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Iran (2003)

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Iran 2003 year

Administrative divisions 28 provinces (ostanha, singular - ostan); Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kohkiluyeh va Buyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan
Age structure 0-14 years: 29.3% (male 10,279,588; female 9,727,668)

15-64 years: 65.9% (male 22,916,431; female 22,095,124)

65 years and over: 4.8% (male 1,625,113; female 1,634,902) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar
Airports 309 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 122

over 3,047 m: 39

2,438 to 3,047 m: 25

1,524 to 2,437 m: 27

914 to 1,523 m: 27

under 914 m: 4 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 187

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 138

under 914 m: 39 (2002)
Area total: 1.648 million sq km

land: 1.636 million sq km

water: 12,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Alaska
Background Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar. 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 over disputed territory. Over the past decade, popular dissatisfaction with the government, driven by demographic changes, restrictive social policies, and poor economic conditions, has created a powerful and enduring pressure for political reform.
Birth rate 17.23 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $29.5 billion

expenditures: $31.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)
Capital Tehran
Climate mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast
Coastline 2,440 km; note - Iran also borders the Caspian Sea (740 km)
Constitution 2-3 December 1979; revised 1989 to expand powers of the presidency and eliminate the prime ministership
Country name conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran

conventional short form: Iran

local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran

local short form: Iran

former: Persia
Currency Iranian rial (IRR)
Death rate 5.54 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $8.7 billion (2002 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US none; note - protecting power in Iran is Switzerland
Diplomatic representation in the US none; note - Iran has an Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy; address: Iranian Interests Section, Pakistani Embassy, 2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007; telephone: [1] (202) 965-4990
Disputes - international Iran protests Afghanistan's limiting flow of dammed waters on Helmand River tributaries in response to prolonged drought in region; thousands of Afghan refugees still reside in Iran; despite restored diplomatic relations in 1990, disputes with Iraq over maritime and land boundaries, navigation channel, and other issues from eight-year war persist; UAE engage direct talks and Arab League support to resolve disputes over Iran's occupation of Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island; Iran insists on division of the Caspian Sea into five equal sectors, while other littoral states have generally agreed to equidistant seabed boundaries - Iran has threatened Azerbaijanian hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters
Economic aid - recipient $408 million (2002 est.)
Economy - overview Iran's economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil and other large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures. President KHATAMI has continued to follow the market reform plans of former President RAFSANJANI and has indicated that he will pursue diversification of Iran's oil-reliant economy although he has made little progress toward that goal. Relatively high oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass some $15 billion in foreign exchange reserves, but have not solved Iran's structural economic problems, including high unemployment and inflation.
Electricity - consumption 115.9 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 124.6 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 97.1%

hydro: 2.9%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

highest point: Kuh-e Damavand 5,671 m
Environment - current issues air 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 agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Ethnic groups Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%
Exchange rates rials per US dollar 6,906.96 (2002), 1,753.56 (2001), 1,764.43 (2000), 1,752.93 (1999), 1,751.86 (1998)

note: from 1997 to 2001, Iran had a multi-exchange-rate system; one of these rates, the official floating exchange rate, by which most essential goods were imported, averaged 1,750 rials per US dollar; in March 2002, the multi-exchange-rate system was converged into one rate at about 7,900 rials per US dollar
Executive branch chief of state: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)

head of government: President (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani (since 3 August 1997); First Vice President Dr. Mohammad Reza AREF-YAZDI (since 26 August 2001)

cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval; the Supreme Leader has some control over appointments to the more sensitive ministries

elections: leader of the Islamic Revolution appointed for life by the Assembly of Experts; president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 8 June 2001 (next to be held June 2005)

election results: (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani reelected president; percent of vote - (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani 77%
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $24.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports 110 million cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities petroleum 85%, carpets, fruits and nuts, iron and steel, chemicals
Exports - partners Japan 17.4%, China 8.6%, UAE 7.6%, Italy 6.6%, South Korea 4.9%, South Africa 4.4% (2002)
Fiscal year 21 March - 20 March
Flag description three 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
GDP purchasing power parity - $458.3 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 19%

industry: 26%

services: 55% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,800 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 7.6% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 32 00 N, 53 00 E
Geography - note strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport
Heliports 13 (2002)
Highways total: 167,157 km

paved: 94,109 km (including 890 km of expressways)

unpaved: 73,048 km (1998)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Illicit drugs despite substantial interdiction efforts, Iran remains a key transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe; domestic narcotics consumption remains a persistent problem and Iranian press reports estimate at least 2 million drug users in the country
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $21.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports 4.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities industrial raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services, military supplies
Imports - partners Germany 10.9%, Italy 9%, France 7.9%, China 7.4%, South Korea 6.5%, UAE 4.4%, Japan 4.1%, Russia 4% (2002)
Independence 1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)
Industrial production growth rate 5.5% excluding oil (2001 est.)
Industries petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabricating, armaments
Infant mortality rate total: 44.17 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 44.31 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 44.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 15.3% (2002 est.)
International organization participation CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 100 (2002)
Irrigated land 75,620 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court
Labor force 21 million

