Rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts.
Mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast.
Nationality: Iranian. Population: 79,853,900. Language: Persian (official) 53%.
EDUCATED POPULATION (:58)
Muslim (official) 98% (Shia 89%, Sunni 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%.
Iran's economy is marked by statist policies and an inefficient state sector, which create major distortions throughout the system, and reliance on oil, which provides a large share of government revenues. Significant informal market activity flourishes and corruption is widespread. Underemployment among Iran's educated youth has convinced many to seek jobs overseas, resulting in a significant "brain drain."
LARGEST MIDEAST OIL EXPORTERS (:51)
OPEC OIL EXPORTERS (1:05)
Wooden houses are common along the Caspian coast. Square houses made of mud brick are found on the slopes in the mountain villages. Nomadic tribes in the Zagros Mountains live in round, black tents made of goat hair. The people of Baluchistan, in the southeast, are farmers who live in huts. Larger cities have many high-rise apartments.
NEW PRESIDENT ROUHANI (:54)
US Military Presence/Support