Iran Map: Regions, Geography, Facts & Figures

Iran, officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country located in the Middle East, in the continent of Asia. It shares borders with Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. The capital city of Iran is Tehran, situated in the northern part of the country. Iran is strategically located along the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, separating the country from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Let's explore more about Iranian culture and the country itself!

If you want to discover more in-depth information on Iran as a country, check out our Iran Profile!

Plus, test your country knowledge with our Middle Eastern geography test, the Iran Map Quiz!

History of Iran

Iranian history dates back thousands of years. It was formerly known as Persia and has been an important center of civilization and culture throughout its history. The country has experienced various dynasties and empires, contributing to its diverse heritage. Iran has played a significant role in shaping the political landscape of the Middle East and has had interactions with neighboring countries like Iraq, Turkey, and Armenia.

Geography of Iran

Iran is geographically diverse, with a wide range of landscapes and natural features. The country is surrounded by several mountain ranges, including the Alborz and Zagros Mountains. The Caspian Sea borders Iran to the north, while the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman lie to the south. Iran is home to several vibrant and culturally rich cities that showcase its historical and contemporary significance.

The capital city, Tehran, is a bustling metropolis that serves as the center of the economic and political map of Iran. Other notable cities include Shiraz, known for its exquisite gardens and historical sites, Kerman with its stunning desert landscapes, and Yazd, famous for its unique architecture and ancient traditions. Isfahan, Tabriz, Qom, Mashhad, Hamadan, Ilam, and Bushehr are also among the major cities in Iran, each offering its own distinct charm and attractions.

Other intriguing parts of the country include Lake Urmia, the Karun River, and the Strait of Hormuz, which is a strategically important waterway located between Iran and Oman, connecting the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman.

Tourist Attractions in Iran

Iran offers a wealth of tourist attractions for visitors to explore. From historical sites to natural wonders, there is something for everyone. Some popular tourist destinations in Iran include:

  • Persepolis: The ancient city of Persepolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its impressive ruins.
  • Isfahan's Naqsh-e Jahan Square: A massive square surrounded by stunning Islamic architecture.
  • Shiraz's Pink Mosque: A beautiful mosque adorned with vibrant pink tiles.
  • The Caspian Sea Coastline: A popular destination for beach lovers.
  • Mountains and Deserts: Don’t miss the stunning landscapes of the Zagros Mountains and the deserts of Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut.
Tehran Skyline at Sunset
Image Source: Getty Images

People Also Ask...

If you're inspecting maps of Iran, you may have some queries about the region. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers.

Why Did Persia Change Its Name to Iran?

In 1935, the government of Persia changed its name to Iran. The new name was chosen to reflect the country's ancient pre-Islamic roots and represents both “Aryan” and “Land of the Aryans.” This change aimed to distance the country from its former imperial identity under the rule of Persian monarchs. The term “Iran” also has a positive connotation in the Middle East, but “Persia” is still used today by some people to refer to Iran.

Is Iran in Asia or Africa?

Iran is located in the Middle East and is part of both Asia and the larger region of Eurasia, but not Europe. It has a large coastline on the Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Caspian Sea and is located near Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Kuwait, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.

What Is Farsi?

Farsi is the official language of Iran and is a branch of the Indo-European language family. It belongs to the Western group of Iranian languages, including Kurdish, Mazandarani and Luri. Farsi is primarily spoken in Iran but also in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and parts of Iraq. Farsi has been influenced by Arabic and Turkish and has absorbed many loanwords from these languages.