Country in the Middle East
Name of the country: Islamic Republic of Iran
National Slogan: Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic
Geographical condition: 35 41 N 51 25 E
Leader: Great Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei
President: Dr. Hassan Rohani
National Day: 11 February
Population (2011): 75/597/633
Population (2017): 79/926/270
Currency unit: Iranian Rial
Internet Domain: ir
International Tel code: 0098
Exports: oil, carpet, fruits, dry fruits (pistachios, raisins and dates), leather, caviar, petrochemical products, apparels and dresses, foodstuffs.
Imports: machineries, industrial metals, medicines, chemical derivatives.
Industries: oil, petrochemical, textile, cement and other materials for building construction, food derivatives (especially refining sugar and extracting edible oil),
Agriculture: wheat, rice, grains, fruits, oily seeds such as pistachios, almond, walnut, cotton.
Transportation: 7286 kilometers of railways and 158000 kilometers of roads.
Pipelines: oil derivatives 3900 kilometer, natural gas 4550 kilometer.
Ports: Abadan, Ahwaz, Shahid Beheshti port, Abbas port, Anzali port, Bushehr port, Imam Khomeini port, Mahshahr port, Turkman port, Khoramshahr, Noshahr.
Iran is a county in southwest Asian, country of mountains and deserts. Eastern Iran is dominated by a high plateau, with large salt flats and vast sand deserts. The plateau is surrounded by even higher mountains, including the Zagros to the west and the Elburz to the north. Its neighbors are Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia on the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan on the east, and , and Turkey and Iraq on the west. Tehran is the capital, the country's largest city and the political, cultural, commercial and industrial center of the nation. Iran holds an important position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas.
The eastern and central basins are arid, with less than 200 mm (7.9 in) of rain, and have occasional deserts. Average summer temperatures exceed 38 °C (100.4 °F). The coastal plains of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in southern Iran have mild winters, and very humid and hot summers. The annual precipitation ranges from 135 to 355 mm (5.3 to 14.0 in).
Recent archaeological studies indicate that as early as 10,000 BC, people lived on the southern shores of the Caspian, one of the few regions of the world which according to scientists escaped the Ice Age. They were probably the first men in the history of mankind to engage in agriculture and animal husbandry.
Language and literature
Official language (of Iran) is Persian. Persian serves as a lingua franca in Iran and most publications and broadcastings are in this language.
Next to Persian, there are many publications and broadcastings in other relatively popular languages of Iran such as Azeri, Kurdish and even in less popular ones such as Arabic and Armenian. Many languages originated in Iran, but Persian is the most used language. Persian belongs to Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The oldest records in Old Persian date to the Achaemenid Empire, and examples of Old Persian has been found in present-day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Persian is spoken today primarily in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, but was historically a more widely understood language in an area ranging from the Middle East to India, significant populations of speakers in other Persian Gulf countries, as well as large communities around the World.
Persian, until recent centuries, was culturally and historically one of the most prominent languages of the Middle East and regions beyond. For example, it was an important language during the reign of the Moguls in Indian where knowledge of Persian was cultivated and encouraged; its use in the courts of Mogul India ended in 1837, banned by officials of the East Indian Company (British Colonialism).the courts of Mogul India ended in 1837, banned by officials of the East Indian Company (British Colonialism).
Persian scholars were prominent in both Turkish and Indian courts during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries in composing dictionaries and grammatical works. A Persian Indian vernacular developed and many colonial British officers learned their Persian from Indian scribes.
The name of the modern Persian language is sometimes mentioned as Farsi in English texts.
Human beings are members of a whole, In creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, Other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, The name of human you cannot retain. These verses by great Iranian poet Sa’di is written in entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York.
We can distinguish two periods of Persian poetry: one traditional, from the tenth to nearly mid, twentieth century; the other modernist, from about World War II to the present. Within the long period of traditional poetry, however, four periods can be traced, each marked by a distinct stylistic development. The first of these, comprising roughly the tenth to the twelfth century, is characterized by a strong and an exalted style (sabk-e fakher).
