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15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 30.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.66 years
male: 68.34 years
female: 71.05 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.2 children born/woman (2000 est.)

noun: Iranian(s)
adjective: Iranian

Ethnic groups: Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd
7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%

Religions: Shi'a Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 10%, Zoroastrian, Jewish,
Christian, and Baha'i 1%

Languages: Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic
dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%,
other 2%

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 72.1%
male: 78.4%
female: 65.8% (1994 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran
conventional short form: Iran
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
local short form: Iran

Data code: IR

Government type: theocratic republic

Capital: Tehran

Administrative divisions: 28 provinces (ostanha, singular - ostan);
Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar
Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan,
Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshahan, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kohkiluyeh
va Buyer Ahmadi, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qom,
Qazvin, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan

Independence: 1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)

National holiday: Islamic Republic Day, 1 April (1979)

Constitution: 2-3 December 1979; revised 1989 to expand powers of the
presidency and eliminate the prime ministership

Legal system: the Constitution codifies Islamic principles of

Suffrage: 15 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali
Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
head of government: President (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani (since 3
August 1997); First Vice President Hasan Ebrahim HABIBI (since NA
August 1989)
cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with
legislative approval
elections: leader of the Islamic Revolution appointed for life by the
Assembly of Experts; president elected by popular vote for a four-year
term; election last held 23 May 1997 (next to be held NA May 2001)
election results: (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani elected president;
percent of vote - (Ali) Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani 69%

Legislative branch: unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or
Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami (290 seats, note - changed from 270 seats
with the 18 February 2000 election; members elected by popular vote to
serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 18 February-NA April 2000 (next to be held NA
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - NA; note - reformers
received 70% of the vote (170 seats), the conservatives received 30%
(45 seats), and independents (10 seats); 65 seats were up for runoff
election in April 2000

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: since President KHATAMI's election in
May 1997, several political parties have been licensed; Executives of
Construction; Followers of the Imam's Line and the Leader
(conservative); Islamic Coalition Association [Habibollah
ASQAR-OLADI]; Islamic Iran Solidarity Party; Islamic Partnership
Front; Militant Clerics Association ; Second
Khordad Front (pro-reform); Tehran Militant Clergy Association
Political pressure groups and leaders: active student groups include
the pro-reform "Organization for Strengthening Unity" and "the Union
of Islamic Student Societies'; groups that generally support the
Islamic Republic include Ansar-e Hizballah, Mojahedin of the Islamic
Revolution, Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam, and the
Islamic Coalition Association; opposition groups include the
Liberation Movement of Iran and the Nation of Iran party; armed
political groups that have been almost completely repressed by the
government include Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), People's
Fedayeen, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan; the Society for the
Defense of Freedom

International organization participation: CCC, CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO,
IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM

Diplomatic representation in the US: none; note - Iran has an
Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy, headed by Faramarz
FATH-NEJAD; address: Iranian Interests Section, Pakistani Embassy,
2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007; telephone: (202)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none; note - protecting power
in Iran is Switzerland

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white,
and red; the national emblem (a stylized representation of the word
Allah) in red is centered in the white band; ALLAH AKBAR (God is
Great) in white Arabic script is repeated 11 times along the bottom
edge of the green band and 11 times along the top edge of the red band


Economy - overview: Iran's economy is a mixture of central planning,
state ownership of oil and other large enterprises, village
agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures.
President KHATAMI has continued to follow the market reform plans of
former President RAFSANJANI and has indicated that he will pursue
diversification of Iran's oil-reliant economy although he has made
little progress toward that goal. The strong oil market in 1996 helped
ease financial pressures on Iran and allowed for Tehran's timely debt
service payments. Iran's financial situation tightened in 1997 and
deteriorated further in 1998 because of lower oil prices. The
subsequent zoom in oil prices in 1999 afforded Iran fiscal breathing
room but does not solve Iran's structural economic problems.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $347.6 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,300 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 21%
industry: 34%
services: 45% (1997 est.)

