1.Establishment of Iran as a Republic
Iran was referred to as Persia until the year 1935. In 1979, it was declared an Islamic republic after the reigning monarchy got overthrown. The Conservative clerical forces headed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini put up a theocratic government system that vested absolute political authority on an educated religious scholar referred to as Supreme Leader. The constitution stated that the only the Assembly of Experts could hold the Supreme Leader accountable.
2.Iran’s Geographic Location
Iran is located in the Middle East bordering the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and Caspian Sea. Its border countries are Armenia, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan. Iran covers a total of 1,648,195 square kilometers. Its land mass comprises 1,531,595 square km while water bodies cover 116,600 square kilometers of the country.
3.Iran’s Terrain and Climate
Iran’s climate is mostly semiarid or arid. Subtropical climate is experienced along the coast of the Caspian coast. Its terrain is mostly mountainous and rugged. The country’s central basin features mountains and deserts with discontinuous small plains along the coasts. The country’s highest point is the Kuh-e Damavand which is 5,671 meters high while the lowest point is the Caspian Sea at 28 meters.
4.Natural Resources and Land Use
Iran is endowed with various natural resources including natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, lead, zinc, chromium, iron ore, manganese and sulfur. Only 10% of Iran’s land is arable with 1.08% of the land under permanent crop cover. About 87000 square kilometers of Iran’s land is under irrigation. The country experiences periodic floods, sandstorms, droughts, earthquakes and dust storms.
Iran faces many environmental challenges including air pollution in urban areas from refinery operations, vehicle emissions and industrial effluents. Overgrazing, deforestation, and desertification are a huge issue in the country. Water quality issues include oil pollution in the Persian Gulf, declining wetlands due to drought, soil degradation, and industrial waste and raw sewage. The country suffers inadequate supplies of clean, portable water.
6.Population and Religion
Iran has a population of about 80, 840, 713 people. 61% of the population is from the Persian ethnic group. Other ethnic groups in the country include Baloch, Azeri, Turkmen and Turkic, Arab, Lur and Kurd. The official language in Iran is Persian. Other languages include Luri, Azeri Turkic, Turkic, Kurdish, Mazandarani and Gilaki, Balochi and Arabic. 99.4% of the Iranian population is Muslims. Out of this, 90-95 percent is Shia Muslims while 5-10% is Sunni Muslims.
The economy of Iran relies heavily on oil and oil trade is the major revenue source for the government. The economy is characterized by inefficient state sector and static policies with subsidies, price controls and other distortions weighing heavily of the economy, a factor that undermines the potential of a private sector spurred growth. Activity in the private sector is generally limited to farming, manufacturing and workshops on a small scale. Corruption is dominant and activity related to informal market thrives.
Iran has a theocratic type of government. Tehran is the country’s capital and the country has 31 administrative provinces. Iran got independence on 1st April, 1979 and has a religious legal system that is based on Islamic and secular law. The Supreme Leader, Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI is the chief of state while the head of government is President Hasan Fereidun RUHANI.
The Supreme Leader is appointed by the Assembly of Experts for life. The presented gets elected for a 4-year term via popular vote. Elections were last conducted on 14th June, 2013 with the next presidential elections expected in June, 2017.
Iran has an Islamic Consultative Assembly that is unicameral. The Assembly has 290 seats and members are elected through popular vote from multi or single member districts for a 4-year time. Last elections were in March, 2012, next election expected in 2016.