The Islamic Republic of Iran is located in southwest Asia, in the Middle East region. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935 before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia. Iran enjoys a rich and deep history and is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations.
Iran is the 18th largest country in the world with a land area of 1,648,195 km2 and land boundaries of 5,440 km. The country is bordered by 15 neighbouring countries; on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on the west by Iraq, and on the northwest by Turkey.The Caspian Sea is located in the north of the country.
Tehran, the country's capital and largest city is the political, cultural, commercial, and industrial centre of the nation. The country is divided into 31 provinces, each governed by an appointed governor.
The Iranian coastline totals 2,440 km. The country comes with varied topography, climate and eco-regions ranging from snow and rain forests to deserts. Its climate ranges from arid or semiarid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests. The highest point in Iran is Damavand Mountain (5,671 m).
Iran enjoys many natural resources including petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, and sulphur. Natural hazards threatening the country include periodic droughts, floods, dust storms, sandstorms, and earthquakes.
In 2012 Iran’s population was estimated at 78,868,711 with a population growth rate of 1.25%. In the same year the birth rate was 18.52 births per 1000 population.