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About IRAN

About Iran
Persia or Iran?
Present Iran was historically referred to as Persia until 1935 when Reza Shah -Pahlavi king -formally asked the international community to call the country Iran. But In 1959 due to controversial debates over the name, it was announced that both could be used. Now it is officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Where is Iran?
Iran is situated in southwest  of Asia and borders the three CIS states, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Turkmenistan, as well as the Caspian Seas to the north, Turkey and Iraq to the west, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south and Pakistan and Afghanistan to the east.
About Iran
Once  as one of the most powerful civilizations of the earth, Iran sits at the intersection of the Arab world, Asia, Russia, and Europe.  This geostrategic location, combined with its abundance of oil and natural gas, endows it with considerable regional and international relevance. Iran is country of mountains and deserts. Eastern Iran is dominated by a high plateau, with large salt flats and vast sand deserts. The plateau is surrounded by even higher mountains, including the Zagros to the west and the Alborz to the north.The highest mountain is a dormant volcano which is the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East about 5600 meter high in Alborz mountain range. The Alborz captures moisture of the Caspian Sea and causes more rain and humidity in its northern slopes where one of the oldest forests with specific Flora it is called Hyrcanian Forest.
With a population of about 80 million, Iran is the world’s 18th most popular country. From 1880 till 1920 the population of Iran remained at 10 million or below. From 1920 on it increased steadily, and its population reached 20 million by 1955. Then, according to the statistics, the drastic increase made the population reach 50 million in 1985. After increasing to 60 in 1995, it grew straight up to 70 million in 2005. The population statistics graph shows how dramatically the population had been increasing through the years, and now the population of Iran is over 78 million. More than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 30, one quarter being 15 years of age or younger.  
The main language of Iran is Persian, also called Farsi. Many other languages are spoken by members of different ethnic groups.
Government
Iran is a theocratic Islamic republic governed under the constitution of 1979 ratified by 98% of people. Elected officers and bodies hold the real power in the government.. The supreme leader oversees the military and judiciary and appoints members of the Guardian Council and the Expediency Discernment Council. The former, some of whose members are appointed by the judiciary and approved by parliament, works in close conjunction with the government and must approve both candidates for political office and legislation passed by parliament. The latter is a body responsible for resolving disputes between parliament and the Guardian Council over legislation. The president, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, serves as the head of government. The unicameral legislature consists of the 290-seat Islamic Consultative Assembly, whose members are elected by popular vote for four-year terms. Administratively, Iran is divided into 31 provinces.

History in Brief
Iran is one of the oldest civilization of the world. It is more than nine thousand years old and it is one of the oldest countries. The history of settlement in Iran goes back to the New Stone Age. One of the oldest civilization centers where human being settled are near Zagros and Alborz mountains. The First inhabitants of Iran were a race of people living in western Asia. When the Aryans arrived, they gradually started mingling with the old native Asians. Aryans were a branch of the people today known as the Indo-Europeans, and are believed to be the ancestors of the people of present India, Iran, and most of Western Europe.
Recent discoveries indicate that, centuries before the rise of earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia, Iran was inhabited by human. But the written history of Iran dates back to 5000 BC. It begins with Ilimites mostly in south and south west and continued with Medians the early Achaemenid -the dynasty whose under the first Iranian world empire blossomed-. 
Cyrus the Great was the founder of the empire and he is the first to establish the charter of human rights. In this period Iran stretched from the Aegean coast of Asia Minor to Afghanistan, as well as west to Egypt. The Achaemenid Empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great in 330 BC and was followed by The Seleucid descendant of Alexander. 
After the Seleucids, dozens of  successive dynasties reigned over the country, Dynasties such as Parthian, Sassanid, Samanid, Ghaznavid, Safavid, Zand, Afsharid, Qajar and Pahlavi. In 641 Arabs conquered Iran and launched a new era. Persians, who were the followers of Zoroaster, gradually turned to Islam and it was in Safavid period when Shiite Islam became the official religion of Iran. 
Since Qajar dynasty on, due to the inefficiency of the rulers, Iran intensely begins to decline and gets smaller and smaller. The growing corruption of the Qajar monarchy led to a constitutional revolution in 1905-1906. The Constitutional Revolution marked the end of the medieval period in Iran, but the constitution remained a dead letter. 
During World Wars I and II the occupation of Iran by Russian, British troops was a blow from which the government never effectively recovered. 
In 1979, the nation, under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, erupted into revolution and the current Islamic republic of Iran was founded.
Throughout Iran's long history, in spite of different devastating invasions and occupations by Arabs, Turks, Mongols, British, Russians, and others, the country has always maintained its national identity and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.
Variety of ethnic groups
When you take one or two weeks traveling in Iran, you will notice the variety of ethnic groups in Iran. Persians, Kurds, Azeris, Balochis, Gilakis, Armenians, Assyrians, Turcomans Arabs, etc are among these groups. They have their own dialects, languages, etc and follow the traditions that are, at times, thousands of years old.
There are still some nomads living in Iran pursuing the same migrating models of their ancestors. You may happen to see them or ask your travel agent to organize such meetings with them during your tours to Iran. Bakhtiari, Qashqai, Shahsavan, etc tribes are living at different parts of Iran and a visit to Iran may bring about a meeting with them.
Nomad Tribes of Iran
There are about one and a half million Nomads in modern Iran, extending from the border of Turkistan to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. Most of these tribes, the Kurds, the Lors, the Bakhtiaris, the Gilaks (on the Caspian Coast), the Baluchis, are the original invaders who, in the first millennium BC, swept down from Central Asia and settled in various parts of the Iranian Plateau. Mostly the tribes of central Iran are pure Aryan ,there are also other tribes such as the Arabs of Khuzestan and Khorassan, the Turkish tribes of Quchan, the Qashqai tribes, the Shahsevan and Afshar tribes of Azarbaijan and the Turkmans are remaining of races that have passed through Iran at various periods of history.

