Iran in a glance
Iran is located in the southern
part of the northern hemisphere on the arid belt of the world with a land area
of 1.64 million km2. Iran is bordered
by Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, and Armenia in north, Afghanistan and
Pakistan are on Iran's eastern border, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman in
the south and Iraq and Turkey in the west.
Two major mountain ranges affect
its climate; the Zagros in the west and the Alborz in the north. Most humid
clouds that come from the west are prevented from reaching central, eastern and
southern parts by these mountain ranges, so the central and southern lowlands
and eastern parts of the country receive very little precipitation. As the
result, approximately 65 percent of the territory has an arid or hyper arid
climate with the mean annual rainfall about 210 mm.
The peculiar features and location cause the
country to receive less than a third of world average precipitation except the
Caspian plain that receives more than 1000 mm of rain annually.
Due to low and unevenly distributed precipitation in these areas, most rivers are seasonal and their flows depend heavily upon the amount of rainfall. If rainfall is above average, flash floods are common. However, Iran’s topographic and climatic variations and edaphical conditions has created
different land uses and a unique collection of more than 8 thousand plant
species including shrub and tree species.
Iran is divided into 8 major
climatic regions. However, the humid climatic region may be further divided
into 6 sub-regions thereby creating 13 climatic regions in total. The diversity
of climate allows for a variety of agricultural and aquatic products including
the growing of citrus fruits, rice, and tea in large parts of the northern region
and pistachios and dates in central and southern parts of the country as well
as tropical fruits such as bananas and mangos. In cooler climates of the
mountain ranges grapes, almonds and apples are produced. There is a good
potential for further development of agriculture and aquaculture in most parts
of Iran, especially in the northern and southern regions.