Education in Iran

Iran – education

The school system, based on Islamic traditions, is public and includes a five-year primary school followed by a three-year guidance and orientation stage; tuition at these stages is free. The subsequent four-year postgraduate education is divided into a technical business line and an academic line. Promotion throughout the education system depends on the individual student’s exam results at the end of a school year. Access to higher education is based on centrally designed tests.

There are 126 higher education institutions (1990) as well as Open University and distance learning. The compulsory curricula are formulated centrally. Participation in education at all levels doubled in the 1980’s; especially for girls and women there has been an increase.

OFFICIAL NAME: Jomhuri-e Islami-e Iran ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran’


POPULATION: 80,800,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)

AREA: 1,650,000 km²

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Persian (Farsi), Arabic and Iranian languages, Kurdish, and Turkish languages, Azerbaijani

RELIGION: Shia Muslims 89%, Sunni Muslims 9%, Christians, Jews, Zarathustrians and Baha’is 2%

COIN: rial


POPULATION COMPOSITION: Persians 51%, Azerbaijanis 20%, Kurds 11%, Arabs 3%, Baluchs 2%, Lurks 2%, others 11%

GDP PER residents: $ 12,800 (2013)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 69.3 years, women 72.5 years (2014)




Iran, formerly Persia, is a republic of West Asia. Iran is among the most populous countries in the Middle East; The country has some of the world’s largest oil and natural gas reserves and is strategically located north of the Persian Gulf. The name Iran comes from Middle Persian Ērān, and means ‘the land of the nobles (Aryans)’.

  • Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as IR which stands for Iran.

Iran is one of the great powers of the region. Until the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran, along with Israel, was the United States’ main ally in the Middle East, but after the establishment of the clerical regime, the United States and large parts of the rest of the world see Iran as a strategic main enemy. Iran is accused, among other things, to support Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as several terrorist organizations in the region. The development of nuclear reactors in the country has further isolated it. The country’s economy is heavily dependent on the enormous oil and gas production, while development in the other sectors has been slow under clerical rule, among other things under the impression of the country’s foreign policy isolation.

Iran – Constitution

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic is from 1979 with amendments from 1989, which abolished the post of Prime Minister and strengthened the position of the President. The Constitution states that Islam is the foundation of society. Legislative power lies with the Islamic Advisory Assembly, Majlis, whose 270 members are elected for a four-year term by direct universal suffrage.

To ensure that the bills are in accordance with Islamic law, they must be sent to the Council for the Protection of the Constitution, which consists of 12 members, 6 of whom are appointed by the religious head, 6 by the judiciary. An expert council of 83 members, all clerical, will, among other things. determine who should be the religious head.

The executive power rests with the president, who is elected for a four-year term by direct universal suffrage. The president appoints the ministers, but is ultimately subordinate to the religious leader.

Iran – economy

Under Ayatollah Khomeini’s leadership, the 1979 clerical regime tightened control over the economy through the nationalization of major industries, important parts of foreign trade, and the financial sector. Eight years of war against Iraq and falling oil prices led Iran into a period of economic stagnation, rising unemployment and high inflation in the 1980’s.

After Khomeini’s death in 1989, President Hashemi Rafsanjani carried out some liberalization of the economy, and an expansion of the agro-industry and the chemical industry were given higher priority in an attempt to diversify the economy.

Iran is highly dependent on developments in oil prices and had to face large current account deficits towards the end of the 1970’s, resulting in foreign debt. Under Khomeini’s rule, the country stayed away from the international capital markets and sought to make a balance of payments surplus through import regulations.

Post-war reconstruction has reinforced the need for a reopening of the Western world; yet the state still exercises control over the economy, through ownership of the oil sector. Import restrictions and rising oil prices in recent years have reduced foreign debt; the economy is growing, but unemployment and inflation remain above 10%. The widespread poverty necessitates subsidies, of foods that burden the state budget.

In 1995, the United States launched an economic boycott of Iran applicable to all U.S. companies. Japan and Germany then became the main trading partners; in 2005 it was Japan and China. Iran announced in 2006 that it had succeeded in enriching uranium for energy purposes; this step could trigger international sanctions.

Denmark’s exports to Iran in 2005 amounted to DKK 1266 million. DKK, while imports from there amounted to 79 mill. kr.

Iran – social conditions

Despite the fact that the Islamic revolution as one of its ideals had to create greater equality between the various groups of society, the social and economic divides are still at least as great as in the time of the Shah. A general social safety net does not exist and the responsibility for the weakest lies first and foremost with the family. The general economic progress in the 1990’s has been undermined by high inflation, and according to Iranian estimates, approximately 20% of the population below the poverty line. Check youremailverifier for Iran social condition facts.

Iran (Health Conditions)

Life expectancy in 1990 was 63 years for both sexes. The birth rate in 1993 was estimated at 45 per. 1000 residents, which compared to an estimated mortality of 10 per. 1000 leads to an increase in the population of approximately 3% pr. year. The country has experienced a modest decline in fertility (from six to five children on average per woman) in contrast to a very sharp decline in infant mortality from 206 to 51 deaths among 1,000 live-born children (in the period 1950-90).