Traditionally, there has always existed a close link in Iran between the ruling dynasty and the domination of one particular tribe or ethnic group. In the 20th century, some governments have in vain attempted to carry out national integration, or Personalization, of this heterogeneous population in the hope that tribal and Cultural distinctions would disappear with the economic and political development of the country.
There are many divisions and sub-Divisions for each of the main tribes and tens of smaller tribes. With the expansion of education and better communications the young generation of Iranian tribes has made great progress supplying very intelligent engineers, medical men, administrators, scientists and even women doctors to serve the country.
Today there are over a hundred different tribes, each with its own dialect, picturesque dress, dwelling-place and chief. The most important tribes are as follows:
Afshars and Shahsavans
having arrived in Iran in two waves under the Seljuks and the Mongols in 11th and 13th centuries, respectively, Afshars are pastoral nomads. They have their summer quarters on the slopes of the SabalanMountain at 4, 860 meters (Azarbaijan), between Lake Orumieh and Qazvin and Hamadan, and their winter quarters are in the hot plains of Moghan, near the Caspian Coast. Some Afshar tribes are also scattered in areas between Kerman and Bandar-e Abbas in southern Iran. Today, an ever-increasing number of Afshars have settled down and became farmers.
Living in the northeastern Azarbaijan province, Shahsevans (renamed II Sevan after the victory of Islamic Revolution) were organized by Shah Abbas I in the 17th century as a militia from tribes of diverse origin. Mainly Turkish speaking, they were used to put down rebellions of other tribes. They were divided between Iranian Azarbaijan and the Russian or former Soviet Azarbaijan after the occupation of part of our country by the aggressive Russian forces during the Qajar dynasty . Tamim and Khamis. A small population of Arab tribes, descendants of early emigrants, lives in eastern Khorassan near Bojnurd and in some places in Fars.
Bakhtiaris
They dwell in the high grounds of ZardKuh mountain (Zagros range to the west of Esfahan) extending to the south of Esfahan, and around Shahr-e Kurd, with winter quarters in Khuzestan, particularly the kinder plains around Dezful, Susa, and Ramhormoz. They are divided into two main groups, the Haft Lang and the Chahar Lang, subdivided in turn into several tribes and sub-tribes or tayefeh. Most Bakhtiaris speak Persian or a Luri dialect, although part of the populations, concentrated in the towns and villages in the south of Khuzestan province, speak Arabic. Their clothing, with wide trousers, round hat and short tunic, is reminiscent of the Arsasid (Parthian) period, 200 BC-280 AD.                                                                                                                                           
Baluchs
Originating in Khorassan, the northeastern province of Iran, they are scattered and live in the Mokran region far southeast of the country, a vast area from the Pakistan border to the Iranian deserts. Their language is pure Persian. Nowaday mainly settled in urban centers such as Zahedan, the Baluch tribes consist of many different smaller tribes, making their living out of camel herding and agriculture.
Gilak
These tribes are among the most original tribes of Iran, speaking a pure Persian dialect and dwelling in the maritime provinces of Iran. Their number is dwindling, but one can still see the remnants of these stoic tribes in Talish.
Kurds
The Kurdish people of Iran occupy a vast area from the northernmost borderline of Azarbaijan to the hot plain of Khuzestan. Descendants of the Indo-European tribes that arrived in Iran in the first millennium BC, they speak an old Persian dialect and regard themselves as the descendants of the Medes. Kurds are to be found mainly in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. In Iran, they consist of many tribes, of which the chief branches are:
The northern Kurds of Maku and northwestern Azarbaijan; 
The Mahabad Kurds, dwelling in the area between Lake Orumieh and the mountains of Kurdestan proper and the Khorassan; 
The Kurds of Sanandaj with subdivisions in Paveh, Saqqez, and the Iraqi border; 
The Kurds of Kermanshah, from the Zagros mountains to the Khuzestan plain. 
Lors
They are probably the most intact tribes of Iran, retaining their robustness, virility, and tall stature. They are mostly cultivators and shepherds and occupy the high grounds of Lorestan, south of Kurdestan, and Kermanshah provinces.
The Lorsare thought to be a division of the ancient Kurds, both tribes being considered true descendants of the Medes. The MamasaniLors dwelling in western mountains of Fars form one of the most important clans.
Qashqais
These Turkish-speaking tribesmen representing a dominant ethno-linguistic. They dwell among the high mountains of Fars province. Traditionally, they wintered on pastures in the foothills of the Zagros to south and west of Shiraz, near the Persian Gulf, and moved north to the mountains in the spring. Their dress is almost the same as that of the Bakhtiaris, except for the hat, which resembles Napoleonic headgear.                                                                                             
Turkamans
they descend from the Mongols who arrived in Iran very early on, in the 11th century AD, and are powerfully built, with high cheekbones and slanting eyes. They live in the northeast of the country, north of Khorasan and east of Mazandaran. They dwell on the vast flat lands of Turkmansahra, which is situated between the Caspian Coast and the southern mountains. Today, they constitute the most active agriculturists and fishermen of the region, and unlike the other ethnic groups, they are Sunni.

