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Iran Historical and Political Profile

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Iran Index

  • Iran-Climate
  • Iran-Trade Partners
  • Iran-Telecommunications
  • Iran-Welfare Water Supply and Sanitation
  • Iran-The Bazaar
  • Iran-SOCIETY
  • Iran-Immigration of the Medes and the Persians
  • Iran-Bazargan and the Provisional Government THE REVOLUTION
  • Iran-Female Participation in the Work Force
  • Iran-Foreign Influences in Weapons, Training, and Support Systems
  • Iran-Oil and Gas Industry
  • Iran-Concession Agreements
  • Iran-Organization and Functions
  • Iran-Transportation and Telecommunications
  • Iran-Democratic Parties
  • Iran-Alexander the Great, the Seleucids, and the Parthians
  • Iran-The Original Iraqi Offensive THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR
  • Iran-Fadayan
  • Iran-Status in National Life ARMED FORCES AND SOCIETY
  • Iran-Iran's Role in Lebanon
  • Iran-Foreword
  • Iran-State and Society, 1964-74
  • Iran-Banking
  • Iran-Domestic Arms Production
  • Iran-Christians
  • Iran-Oil Revenues and the Acceleration of Modernization, 1960-79
  • Iran-Organization, Size, and Equipment
  • Iran-War Costs
  • Iran-The Beginnings of Modernization: The Post-1925 Period
  • Iran-Nomadic Society
  • Iran-The Lower Class
  • Iran-Livestock
  • Iran-The Role of Minorities in Internal Security
  • Iran-Chapter 2 - The Society and Its Environment
  • Iran-Internal Security in the 1970s
  • Iran-Azarbaijanis
  • Iran-Renewed Opposition
  • Iran-Taxes
  • Iran-Sugar
  • Iran-Navy
  • Iran-Tourism
  • Iran-THE QAJARS, 1795-1925
  • Iran-Chapter 4 - Government and Politics
  • Iran-Operations
  • Iran-Paykar
  • Iran-Water
  • Iran-THE SAFAVIDS, 1501-1722
  • Iran-The Faqih
  • Iran-Consolidation of the Revolution
  • Iran-Non-Oil Exports
  • Iran-Jews
  • Iran-Pre-Achaemenid Iran Ancient Iran
  • Iran-Monetary and Fiscal Policy
  • Iran-The Achaemenid Empire, 550-330 B.C.
  • Iran-Traditional Attitudes Toward Segregation of the Sexes THE SEXES
  • Iran-The Persian Language
  • Iran-Qashqais
  • Iran-Land Use
  • Iran-Refugees
  • Iran-The Domination of the Islamic Republican Party
  • Iran-Imports FOREIGN TRADE
  • Iran-Relations with Regional Powers
  • Iran-Treatment of Veterans and Widows
  • Iran-SAVAK
  • Iran-Armenians
  • Iran-The Council of Guardians
  • Iran-Medical Personnel and Facilities HEALTH AND WELFARE
  • Iran-The Iran-Iraq War
  • Iran-Religious Hierarchy
  • Iran-Construction
  • Iran-The Consolidation of Theocracy
  • Iran-The Defense Burden
  • Iran-The Coming of the Revolution
  • Iran-Introduction
  • Iran-Carpets
  • Iran-Role of the Air Force
  • Iran-Preface
  • Iran-Manufacturing and Industrial Development
  • Iran-The Provisional Government
  • Iran-Antiregime Opposition Groups
  • Iran-Grains
  • Iran-Religious Obligations
  • Iran-The Impact of Casualties on Society
  • Iran-The Working Class
  • Iran-Iran and International Organizations
  • Iran-Terror and Repression
  • Iran-The Persian-speaking People
  • Iran-Chapter 5 - National Security
  • Iran-Production and Reserves
  • Iran-Urban Migration
  • Iran-Impact of Western Ideas on the Role of Women
  • Iran-Indo-Iranian-speaking Groups
  • Iran-Iranian Mobilization and Resistance
  • Iran-The Sassanids, A.D - 224-642
  • Iran-The Reign of Terror
  • Iran-Forestry
  • Iran-Topography
  • Iran-Source and Quality of Manpower
  • Iran-The Urban Political Elite
  • Iran-Turkic-speaking Groups
  • Iran-The Revolutionary Period
  • Iran-Mining and Quarrying
  • Iran-Concept of Neither East nor West
  • Iran-Emigration
  • Iran-The Post-1979 Period
  • Iran-Baluchis
  • Iran
  • Iran
  • Iran-The Constitutional Revolution
  • Iran-The Middle Classes
  • Iran-The Iranian Counteroffensive
  • Iran-The War of Attrition
  • Iran
