Iran is located in the Middle East, between Iraq and Pakistan, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea. The country covers a total area of 1.648 million sq km of which 1.636 million sq km is land and 12,000 sq km is covered by water. It has a coastline of 2,440 km. Two-thirds of the country is either mountains or desert. The bordering countries of Iran include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan. An important feature of the geography of Iran is its strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. These are crucial maritime pathways for transport of crude oil. According to the geography of Iran, the highest point in the country is Kuh-e Damavand which is at an altitude of 5,671 m.
People and Places
According to the 2008 census, the population of Iran is 65,397,521 out of which 60% is said to be living in big and medium sized cities. The biggest city of Iran is Tehran which is the country's capital with a population of over 6 million people. Tehran is also the most important and industrial and cultural center in Iran. Other major cities include Shiraz, Rasht, Isfahan, Tabriz, and Mashad. The medium-size cities in Iran are Ahvaz, Saari, Kermanshah, Hamedan, Kerman, Yazd and several others.
The climatic condition of Iran is quite extreme, ranging from subtropical to sub polar. The climate tends to vary in different parts of the country. Owing to the fertile lands, the temperature is more moderate in the area between the Elburz Mountains and the Caspian Sea in the north. The overall rainfall in Iran is scarce and seasonal. In Iran the season changes quite abruptly.
During the summer season, temperatures range from a high of 50 degree C in Khuzistan to a low of 1degree C in Azerbaijan in the north-west.
Natural Resources and Wildlife
The natural resources of Iran include natural gas, Petroleum, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc and sulfur.
Iran is the only country where the world's last surviving, critically endangered Asiatic Cheetah is found. It is also known as the Iranian Cheetah. The various endangered species of birds and animals in Iran are Asiatic Cheetah, Persian fallow deer, Siberian white crane, hawksbill turtle, green turtle, Oxus cobra, Baluchistan bear, Latifi's viper, dugong, and dolphins.
Several other animals found in Iran are wolves, foxes, leopards, lynx, wild goats, deer and gazelles, sheep and boars.
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