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Iran is situated on the Caspian Sea in Western Asia and has direct borders with Russia and Kazakhstan to the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south and Iraq and Turkey to the west. In terms of area it is the 18th largest country in the world and has a mountainous terrain. Iran is one of the world’s most mountainous countries, the rugged mountain ranges separate various basins or plateaux from one another. The ranges include the Caucasus, Zagros and Alborz mountains, the last contains the highest point in Iran, Mount Damavand (5,610m – 18,406ft). In the north Iran is covered with dense rain forest called Shomal, to the east there are mostly desert basins such as Dasht-e-Kavir, Iran’s largest desert. There are several animal species in Iran’s wildlife which include bears, gazelles, wild pigs, wolves, jackals, panthers, Eurasian lynx and foxes. Domestic animals include, sheep, goats, cattle, horses, water buffalo, donkeys, and camels. The pheasant, partridge, stork, eagles and falcon are also native to Iran. Unfortunately the Asian cheetah is now critically endangered and there are ongoing efforts to increase it’s population so it does not go the way of the Asiatic lion and now extinct Caspian tigers.

The capital city of Iran is Tehran which is the most populated city and is the political, commercial, cultural and industrial heart of the country. Iran is divided into thirty one provinces (ostān), each governed by an appointed governor (استاندار, ostāndār). The provinces are divided into counties (shahrestān), and subdivided into districts (bakhsh) and sub-districts (dehestān).

Iran is one of the world’s oldest civilizations, the first dynasty was formed in 2800 BC during the Elamite Kingdom. The Iranian Medes unified Iran into an Empire in 625 BC. Arab armies invaded Iran in 637 CE (AD) and conquered the region by 651 CE (AD). The most important turning point in Iranian and Muslim history came in 1501 with the emergence of the Safavid Dynasty which promoted Twelver Shia Islam as the official religion of their empire. The nation’s first parliament was established in 1906 by the Persian Constitutional Revolution. Following a Coup d’Etat in 1953, Iran gradually became a more autocratic country. The Iranian Revolution resulted in the establishment of an Iranian Republic on 1st April 1979.

Present Iran was historically referred to as Persia until 1935 when Reza Shah Pahlavi formally asked the international community to call the country by its native name, Iran. But In 1959 due to controversial debates over the name, it was announced that both could be used. The First inhabitants of Iran were a race of people living in western Asia. When the Aryans arrived, they gradually started mingling with the old native Asians……
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Building first evolved out of the dynamics between needs (shelter, security, worship, etc.) and means (available building materials and attendant skills). As human cultures developed and knowledge began to be formalized through oral traditions and practices, building became a craft, and “architecture” is the name given to the most highly formalized and respected versions of that craft. Architecture is integrate part of history, economy, social issue, culture and tradition of each society……
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Location and Climate

Iran is a country in southwestern Asia, located on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. It lies at the easternmost edge of the geographic and cultural region known as the Middle East. More than half of Iran’s international border of 4,430 km is coastline, including 740 km along the Caspian Sea in the north and 1,700 km along the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea in the south. Bandar-e-Abbas is the largest harbor in the south of Iran located on the Strait of Hormoz…..
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People and Dress

Iran is a diverse country consisting of people of many religions and ethnic backgrounds cemented by the Persian culture. The majority of the population speaks the Persian language, which is also the official language of the country, as well as other Iranian languages or dialects. Turkic languages and dialects, most importantly Azeri language, are spoken in different areas in Iran. Additionally, Arabic is spoken in the southwestern parts of the country

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Culture of Iran

The Culture of Iran is a mix of ancient pre-Islamic culture and Islamic culture. Iranian culture has long been a predominant culture of the Middle East and Central Asia, with Persian considered the language of intellectuals during much of the 2nd millennium, and the language of religion and the populace before that. The Sassanid era was an important and influential historical period in Iran as Iranian culture influenced China, India and Roman civilization considerably, and so influenced as far as Western Europe and Africa