  • Iran-The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers
  • Iran-Social Class in Contemporary Iran
  • Iran
  • Iran-Other Groups
  • Iran-Fisheries
  • Iran-Opposition Political Parties in Exile
  • Iran-Gradual Superpower Involvement
  • Iran-Refining and Transport
  • Iran-Shia Islam in Iran
  • Iran-Marxists
  • Iran-Israel and the Non-Gulf Arab States
  • Iran-Crop Production
  • Iran
  • Iran-Urban Society
  • Iran-Air Force
  • Iran-Islamic Conquest
  • Iran-Role in National Security
  • Iran-World War I
  • Iran-Unorthodox Shia Religious Movements
  • Iran-Kurds
  • Iran-Historical Background ARMED FORCES
  • Iran-Command and Control
  • Iran-Other Groups
  • Iran -Country Profile
  • Iran-The Bani Sadr Presidency
  • Iran-The Tanker War
  • Iran-Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Iran-Rural Society
  • Iran-THE ERA OF REZA SHAH, 1921-41
  • Iran
  • Iran-Sunni Muslims
  • Iran-Utilities
  • Iran-SAVAMA
  • Iran-Concept of Export of Revolution
  • Iran-The Rise and Fall of Bani Sadr
  • Iran-Acknowledgments
  • Iran-Role of the Navy
  • Iran-Semitic Language Groups
  • Iran-Internationalization of the War
  • Iran-Health Hazards and Preventive Medicine
  • Iran-The Judiciary
  • Iran-Monarchists
  • Iran
  • Iran-The Majlis
  • Iran-The New Constitution
  • Iran-Mojahedin
  • Iran-Gendarmerie and National Police
  • Iran-Zoroastrians
  • Iran-Major Cities
  • Iran-Chapter 1 - Historical Setting
  • Iran-Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
  • Iran-Iran
  • BackgroundKnown as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to the Assembly of Experts - a popularly elected 86-member body of clerics. US-Iranian relations have been strained since a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces between 1987 and 1988. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US, UN, and EU economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism and its nuclear weapons ambitions. Following the election of reformer Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 and a reformist Majles (legislature) in 2000, a campaign to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated. The movement floundered as conservative politicians, through the control of unelected institutions, prevented reform measures from being enacted and increased repressive measures. Starting with nationwide municipal elections in 2003 and continuing through Majles elections in 2004, conservatives reestablished control over Iran's elected government institutions, which culminated with the August 2005 inauguration of hardliner Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD as president. His controversial reelection in June 2009 sparked nationwide protests over allegations of electoral fraud. The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions (1696 in July 2006, 1737 in December 2006, 1747 in March 2007, 1803 in March 2008, and 1835 in September 2008) calling for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and comply with its IAEA obligations and responsibilities. Resolutions 1737, 1477, and 1803 subject a number of Iranian individuals and entities involved in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs to sanctions. Additionally, several Iranian entities are subject to US sanctions under Executive Order 13382 designations for proliferation activities and EO 13224 designations for support of terrorism.
    LocationMiddle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan
    Area(sq km)total: 1,648,195 sq km
    land: 1,531,595 sq km
    water: 116,600 sq km
    Geographic coordinates32 00 N, 53 00 E
    Land boundaries(km)total: 5,440 km
    border countries: Afghanistan 936 km, Armenia 35 km, Azerbaijan-proper 432 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 179 km, Iraq 1,458 km, Pakistan 909 km, Turkey 499 km, Turkmenistan 992 km