Pga. improved living standards, the causes of death have changed from being epidemic diseases and malnutrition to lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes (diabetes mellitus), atherosclerosis and cancer. The war between Iran and Iraq in 1980-88, the earthquake disaster in 1990 and the floods in 1993 have also affected mortality. Rising life expectancy has further changed the disease profile. Malaria, leprosy, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis and brucellosis still occur, but in decreasing numbers. 108 cases of AIDS have been reported to the WHO until 1995; however, the correct number must be assumed to be somewhat higher.

Iran (Military)

The Armed Forces is (2006) at 420,000. The Army (Artesh) is at 350,000, of which 220,000 are conscripts, the Navy is at 18,000 and the Air Force at 52,000. In addition, the Revolutionary Guard (Pāsdārān) of more than 125,000 in land, naval and missile forces. The reserve is 350,000 and the Revolutionary Guards’ militia is approximately 1,000,000.

The guards are equipped with a mixture of Soviet, Chinese and Western equipment, mainly quite modern. However, spare parts are lacking to keep Western equipment operational. The regular army’s mix of heavy and light units clearly reflects the geographical conditions.

The maintenance of an independent Revolutionary Guards is a consequence of the domestic political situation. The regular security forces are at 40,000. The outside world sees it as possible that the country is developing nuclear weapons.

In 1980-88, Iran participated in the Iran -Iraq War, which ended in a draw. During the Gulf War in 1991, many Iraqi military aircraft fled, including Mirage, to Iran, to avoid destruction. Iran kept the planes.

Iran – mass media

Iranian mass media are subject to censorship and predominantly controlled by the state. The first newspapers were founded in the 1800’s, but an actual press formation did not take place until 1905-11 in the time around the constitutional revolution.

Today there are approximately ten major dailies, most of which are published in Tehran. The two largest dailies that are also published internationally are Ettlaat (Information), grdl. 1925, with a circulation of approximately 500,000 (1996) and Keyhan (Universet), grdl. 1941, with a circulation of approximately 350,000 (1996). The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) was founded in 1936 and reorganized in 1979.

In 1940, a radio station was established in Tehran, where television was also established in 1958. Today, there are three nationwide radio channels, one of which brings recitations of the Koran, etc. Television has two nationwide and 28 local channels.

Iran – visual arts and architecture

Iranian art can be roughly divided into pre-Islamic art and Islamic art. Iran was already at the Islamic conquest in the 600-t. an influential cultural area, and it continued to be after Islamization.

Pre-Islamic art

Achaimenids. The art of the Medes and Persians from the time before Cyrus II the Great is only fragmentarily preserved and cannot be identified with certainty. The new capital of the Persian Empire became Pasargadae in Fars, where Cyrus built a fortress and palace complex of considerable dimensions, but little remains today.

Foundations and columns from a supposed audience hall, a residence palace and a gate building have been preserved, and the remains of the building are scattered over a large area intersected by a river and a canal. In Pasargadae is also the tomb of Cyrus, a simple gable building on a high stepped plinth. Among the sparse remnants of decoration is a wall relief depicting a winged human being with a large headdress pointing to role models in Mesopotamian art.

Persepolis is a large two-part palace complex built under Darius I and his successor Xerxes. The significance of this huge facility is not entirely clear. It has hardly been the capital of the kingdom, rather a facility of ceremonial character, in which the king was hailed by vassals and envoys at the New Year’s feast. Dareios’ part lies west of the north-south longitudinal axis and includes the Apadana (audience hall), two large relief-decorated staircases and a large square, which has access from a gate tower in the northwest corner. Behind Apadana are numerous smaller buildings around a square that has presumably been a garden.

To the east is the Hundred Column Hall and behind it the so-called Xerxes’ harem. There is no evidence that the site has been fortified. The decoration consists of numerous reliefs on the walls and free-carved sculpture on the column capitals. The staircases have reliefs that support the interpretation of the place’s function, showing processions of strangers presenting gifts to the reigning Darius.

The style of the reliefs shows clear loans from the art of other cultures, but these loans have been merged into a clear new Iranian whole. The many details of the careful and precise carving give the reliefs a stiff and dry style without the life and nerve that characterize their Mesopotamian and Egyptian role models. From the period are also preserved significant objects of stone and metal, which show the same perfection in workmanship and character in style.

The Parthian period is well illuminated from the western side, as contact with Rome was close both politically and commercially. In terms of art history, on the other hand, the period is poorly illuminated, e.g. due to the attempt of the following dynasty for a systematic annihilation of the monuments of the period.

The Sasanids. Under the Sasanids, Iran experienced the most glorious period in its long history. Through trade and wars, a close connection with the Byzantine Empire emerged, and the artistic exchange between the two empires became fruitful on both sides.