Population below poverty line: 53% (1996 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 30% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 15.4 million
note: shortage of skilled labor

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 33%, industry 25%, services
42% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 25% (1999 est.)

revenues: $34.6 billion
expenditures: $34.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $11.8
billion (FY96/97)

Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, cement and other
construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining
and vegetable oil production), metal fabricating, armaments

Industrial production growth rate: 5.7% (FY95/96 est.)

Electricity - production: 95.31 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 92.33%
hydro: 7.67%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 88.638 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets,
fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar

Exports: $12.2 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

Exports - commodities: petroleum 80%, carpets, fruits, nuts, hides,
iron, steel

Exports - partners: Japan, Italy, Greece, France, Spain, South Korea

Imports: $13.8 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery, military supplies, metal works,
foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, technical services, refined oil products

Imports - partners: Germany, Italy, Japan, UAE, UK, Belgium

Debt - external: $21.9 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $116.5 million (1995)

Currency: 10 Iranian rials (IR) = 1 toman; note - domestic figures are
generally referred to in terms of the toman

Exchange rates: Iranian rials (IR) per US$1 - 1,754.90 (January 2000),
1,725.93 (1999), 1,751.86 (1998), 1,752.92 (1997), 1,750.76 (1996),
1,747.93 (1995); black market rate: 7,000 rials per US$1 (December
1998); note - as of May 1995, the "official rate" of 1,750 rials per
US$1 is used for imports of essential goods and services and for oil
exports, whereas the "official export rate" of 3,000 rials per US$1 is
used for non-oil exports and imports not covered by the official rate

Fiscal year: 21 March - 20 March


Telephones - main lines in use: 7 million (1998 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 265,000 (August 1998)

Telephone system: inadequate but currently being modernized and
expanded with the goal of not only improving the efficiency and
increasing the volume of the urban service but also bringing telephone
service to several thousand villages, not presently connected
domestic: as a result of heavy investing in the telephone system since
1994, the number of long distance channels in the microwave radio
relay trunk has grown substantially; many villages have been brought
into the net; the number of main lines in the urban systems have
approximately doubled; and thousands of mobile cellular subscribers
are being served; moreover, the technical level of the system has been
raised by the installation of thousands of digital switches
international: HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey,
Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait,
Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; submarine fiber-optic cable to UAE with
access to Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); Trans Asia Europe
(TAE) fiber-optic line runs from Azerbaijan through the northern
portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with expansion to Georgia and
Azerbaijan; satellite earth stations - 9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat;
Internet service available but limited to electronic mail to promote
Iranian culture

Radio broadcast stations: AM 72, FM 5, shortwave 5 (1998)

Radios: 17 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 28 (plus 450 low-power repeaters)

Televisions: 4.61 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (1999)


Railways: 5,600 km
broad gauge: 94 km 1.676-m gauge
standard gauge: 5,506 km 1.435-m gauge (146 km electrified) (1998)

total: 140,200 km
paved: 49,440 km (including 470 km of expressways)
unpaved: 90,760 km (1998 est.)

Waterways: 904 km; the Shatt al Arab is usually navigable by maritime
traffic for about 130 km; channel has been dredged to 3 m and is in

Pipelines: crude oil 5,900 km; petroleum products 3,900 km; natural
gas 4,550 km

Ports and harbors: Abadan (largely destroyed in fighting during
1980-88 war), Ahvaz, Bandar 'Abbas, Bandar-e Anzali, Bushehr, Bandar-e
Emam Khomeyni, Bandar-e Lengeh, Bandar-e Mahshahr, Bandar-e Torkaman,
Chabahar (Bandar Beheshti), Jazireh-ye Khark, Jazireh-ye Lavan,
Jazireh-ye Sirri, Khorramshahr (limited operation since November
1992), Now Shahr

Merchant marine:
total: 138 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,517,751 GRT/6,208,230
ships by type: bulk 45, cargo 36, chemical tanker 4, combination bulk
1, container 7, liquified gas 1, multi-functional large load carrier
6, petroleum tanker 26, refrigerated cargo 2, roll-on/roll-off 9,
short-sea passenger 1 (1999 est.)

Airports: 288 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 112
over 3,047 m: 38
2,438 to 3,047 m: 21
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 24
under 914 m: 6 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 176
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 123
under 914 m: 32 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 11 (1999 est.)


Military branches: Islamic Republic of Iran regular forces (includes
Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces), Revolutionary Guards
(includes Ground, Air, Navy, Qods, and Basij-mobilization-forces), Law
Enforcement Forces

Military manpower - military age: 21 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 17,762,030 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 10,545,869 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 801,260 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $5.787 billion (FY98/99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.9% (FY98/99)

@Iran:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: 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: Lesser Tunb (called Tunb as
Sughra in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Kuchek in Persian by
Iran) and Greater Tunb (called Tunb al Kubra in Arabic by UAE and
Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Bozorg in Persian by Iran); Iran jointly administers
with the UAE an island in the Persian Gulf claimed by the UAE (called
Abu Musa in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-ye Abu Musa in Persian by Iran)
- over which Iran has taken steps to exert unilateral control since
1992, including access restrictions and a military build-up on the
island; the UAE has garnered significant diplomatic support in the
region in protesting these Iranian actions; Caspian Sea boundaries are
not yet determined among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and

Illicit drugs: despite substantial interdiction efforts, Iran remains
a key transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe;
domestic consumption of narcotics remains a persistent problem and
Iranian press reports estimate that there are at least 1.2 million
drug users in the country




Background: Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq became an
independent kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but
in actuality a series of military strongmen have ruled the country
since then, the latest being SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with
Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-1988). In
August 1990 Iraq seized Kuwait, but was expelled by US-led, UN
coalition forces during January-February 1991. The victors did not
occupy Iraq, however, thus allowing the regime to stay in control.
Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required
Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles
and to allow UN verification inspections. UN trade sanctions remain in
effect due to incomplete Iraqi compliance with relevant UNSC


Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 44 00 E

Map references: Middle East

total: 437,072 sq km
land: 432,162 sq km
water: 4,910 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Idaho

Land boundaries:
total: 3,631 km
border countries: Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 242 km, Saudi
Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 331 km

Coastline: 58 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: not specified
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless
summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish
borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that
melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central
and southern Iraq

Terrain: mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in
south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Haji Ibrahim 3,600 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

Land use:
arable land: 12%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 9%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 79% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 25,500 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms, floods

Environment - current issues: government water control projects have
drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by
drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable
population of Shi'a Muslims, who have inhabited these areas for
thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction
of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife
populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of
Tigris-Euphrates Rivers system contingent upon agreements with
upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation
(salination) and erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification


Population: 22,675,617 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42% (male 4,860,795; female 4,708,453)
15-64 years: 55% (male 6,272,842; female 6,123,188)
65 years and over: 3% (male 331,840; female 378,499) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.86% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 35.04 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 6.4 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 62.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.53 years
male: 65.54 years
female: 67.56 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.87 children born/woman (2000 est.)

noun: Iraqi(s)
adjective: Iraqi

Ethnic groups: Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian or
other 5%

Religions: Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or
other 3%

Languages: Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian,

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 58%
male: 70.7%
female: 45% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Iraq
conventional short form: Iraq
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah
local short form: Al Iraq

Data code: IZ

Government type: republic

Capital: Baghdad

Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (muhafazat, singular -
muhafazah); Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf,
Arbil, As Sulaymaniyah, At Ta'mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dahuk, Dhi Qar,
Diyala, Karbala', Maysan, Ninawa, Salah ad Din, Wasit

Independence: 3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under
British administration)

National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, 17 July (1968)

Constitution: 22 September 1968, effective 16 July 1970 (provisional
constitution); new constitution drafted in 1990 but not adopted

Legal system: based on Islamic law in special religious courts, civil
law system elsewhere; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President SADDAM Husayn (since 16 July 1979); Vice
President Taha Muhyi al-Din MARUF (since 21 April 1974); Vice
President Taha Yasin RAMADAN (since 23 March 1991)
head of government: Prime Minister SADDAM Husayn (since 29 May 1994);
Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Mikhail AZIZ (since NA 1979); Deputy Prime
Minister Taha Yasin RAMADAN (since NA May 1994); Deputy Prime Minister
Muhammad Hamza al-ZUBAYDI (since NA May 1994)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
note: there is also a Revolutionary Command Council or RCC (Chairman
SADDAM Husayn, Vice Chairman Izzat IBRAHIM al-Duri) which controls the
ruling Ba'th Party, and is the most powerful political entity in the
elections: president and vice presidents elected by a two-thirds
majority of the Revolutionary Command Council; election last held 17
October 1995 (next to be held NA 2002)
election results: SADDAM Husayn reelected president; percent of vote -
99%; Taha Muhyi al-Din MARUF and Taha Yasin RAMADAN elected vice
presidents; percent of vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Watani
(250 seats; 30 appointed by the president to represent the three
northern provinces of Dahuk, Arbil, and As Sulaymaniyah; 220 elected
by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 24 March 1996 (next to be held NA March 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation

Political parties and leaders: Ba'th Party [SADDAM Husayn, central
party leader]

Political pressure groups and leaders: any formal political activity
must be sanctioned by the government; opposition to regime from
Kurdish groups and southern Shi'a dissidents

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC,

Diplomatic representation in the US: none; note - Iraq has an Interest
Section in the Algerian Embassy headed by Mr. Akram AL DOURI; address:
Iraqi Interests Section, Algerian Embassy, 2118 Kalorama Road NW,
Washington, DC 20008; telephone: (202) 265-2800; FAX: (202)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none; note - the US has an
Interests Section in the Polish Embassy in Baghdad; address: P. O. Box
2051 Hay Babel, Baghdad; telephone: (1) 718-9267; FAX: (1)

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white,
and black with three green five-pointed stars in a horizontal line
centered in the white band; the phrase ALLAHU AKBAR (God is Great) in
green Arabic script - Allahu to the right of the middle star and Akbar
to the left of the middle star - was added in January 1991 during the
Persian Gulf crisis; similar to the flag of Syria which has two stars
but no script and the flag of Yemen which has a plain white band; also
similar to the flag of Egypt which has a symbolic eagle centered in
the white band


Economy - overview: Iraq's economy is dominated by the oil sector,
which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange
earnings. In the 1980s, financial problems caused by massive
expenditures in the eight-year war with Iran and damage to oil export
facilities by Iran led the government to implement austerity measures,
borrow heavily, and later reschedule foreign debt payments; Iraq
suffered economic losses of at least $100 billion from the war. After
the end of hostilities in 1988, oil exports gradually increased with
the construction of new pipelines and restoration of damaged
facilities. Iraq's seizure of Kuwait in August 1990, subsequent
international economic sanctions, and damage from military action by
an international coalition beginning in January 1991 drastically
reduced economic activity. The government's policies of supporting
large military and internal security forces and of allocating
resources to key supporters of the regime have exacerbated shortages.
The implementation of the UN's oil-for-food program in December 1996
has helped improve economic conditions. For the first six six-month
phases of the program, Iraq was allowed to export limited amounts of
oil in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods. In
December 1999, the UN Security Council authorized Iraq to export under
the oil-for-food program as much oil as required to meet humanitarian
needs. Oil exports are now about three-quarters their prewar level.
Per capita food imports have increased significantly, while medical
supplies and health care services are steadily improving. Per capita
output and living standards are still well below the prewar level, but
any estimates have a wide range of error.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $59.9 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 13% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,700 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 13%
services: 81% (1993 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

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