    Coastline(km)2,440 km; note - Iran also borders the Caspian Sea (740 km)

    Climatemostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
    highest point: Kuh-e Damavand 5,671 m
    Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
    Land use(%)arable land: 9.78%
    permanent crops: 1.29%
    other: 88.93% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)76,500 sq km (2003)
    Total renewable water resources(cu km)137.5 cu km (1997)
    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 72.88 cu km/yr (7%/2%/91%)
    per capita: 1,048 cu m/yr (2000)
    Natural hazardsperiodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes
    Environment - current issuesair pollution, especially in urban areas, from vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; oil pollution in the Persian Gulf; wetland losses from drought; soil degradation (salination); inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution from raw sewage and industrial waste; urbanization
    Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
    Geography - notestrategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport
    Population66,429,284 (July 2009 est.)
    Age structure(%)0-14 years: 21.7% (male 7,394,841/female 7,022,076)
    15-64 years: 72.9% (male 24,501,544/female 23,914,172)
    65 years and over: 5.4% (male 1,725,828/female 1,870,823) (2009 est.)
    Median age(years)total: 27 years
    male: 26.8 years
    female: 27.2 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)0.883% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)17.17 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)5.72 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-2.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 68% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
    Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 35.78 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 35.98 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 35.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 71.14 years
    male: 69.65 years
    female: 72.72 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.71 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: Iranian(s)
    adjective: Iranian
    Ethnic groups(%)Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%

    Religions(%)Muslim 98% (Shia 89%, Sunni 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%
    Languages(%)Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%

    Country nameconventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran
    conventional short form: Iran
    local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
    local short form: Iran
    former: Persia
    Government typetheocratic republic
    Capitalname: Tehran
    geographic coordinates: 35 40 N, 51 25 E
    time difference: UTC+3.5 (8.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions30 provinces (ostanha, singular - ostan); Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan-e Jonubi, Khorasan-e Razavi, Khorasan-e Shomali, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh va Bowyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan
    Constitution2-3 December 1979; revised in 1989
    note: the revision in 1989 expanded powers of the presidency and eliminated the prime ministership

    Legal systembased on sharia law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage18 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief of state: Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
    head of government: President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD (since 3 August 2005); First Vice President Mohammad Reza RAHIMI (since 13 September 2009)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval; the Supreme Leader has some control over appointments to the more sensitive ministries
    note: also considered part of the Executive branch of government are three oversight bodies: 1) Assembly of Experts (Majles-Khebregan), a popularly elected body charged with determining the succession of the Supreme Leader, reviewing his performance, and deposing him if deemed necessary; 2) Expediency Council or the Council for the Discernment of Expediency (Majma-e-Tashkhis-e-Maslahat-e-Nezam) exerts supervisory authority over the executive, judicial, and legislative branches and resolves legislative issues on which the Majles and the Council of Guardians disagree and since 1989 has been used to advise national religious leaders on matters of national policy; in 2005 the Council's powers were expanded to act as a supervisory body for the government; 3) Council of Guardians of the Constitution or Council of Guardians or Guardians Council (Shora-ye Negban-e Qanon-e Asassi) determines whether proposed legislation is both constitutional and faithful to Islamic law, vets candidates in popular elections for suitability, and supervises national elections
    elections: Supreme Leader is appointed for life by the Assembly of Experts; president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term and third nonconsecutive term); last held 12 June 2009;(next presidential election slated for June 2013)
    election results: Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD reelected president; percent of vote - Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD 62.6%, Mir-Hosein MUSAVI-Khamenei 33.8%, other 3.6%; voter turnout 85% (according to official figures published by the government)
    Legislative branchunicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami or Majles (290 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 14 March 2008 with a runoff held 25 April 2008 (next to be held in 2012)
    election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - conservatives/Islamists 167, reformers 39, independents 74, religious minorities 5, other 5

    Judicial branchThe Supreme Court (Qeveh Qazaieh) and the four-member High Council of the Judiciary have a single head and overlapping responsibilities; together they supervise the enforcement of all laws and establish judicial and legal policies; lower courts include a special clerical court, a revolutionary court, and a special administrative court

