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Iran Geography

    Location: Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan

    Geographic coordinates: 32 00 N, 53 00 E

    Map references: Middle East

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

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than Alaska

    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 nm
    continental shelf: natural prolongation
    exclusive economic zone: bilateral agreements, or median lines in the Persian Gulf
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast

    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

    Land use:
    arable land: 10%
    permanent crops: 1%
    permanent pastures: 27%
    forests and woodland: 7%
    other: 55% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 94,000 sq 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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)