Islamic Republic of Iran
National Slogan: Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic
Official Language: Persian
Leader: Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khameini
President: Dr. Hassan Rouhani
Population: 77,356,343 (estimated in 2013)
Currency unit: Iranian Rial
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.