Iran

Iran
Iran
external image ir_large_locator.gif
Map of Iran
Map of Iran

BACKGROUND

Before 1935, Iran was known as Persia. In 1979, Islamic leaders forced the ruling king out of power and forced him to leave the country. The new government, officially an Islamic republic was a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader. A Supreme Leader's decisions, according to the constitution, can only be questioned by the Assembly of Experts who are elected by the people. Iran's president's job is to follow the country's constitution and is second highest person with authority in the country after the Supreme Leader.

external image 200px-Grand_Ayatollah_Ali_Khamenei%2C.jpgexternal image magnify-clip.pngAli Khamenei, Superme Leader of Iran


From 1980 to 1988, Iran fought a bloody war with Iraq. Iran is considered a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world. The United States, United Nations, and European Union have often not done business with Iran because of this and its nuclear weapon program.

Men who wanted to change the government were elected into power both in 1997 and 2000, but eventually the more religious, conservative politicians regained control of the government. In 2005, current president Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD took power and has continued Iran's nuclear program despite protests from democratic countries. Today, the official name of the Iranian government is the Islamic Republic of Iran.

external image 180px-Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad.jpg

BEFORE YOU CONTINUE EXPLORING THIS WIKI ---- STOP

Now go to the Reference section of the upstairs library and find the book with the call number:

REF
910
GEO

Use the table of contents to find the page with information about Iran. Use this page to complete as much of your paper as you can first, then come back to the Wiki. Read the wiki and see if there are any differences between it and the book you found in the library.


GEOGRAPHY

Iran is part of the Middle East and borders the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea. It is located between Iraq and Pakistan. Countries that border Iran include Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan-proper, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan. Iran is the 25th largest country in the world in land size with a total land area of 1,648,195 square kilometers.

Iran's terrain is rugged and sometimes mountainous. It has deserts in the center of the country, but also plains along the coasts. The climate is mostly dry, but suptropical along the coast of the Caspian Sea.


POPULATION

Iran is the 20th most populous country in the world with 66,429,284 inhabitants.


ETHNIC GROUPS / RELIGION / LANGUAGES

An ethnic group is like a tribe inside of a country, sometimes even with their own language. Iranians come from various ethnic backgrounds. The dominant ethnic group is the Persian at 51%. Nearly a quarter of Iranians are Azeri (24%). Azeris have their own language and their family is connected to Iran's neighboring country Azerbaijan. Other ethnic groups in Iran are Gilaki and Mazandarani at 8%, Kurd at 7%, Arab at 3%, Lur at 2%, Baloch at 2%, Turkmen at 2%, other 1%.

Most Iranians are Muslims (98%). Of these Muslims (89% are Shia and 9% are Sunni). The other 2% of people in Iran are Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i.

Many languages are spoken in Iran. Most Iranians (58%) speak Persian or a dialect of Persian. Other Iranians speak Turkic and Turkic dialects (26%), Kurdish (9%), Luri (2%), Balochi (1%), Arabic (1%), Turkish (1%), other (2%).

LITERACY

By definition, literacy is when a person witht the age of 15 and over can read and write. In Iran, 77% of the population age 15 and over is literate. Of all the males, age 15 and over, 83.5% are literate. Of all the females, age 15 and over, 70.4% are literate.

CAPITAL CITY

Tehran

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

Iran has 30 provinces, which are like states. The provincial authority is headed by a Governor-General, who is appointed by the Minister of the Interior subject to approval of the cabinet (SOURCE 2). You find out more about Iran's provinces and see a map of them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_Iran


SOURCE 2: Wikipedia

INDEPENDENCE & CONSTITUTION

Iran officially proclaimed itself the Islamic Republic of Iran on April 1, 1979. At the end of the same year, the constitution of Iran was written on December 2nd and 3rd. An amendment was made to the constitution in 1989 that gave the president more power.

SUFFRAGE

You must be 18 years of age to vote.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Chief of State: Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
Head of Government: President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD (since 3 August 2005); First Vice President Parviz DAVUDI (since 11 September 2005)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval; the Supreme Leader has some control over appointments to the more sensitive ministries. Ministers are people in charge of departments that help control different aspects of the country. For example, their is a Minister of Education who in charge of Iran's public educational system.

The Executive branch of government also has three groups of people that watch over the others. They are:

1) The Assembly of Experts is a popularly elected body charged with determining the succession of the Supreme Leader, reviewing his performance, and getting rid of him if necessary;
2) The Expediency Council or the Council for the Discernment of Expediency which looks over the executive, judicial, and legislative branches and resolves problems with laws when the branches disagree.
3) The Council of Guardians of the Constitution determines whether bills are both constitutional and faithful to Islamic law and supervises national elections.]


LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

Instead of having two houses of congress to make laws, like in the United States, Iran has one legislative group called the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami) with 290 members. The members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms.

JUDICIAL BRANCH

The Supreme Court (Qeveh Qazaieh) and the four-member High Council of the Judiciary have the responsibilities of together supervising the enforcement of all laws. They also organize how the courts work including a special clerical court for religious matters, a revolutionary court for people that are acting against the government, and a special administrative court.

PROBLEMS

With no boundary in the Persian Gulf (sea) Iran and Iraq are often disputing who has rights to be where in this body of water. Iran is also disagreeing with bordering countries that the Caspian Sea should be divided into 5 equal parts for ownership. Iran received many illegal immigrant refugees from Afghanistan and also has the problem of illegal drugs being brought into the country from Afghanistan.