Domain: ir
Country Code: 0098
Other Large Cities: Shiraz, Mashhad, Esfahan, Tabriz
The Islamic Republic of Iran (Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran) covers 636,300 square miles (1,648,000 square kilometres) in southwestern Asia. 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. Iran 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. Iran covers such a large area of land (approximately 636,372 square miles, in fact) that the country contains a vast variety of landscapes and terrains. Much of Iran is made up of the Iranian Plateau, which the exception of the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf coastlines where the only large plains are found. Iran is also one of the most mountainous countries in the world. The capital is Teheran.
Iran is one of the few countries in the world which has the complete four
seasons. Iran has what is considered
a variable climate which ranges from semi-arid to subtropical. In the northwest,
winters are cold with heavy snowfall and subfreezing temperatures during
December and January. Spring and fall are relatively mild, while summers are dry
and hot. In the south, however, winters are mild and the summers are very hot,
with average daily temperatures in July exceeding 38Ã‚Â°C (or 100Ã‚Â°F). On the
Khuzestan plain, the extreme summer heat is accompanied by high humidity. But
in general, Iran has an arid climate in which most of the relatively scant
annual precipitation falls from October through April.
In most of the country, yearly precipitation averages only 25 centimeters (9.84 inches) or less. The major exceptions to this semi-arid and arid climate are the higher mountain valleys of the Zagros and the Caspian coastal plain, where precipitation averages at least 50 centimeters (19.68 inches) annually. In the western part of the Caspian, Iran see the greatest rainfall in the country where it exceeds 100 centimeters (39.37 inches) annually and is distributed relatively evenly throughout the year rather than being confined to a rainy season. This climate contrasts great with some basins of the Central Plateau that receive ten centimeters (3.93 inches) or less of precipitation annually.
Iran is one of the oldest nations in the world, with a history dating back of
thousands of years. Some
of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s earliest urban civilizations flourished in regions that are part
of present-day Iran. Of these, the Elamite civilization dates back to before the
emergence of written records around 3000 BC. The Elamite city of Susa
(which later served as its capital) was founded around 4000 BC in the watershed
of Karounriver in southwestern Iran. Through the Elamites, achievements of the
Mesopotamian civilizations were introduced to the Iranian plateau. In 646 BC,
the Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, ended Elamite supremacy in the region, and the
rise of the Achaemenids a century later formed a nucleus that later expanded
into the Persian Empire.
In 6th century BC, Cyrus the Great, regarded as the father of the Iranian nation, united the two major Iranian tribes (the Medes and the Persians) to establish a government centered in Pasargadae (situated in the Fars province of modern-day Iran) that later became the largest, and arguably most prosperous, empire in ancient history, the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550Ã¢â‚¬â€œ330 BC). The Achaemenid Empire reached the height of its power during the reign of Darius the Great, who built the new capital city of Persepolis that was described by Greek historians as the richest city under the sun. At its peak, the Achaemenid Empire encompassed an area the size of the contiguous United States that spanned three continents, and was home to an estimated 44% of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s population at the time. The rule of the Achaemenid dynasty ended in 330 BC when Alexander the Great captured and destroyed Persepolis. After the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, the Asian territories of the Persian Empire were governed by Seleucid kings until the Parhians emerged as rulers of the Persian Empire. The Parthian Empire (248 BC-224 AD) was the most enduring of the empires in ancient history, even though it was at war with the Roman Empire for almost three centuries. The end of this loosely organized empire eventually came at the hands of Persians of the Sassanid dynasty.
The Sassanid Empire (224-651 AD) ruled a territory roughly within the frontiers achieved by the Achaemenids, with Ctesiphon (in modern-day Iraq) as their capital. In many ways, the Sassanid period witnessed the highest achievements of ancient Persian civilization, and is considered to be one of the most important and influential historical periods in Iran, with a major cultural impact on the rest of the world. The collapse of the Sassanid Empire followed the Arab invasion in the seventh century, during which many Iranian cities were ruined and most Sassanid records and literary works were destroyed.
