About Iran

Islamic Republic of Iran

National Slogan: Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic

Capital: Tehran

Official Language: Persian

Religion: Islam

Leader: Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khameini

President: Dr. Hassan Rouhani

Population: 77,356,343 (estimated in 2013)

Currency unit: Iranian Rial (IRR)

International Tel code: +98

Good Exports: Oil, carpet, fruits, dry fruits (pistachios, raisins and dates), leather, caviar, petrochemical products, apparels and clothing, food

Industries: Oil, petrochemicals, textile, cement and other construction materials, food derivatives (especially refining sugar and extraction of edible oil)

Agriculture: Wheat, rice, grains, fruits, nuts such as pistachios, almond, walnut, cotton

Ports: Port of Abadan, Port of Shahid Beheshti, Port of Bandar-e Abbas, Port of Bushehr, Port of Imam Khomeini, Port of Mahshahr and Port of Khoramshahr in the south on the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and Port of Bandar- e Anzali, Port of Bandar-e Turkman and Port of Noshahr in the north, on the shores of the Caspian Sea.


The Islamic Republic of Iran (Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran) covers 636,300 square miles (1,648,000 square kilometers) 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 has played an important role in the Middle East, as an imperial power and as a factor in rivalries between East and West. Its strategic position and its vast resources, including petroleum and natural gas, make it a nation to be reckoned with in the modern world. In addition, Iran holds a main position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large resources of petroleum and natural gas.


Iran has a hot, dry climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. The climate is influenced by Iran's location between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean area.


Recent archaeological studies indicate that people lived on the southern shores of the Caspian, one of the few regions of the world, which according to scientists escaped the Ice Age as early as 10,000 BC. They were probably the first men in the history of mankind to engage in agriculture and animal husbandry. Iran has over 4,000 years of written history and civilization. It was conquered 3 times: by the Greeks, Arabs and Mongols. Iran has several ethnic groups, including Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Arab, Baluchi and Mazandarani. After the Arab conquest, public and official use of Persian was banned for about two centuries, and its alphabet was changed to an Arabic-based one. Today, the Persian language has many loan words taken from the Arabic language. The Arabic language has also adopted many words from Persian. There are several widely-spoken Iranian languages: Kurdish, Persian, and Balochi as West-Iranian languages, while Pashto is an East-Iranian language.


Iranians are not Arabs and their primary language is Persian (natively known as فارسی Farsi or پارسی Parsi) 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 influence carried forward to the Islamic world. Much of what later became known as Islamic learning, such as philology, literature jurisprudence, philosophy, medicine, architecture and the sciences were based on some of the practices taken from the Sassanid Persians to the broader Muslim world. Iran is a multi-ethnic and multicultural country. The northwestern region, Azerbaijan, is largely populated by Iranian Azeris, who are a Turkic people closely related to the people of Azerbaijan republic and Turkey. The province of Kurdistan is mainly inhabited by ethnic Kurds who are related to Persians. There are also Armenians, Arabs, Lurs, Turkmens, Georgians, Assyrians, and last but not least Jews, who have been living in Iran peacefully for years .The Iranian New Year (Nowruz) is an ancient tradition celebrated on 21 March to mark the beginning of spring in Iran .Nowruz was registered on the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity and described as the Persian New Year by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2009


While the shops offer a wide selection of quality goods, local items can be bought in the many bazaars located in all cities. Must-get goods of Iran include hand-carved and in-laid woodwork, carpets, rugs, silk, leather goods, mats, tablecloths, gold, silver, glass and crystal-work and ceramics. Bargaining is customary. There are restrictions on which items may be taken out of the country.


While the shops offer a wide selection of quality goods, local items can be bought in the many bazaars located in all cities. Must-get goods of Iran include hand-carved and in-laid woodwork, carpets, rugs, silk, leather goods, mats, tablecloths, gold, silver, glass and crystal-work and ceramics. Bargaining is customary. There are restrictions on which items may be taken out of the country.  


Meal times in Iran vary considerably from those in Europe and North America. Lunch can be served 12:00-15:00 and dinner is often eaten after 20:00. These and other social occasions in Iran are often long, drawn-out affairs conducted in a relatively relaxed tempo, often involving pastries, fruit and possibly nuts. As it is considered rude to refuse what is served, visitors should accept the items offered, even if they do not intend to consume them. The importation and consumption of alcohol is strictly banned. Pork and pork products are forbidden and, like alcohol, their import is illegal. The good news for travelers is that Iranian cuisine is superb. A wide range of influences from Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia, Europe and the Middle East have created a diverse, relatively healthy range of dishes that focus on fresh products and aromatic herbs.

Business Customs

  • Iranians are very formal but after a few meetings a more personal relationship can be established. This is true for government officials, representatives of state-controlled companies and foundations as well as professionals in the private sector.
  • Negotiations will be long, detailed and protracted.
  • Exchange of gifts is a tradition among private sector business people.
  • ·Women must adhere to the Islamic dress code referred to below. It is important to note that most officials will not shake hands with a member of the opposite sex, especially in public.

Business and Investment Opportunities

While the oil and gas sector gets the most attention, Iran’s diversified economy is attracting companies across industries. In particular, consumer-oriented sectors are counting on Iran’s large (nearly 80 million), young (more than 60% under 30 years old), and urbanized (more than 70%) population to be loyal customers in the future.

The country’s tourism sector attracted fewer than five million visitors in 2014 while neighboring Turkey attracted 39 million people. Given Iran’s top 10 ranking in the number of UNESCO world heritage cultural sites in the world, this situation is poised to change.

Looking further into the future, Iran is a potential global trade hub. Already nearly 20% of oil trade passes through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway off Iran’s southern coast, which is the only sea route out of the Persian Gulf and one of the world’s most strategic transit points. Furthermore, the International North-South Transport Corridor will make Iran a key link in connecting India, Central Asia, and Russia, while Iran’s role as part of China’s new Silk Road (especially with rail links) could boost bilateral trade between those countries to up to $600 billion.


  • 110, Local Police Control Center
  • 115, EMS
  • 125, Fire Dept.
  • 112, Iranian Red Crescent Society