Iran, is a country located in southwest Asia, with 5000 years of history. This country has a population of over 82 million and it is divided into 31 provinces, all living with an official religion of Islam (Twelver Shia).
Tehran, the capital of Iran with a population of over 10 million, is one of the least expensive capital cities in the world.
Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, Iran is the 18th largest country in the world.
Iran’s highest point at 5,671 m is the summit of Mount Damavand, and the Lut Desert (Dasht-e Lut) with land surface temperatures of 70.7 °C is the hottest land surface on Earth.
Iran’s climate is one of the most diverse in the world, so much so that you can go skiing in the spring or sunbath in the winter. Temperature difference in winter between the hottest and coldest point reaches over 50 °C.
Persian (Farsi) is the official language in Iran although there are other regional recognized languages such as Azerbaijani, Kurdish, Lurish, Arabic, and Balochi.
Iran is bordered to the north by Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the Caspian Sea; to the west by Turkey and Iraq; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; and to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Although Iran’s unit of currency is the “rial”, Iranians commonly express amounts of money and prices of goods in “tomans”. For this purpose, one “toman” equals 10 “rials”; and this should not be a cause for concern as you will learn how to calculate this on the very first day.
As for mineral reserves, Iran holds more than 7% of the world’s total mineral reserves. Iran also extracts and produces large amounts of metals such as zinc, cobalt, copper, aluminum, and manganese, and is the world’s largest producer of turquoise.
Iran is the world’s 25th largest economy by GDP.
In addition to being a major producer of finest caviar, Iran is the world’s leading exporter of dried fruits, saffron, pistachio, barberry, pomegranate, and mulberries.
Artisanry in Iran is an ancient art with a wide variety of around 300 types of work that dates back to several thousand years ago. It is also a major tourist attraction and in this regard, Iran ranks first among ancient civilizations. Considering that artisanry is rooted in ancient Iranian communities, you can find traces of it in every corner of the country, which adds to its attraction for tourists.
Persian handicrafts include carpeting, kalamkari, pottery, tiling, wood carving, mosaic, glassblowing, vitreous enamel, and miniature. In fact, Iran is the world’s largest producer of handmade carpets, producing three quarters of the world’s total output.
Since its first participation at the Olympic Games in 1900, Iranian athletes have won a total of 68 medals, including 18 gold, 22 silver, and 28 bronze medals.
Chovgan is a Persian sporting team game that dates back to 600 BC and has been played in Iran since the Achaemenids. Chovgan was also on the Olympic Games program between 1900 and 1939.
Pahlevani and Zoorkhaneh rituals is a traditional system of athletics that originated in ancient Iran and was reorganized in its modern form around 700 years ago. Iranians used this in the past to train warriors and consisted mainly of physical movements with simulated combat tools accompanied by music.
The traditional gymnasium in which it is practiced is known as Zoorkhaneh and it is still popular among certain groups of Iranians.
Chovgan and Pahlevani and Zoorkhaneh rituals have been inscribed to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.