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Iran Facts for Kids

Iran also is known as the Islamic Republic of Iran or Persia, is a sovereign state located on the west side of Asia.

The country shares a border with Afghanistan to the east, Pakistan to the south, Turkey and Iraq to the west, Azerbaijan to the northwest, Turkmenistan to the northeast, and Armenia to the north.

Iran Facts for Kids

  • The country’s total land area is 1,648,195 sq km (636,372 sq miles), making it the 17th largest country in the world.
  • The capital city is Tehran which is also the largest city.
  • The total population of the country is 82,021,564 (est. in July 2017).
  • The official language of the country is Persian but there are other recognized languages per region.
  • The country became independent in February 1979 and became officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran on the 1st April 1979 and that became the country’s national holiday.
  • The national anthem is called “Stroud-e Melli-ye Jomhouri-ye Eslami-ye Iran” (National anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran) and the national animal is the Lion.
  • The national sport is freestyle wrestling and the country has won many medals in the Olympic for it.
  • The people of Iran are called Iranian or Persians with the religion of the country being Islam and others. The major Islamic population is Twelver Shia Islam with about 90% to 95% of the state religion and roughly 8% are Sunni Muslims.
  • The currency used is called Rial (IRR).
  • The natural resources of the country include iron ore, coal, copper, lead, zinc, manganese, sulfur, chromium, natural gas, and petroleum.
  • The major industries are food processing (especially vegetable oil production and sugar refining), fertilizers, ferrous and nonferrous metal fabrication, textiles, caustic soda, armaments, petrochemicals, gas, and petroleum.
  • The country makes %91.99 billion (est. in 2017) on ore, fruits and nuts, cement, chemical and petrochemical, and majorly petroleum.
  • The country spends roughly $70.53 billion (est. in 2017) on capital goods, industrial supplies, foodstuffs, and other consumer goods and technical services.
  • From 323 BC, The Seleucid dynasty ruled over Iran and then the Parthian Empire, for the next four centuries; it became the Persian second empire.
  • In 637 AD, the empire was conquered by the Rashida Arabs and the country, and people started following the Islamic religion and helped contribute through their many artists, thinkers, scientist and scholars to the Golden Age of Islam.
  • Outside of Israel, the highest population of Jews in the Middle East lives in Iran. The Iranian government also acknowledges the Zoroastrianism, Sunni Muslims, Judaism and Christianity and even reserves a seat in the parliament. The Baha’I faith was persecuted and denied every civil right.
  • Iranian people all have a special bond with poetry and are known to be able to recite their favorite poems. Persian poetry is even said to be a huge influence on western poets like Wolfgang von Goethe to Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The word “paradise” originated from a word in Persia which means “enclosed garden” and Beautiful gardens are what the Persian culture is famous for.
  • Polo was used to train cavalry in the early 6th century B.C and it was created in Iran.
  • Iranians have a big festival on the first day of spring. Hard boil eggs representing every child in the family (one egg per child) is eaten by the mother and a table with 7 items started with letter “S” is then set in their native Farsi.
  • Sigheh is a short term marriage which is legal in Iran; the marriage can last from several hours to several years. The purpose is to serve as dating and if pre-marital sex is involved, it protects the woman from the potential scrutiny that comes with loss of virginity that practically makes them unmarriageable.
  • Persian Culture has a strong belief in education and it is seen as very important in the country more so that the science and engineering department has more women than man and they are many Ph.D. holders. The general belief is that the monitoring of internet usage and limited entertainment leaves nothing but study for Persians.
  • Homosexuality is an act punishable by death but sex-change operations are completely legal and the country sometimes funds the operation. Iran is only behind Thailand in terms of the number of sex changes in the world.
  • Iranian males believe in being able to provide basic amenities like housing but unemployment and house shortages have prevented them from marrying until they have money to afford it so the government created a $720 million fund to help facilitate marriage loans for people who want to marry.