Iran`s nature and landscapes

 Iran is located in southwest Asia on a joint Near and Middle East. From the north it is washed by Caspian sea, from the south — Persian and gulf of Oman. Iran borders overland on seven states: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey; and also divides water area of Caspian sea with Russia and Kazakhstan, Persian gulf — with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, gulf of Oman — with Oman.

     On the territory area (1 648 000 km ?) Iran occupies 17 place in the world. Such five countries would be located on territory of Iran, as Germany. Simultaneously, the area of Iran is twice less than area of Yakutia. Practically all territory of the country, behind an exception of lowland Gilyan, Mazenderan, Golestan in the north and Xuzestan in the southwest, is located at height not less than 900 m above sea level. From the northwest on the southeast the mountain chain Zagros Mountains is stretched.

     Because of a droughty climate and a mountainous relief Iran does not possess sufficient water resources. In the country only one navigable river — Karun. The largest lake — Urmia, is located in the northwest of Iran. Nevertheless, Iran is rich with minerals, in particular hydrocarbons. Iran possesses the third in the world the oil stock, the second — natural gas, and also large stocks of coal, iron ore, manganese and zinc.

     The most part of territory of Iran is covered by mountains. The main range, Zagros Mountains, is stretched on 1500 km from the northwest on the southeast. The considerable quantity of peaks of Zagros mountains exceeds on height of 3000 m, and in the most high-mountainous area (Farce) — 4000 meters. Other large mountain chain, Elbrus, passes along the Iranian coast of Caspian Sea. In Elbrus the highest point of Iran — an extinct volcano Demavend (5610 m above sea level) is located.

     The area between Zagros Mountains and Elbrus occupies the Central plateau where the average height above sea level makes 900 m. East part of a plateau is covered by two large saline deserts: Deshte-Kevir and Deshte-Lut. Except for not numerous oases, this territory is uninhabited.

     In Iran only two extensive lowlands: Khuzestan plain in the southwest, and near-Caspian coastal lowland in the north. The first is continuation of Mesopotamic plain and leaves deep into the Iranian territory on 120—160 km where Zagros Mountains interrupt a chain. The height in all territory of plain does not exceed 3-5 meters above sea level. The near-Caspian lowland is stretched along seacoast on 640 km, thus its width does not exceed 40 km. In some places the coastal line from foot of Elbrus is separated by 2 km. Lengthways of the most parts of coast of the Persian and Oman gulfs of plains, as those, no as Zagros mountains reaches directly a coastal line.

The highest mountains

  • Demavend (5610)
  • Alam-kuh (4850)
  • Sabalan (4811)
  • Dena (4450)
  • Zard-kuh (4250)
  • Shir-kuh (4050)
  • Taftan (4025)
  • Tochal (3964)
  • Nezva (3810)
  • Sahand (3700)

     In Iran there are no large rivers, and navigable only one — Karun. Karun originates in Zagros Mountains (Cheharmehal and Bahtiaria) and proceeds, mainly, on territory of Khuzestan in the country southwest. River transport is used basically on a 180-kilometre site of the bottom current between the cities of Ahvass and Khorramshahr where Karun runs in Arvandrud (Shatt al Arab). The general extent of the river — 950 km. Other significant rivers: Karkheh, the Dez and Siyanda. The Considerable quantity of the small short rivers is available in the north of Iran, in particular in Mazenderan. All of them flow down off Elbrus and run into the Caspian (Hazaria) sea. The rivers in the central Iran are deep only during the short period of thawing of snow in mountains, but the most part of year they dry up.

     One of few reservoirs which never dry up — salty Lake Urmia in Southern Azerbaijan. However, the salt maintenance there is so high, that does not allow supporting a life in lake. Other lakes: Bahtagan, Gavhuni, Neyriz, Parishan, Neor, Sava. The group of small salty lakes settles down in the east of Iran — in Sistan and Baluchistan, near borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Not numerous fresh lakes are in Elbrus, to the north of Teheran.