Geography of Iran


Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Iran is a highland with a pelvic interior surrounded by high mountain ranges. Lowland is only along the two coastal stretches of the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf and the Oman Bay. Most of the country is higher than 460 m above sea level, one sixth more than 2,000 m above sea level. The whole area is part of the rock formation zone that extends from the Alps to the Himalayas.

The Zagros Mountains extend from the Armenian border into Iraqi Kurdistan and arcuate along the Persian Gulf.

Elburz is an arcuate mountain range zone south of the Caspian Sea. The highest of its volcanic peaks is Demavend, 5,671 m above sea level. Earthquakes are common in the area and are often severe. In the northwest, lava and volcanic ash cover large areas

Kopet Dagh is an east-west mountain range that continues east from Elburz and forms a border with Turkmenistan. There are peaks of more than 3,000 meters above sea level. North-south mountain roads also run along the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The inner plateau area has an altitude of 700-1 800 m above sea level. and crossed by several ridges. In the more even parts, deserts are spreading, among other things. The Kavir Desert and the Lut Desert, and in the lowest parts sink with poorly drained soil and salt marsh (cavir).

Only the mountain sides have streams that flow into the sea, eg. Karun, which flows into the Zagros Mountains and ends in Shatt al-Arab as well as Safid, which extends from the north side of Elburz into the Caspian Sea. The largest lake is Urmia in the northwest, while many smaller ones are temporary.

Brown forest soil and mountain soil are the most common soil moons in cooler and more humid areas, while brown soil and chestnut soil are found in drier parts.


Iran is in the belt of desert and steppe climate that spreads across southwestern Asia. Due to the altitude conditions, the temperature varies greatly, subpolar climates are found in the highest mountain areas and tropical in the coastal areas. According to BRIDGAT, the rainfall mainly falls during the winter, when low pressure from the Mediterranean migrates. The plateau area has hot summers, 25-30 ° C in average temperature and cold winters, 0-5 ° C, with little rainfall (below 250 mm per year). In the mountainous regions, the winter temperature drops to −20 ° C, while the coastal areas have average temperatures of 15 ° C in January and 35 ° C in July.

Plant Life

The slopes of the Elburz chain to the southern coast of the Caspian Sea have high rainfall and humidity, which allows a lush and rich forest of deciduous trees, such as wingnut and crustacean. At higher altitude, European types dominate, such as oaks, maples and ebooks. In shadows with rain shadows, small but plant-geographically interesting pockets of Mediterranean flora are found with cypress, for example. Both the Central European deciduous forest and the Mediterranean flora reach its eastern border here.

Most of the Iranian highland with low rainfall and severe climate is included in the Iranian-Turan flora area. The vegetation is sparse and very heavily grazed, typically in the form of low, prickly pads. The flora is a species with a high degree of endemism, for example the Cousinia genus with about 300 species in Iran, most endemic. The cushions are, for example, wood species (probably over 500, the largest genus in Iran) and Acantholiʹmon (family thrush plants).

The lower, usually drainless areas are desert almost without vegetation or with salt adapted amaranth plants, including the genus Haloʹxylon.

The southwest edge mountains, the Zagros Mountains, receive more rainfall and carry some sparse oak forests. There are many endemics here, but also a large element of Mediterranean species. The southernmost Iran belongs to the Sahara-Sindh flora area, mostly with desert and peninsular species that are widely distributed.


There are about 125 species of mammals in the country, 450 species of birds (including migratory birds) and just over 150 species of crustaceans and amphibians. vipers, cobras and agams. Lion has died out in the 1900s, and Caspian tiger (Pantheʹra tiʹgris virgaʹta) existed in the forests of the Caspian Sea until the 1970s, but is now probably extinct. Here you will also find leopard, brown bear, red fox, wolf, stone marten, red deer, deer and mountains in the mountains. In drier areas there are cheetahs (a few hundred animals), caracal, golden shawl, streaked hyena, mungo, half-ash, dorkas gas and demand gas (Gazeʹlla subgutturoʹsa). In the south there are honey badgers, jungle cat (Feʹlis chaus [-a u s]), white-necked porcupine (Hyʹstrix iʹndica) and running rats.

Many species of birds of prey, including dwarf eagles, sea eagles and five species of vultures, as well as six species of avian and eleven species of rock washes. In the mountains to the north are Caspian snow hen (Tetraogaʹllus caʹspius) and in eastern Iran the endemic, only 25 cm long crowed Iranian desert war (Podoʹces pleʹskei). Ducks, geese, egrets and waders winter in rivers and lakes.

Nature conservation

In 2010, Iran had 16 national parks as well as a large number of protected areas, corresponding to 7% of the country’s area. The two largest national parks are Lake Urmia, a large bird-rich salt lake in northwestern Iran, and Kavir, a partially mountainous peninsula in the Kavir Desert southeast of Tehran.