note: shortage of skilled labor (1998)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (2001 est.)
Land boundaries 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
Land use arable land: 10.17%

permanent crops: 1.16%

other: 88.67% (1998 est.)
Languages Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
Legal system the Constitution codifies Islamic principles of government
Legislative branch unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami (290 seats, note - changed from 270 seats with the 18 February 2000 election; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 18 February 2000 with a runoff held 5 May 2000 (next to be held February 2004)

election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats by party - reformers 189, conservatives 54, independents 42, seats reserved for religious minorities 5
Life expectancy at birth total population: 69.35 years

male: 68.04 years

female: 70.73 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 79.4%

male: 85.6%

female: 73% (2003 est.)
Location Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan
Map references Middle East
Maritime claims contiguous zone: 24 NM

continental shelf: natural prolongation

exclusive economic zone: bilateral agreements or median lines in the Persian Gulf

territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 139 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 4,190,576 GRT/7,276,700 DWT

ships by type: bulk 43, cargo 34, chemical tanker 4, container 10, liquefied gas 1, multi-functional large-load carrier 6, petroleum tanker 30, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 9, short-sea passenger 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches Islamic Republic of Iran regular forces (includes Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force and Air Defense Command), Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) (includes Ground Forces, Air Force, Navy, Qods [special operations], and Basij [Popular Mobilization Army] forces), Law Enforcement Forces
Military expenditures - dollar figure $9.7 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 3.1% (FY00)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 20,343,063 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 12,094,551 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - military age 21 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 870,711 (2003 est.)
National holiday Republic Day, 1 April (1979)

note: additional holidays celebrated widely in Iran include Revolution Day, 11 February (1979); Noruz (New Year's Day), 21 March; Constitutional Monarchy Day, 5 August (1925)
Nationality noun: Iranian(s)

adjective: Iranian
Natural hazards periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes along western border and in the northeast
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
Net migration rate -0.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Pipelines condensate/gas 212 km; gas 16,998 km; liquid petroleum gas 570 km; oil 8,256 km; refined products 7,808 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders a loose pro-reform coalition called the 2nd Khordad front achieved considerable success at elections to the sixth Majles in early 2000, and groups in the coalition include: Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF); Executives of Construction Party (Kargozaran); Solidarity Party; Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO); and Militant Clerics Society (Ruhaniyun); a new apparently conservative group, the Builders of Islamic Iran, emerged at the local level in early 2003
Political pressure groups and leaders active pro-reform student groups include the "Organization for Strengthening Unity"; groups that generally support the Islamic Republic include Ansar-e Hizballah, Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam, Tehran Militant Clergy Association (Ruhaniyat), Islamic Coalition Association, and Islamic Engineers Society; opposition groups include Freedom Movement of Iran, the National Front, Marz-e Por Gohar, and various Monarchist organizations; armed political groups that have been almost completely repressed by the government include Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), People's Fedayeen, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, and Komala
Population 68,278,826 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 40% (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 1.08% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Abadan (largely destroyed in fighting during 1980-88 war), Ahvaz, Bandar 'Abbas, Bandar-e Anzali, Bushehr, Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni, Bandar-e Lengeh, Bandar-e Mahshahr, Bandar-e Torkaman, Chabahar (Bandar Beheshti), Jazireh-ye Khark, Jazireh-ye Lavan, Jazireh-ye Sirri, Khorramshahr (limited operation since November 1992), Now Shahr
Radio broadcast stations AM 72, FM 5, shortwave 5 (1998)
Railways total: 7,201 km

broad gauge: 94 km 1.676-m gauge

standard gauge: 7,107 km 1.435-m gauge (146 km electrified) (2002)
Religions Shi'a Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 10%, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i 1%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female

total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 15 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: inadequate but 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: as a result of heavy investing in the telephone system since 1994, the number of long-distance channels in the microwave radio relay trunk has grown substantially; many villages have been brought into the net; the number of main lines in the urban systems has approximately doubled; and thousands of mobile cellular subscribers are being served; moreover, the technical level of the system has been raised by the installation of thousands of digital switches

international: HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; 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; satellite earth stations - 9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat
Telephones - main lines in use 6.313 million (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 265,000 (August 1998)
Television broadcast stations 28 (plus 450 low-power repeaters) (1997)
Terrain rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts
Total fertility rate 1.99 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 16.3% (2003 est.)
Waterways 904 km

note: the Shatt al Arab is usually navigable by maritime traffic for about 130 km; channel has been dredged to 3 m and is in use
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