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Iran Geography 1996

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

    • Map references:
      Middle East

    • Area:

        total area:
        1.648 million sq km

        land area:
        1.636 million sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than Alaska

    • Land boundaries:
      total 5,440 km, Afghanistan 936 km, Armenia 35 km, Azerbaijan (north) 432 km, Azerbaijan (northwest) 179 km, Iraq 1,458 km, Pakistan 909 km, Turkey 499 km, Turkmenistan 992 km

    • Coastline:
      2,440 km

        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

    • International disputes:
      Iran and Iraq restored diplomatic relations in 1990 but are still trying to work out written agreements settling outstanding disputes from their eight-year war concerning border demarcation, prisoners-of-war, and freedom of navigation and sovereignty over the Shatt al Arab waterway; Iran occupies two islands in the Persian Gulf claimed by the UAE: Tunb as Sughra (Arabic), Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Kuchek (Persian) or Lesser Tunb, and Tunb al Kubra (Arabic), Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Bozorg (Persian) or Greater Tunb; it jointly administers with the UAE an island in the Persian Gulf claimed by the UAE, Abu Musa (Arabic) or Jazireh-ye Abu Musa (Persian); in 1992 the dispute over Abu Musa and the Tunb islands became more acute when Iran unilaterally tried to control the entry of third country nationals into the UAE portion of Abu Musa island, Tehran subsequently backed off in the face of significant diplomatic support for the UAE in the region, but in 1994 it increased its military presence on the disputed islands; periodic disputes with Afghanistan over Helmand water rights; Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined

    • 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

    • Natural resources:
      petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      57,500 sq km (1989 est.)

    • 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

        natural hazards:
        periodic droughts, floods; duststorms, sandstorms; earthquakes along the Western border

        international agreements:
        party to - Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

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