About Iran for Hamsafaran Alborz

 

Persia or Iran?

Present Iran was historically referred to as Persia until 1935 when Reza Shah -Pahlavi king -formally asked the international community to call the country Iran. But In 1959 due to controversial debates over the name, it was announced that both could be used. Now it is officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Where is Iran?

Iran is situated in southwest  of Asia and borders the three CIS states, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Turkmenistan, as well as the Caspian Seas to the north, Turkey and Iraq to the west, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south and Pakistan and Afghanistan to the east.

About Iran
Once as one of the most powerful civilizations of the earth, Iran sits at the intersection of the Arab world, Asia, Russia, and Europe.  This geostrategic location, combined with its abundance of oil and natural gas, endows it with considerable regional and international relevance. Iran is country of mountains and deserts. Eastern Iran is dominated by a high plateau, with large salt flats and vast sand deserts. The plateau is surrounded by even higher mountains, including the Zagros to the west and the Alborz to the north.The highest mountain is a dormant volcano which is the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East about 5600 meter high in Alborz mountain range. The Alborz captures moisture of the Caspian Sea and causes more rain and humidity in its northern slopes where one of the oldest forests with specific Flora it is called  Hyrcanian Forest.

With a population of about 80 million, Iran is the world’s 18th most popular country. From 1880 till 1920 the population of Iran remained at 10 million or below. From 1920 on it increased steadily, and its population reached 20 million by 1955. Then, according to the statistics, the drastic increase made the population reach 50 million in 1985. After increasing to 60 in 1995, it grew straight up to 70 million in 2005. The population statistics graph shows how dramatically the population had been increasing through the years, and now the population of Iran is over 78 million. More than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 30, one quarter being 15 years of age or younger.  

The main language of Iran is Persian, also called Farsi. Many other languages are spoken by members of different ethnic groups.

Government

Iran is a theocratic Islamic republic governed under the constitution of 1979 ratified by 98% of people. Elected officers and bodies hold the real power in the government.. The supreme leader oversees the military and judiciary and appoints members of the Guardian Council and the Expediency Discernment Council. The former, some of whose members are appointed by the judiciary and approved by parliament, works in close conjunction with the government and must approve both candidates for political office and legislation passed by parliament. The latter is a body responsible for resolving disputes between parliament and the Guardian Council over legislation. The president, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, serves as the head of government. The unicameral legislature consists of the 290-seat Islamic Consultative Assembly, whose members are elected by popular vote for four-year terms. Administratively, Iran is divided into 31 provinces.