    Political pressure groups and leadersgroups that generally support the Islamic Republic: Ansar-e Hizballah-Islamic Coalition Party (Motalefeh); Followers of the Line of the Imam and the Leader; Islamic Engineers Society; Tehran Militant Clergy Association (Ruhaniyat); active pro-reform student group: Office of Strengthening Unity (OSU); opposition groups: Baluchistan People's Party (BPP); Freedom Movement of Iran; Marz-e Por Gohar; National Front; and various ethnic and Monarchist organizations; armed political groups that have been repressed by the government: Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI); Jundallah; Komala; Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO); People's Fedayeen; People's Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK)
    International organization participationCP, ECO, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, SAARC (observer), SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red; the national emblem (a stylized representation of the word Allah in the shape of a tulip, a symbol of martyrdom) in red is centered in the white band; ALLAH AKBAR (God is Great) in white Arabic script is repeated 11 times along the bottom edge of the green band and 11 times along the top edge of the red band

    Economy - overviewIran's economy is marked by an inefficient state sector, reliance on the oil sector, which provides the majority of government revenues, and statist policies, which create major distortions throughout the system. Most economic activity is controlled by the state. Private sector activity is typically limited to small-scale workshops, farming, and services. Price controls, subsidies, and other rigidities weigh down the economy, undermining the potential for private-sector-led growth. Significant informal market activity flourishes. Corruption and shortages of goods are widespread. President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD has proposed reforms to Iran's system of price controls and subsidies, particularly on food and energy. However, previous government-led efforts at reform - such as fuel rationing in July 2007 and the imposition of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) in October 2008 - were met with stiff resistance and violent protests. High oil prices in recent years allowed Iran to greatly increase its export earnings and amass nearly $100 billion in foreign exchange reserves. But with oil prices currently below $40 per barrel, the Iranian government is facing difficulties. Tehran has formulated a 2009 budget that anticipates lower oil prices. The government has drawn down the country's Oil Stabilization Fund, and may be dipping into foreign exchange reserves. Iran continues to suffer from double-digit unemployment and inflation - inflation climbed to a 28% annual rate in 2008. Underemployment among Iran's educated youth has convinced many to seek jobs overseas, resulting in a significant "brain drain."
    GDP (purchasing power parity)$843.7 billion (2008 est.)
    $792.2 billion (2007 est.)
    $734.7 billion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$335.2 billion (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)6.5% (2008 est.)
    7.8% (2007 est.)
    5.8% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$12,800 (2008 est.)
    $12,100 (2007 est.)
    $11,300 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 10.2%
    industry: 41.9%
    services: 47.8% (2008 est.)
    Labor force24.35 million
    note: shortage of skilled labor (2008 est.)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 25%
    industry: 31%
    services: 45% (June 2007)
    Unemployment rate(%)12.5% (2008 est.)
    12% (2007 est.)
    note: data are according to the Iranian Government
    Population below poverty line(%)18% (2007 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 2.6%
    highest 10%: 29.6% (2005)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index44.5 (2006)
    Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)26.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
    Budgetrevenues: $51 billion
    expenditures: $103 billion (FY09/10 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)25.6% (2008 est.)
    17.1% (2007 est.)
    note: official Iranian estimate

    Stock of money$NA (31 December 2008)
    $46.13 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of quasi money$NA (31 December 2008)
    $68.71 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of domestic credit$NA (31 December 2008)
    $109.7 billion (31 December 2007)
    Market value of publicly traded shares$NA (31 December 2008)
    $45.57 billion (31 December 2007)
    $37.94 billion (31 December 2006)
    Economic aid - recipient$104 million (2005 est.)

    Public debt(% of GDP)19.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
    27% of GDP (2004 est.)
    Agriculture - productswheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, sugar cane, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar
    Industriespetroleum, petrochemicals, fertilizers, caustic soda, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), ferrous and non-ferrous metal fabrication, armaments

    Industrial production growth rate(%)4.5% excluding oil (2008 est.)

    Current account balance$20.19 billion (2008 est.)
    $34.08 billion (2007 est.)
    Exports$98.42 billion (2008 est.)
    $97.4 billion (2007 est.)

    Exports - commodities(%)petroleum 80%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets
    Exports - partners(%)China 15.3%, Japan 14.3%, India 10.4%, South Korea 6.4%, Turkey 6.4%, Italy 4.5% (2008)
    Imports$67.25 billion (2008 est.)
    $56.58 billion (2007 est.)