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About the music of the Elamites not much is known; however, we know of a ruler of Susa who had musician at his temple gate about 2600 BC. There are also the bas-relief which shows musicians playing harps and tambourine. It is possible that there was not a lot of difference between Babylonian-Assyrian music and Iran at that time and the Persian names of tabire (drum) and karranay (trumpet) may be derived from names of the Akkadian tabbalu and qarnu……
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As the spring’s footsteps start tickling the ears, lilies, daffodils and narcissus wake up to bloom, the impatient Iranians awaiting the spring, set up a colorful celebration to give it a red carpet welcome.Nowruz is the Persians’ longest and most cherished festivity, on which all Iranians celebrate the New Year with the nature’s resurrection from withered winter. It is deeply rooted in Zoroastrianism and counts as the oldest Iranian festival. Nowruz ancientness, variety, colorfulness, and rich symbolism mark it off from its peers in other nations and countries……
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The rial is the official currency of Iran, however to save time in a high-inflation economy prices are sometimes quoted in tomans. One toman is equal to ten rials. As a general guide, written prices are given in rials and prices quoted in conversation are in tomans. In conversation, 1 Chomejni denotes IR 10,000. Most travellers spend the first few days of their trip coming to grips with this mind-boggling system, and money changers on the border will often exploit this confusion to rip you off……
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Although no trip to Iran would be complete without a glimpse at the stunning architecture and sombre environments of its mosques or holy shrines, many travellers are daunted by the prospect of walking into the foreign world of a mosque. Don’t let these fears stop you, Iranians are welcoming and will understand any unintended breach of protocol. Some mosques, and most holy shrines, require women to be wearing a 17 chādor before entering the complex. If you don’t have one, there are sometimes kiosks by the door that lend or hire chādors……

Discover all that Iran has to offer here. If you would like to suggest places you have visited, please feel free to do so. View our best sights in Iran here

Persian Gulf is situated at the south of Iran. It is almost 900km long from the Strait of Hormoz to Arvand Rud, the border river between Iran and Iraq. The Persian Gulf is one of the warmest bodies of water inthe entire Middle East. Oman Sea, situated at the southof Iran, connects the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean. With an approximate area of 903,000 km?, the Oman Sea is surrounded by Iran and Pakistan at the north, Deccan peninsula at the east and Arabia peninsula at the west. Iran has got small ports at its shorelines with the Oman Sea like Chabahar, Gavater and Jask…….
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To me and to many others, nothing is comparable with spending a night under the shallow ceiling of desert’s sky whose all shining stars seem reachable. Imagineyou witness this beautiful scene in a quiet night of a very old city made out of clay, which cannot easilyget rid of the warmth the sun has granted during the day. With one third of Iran covered with deserts, havingsuch a delightful night is not a hard work. One ofthe oldest, largest and most charming desert cities, lies somewhere in the middle of Iran, in the middle of ancient silk road…….
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There are six types of rugs in Fars province including: Rural, Khamseh, Qashqa’i Mamasani, Bulvardi & Shirazi rugs. Qahqa’i people weave a kind of rug (Tork-e Shirazi) which is called Mak-eye Shirazi is Western (foreign) Markets. These Persian rugs have the common Orange desgins with dark colors such as: dark blue & dark red. Persian Carpets The best known Iranian cultural export, the persian carpet, isfar more than just a floor-covering to an Iranian. A persian carpet or rug is a display of wealth, an investment, an integral part of religious and cultural festivals, and used in everyday life, eg as a prayer mat…..

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Cuisine and Recipes

Cuisine of Iran is of a wide variety and the culinary of Iran reflects the tradition of the country and the region in a great way. Cuisine of Iran comprises ofboth cooked and raw foods. The cooked foods are mostly non-vegetarian and the raw foods comprises of fruits and nuts, herbs and vegetables. Cuisine ofIran speaks of the wide variety of appetizers and desserts that is more famous all over the world. Cuisine of Iran goes bland without the spices used in a special wayin most of the dishes. Some of the major dishes that Cuisines of Iran extensively and importantly consists of are the rice, bread……

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Information on Iran by:
Siyavash Sheikholeslami
To contact Siyasvash –s_sheikholeslami@live.com