In the thirteen centuries following the Arab invasion, many dynasties have ruled over different parts of the territory comprising modern-day Iran, with different influences on Persian culture and life style. Some of the more enduring dynasties include the Samanids (819Ã¢â‚¬â€œ999), the Ghaznavids (975 - 1187), the Seljuqs (11th -13th centuries), the Safavids (1501-1722), and the Qajars (1785- 1925). Among these, the Safavid dynasty was the most significant partly because it followed the Mongol and Turkic invasions in which the conquerors (Genghis Khan, Hulagu Khan, and Tamerlane) destroyed most of IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important cities and undid much of the progress made in the past. In addition, the Safavid dynasty became the first native dynasty since the Sassanid Empire to establish a unified Iranian state.
With a long-standing and proud civilization, Persian culture is among the
richest in the world. Two and a half millennia of inspiring literature,
thousands of poets and writers, magnificent and impressive architecture, live
customs dating back to Zoroastrians over 3000 years ago, and other unique
characteristics of the nation are rivaled by only a few countries.
Throughout the history, this grand treasure of Persia was gradually transferred to eastern and western nations. Iran's significant contribution into the world civilization in many respects is indispensable. Many ceremonies of the ancient Persians are the basis of western celebrations.
Among the ceremonies still being held are Norouz, CharshanbehSuri, SizdahBedar, Yalda Night and Haft Sin. Sitting around Haft Sin and reciting Hafez, visiting family and friends during Norouz celebration, night of CharshanbehSuri and jumping over the bonfire in the hope of getting rid of all illnesses and misfortunes, spending SizdahBedar, the 13th day of the New Year, in nature, are old interesting traditions coming from the Achaemenid Empire.
Another eminent feature of Persian culture is art. In fact culture and art are two closely interwoven concepts forming the soul of human civilizations. Persian exquisite carpets, subtle soulful classic music, outstanding tile work of unique blue mosques, old influential architectural style and countless brilliant literary works are famous in the world.
Persian or Farsi, is one of the world's oldest languages still in use today, and is known to have one of the most powerful literary traditions and potentials. Persian poetry with masterpieces of Saadi, Hafiz, Rumi and Omar Khayyam is well known around the world.
As all Persians are quick to point out, Farsi is not related to Arabic, it is a member of the Indo-European family of languages.
One more art intertwined with Persian culture, worth mentioning, is the art of cooking. Persian foods, accompanied by herbs and spices are product of the creativity, skill and patience of many generations of cooks.
Typical Iranian Cuisine:
GhormeSabzi: It is an Iranian herb and very popular stew made of fried vegetables, lamb and kidney beans seasoned with dried limes. The stew served with rice.
Gheimeh: It is a kind of Persian stew made of meat, split peas, onion and tomato sauce seasoned with dried lime. It mixed with fried potatoes or eggplant and served with rice.
Fesenjan: Fesenjan is an Iranian touch tasted stew made of walnut, onions, meat or chicken and tart pomegranate sauce and sugar which served with rice.
Abgosht: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a Persian dish usually made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potatoes, tomato sauce and dried lime and served with bread.
Kebab: Iran is the land of kebabs with its different and divers kinds of Koobideh, Soltani,Bakhtiari, Barg and Joojeh kebabs. Kebab may be served with either rice or with bread. They all made of grilled meat except for the Joojeh Kebab that made of grilled chicken.
Kashk e badamjan: Kashke bademjan is an Iranian and Azerbaijani dish meaning literally Ã¢â‚¬Å“kashk and eggplantÃ¢â‚¬Â. The recipe has variations such as caramelized onions, roasted
Ash reshteh: A richly textured soup full of noodles, beans, herbs and leafy greens topped with curd, fried mint and crunchy fried onions.
Sabzipolobamahi: It is a very famous and delicious Iranian dish that traditionally consumed for the Persian new year of Nowrooz. It is a herb rice serving with fried or grilled fish.
Mirza Ghassemi: It is a Northern Iranian ( originally from Gilan province) appetizer or main based on tandoori or kabobed