One may define this style (generally known as Khorasani, from the association of most of its earlier representatives with Greater Khorasan) by its lofty diction, dignified tone, and highly literate language. The second, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, is marked by the prominence of lyric poetry, the consequent development of the ghazal into the most significant verse form, and the diffusion of mystical thought. Its style is generally dubbed Eraqi because of the association of some of its earlier exponents with central and western Persia (even though its two major representatives, Sadi and Hafez, were from the southern province of Fars); it is known by its lyric quality, tenderness of feeling, mellifluous meters, and the relative simplicity of its language.
With Ferdowsis immortal poem, the Shah-nama, epic poetry rose to the height of its achievement almost at its beginning. Hailed as the greatest monument of Persian language and one of the major world epics, it consists of some fifty thousand couplets relating the history of the Iranian nation in myth, legend, and fact, from the beginning of the world to the fall of the Sassanian Empire. Ferdowsi, who belonged to the landed gentry (dehqan) and was well versed in Iranian cultural heritage and lore, fully understood the sense and direction of the work he was versifying. His approximately thirty years of labor produced a magnificent epic of tremendous impact.
The culmination of Persian lyric poetry was reached about a hundred years after Sadi with Hafez, the most delicate and most popular of Persian poets. His ghazals are typical in their content and motifs but exceptional in their combination of noble sentiments, powerful expression elegance of diction and felicity of imagery. His world-view encompasses many Gnostic, mystical, and stoic sentiments, which were the common cultural heritage of his age. While Hafezs satirical lines against pretense and hypocrisy lend a biting edge to his lyrics, his philosophical outlook and Gnostic longings impart an exalted air of wisdom and detachment to his poems. But he is above all a poet of love who celebrates in his ghazals the glory of human beauty and the passion of love.
It not only dispensed with the necessity of rhyme and consistent meter, but it also rejected the imagery of traditional poetry and departed noticeably from its mode of expression. Nima Yushij (1897-1960), the father of modernist poetry, and writing free verse. by the late 1950s it had become the dominant mode of avant-garde Persian poetry. Most of the contemporary literary movements in the West, from the Symbolist to Imagist schools, have found exponents among modernist Persian poets. In modernist poetry, all formal canons, thematic and imagistic conventions, as well as mystical dimensions of the traditional school are by and large abandoned, and the poets feel free to adapt the form of their poems to the requirements of their individual tastes and artistic outlooks.
Iranian official calendar, regulate according to Solar year & Iranian months.21 March, equal 1 Farvardin, is beginning of Iranian New Year. Also in Iran, Lunar calendar announce officially. Lunar year is 10 days less than Solar year ,so days of performing religious rites, that adjust according Lunar calendar, each year is different from next & former years. Therefore it recommended to tourists that arrange their proper traveling time with related agency. Especially in Ramadan month that Muslim Iranian, are fasting and in Muharram are mournful, so these situations influence on daily and current activities and some days in these two month are public holidays. Friday is official holiday.
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’s official currency is named rial. Previously "toman" (تومان tumân) was Iran’s currency but about eighty years ago rial replaced toman as the official currency of Iran. Iranians however still use toman (10 rials) as the talk about their daily commercial transactions. But in formal documents including bank notes and vouchers the amounts are nearly always put down in rials. There have been negotiations between Iranian government and parliament to revert toman as Iranian currency and there is a strong possibility that toman will reclaim its position as the official currency of Iran after nearly eight decades. Iranians hold their money in high regard as the reward of their hard work; it shouldn’t come as a surprise when salesmen kiss the money before putting it in their pockets. There are many currency exchanges in Tehran but most of them are concentrated around Ferdowsi Square. Although most of the people working in the currency exchanges (called "Sarrafi" in Persian) know basic English, you can learn about the latest exchange rates just by checking out the numbers on the monitors. Three currencies namely Euro, US Dollar and British Pound are exchanged in all shops and some even accept some other international currencies. You can also know about the latest updates in Iran’s exchange rates by referring to official Iranian websites. The exchange rates are always in a flux so for correctly converting Iranian rial or toman to US dollar or euro you need to check the latest updates.
