The Islamic Republic of Iran What are some historical events that influenced the development of 21st Century Iran? What are the major geographical landforms found in Iran? What types of climates are found in Iran? What government system is used in Iran? What economic system is used in Iran?
Location Iran is located in Southwestern Asia. Iran is located east of Iraq Iran is located west of Afghanistan. Iran is bordered by the Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Oman.
Geography Iran has a rugged landscape. The majority of the nation is covered by mountains and deserts. The largest mountain ranges in Iran are the Caucasus, Zagros, and Alborz Mountains.
Climate Iran has a variety of climates. The majority of the country has an arid (desert) or semi-arid climate. A tropical climate is found along Iran’s border with the Caspian Sea.
Religion The vast majority of Iranians belong to the Shiabranch of Islam (over 90%). Iran is one of the few countries in SW Asia with a Shia majority.
Ethnic Groups The largest ethnic group in Iran is Persian. There are numerous other ethnic groups including Kurds, Turks, and Europeans.
History After the shah was exiled, an exiled religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini seized power. He declared Iran to be an Islamic Republic in 1979. The new government was very unpopular with the government of the United States. This led to increased tensions, including the kidnapping of numerous hostages at the American Embassy in Iran’s capital, Tehran. The governments of Iran and the United States have not been friendly toward one another since this event.
Government Tehran is the capital of Iran and the location of its national government. Iran has been an Islamic Republic since 1979. It is also a Theocracy (a religious government with God as symbolic leader). The government’s laws are based on Islamic laws. The Ayatollahs, a group of Islamic religious leaders, have controlled the government since 1979. The head of the Ayatollahs, the Supreme Leader, is the head of the government. The Ayatollahs choose the candidates for president and are responsible for approving the nation’s laws.
Government Although the Ayatollahs select the candidates, the people of Iran elect their leaders. Any Iranian citizen who is 15 or older can vote. The current president of Iran is President MahmoudAhmadinejad.
Economy Iran has a rapidly developing economy. Iran employs a mixed economic system. A mixture of private ownership and government ownership of resources exists in Iran. Iran has the 16th largest economy in the world.
Economy The economy of Iran is dependent on the production of petroleum. Nearly 50% of its economy is based on petroleum production. The government owns all of the oil and petroleum production facilities in the nation. Iran is also a member of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Current Events Iran recently constructed a series of nuclear facilities and nuclear power plants. Some countries, including the United States, believe Iran is creating nuclear weapons. The United States wants to impose a trade embargo (a stoppage in trade) on Iran . The US wants to force Iran’s government to shut down its nuclear facilities and prove to the world they are not producing nuclear weapons.