 

History in Brief

Iran is one of the oldest civilization of the world. It is more than nine thousand years old and it is one of the oldest countries. The history of settlement in Iran goes back to the New Stone Age. One of the oldest civilization centers where human being settled are near Zagros and Alborz mountains. The First inhabitants of Iran were a race of people living in western Asia. When the Aryans arrived, they gradually started mingling with the old native Asians. Aryans were a branch of the people today known as the Indo-Europeans, and are believed to be the ancestors of the people of present India, Iran, and most of Western Europe.

Recent discoveries indicate that, centuries before the rise of earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia, Iran was inhabited by human. But the written history of Iran dates back to 5000 BC. It begins with Ilimites mostly in south and south west and continued with Medians the early Achaemenid -the dynasty whose under the first Iranian world empire blossomed-. 

Cyrus the Great was the founder of the empire and he is the first to establish the charter of human rights. In this period Iran stretched from the Aegean coast of Asia Minor to Afghanistan, as well as west to Egypt. The Achaemenid Empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great in 330 BC and was followed by The Seleucid descendant of Alexander. 

After the Seleucids, dozens of  successive dynasties reigned over the country, Dynasties such as Parthian, Sassanid, Samanid, Ghaznavid, Safavid, Zand, Afsharid, Qajar and Pahlavi. In 641 Arabs conquered Iran and launched a new era. Persians, who were the followers of Zoroaster, gradually turned to Islam and it was in Safavid period when Shiite Islam became the official religion of Iran. 

Since Qajar dynasty on, due to the inefficiency of the rulers, Iran intensely begins to decline and gets smaller and smaller. The growing corruption of the Qajar monarchy led to a constitutional revolution in 1905-1906. The Constitutional Revolution marked the end of the medieval period in Iran, but the constitution remained a dead letter. 
During World Wars I and II the occupation of Iran by Russian, British troops was a blow from which the government never effectively recovered. 

In 1979, the nation, under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, erupted into revolution and the current Islamic republic of Iran was founded.

Throughout Iran's long history, in spite of different devastating invasions and occupations by Arabs, Turks, Mongols, British, Russians, and others, the country has always maintained its national identity and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.

 

Variety of ethnic groups

 

When you take one or two weeks traveling in Iran, you will notice the variety of ethnic groups in Iran. Persians, Kurds, Azeris, Balochis, Gilakis, Armenians, Assyrians, Turcomans Arabs, etc are among these groups. They have their own dialects, languages, etc and follow the traditions that are, at times, thousands of years old.

There are still some nomads living in Iran pursuing the same migrating models of their ancestors. You may happen to see them or ask your travel agent to organize such meetings with them during your tours to Iran. Bakhtiari, Qashqai, Shahsavan, etc tribes are living at different parts of Iran and a visit to Iran may bring about a meeting with them.

 

 

Nomad Tribes of Iran

There are about one and a half million Nomads in modern Iran, extending from the border of Turkistan to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. Most of these tribes, the Kurds, the Lors, the Bakhtiaris, the Gilaks (on the Caspian Coast), the Baluchis, are the original invaders who, in the first millennium BC, swept down from Central Asia and settled in various parts of the Iranian Plateau. Mostly the tribes of central Iran are pure Aryan ,there are also other tribes such as the Arabs of Khuzestan and Khorassan, the Turkish tribes of Quchan, the Qashqai tribes, the Shahsevan and Afshar tribes of Azarbaijan and the Turkmans are remaining of races that have passed through Iran at various periods of history.

Traditionally, there has always existed a close link in Iran between the ruling dynasty and the domination of one particular tribe or ethnic group. In the 20th century, some governments have in vain attempted to carry out national integration, or Personalization, of this heterogeneous population in the hope that tribal and Cultural distinctions would disappear with the economic and political development of the country.

There are many divisions and sub-Divisions for each of the main tribes and tens of smaller tribes. With the expansion of education and better communications the young generation of Iranian tribes has made great progress supplying very intelligent engineers, medical men, administrators, scientists and even women doctors to serve the country.

Today there are over a hundred different tribes, each with its own dialect, picturesque dress, dwelling-place and chief. The most important tribes are as follows:

 

 

Afshars and Shahsavans
having arrived in Iran in two waves under the Seljuks and the Mongols in 11th and 13th centuries, respectively, Afshars are pastoral nomads. They have their summer quarters on the slopes of the SabalanMountain at 4, 860 meters (Azarbaijan), between Lake Orumieh and Qazvin and Hamadan, and their winter quarters are in the hot plains of Moghan, near the Caspian Coast. Some Afshar tribes are also scattered in areas between Kerman and Bandar-e Abbas in southern Iran. Today, an ever-increasing number of Afshars have settled down and became farmers.

Living in the northeastern Azarbaijan province, Shahsevans (renamed II Sevan after the victory of Islamic Revolution) were organized by Shah Abbas I in the 17th century as a militia from tribes of diverse origin. Mainly Turkish speaking, they were used to put down rebellions of other tribes. They were divided between Iranian Azarbaijan and the Russian or former Soviet Azarbaijan after the occupation of part of our country by the aggressive Russian forces during the Qajar dynasty . Tamim and Khamis. A small population of Arab tribes, descendants of early emigrants, lives in eastern Khorassan near Bojnurd and in some places in Fars.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                

 Bakhtiaris
They dwell in the high grounds of ZardKuh mountain (Zagros range to the west of Esfahan) extending to the south of Esfahan, and around Shahr-e Kurd, with winter quarters in Khuzestan, particularly the kinder plains around Dezful, Susa, and Ramhormoz. They are divided into two main groups, the Haft Lang and the Chahar Lang, subdivided in turn into several tribes and sub-tribes or tayefeh. Most Bakhtiaris speak Persian or a Luri dialect, although part of the populations, concentrated in the towns and villages in the south of Khuzestan province, speak Arabic. Their clothing, with wide trousers, round hat and short tunic, is reminiscent of the Arsasid (Parthian) period, 200 BC-280 AD.

 

      

    

                                                                                                                                                

 Baluchs
Originating in Khorassan, the northeastern province of Iran, they are scattered and live in the Mokran region far southeast of the country, a vast area from the Pakistan border to the Iranian deserts. Their language is pure Persian. Nowaday mainly settled in urban centers such as Zahedan, the Baluch tribes consist of many different smaller tribes, making their living out of camel herding and agriculture.

 

      

                                                                                                                                                

 

Gilak
These tribes are among the most original tribes of Iran, speaking a pure Persian dialect and dwelling in the maritime provinces of Iran. Their number is dwindling, but one can still see the remnants of these stoic tribes in Talish.

 

                                                                                                                                                          

 

                                                                                                                                                

 Kurds

The Kurdish people of Iran occupy a vast area from the northernmost borderline of Azarbaijan to the hot plain of Khuzestan. Descendants of the Indo-European tribes that arrived in Iran in the first millennium BC, they speak an old Persian dialect and regard themselves as the descendants of the Medes. Kurds are to be found mainly in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. In Iran, they consist of many tribes, of which the chief branches are:

The northern Kurds of Maku and northwestern Azarbaijan; 
The Mahabad Kurds, dwelling in the area between Lake Orumieh and the mountains of Kurdestan proper and the Khorassan; 
The Kurds of Sanandaj with subdivisions in Paveh, Saqqez, and the Iraqi border; 
The Kurds of Kermanshah, from the Zagros mountains to the Khuzestan plain. 

 

      

    

 

                                                                                                                                                

 Lors
They are probably the most intact tribes of Iran, retaining their robustness, virility, and tall stature. They are mostly cultivators and shepherds and occupy the high grounds of Lorestan, south of Kurdestan, and Kermanshah provinces.
The Lorsare thought to be a division of the ancient Kurds, both tribes being considered true descendants of the Medes. The MamasaniLors dwelling in western mountains of Fars form one of the most important clans.

 

      

                                                                                                                                                

 

                         

Qashqais
These Turkish-speaking tribesmen representing a dominant ethno-linguistic. They dwell among the high mountains of Fars province. Traditionally, they wintered on pastures in the foothills of the Zagros to south and west of Shiraz, near the Persian Gulf, and moved north to the mountains in the spring. Their dress is almost the same as that of the Bakhtiaris, except for the hat, which resembles Napoleonic headgear.

      

                                                                                                                                                

 

                                                                                                                                                

Turkamans
they descend from the Mongols who arrived in Iran very early on, in the 11th century AD, and are powerfully built, with high cheekbones and slanting eyes. They live in the northeast of the country, north of Khorasan and east of Mazandaran. They dwell on the vast flat lands of Turkmansahra, which is situated between the Caspian Coast and the southern mountains. Today, they constitute the most active agriculturists and fishermen of the region, and unlike the other ethnic groups, they are Sunni.

 



“ About IRAN ”