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Background: Iran

Independence: April 1, 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed);

Adjacent Countries: Afghanistan (east), Armenia (northwest), Azerbaijan (northwest), Iraq (west), Pakistan (east), Turkey (northwest), Turkmenistan (north); Click Here for a map

Government: Theocratic Republic; Capital: Tehran
Chief of State: Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
Head of Gov't: President Mohammad KHATAMI (since 3 August 1997)

Population (July 2001 est.):
66,128,965

Infant mortality rate (2001 est.):
29.04 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth (2001 est.):
Total Population: 69.95 years
Male: 68.61 years
Female: 71.37 years

Ethnic groups:
Persian - 51%
Azeri - 24%
Gilaki and Mazandarani - 8%
Kurd - 7%
Arab - 3%
Lur - 2%
Baloch - 2%
Turkmen - 2%
other - 1%

Religions:
Shi'a Muslim - 89%
Sunni Muslim - 10%
Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i - 1%

Languages:
Persian/Persian dialects - 58%
Turkic/Turkic dialects - 26%
Kurdish - 9%
Luri - 2%
Balochi - 1%
Arabic - 1%
Turkish - 1%
other - 2%

Literacy: (definition: age 15 and over can read and write)(1994 est.)
Total Population: 72.1%
Male: 78.4%
Female: 65.8%