Iran (capital Tehran) and neighboring states
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook: "Iran's economy is marked by an inefficient state sector, reliance on the oil sector, which provides the majority of government revenues, and statist policies, which create major distortions throughout the system. Private sector activity is typically limited to small-scale workshops, farming, and services. Price controls, subsidies, and other rigidities weigh down the economy, undermining the potential for private-sector-led growth. Significant informal market activity flourishes and corruption is widespread."
Economic growth rate
Labor force in agriculture
2010: 11.6% of GDP
Oil production and consumption
Third in oil exports in 2009 at 1.523 million barrels per day.
In natural gas exports in 2010, 25th.
2010: China 19%, India 14.8%, Japan 11.6%, Turkey 8%, South Korea 6.7%, Italy 6.2%, Spain 4.7%
Income Distribution – gini index
Ranks 46th among 140 countries (higher rank number is more equal, lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and about the same as the US, which ranks 45th.
2009: 3.9% of GDP
Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
Living in an urban area
Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 0.11 persons per 1,000 population per year
2008: Persian 61%, Azeri 16%, Kurd 10%, Lur 6%, Baloch 2%, Arab 2%, Turkmen and Turkic tribes 2%, other 1%
Muslims 98%. Of these, 89% are Shia and 9% are Sunni. Other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%.
Between Iraq and Pakistan. Size equivalent to 1,284 by 1,284 kilometers, or roughly 800 by 800 miles. 2440 kilometers of coastline along the Persian Gulf. A lot of desert and mountains.
Ali Khamenei, chief of state, (Supreme Leader) since 4 June 1989, Combatant Clergy Association (medieval clerical party). Head of government: Hassan Rouhani (president) since 3 August 2013, Islamic Republican Party. Shia Islam.
World Factbook: "Theocratic republic." Capital: Tehran.
Sex outside of marriage is illegal. Punishment by death can be imposed, or the lash.
Iran is one of three countries with a law against flag desecration.
Called Persia until 1935. Iran is pronounced EAR-ran, not EYE-ran.
April 1, 1979: Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed.
March 2008: In parliamentary elections, conservatives maintain their 70 percent majority, despite inflation that has reached 19 percent. Iranians are supporting what they see as their nation under attack. Liberal reformers, who dominated the political scene from the late 1990s to 2004, win ten more seats, to 50 seats-- 17.2% of the 290 seats.
June 13, 2010: Iran remains a sham democracy. Real democracies give freedom to an opposition that is not trying to overthrow it by force. One year has passed since President Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election. Hopes of the demonstrators for change around the corner has faded. But government oppression continues. The BBC reports that, "Monitoring of the internet and phones has risen to new levels." Iranian exiles have become "less willing to speak out... Many Iranians have fallen into a sullen acquiescence, frustrated that their hope for change have slipped away."
More Iranians think of themselves as middle class and are reported by the BBC as having aspiration for a freer, more secular lifestyle. The population is young and outward looking. The BBC describes those wanting political change as having been "unable to broaden their core support into the working classes, and also into the diverse regions of Iran, where the different ethnic groups have also been antagonized by Mr Ahmadinejad."
March 2012: In new parliamentary elections all candidates were pre-approved by Iran's Guardian Council. In effect the elections were between conservative factions: largely, those who support President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad or Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The leaders of the opposition movement have been under house arrest and not allowed to take part participate in elections.
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