How to Send Money to Iran
Due to the unjust American sanctions, Iran’s access to the international banking system is quite limited. As a result, none of the international credit/debit cards such as Visa and Master Cards are valid in Iran. The same goes for international online payments system such as PayPal and World pay. Most of Iranian citizens have their own national debit cards, exclusively available for the residents of the country, which can be used in all business transactions instead of cash. People can also use these cards for their ATM withdrawals all around Iran. Considering all the issues discussed above, the wisest thing to do for a visitor would be to bring enough cash. However, in case of an emergency, there are private companies in Tehran’s Ferdowsi Square that can transfer money to Iran from all over the world in exchange for a small commission (10-15 %).
Driving in Iran
Driving in Iran could be a challenge to a foreigner. Traffic, the huge number of motorcycles and pedestrians call for extra caution and concentration. The situation is even more intense in Tehran metropolitan area where one would wish to have eyes all around his head. As with most of the countries in the world, all freeways, highways, country roads and city roads have speed limits. Thousands of police cameras and police patrol cars control the safety of the roads and offenders are subjected to heavy fines or even the confiscation of their cars. To avoid such drastic measures, you must keep your speed under the limit which is between 50 and 80 km/h in cities and between 80 to 120km/h in freeways, highways and country roads. People must drive on the right side of the road and if they need to overtake, they must do it from the left side. There are also many speed bumps on the roads which are often marked but extreme caution is advised especially in remote country roads. For driving in Iran, you will just need an international driving license and a decent car. There are car rentals despite the fact that their customers are almost exclusively foreigners. You can arrange for a rental in Imam Khomeini Airport by booking beforehand. Influenced by the negative image prevalent in the western media coverage of Iran, many visitors ask: Can women drive in Iran? The answer is obviously positive. There has never been a law against women driving in Iran and in larger cities including Tehran one can even spot female taxi drivers.
Iran Visa on Arrival
Known by many names such as Iran airport visa and Iran tourist visa, Iran visa on arrival (VOA) refers to Iran tourist visa received by tourists upon their arrival in Iran. VOA is exclusively for tourists. Others such as reporters, diplomats, businessmen etc. must apply for Iran visa via the embassy. Furthermore, Visa on arrival is only available at international airports. Therefore, those who intend to come to Iran by land must apply for a visa via Iranian embassy in their country of origin. Visa on arrival in Iran costs between 50 to 70 USD depending on your nationality (the prices are for 2017 and include health insurance). Visa (in some countries it is called visum) on arrival is issued at all international airports in Iran including Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport. The process is fairly simple. Upon getting off the plane follow the sign that says Visa on Arrival. This will lead you to a booth where you will be asked a couple of questions related to your trip to Iran. The next step is to pay the visa fee and then you will wait for half an hour until you get your visa.
Iran visa on arrival is a 90-day visa granted to eligible nationals in the world. Visa policy of Iran is thus very clear. The most important section in Iran visa requirements is your nationality. According to the latest update issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2017 all nationalities are eligible to apply for VOA bar the nationalities listed below:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, UK and USA
On the other hand, nationals of Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey and Venezuela may enter Iran without applying for any form of visa. Nationals of Israel may not enter Iran under any circumstances and the nationals of the USA, the UK and Canada must have an official tour guide with them all through their stay in Iran. Other requirements include a valid passport with at least six months left to the expiration date, the confirmation number of a reservation at an official a hotel or hostel (in the same city you have flown to) in Iran and finally some cash for paying the necessary fees. And lastly if you need to extent your visa, you can refer to any of the immigration offices in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz and other major cities.