    Imports - commodities(%)industrial raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services
    Imports - partners(%)UAE 19.3%, China 13%, Germany 9.2%, South Korea 7%, Italy 5.1%, France 4.3%, Russia 4.2% (2008)

    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$96.56 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $82.06 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Debt - external$21.06 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $20.68 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$6.954 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $6.054 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$993 million (31 December 2008 est.)
    $903 million (31 December 2007 est.)
    Exchange ratesIranian rials (IRR) per US dollar - 9,142.8 (2008 est.), 9,407.5 (2007), 9,227.1 (2006), 8,964 (2005), 8,614 (2004)
    note: Iran has been using a managed floating exchange rate regime since unifying multiple exchange rates in March 2002

    Currency (code)Iranian rial (IRR)

    Telephones - main lines in use24.8 million (2008)
    Telephones - mobile cellular43 million (2008)
    Telephone systemgeneral assessment: currently being modernized and expanded with the goal of not only improving the efficiency and increasing the volume of the urban service but also bringing telephone service to several thousand villages, not presently connected
    domestic: the addition of new fiber cables and modern switching and exchange systems installed by Iran's state-owned telecom company have improved and expanded the main line network greatly; main line availability has more than doubled to nearly 25 million lines since 2000; additionally, mobile service has increased dramatically serving 43 million subscribers in 2008; combined fixed and mobile-cellular subscribership now exceeds 100 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 98; submarine fiber-optic cable to UAE with access to Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line runs from Azerbaijan through the northern portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with expansion to Georgia and Azerbaijan; HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; satellite earth stations - 13 (9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat) (2007)
    Internet country code.ir
    Internet users23 million (2008)
    Airports316 (2009)
    Pipelines(km)condensate 7 km; condensate/gas 12 km; gas 19,246 km; liquid petroleum gas 570 km; oil 7,018 km; refined products 7,936 km (2008)
    Roadways(km)total: 172,927 km
    paved: 125,908 km (includes 1,429 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 47,019 km (2006)

    Ports and terminalsAssaluyeh, Bandar Abbas, Bandar-e-Eman Khomeyni
    Military branchesIslamic Republic of Iran Regular Forces (Artesh): Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force of the Military of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Niru-ye Hava'i-ye Artesh-e Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran, IRIAF; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Eslami, IRGC): Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force, Qods Force (special operations), Basij Force (Popular Mobilization Army); Law Enforcement Forces (2008)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)19 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 17 years of age for Law Enforcement Forces; 15 years of age for Basij Forces (Popular Mobilization Army); conscript military service obligation - 18 months; women exempt from military service (2008)
    Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 20,212,275
    females age 16-49: 19,638,751 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 17,658,573
    females age 16-49: 17,148,290 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 700,213
    female: 664,846 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)2.5% of GDP (2006)
    Disputes - internationalIran protests Afghanistan's limiting flow of dammed tributaries to the Helmand River in periods of drought; Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which are occupied by Iran; Iran stands alone among littoral states in insisting upon a division of the Caspian Sea into five equal sectors

    Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 914,268 (Afghanistan); 54,024 (Iraq) (2007)
    Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude; Iranian women are trafficked internally for the purpose of forced prostitution and for forced marriages to settle debts; Iranian children are trafficked internally and Afghan children are trafficked into Iran for the purpose of forced marriages, commercial sexual exploitation, and involuntary servitude as beggars or laborers
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Iran did not provide evidence of law enforcement activities against trafficking, and credible reports indicate that Iranian authorities punish victims of trafficking with beatings, imprisonment, and execution; Iran has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)
    Electricity - production(kWh)192.6 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 97.1%
    hydro: 2.9%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)153.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)2.52 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)1.842 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)4.174 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)1.755 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)2.719 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)212,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)136.2 billion bbl based on Iranian claims (1 January 2009 est.)
    Natural gas - production(cu m)116.3 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)119 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)4.246 billion cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)28.08 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.2% (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS86,000 (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - deaths4,300 (2007 est.)
    Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever and malaria
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
    Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 77%
    male: 83.5%
    female: 70.4% (2002 est.)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 13 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 13 years (2005)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)5.1% of GDP (2006)

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