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Country summary




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

Government type

theocratic republic


66,429,284 (July 2010 est.)[1]

Population growth

0.883% (2010 est.)[1]

Life expectancy

71.14 years[1]


11.8% (2009 est.)[1]

Corruption Perceptions Index


Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to the Assembly of Experts - a popularly elected 86-member body of clerics. US-Iranian relations have been strained since a group of 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 that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces between 1987 and 1988. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US, UN, and EU economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism and its nuclear weapons ambitions. Following the election of reformer Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 and a reformist Majles (legislature) in 2000, a campaign to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated. The movement floundered as conservative politicians, through the control of unelected institutions, prevented reform measures from being enacted and increased repressive measures. Starting with nationwide municipal elections in 2003 and continuing through Majles elections in 2004, conservatives reestablished control over Iran's elected government institutions, which culminated with the August 2005 inauguration of hardliner Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD as president. His controversial reelection in June 2009 sparked nationwide protests over allegations of electoral fraud. The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions (1696 in July 2006, 1737 in December 2006, 1747 in March 2007, 1803 in March 2008, and 1835 in September 2008) calling for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and comply with its IAEA obligations and responsibilities. Resolutions 1737, 1477, and 1803 subject a number of Iranian individuals and entities involved in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs to sanctions. Additionally, several Iranian entities are subject to US sanctions under Executive Order 13382 designations for proliferation activities and EO 13224 designations for support of terrorism.[1]

Economical characteristics[]

  • Currency: Rial (ISO code: IRR)
  • Central bank discount rate: [1]
  • Commercial banks lending rate: NA% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Stock of money (M1): $44.79 billion (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Quasi money (with M1 makes M2): $72.33 billion (31 December 2008)[1]


Statistic / Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
GDP (million USD)[3] 104 656 101 287 115 438 116 421 135 410 163 227 192 015 222 881 286 058
Govt. debt (% of GDP)[4]
Govt. revenue (% of GDP)[5] 24.464 23.402 24.126 26.509 27.286 28.747 36.465 35.791 34.810
Govt. expenses (% of GDP)[6] 18.037 16.869 19.285 19.319 19.476 19.389 22.903 24.754 20.580
Debt to revenue (years)


Note: statistical data was rounded. Different sources may use different methodologies for their estimates. Debt to revenue is calculated by dividing the two variables from their original ('unrounded') values. It represents how long it would a government take to repay its entire debt if it used its whole revenue for this purpose.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 CIA - The World Facebook. "Iran", from The World Facebook. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  2. Transparency International. "Iran", Corruption Perceptions Index 2009. A lower ranking is better; but please note that the numbers cannot be compared between countries or years due to different methodology. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  3. World Bank. "Iran: GDP", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  4. World Bank. "Iran: government debt", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  5. World Bank. "Iran: government revenue", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  6. World Bank. "Iran: government expenses", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.

External links[]