Iran covers 1,648,195 sq. kilometers in southwestern Asia. Its strategic position, its vast resources, including petroleum, natural gas and minerals, its population amounting to 80 million, and its unique cultural aspects make it a country of high importance.
Both the history and geography of Iran make it highly popular for visitors. The former gives it numerous spectacular monuments and the latter provides it with a climate full of variety.
The northern coastal region with luxuriant forests; southern coasts with forests of tidewater (mangroves); deserts with their mysterious calmness; impressive lake such as Urmia, Hammun, Parishan, Ne’ur, Sama and Zarivar; and snow-clad mountains of Damavand, Dena, Karkas, Sabalan, and Tochal are among the beauties of Iran’s nature.
Despite all these, two-thirds of Iran is covered by deserts. Lut desert which is the hottest spot in the world is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, salt lakes located in this dry climate, such as Qom Salt Lake and Aran-o Bidgol Salt Lake are other examples of Iran’s natural attractions.
Iran’s complex climate ranges from subtropical to subpolar. It is mild and humid in the Caspian region, but warm and humid in the southern shores. The north-western and north-eastern areas are cold and dry, while the central part has a desertic climate. In the heights of Zagros and Alborz, you can enjoy mild weather in summer.
In fact, because of this complex climate, Iran is famed for having four distinct seasons at the same time, so, one can go skiing in the northern mountains and swimming in the southern waters in the same season.
Plant and animal life are varied too. Wildlife includes leopards, bears, mouflon, ibex, wild donkeys and wild boars. Studies have revealed the presence of a remarkably wide variety of reptiles like crocodiles and turtles. Some 200 species of fish live in the Persian Gulf. Sturgeon is one of 30 species found in the Caspian Sea.