BlueWorld

Middle East: Iran



About Iran

Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces subsequently crushed westernizing liberal elements. Militant 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. The key current issue is how rapidly the country should open up to the modernizing influences of the outside world.


Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Tehran
Population: 66,128,965 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 53% (1996 est.)
Language: Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
Date of independence: 1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of I
Form of government: theocratic republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
Environmental Issues: air pollution, especially in urban areas, from vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; oil pollution in the Persian Gulf; inadequate supplies of potable water
Agricultural Products: wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar
Imports: industrial raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services, military supplies
Exports: petroleum 85%, carpets, fruits and nuts, iron and steel, chemicals
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Germany, South Korea, Italy, UAE, France, Japan
EXPORTS: Japan, Italy, UAE, South Korea, France, China

 

Iran Headlines


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