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IRAN

Climate

Iran's climate ranges from arid or semiarid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests. On the northern edge of the country (the Caspian coastal plain) temperatures nearly fall below freezing and it remains humid for the rest of the year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 29 °C (85 °F). Annual precipitation is 680 mm (27 in) in the eastern part of the plain and more than 1,700 mm (67 in) in the western part. To the west, settlements in the Zagros basin experience lower temperatures, severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall. The eastern and central basins are arid, with less than 200 mm (eight in) of rain, and have occasional deserts. Average summer temperatures exceed 38 °C (100 °F). The coastal plains of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in southern Iran have mild winters, and very humid and hot summers. The annual precipitation ranges from 135 to 355 mm (five to fourteen inches).

Location

Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, formerly known internationally as Persia until 1935, is a country in Central Eurasia, located on the northeastern shore of the Persian Gulf. Since 1949, both the names "Persia" and "Iran" are used, however Iran is used for official and political context. The name Iran is a cognate of Aryan, and means "Land of the Aryans".

Economy

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. Its economic infrastructure has been improving steadily over the past two decades but continues to be affected by inflation and unemployment. In the early 21st century the service sector contributed the largest percentage of the GDP, followed by industry (mining and manufacturing) and agriculture. In 2006, about 45% of the government's budget came from oil and natural gas revenues, and 31% came from taxes and fees. Government spending contributed to an average annual inflation rate of 14% in the period 2000–2004. Iran has earned $70 billion in foreign exchange reserves mostly (80%) from crude oil exports (2007). In 2007, the GDP was estimated at $206 billion ($852 billion at PPP), or $3,160 per capita ($12,300 at PPP). Iran's official annual growth rate was at 6% (2008). Because of these figures and the country’s diversified but small industrial base, the United Nations classifies Iran's economy as semi-developed.


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