Economic Cooperation Organization

Islamic Republic of Iran *

The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the world's 17th largest country with an area of 1,648,196 sq. km, is located in the South-West Asia. The Country is bordered on the north by Turkmenistan, the Caspian Sea, Armenia and Azerbaijan, 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. One of the main geographical characteristics of Iran is it's climatic specialty, meaning that four seasons temperature may be seen simultaneously in different parts of the Country.

Diverse geographical conditions, as well as the long historical heritage have played an important role in shaping the Iranian society and culture. Even though the Country is rapidly moving toward a modern industrial era, yet the rich traditional, religious and ethnic values of the people have remained intact. More than 61 percent of the country's population live in the urban areas and mostly work in business and industrial fields.

The official language of Iran is Persian. However, a number of other languages and dialects such as Azeri, Kurdish, Luri, Balouchi and Arabic are also spoken in some regions.

The vast majority of Iranians are Muslims, mostly of the Shi'i. Zoroastrians, Christians of Indo-European linguistic identity and the Jews are the religious minorities of Iran.

According to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted in 1979, and amended in 1989, the structure of the government consists of legislative, judicial and executive powers, which function separately. Meanwhile the powers are supervised by a Supreme Religious Leader (Valie-Faghih), who is elected by the Assembly of Leadership Experts. The Islamic Consultative Assembly is the law making organ and its members are elected for a 4 year term by popular vote. The laws adopted by this Assembly are enforced after being approved by the Council of Guardians to determine their constitutionality and conformity to Islam.

The Executive power is headed by the President, who is elected for a 4-year term through direct popular vote. The current President is H.E. Mr. Hassan Rouhani (re-elected for another 4 years as of 2017). The President, Vice Presidents and Ministers constitute the Cabinet. The Ministers obtain the vote of confidence from the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Being appointed by the Leader, the Head of the Judicial Power is the highest judicial authority. He nominates the Minister of Justice to the President as a member of Cabinet.

About one-eighth of the country is forested, mostly near the Caspian Sea, with oak, beech, linden, elm, and a few broad-leafed evergreens. The abundant wildlife of the country includes wolves, foxes, leopards, lynx, gazelles, and deer as well as goats and sheep.

* The data and statistics here are reproduced from the following UN source: