Preface 30 years ago the world witnessed overthrow of dictatorial regime of the Shah in Iran, which materialized as a result of wise leadership of Imam Khomeini and strong determination of the absolute majority of the Iranian people to get rid of the said regime. Since the revolution, the country had “independence, freedom and Islamic Republic “as its main motto. A referendum was held to determine the type of government to rule the country; the outcome of which was “Islamic Republic “voted for by 98 percent of the people who participated in the referendum. So far 29 elections have been held in the country, each of which indicative of the scope of people’s participation in determining their destiny. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the most democratic country in the Middle East, is like a bridge in the heart of the region which links the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, as well as the east and west Asia together. Therefore, its security and stability can have undeniable effect on the entire Middle East region and west Asia. That’s why peaceful coexistence, promotion of bilateral relations and extensive regional and international cooperation are seriously pursued in Iran's foreign policy. Iran has gained lots of various achievements in different fields in recent years. These progresses have changed the living standards of the people in the country. Decreasing the illiteracy rate, regular economic growth, developments in service sector like tourism, up gradation of women living standards, developments in higher education, very rapid growth in heavy industry specially automobile industry are just few examples to describe the current Iran. Scaling up in science, technology and economy in Iran has culminated to increase the country's cooperation capabilities in international levels specifically regional scales.
In this article few aspects about the Islamic Republic of Iran will be described:
There are few countries in the world that every four seasons at the same time exist. Tourists, who visit the southern coasts of Iran in winter, can enjoy very pleasant weather and swim; while in the distance of 45 minuets fly, at the same time some cities like Tabriz and Tehran are cold enough that winter sports can be done. This climatic norm from the snowy mountains till the rainy forests and sunny deserts differs and has made an ecological beauty of Iran’s diversity of nature. Iran with rich cultural heritage and valuable and countless geographical and natural gifts, could turn into an important tourism centers. Furthermore, Iran as the cradle of the civilizations has the precious treasure of cultural heritage, which has been, remained more than 10 thousands years. Architecture, sculpture and so many different handicrafts like Iranian carpet are examples of antiquity of art in this country. The Iranian style of architecture is unique and creative. Perspolice, Passargadae and extraordinary edifices of Isfahan as well as the air traps of the central dessert region are the hall-mark of the Iranian architecture. Among different Iranian monuments, religious architectures are a significant part of Iran's cultural heritage and tourism industry. This architecture during different historical eras has proved to be an effective and beautiful piece of art. Tourism is becoming an increasingly popular way to boost economic growth in developing countries. Although Middle East countries enjoy just 2.1% of the global share of tourism industry, Iran tries to increase its potentials and capacities through identification and introduction of its numerous historical monuments, handicraft industries and eye catching architectures. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) is assisting Iran in embarking on a Tourism Development Master Plan, an ambitious 20-year plan in which Iran hopes to capture 1.5% of the world’s total tourist arrivals, about 20 million international tourists annually. This is not at all an unrealistic goal considering that the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) ranks Iran seventh in the world in terms of possessing historical monuments, museums, and other cultural attractions. To foster and expedite this trend, an estimated 5 billion US$ will be put forth by the government for preservation and restoration efforts of historical monuments as well as other tourism infrastructure needs. The Iranian people who are known for their hospitality, as well as the government, welcome every one of you to visit Iran
The significant role of free trade zones as centers of free taxation trade activities to absorb FDI along with the role of re-export regions is very important. Also bottlenecks in technical and industrial developments have been removed and the country is on the verge of a great economic progress. Owing to its rich oil and gas reserves, Iran has always been considered a very cost-effective market. Now with the addition of its industrial and productive capabilities various fields especially in oil, gas, petrochemicals, steel, power and also increase in its exports of manufactured goods, it will be changed into a much stronger market.
Women in Iran have equality, respect and the right to participate in all social, political and economic activities. They live their lives productively and with dignity. Throughout the 20th Century Iranian women have organized and fought for human and political rights, from the Constitutional Revolution at the turn of the century to the democratic movement that overthrew the Shah of Iran. They were strong participants in the 1979 revolution. After the victory of Islamic Revolution in Iran, the society was re-formed in accordance with Islamic standards. Bearing in mind that in pre- revolution era, Iran was fully influenced by western cultures based on considering women as a trading commodity, it was decided to replace this imported culture with genuine Islamic Ideology in which women should be held in high esteem and all their rights be observed... In accordance with the Article 111 of Law on National Development Plan the government shall take measures for the purpose of enhancing the role of women in the society, promoting opportunities for women and elevating their participation. More over there are lots of examples proving the interest of policy makers in Islamic Republic of Iran to have special concern to women societies. Women in Iran are active in social and political life of the country and have high profiles in the official governmental positions. Having a strong footprint in Islamic Legislative Assembly, President office and different ministries are few examples among the others. Also different NGOs running by women, as influential centers in Iran are widely active in different political, economic and benevolence contexts. The wide women participation in political, economic and social arenas in Iranian, has not affected the structure and basis of families as the most important basic element for formation of a society. Not only in the Constitution and civil laws but also in practice and directives they emphasized to preserve the dignity of the family and also sheltering of the children and their safe growth. In this regard the government has decreased the women working hours in governmental offices to enable them to join their families sooner.
Women' population relative to the total population of Iran (2006): 49.12% Women students' population in Iranian universities (2007): more than 52% against men's 48%. Women's population (2006): 34359720 Average population growth for women in the last decade: 1.52% Women' population relative to the total population of Iran (2006): 49.05% Gender ratio in 2006: 103.87 i.e. for every 103.87 men there were 100 women. Life expectancy for women at birth in 2007: 78.67 years, whereas it was 72.12 for men. Total TFR (the average number of children a woman gives birth to during her fertile years) in the year 2007: 2.12 children which has had a 1.7% and 3.9% reduction compared to last decade and 3 decades ago respectively. This shows a success in population control in Iran over the course of past years. The relative distribution of employed women of 10 years of age and more to the total number of employed population in the year 2006: 13.3% which has a 1.2% increase compared to 1996. Number of women employed by the government in year 2006: 788488 which a 14.53% increase has compared to 1997. The rate of unemployment among women i.e. the relative distribution of unemployed job-seeking women of 10 years of age and more to the total number of active women's population in the year 2006: 13.81% The relative distribution of literate women to the total number of literate people in the year 2006: 46.5% The relative distribution of Education Ministry's women staff to the total number of this Ministry's staff people in the educational year of 2006: 50.04% Number of female university gradates from either free or state universities in the year 2006: 198231 which has had a 208.98% and 13 times increase compared to 1996 and 1986 respectively. Number of female member of city and village councils in the 2nd term: 2336 The relative distribution of females in managerial positions to the total number of managers in the year of 2006: 23.79% Number of books published by Iranian female writers in the year 2007: over 9000 which has had 80% increase compared to 1997. Number of women filmmakers whose works became recognized in international film festivals out of Iran in the year 2007: 502 which has had a 58% increase compared to 1997. Number of women athletes under the aegis of Iranian Physical Education Ministry's sports delegations in the year 2008: over 870000 which have had a 47% increase compared to 1998.
Evidently, for the negotiations to bring about plausible result and pave the way for the advancement of the affairs, no preconditions should be put forward. It should as well be mainly intended to guarantee that Iran would not be deprived of its just and indisputable rights; and that its nuclear program would not be deviated from peaceful purposes. One of the controversial matters which some western countries has put forward to Islamic Republic of Iran is Iranian peaceful nuclear activities. Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the US administration made a contract with Iran for delivering nuclear fuel required by Tehran nuclear reactor but its implementation was halted after the revolution. More over Iran possesses 60 tons of UF6 in Europe which has not been delivered yet. The primary fuel of the Bushehr reactor which had been purchased by Iran from Siemens Company was confiscated for 25 years and later its export permit to Iran was cancelled. The Islamic Republic of Iran possesses %10 of Urodif Enrichment Factory share but has not yet received even 1 gram of uranium which was pressingly required for producing radio-isotopes which are used for medical purposes. To avoid such kinds of unfair behaviors, Iran decided to be independent in nuclear peaceful activities. Iranian nuclear program is completely peaceful and has always been carrying out under supervision of the IAEA. This program does not pose any threat to any country due to its peaceful nature. As the Great Leader and other high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have repeatedly announced, WMDs including nuclear weapons do not have any place in Iran’s defense doctrine. The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the main victims of use of WMDs and Iran is the first country that has proposed the plan for making the Middle-East free from nuclear weapons and has always been reiterating its position in this respect. The Islamic Republic of Iran has so far showed its high tolerance and good will for removing ambiguities on its nuclear policies and by adoption of confidence building measures has gone far beyond its obligations. In fact, Iran has extended its full cooperation with the IAEA inspectors and other concerned parties and has always been announcing its preparedness for settling remaining issues and removing ambiguities, if any, and negotiating on issues of mutual concerns. More than 2200 person/per day inspection to the Iranian nuclear facilities and activities, voluntary suspension of all enrichment related activities for more than two and half years, signing the Additional Protocol, voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol for more than two years, full and unlimited access of inspectors to all Iranian nuclear installations and materials, granting permits for supplementary access to installations based on the Additional Protocol, granting access to more than 26 military sites, presentation of more than 1000 pages of initial statements according to the Additional Protocol and making them up to date, as well as Iranian initiative presented by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the UN General Assembly for participation of interested governments and foreign companies in enrichment process in Iran, all are a part of activities and cooperation extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran in this respect in order to remove ambiguities. On the other hand, Iran still is committed to its obligations under Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement given the fact that the inspection program of the Agency have been continuing without any obstacle and delay according to the said Agreement. The Director General of the IAEA has repeatedly concluded that the Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran and all these activities remain under peaceful purposes. But regrettably it should be noted that this constructive attitude faced unjust and improper responses by sending this merely technical issue to the UNSC. The international community should be concerned about bolstering of unilateral approaches to the detriment of multilateral ones. Unilateral approaches and selective attitudes towards international issues will result in weakening of international institutes. For this very reason Iran condemn the double-standard approach of the west regarding its dead silence vis-à-vis the Zionist regime’s confession to be possessing nuclear weapons; while at the same time considering the peaceful activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, conducted in the framework of the regulations set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), as an act against the international security. Dealing with Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities should fall exclusively within the mandate of IAEA. Involvement of the UN Security Council in Iran’s nuclear issue has no legal basis. Iraq has so far had extensive cooperation with the Agency and they have made 24000 hours of inspection of Iran's installations. Imposing sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran will only bring about adverse effects, and will in no way prove to be dissuasive. On the contrary, with regard to the experiences made by the Islamic Republic of Iran during 30 years after its establishment, the sanctions will only prove to be a matter of reinforcement for the country, since they only make Iran more determined to materialize its independence, self-sufficiency and advancement of the programs devised to bring about development in to the country. Regarding the issue of nuclear energy, the Islamic Republic of Iran firmly believes that all the countries of the world have the right to make peaceful use of nuclear energy, and this right should not be monopolized by a few countries who intend to have hegemony over the world nations. Therefore, in line with the use of this right, we have always believed that negotiation, dialogue and understanding is the most logical solution for settling the issue.
Nanotechnology is a highly multidisciplinary field referring broadly to a field of applied science and technology whose unifying theme is the control of matter on the atomic and molecular scale, normally 1 to 100 nanometers, and the fabrication of devices with critical dimensions that lie with the size range. Since early 2001, Iran has initiated its activities to develop nanotechnology until upon an order by the President, acted its activities to develop nanotechnology until upon an order by the president, Iran nanotechnology initiative (INI) was established in August 2003, to promote nanotechnology. It is headed by the deputy president for science and technology affairs and consists of 6 ministers and 5 senior nanotechnology experts. The first national nanotechnology development plan, titled as "Future Strategy", was introduced in July 2005. The plan was then adopted by the cabinet ministers. The strategic plan outline country's action plan to be undertaken from 2005 through 2014 to develop nanotechnology in Iran. It devises short term (two year), mid – term (five year) and long term (ten year) activities. One of the main objectives of this plan is becoming one of 15 top tanking countries in nanotechnology and persisting to improve this position in order to achieve economic development. Table 1 shows nanotechnology's milestones in Iran. Right now, there are more than fifty companies working in nanotechnology field In Iran. Half of these companies are in mass production stage and the rest are in final product commercialization stages. Since development and improvement of Nano sciences is closely related to a country's scientific development in all areas, each year, and the Survey and Analysis workgroup of the INI evaluated papers on nanotechnology through defined indices from various countries using the ISI data bank and determines Iran's rank as compared to other countries. In 2001, Iran ranked 52nd with only 0.08% of the total shares of the nanotechnology related papers with 17 papers. Whereas in 2007, with 465 papers and holding 0.79%, it is ranked as 25th and is holding first rank among the Islamic and the Middle East countries. The ranking of various countries based on the average annual increase in share of nanotechnology – related papers in the years 2001 – 2007 indicates that Iran has had the highest growth rate with an average of 80.2% in generating nano – science. Thailand Malaysia, Portugal, Taiwan, South Korea and Norway hold the subsequent ranks, respectively. In additional to the number of papers, the quality of the papers produced in Iran has also improved remarkably during the same years. Evaluation of average citation per article to papers of various countries indicates that Iran's rank has risen to 25th in the year 2006 as compared with 43rd in 2001 and is placed first among Islamic and Middle East countries.
Peaceful coexistence, promotion of bilateral relations and extensive regional and international cooperation are seriously pursued in Iran's foreign policy. One of the achievements made by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the arena of foreign policy, has been adopting of strategic decisions for the purpose of defusing regional crises resulting from military attack by the United states of America on Afghanistan and Iraq, which led to occupation of those countries, under the pretext of campaign against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Iran has established constructive and interactive relations with the most countries in the world in different continents. This country is the active member of various international and regional institutions. United Nations, Islamic Conference Organization, Non Alignment Movement, ADC , Shanghai Group, D8, Eco among the others are examples in this arena. Iran has played a significant role in regional disputes and conflicts to create stabilization. The Iran's good office in Iraq and Afghanistan was very prominent. Further more, Iran has developed its relations with the regional countries in Persian Gulf and Asia. India has a unique stance among these countries. From the Iranian government point of view, India has always been a very close country to Iran with permanent constructive relations. The total amount of the bilateral trade between the two countries in fiscal year 2007-2008 has been about 11 US Billion Dollars. This figure has been witnessed a growth about 43% comparing the last year. Iran has always been against any tensions and believes to battle against every kinds of terrorism. One of the main challenges that Iran is facing today in the region and the world, is the issue of terrorism. The Islamic Republic of Iran has a long precedence of being a victim of this ominous phenomenon; which dates back to the very early days after the victory of the Islamic revolution, considering the fact that it has lost many of its authorities as well as ordinary people who were targeted by shameful violent and terrorist acts. With due regard to such a background, the country has time and again announced that it condemns terrorist acts and killing of innocent people in any of its forms; and calls for equitable and non-selective struggle against terrorism all over the world. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that instead of selective attitudes towards this organized phenomenon, its root causes and the grounds that facilitate its growth, including poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and occupation of others’ lands, be identified and eliminated; in order that the international community can live in an environment of peace and security which is essential for advancement of all human communities.
Iranian Statistical information
Population and People
Iran’s population in the year 2007 (according to the last census taken): 70495782 Population density in every square kilometer: 43 people Population growth rate: 1.6% Percentage of population residing in urban areas: 68.4% Percentage of population residing in rural areas: 31.6% The total number of families (year 2006): 17495951 families The total number of families residing in urban areas: 12401582 The total number of families residing in rural areas: 5094369 Population residing in cities: 48245075 people Population residing in villages: 22227771 people Men’s population relative to the total population of the country: 50.88% Women’s population relative to the total population of the country: 49.12% Moreover, the distribution of different age groups is as follows: Infants (0-4 years old) 7.75% Children (5-9 years old) 7.81% Teenagers (10-14 years old) 9.52% Youth (15-24 years old) 25.15% Middle-aged (25-64 years old) 44.57% Seniors (65-up years old) 5.19% Unspecified …………. 0.02% Active population of Iran (year 2006): 23466000 Employed population of Iran: 21769000 (92.25%) Unemployed population of Iran: 1697000 (7.75%) Total number housing units in Iran: over 16000000 units Number of the cities: 1115 Number of the villages: over 64000 villages. Percentage of the villages enjoying piped water: 80.21% Percentage of the villages enjoying piped gas: 20.9% Percentage of the villages enjoying electricity: 97.35% The most populous city of Iran: Tehran with 13413000 people The least populous city of Iran: Ilam with 545000 people
Number of hospitals (year 2008): over 780 units. Number of hospitals beds (year 2008): 114247. Number of urban health and hygiene centers (year 2008): 5521. Number of rural health and hygiene centers(year 2008): over 2430 units. Number of rehabilitation centers(year 2008): 2324, 1486 of which are privately run. Number of pharmacies (year 2008): 6699, 416 of which are affiliated to ministry of health and 6283 of which are privately run.
Industry, Mine and Energy
Number of the industrial workshops in Iran (year2007): less than 19000. Number of the industrial workshops belonging to the private sector: over 18000. Number of the industrial workshops belonging to the government: over 800. Number of the active mines in Iran: less than 4000. Number of the active mines by the public sector (governmental): 492 Number of the active mines by the private sector: 3550 Iran’s global place in terms of having underground oil reserves: 5th Iran’s global place in terms of having underground gas reserves: 2nd (after Russia) Iran’s capacity in producing crude oil (year 2007): 1700000000 barrels per year Number of the active refineries in Iran: 11 Iran’s capacity in producing rich gas (year 2007):less than 540000000 cube meters per day. Number of the cities having access to gas (by the end of the year 2007): 1129. Iran’s capacity in producing electricity (at the end year 2006): over 200 million Kilowatt hour. Number of people subscribed to electricity in Iran: over 2120000. Number of the active dams in Iran: 186 high dams and 320 short ones. Number dams under construction: 91 dams with the capacity of 10 billion cube meters of water supplying Iran’s global place in building dams: 3rd (after China and Turkey) Iran’s global place in terms of scientific management of water: among the top seven Production of electricity per capita (Kilo-watt hour): 2845. The consumption rate for houses (percentage): 36% The consumption rate for the industrial units (percentage): 34% The rate of electricity production by thermo-units (percentage): less than 90 %. The rate of electricity production by hydro-units (percentage): over 10%
Main rail lines in Iran (kilometer): 8837 kilometers Secondary rail lines in Iran (kilometer): 1833 kilometers Commercial-industrial rail lines in Iran (kilometer): iver 1000 kilometers Main asphalt roads in Iran (2008): 133000 kilometers Freeways in Iran: less than17000 kilometers Rural asphalt roads in Iran: 57000 kilometers Percentage of villages having access to asphalt roads: over 90% Iran's place in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of the number of the internet users: 1st Light fibers built in Iran: 73000 kilometers, 23000 kilometers of which are main and the rest (47000 kilometers) are secondary light fibers (intra-city). Number of TV sets in Iran: over 15000000.
Education and Post Graduate Education
Literacy rate (2008): 93.7% The total number of students in Iran in the year 2008: less than 2400000000. Number of elementary school students (first 5 year of education): more than 6 million Number of secondary school students (next 3 year of education): more than 4600000. Number of high school and pre-university students (last 4 year of education leading to diploma): more than 4500000. Number of teachers and instructors in different educational levels: 1180000. Number of classrooms: over 500000. Number of first grade students: over 1250000. Number of the educational institutes and schools in Iran: over 900000. Number of students studying in university or high education institutes: over 2400000. Number of female university students: 1331672. Number of male university students: 1146988. Number of community college students: less than 600000. Number of graduate students: 1623982. Number of post-graduate students: over 100000. Number of doctorate students: over 60000. Number of students admitted to high education centers in the educational year of 2008: 748218. Number of male students admitted to high education centers in the educational year of 2008: 340000. Number of female students admitted to high education centers in the educational year of 2008: over 400000.
Agriculture, Husbandry, Birds and Fishes
Agriculture's share of Gross National Product (2007): about 15% Agriculture's share of labor market (occupation): 21% Agriculture's share of total non-oil exports: 22% Agricultural production: 85 million tons including 62.5 million tons of farming products, 13.5 million tons of garden products, 8.6 million tons of livestock products, 455 thousand tons of fishery products (the numbers are relative) Iran's place in terms of the variety of garden products: 3rd in the world Iran's place in terms of agricultural products: among the top 10 countries in the world Iran holds the first place in the world in production of pistachio, saffron, dates, pomegranates, apricots and barberry; Iran holds the 3rd place in the world in production of watermelons, cucumber, hazelnut, lemon, almond, walnut and raisin; it also holds the 5th place in the world in production of green tea leaves, tangerine, melon, and cantaloupes, apricots and barberry; it hold the 6th place in the production of grapes and apples.
Area of Iran's forests in the year 2007: 142202559 hectares (8.75% of all Iran's lands) Area of Iran's pastures in the year 2007: 86103940 hectares (53.07% of all Iran's lands) Area of Iran's agricultural lands in the year 2007: 17665198 hectares Production of cut flowers: 1637000000 Production of pot flowers (kept in apartments): 42.6 million pots Production of honey: about 30000 tons. Production of read meat (2007): nearly 1000000 tons Production of poultry: nearly 1500000 tons Production of fish: 542000 tons Production of chicken eggs: nearly 1000000 tons. Production of milk: more than 8/5 million tons Number of meaty chicken raising units in Iran (2007): over 23000 (factories) Number of egg-laying chicken raising units in Iran (2007): over 2348 (factories) Young fish production for breeding: 350 millions Number of warm-water fish breeding farmlands: nearly 7280. Number of cold-water fish breeding farmlands: 743 Number of shrimp breeding farmlands: 357 Number of fishing vessels: over 11500.