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Geography of Iran

Location: Southwest Asia, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan.

Geographic coordinates:

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 1.648 million km
land: 1.636 million km
water: 12,000 km

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

Coastline: 2,440 km
note: Iran also borders the Caspian Sea (740 km)

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles
continental shelf: natural prolongation
exclusive economic zone: bilateral agreements, or median lines in the Persian Gulf
territorial sea: 12 nautical miles

Climate: mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast Iran has a variable climate. In the northwest areas, winters get very cold with lots of heavy snowfall. In December and January, the temperature is below 0C. In spring and fall, the temperature is mild, and can sometimes get fairly hot. In summer time, it is hot and dry. It can get up to 40C. People cannot go outside from around 12:00 15-16:00 in the summers, because it gets too hot, and people will faint, or pass out.

Terrain: rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Qolleh-ye Damavand 5,671 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 27%
forests and woodland: 7%
other: 55% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 94,000 km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes along western border and in the northeast

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; inadequate supplies of potable water

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

See also : Iran, List of mountains in Iran
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13