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Buyer Community> Trade Intelligence> Country Profiles-Iran> Iran-Geography

Iran-Geography

Published: 04 Nov 2008 12:04:45 PST
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: 1,648,195 sq km
country comparison to the world: 18
land: 1,531,595 sq km
water: 116,600 sq km
 
Area - comparative:   
slightly smaller 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:   
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: bilateral agreements or median lines in the Persian Gulf
continental shelf: natural prolongation
 
Climate:   
Current Weather
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: Kuh-e Damavand 5,671 m
 
Natural resources:   
petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
 
Land use:   
arable land: 9.78%
permanent crops: 1.29%
other: 88.93% (2005)
 
Irrigated land:   
76,500 sq km (2003)
 
Total renewable water resources:   
137.5 cu km (1997)
 
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):   
total: 72.88 cu km/yr (7%/2%/91%)
per capita: 1,048 cu m/yr (2000)
 
Natural hazards:   
periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes
 
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; wetland losses from drought; soil degradation (salination); inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution from raw sewage and industrial waste; urbanization
 
Environment - international agreements:   
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
 
Geography - note:   
strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport
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