Imam Khomeini Airport Taxi
Imam Khomeini International Airport is the largest airport in Iran and its superb taxi service is the best in the country. Imam Khomeini International Airport Taxi (forodgah emam in Persian) also known by its code name IKIA provides drives from the airport to any places in Tehran Province. Other services like vans and even VIP buses could be arranged but for that you will need to contact the transportation companies in Iran before your arrival. Tickets to nearly all public transportation in Iran (bus tickets, metro,) are electronic. You can easily buy a prepaid electronic ticket and recharge it at bus and metro stations in Tehran. There are also one-way ordinary tickets but they cost a little more than the prepaid tickets. There are other private taxi services in Imam Khomeini Airport that we don’t usually recommend due to the reported cases of swindling. Among the reputable Tehran airport taxi services that transfer passengers to different locations in and around the capital are Iran Tourists Transportation Service (IranTTS) and Seirosafar (renders VIP services).
Tehran Metro and BRT Buses
Being one of the largest and most populated metropolitans in the Middle-East, Tehran is well equipped with diverse sets of transportation that facilitates traversing around this colossal city. Tehran metro has five fully operational lines and another two which are currently under construction and upon their completion Tehran metro will cover all its districts. Tehran metro is huge but finding one’s way is really easy as you can find metro maps (updated in 2017 to include the new previously uncharted Tehran metro stations) everywhere in the stations and also in the trains. You can also get Tehran-Iran metro (subway) map from the internet in popular formats like pdf. Another means of public transportation in Tehran is BRT speed bus. These large vehicles have the capacity of moving over 50 people at a time and they are very fast due to their exclusive lines in streets and freeways. Similar to metro lines here you will find Tehran BRT buses map in every vehicle and station.
Iranians are famous in the world for their hospitality and gregarious manners. Together with the people of India and China, Iranians boast the most ancient civilization in Asia which has brought along in the course of centuries a rich multifaceted culture and a plethora of customs each attributed to one of its many ethnicities. This long history of civilization has been shaped by many historical events from the first declaration of human rights issued by Cyrus the Great and the rule of ancient Persian kings to the Islamic period that further enhanced the already rich culture of Iranians. The behavior and manners of the people in Iran are the result of these centuries-old influences. Among the basic rules of etiquette in Iran one can mention respect to the elders and helping the poor.
As for souvenirs from Iran, there are many items from which you can choose. There are various Iranian gift shops that provide you with many different ideas and since Iran is deservedly famous for its handcrafts, you can be sure you won’t go back home empty-handed. As for the culture of giving gifts, tourists often wonder about what to bring to a Persian dinner or other formal gatherings. The most common thing is to buy cookies and other kinds of sweets. There isn’t much difference between Iranian dining etiquette and those of the western people. They usually start with the name of God and at the end everyone helps the host to clean the table and wash the dishes. Sometimes in more traditional households people may dine on the ground. In that case you shouldn’t step on the cloth on which you’ll be dining (sofreh). A frequently asked question about foods in Iran is: Are certain foods or beverages taboo in Iran? Well the answer is yes. Considering the country’s religious background, the use of any alcoholic beverages is forbidden and punishable according to law. Pork meat is also taboo as its usage is against the rule of Islam.
Official Weekend in Iran
Official weekend in Iran is Friday but some companies and schools add another day i.e. Thursday to the weekend making it a two-day long weekend. Some people specially people of the capital use the weekend (that is Friday and in some cases Friday and Thursday) to go on a short trip.
International Sim Card for Iran
Telecommunication companies in Iran provide international services. By buying a sim card you will be able to call anywhere you like around the world from Iran. Three major mobile network operators in Iran are Irancell, Hamrahe Aval (MCI) and RighTel whose sim cards provide 4G internet as well as common services. These sim cards can be easily purchased in Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport for a very modest price. You will be given special Irancell, MCI and RighTel balance check codes which will enable you to be always updated with your balance.