The Sasanids saw themselves as the direct successors of the Achaemenids, and they continued the colossal building activity for which their predecessors had laid the foundation. Despite state religion, temples were built only to a small extent, as Zarathustra’s teachings did not favor the construction of large facilities, but numerous smaller fire temples have been handed down.

The greatest achievements of the Sasanians were achieved in the field of secular architecture. The type of building called ivan and consisting of a square room with open front covered by a barrel vault, they brought to perfection. They solved the problems of dome buildings by inserting pendants, ie. half-circle strokes over the corners of the square structure of the base structure.

The gigantic Taq-i Kisra Palace in the capital Ktesifon is an ornamental building 30 m high above a 43 m deep space. Ardashir 1st Palace in Firuzabad also combines ivan and dome in very large format. The building is built strictly symmetrically around a central axis with entrance, in the middle dome space and behind a courtyard surrounded by barrel-vaulted buildings. In later buildings, the ground plan is expanded, for example in Imaret-i Khusrau from the time of Khusrau II, when Persepolis’ staircase is brought to mind.

Rock reliefs in Naqsh-i Rustam are victory monuments carved into the rock side. The style is monumental and lively. The same applies to the building decoration in the form of reliefs carved in stone or carved in stucco, which compensates abundantly for the lack of preserved painting.

The craft flourished in all genres. In particular, the art of goldsmithing should be highlighted, as numerous preserved dishes and bowls show the visual art of the Sasanids in the form of driven, engraved and chiseled hunting and throne scenes.

Textile art also reached a peak and influenced Byzantine textile art. It was on the legacy of the Sasanids that Islamic Iran built its most glorious creations.

Islamic art

The Arab-Islamic conquest of Iran did not lead to a radical break with the established art traditions, as the Islamic commissioners had expectations for the function rather than for the form.

Architecture. The Tarikh-Khanah Mosque from the 700’s. in Damghan in Northern Iran is the oldest in Iran, built after Western models as a simple pillar farm with a deeper qibla side. But the Sasanian Ivan building quickly became the norm in Iranian mosque architecture.

The Friday Mosque from 1000-1100-t. in Ardestan northeast of Isfahan shows in beautiful simplification the type of the Iranian mosque: four cruciform habits around a square courtyard. The development of the form of construction can be followed in the Great Mosque in Isfahan (700-1600-t.), Which houses all stages from simple brick architecture to faience-decorated monumentality on the bulbous domes and the characteristic skin facades of the Ivanians.

Other buildings whose ancestry may be traced back to the Sasanian era are the strange tomb towers that resemble detached minarets, such as the Gunbad-i Qabus from 1006/07. Of secular architecture are preserved Chihil Sutun (’40 Pillars’) and Ali Qapu in Isfahan from the first half of the 1600’s, showing the palace architecture as pavilions with gardens. The early buildings were decorated with reliefs of raw and glazed brick or carved stucco, often with writing and geometric ornaments in combination.

From approximately In 1400, the glazed bricks spread to large, continuous faience surfaces, and this form of decoration culminated in the large Safavid-era buildings in Isfahan. After the 1700’s. stagnated architecture in repetition of older models, and in 1900-t. it has been characterized by European-American building style.

The visual arts have been closely linked to book production, and almost all significant paintings are found as illustrations (miniatures) in manuscripts. The early painting is not preserved to a greater extent, but from the Mongol period in 1200-1300-t. there are a significant number of book paintings. The painters were organized in centers around libraries of large or small courts.

Tabriz was the undisputed center of painting in the Mongol period, and here Iranian, Christian and Chinese painters were active at the same time. Herat took this place under Timur Lenk and his successors in the 1300-1400’s, though without the cosmopolitan touch. Shiraz was also an important center for book painting during this and the following period.

The format of the paintings is limited by the size of the book page, and the artist’s desire to create a whole in which the writing also has its part is the overriding factor in the composition of the individual images. Naturalism and illusion are absent in Iranian painting, which places the main emphasis on an overwhelming splendor of color. The visual artist did not rank as high as the calligraph, and only in rare cases did the painter sign his work, which, incidentally, was often a collaboration between several painters under the direction of a master.

Kamal al Din Bihzad was active in Herat at the Timurid court in the late 1400’s. His painting came to form school, and the style became the norm for the “golden age” in the visual arts during the Safavids (approximately 1500-1720) with Tabriz, Qazvin, Shiraz and Isfahan as centers. Bihzad’s influence is beautifully expressed in the so-called Houghton Shahname (1530’s), an illuminated manuscript of the Book of Firdausi, commissioned by Ismail I to Crown Prince Tahmasp.

In the late Safavid era, the turbulent political conditions put an end to the development of painting, but during the Qajars from the late 1700’s. however, a brief resurgence was experienced with the introduction of easel painting and large portrait paintings. 1900’s visual art in Iran is characterized by repetitions of older traditions and influences from European art.

Crafts have throughout the Islamic period was characterized by very high quality. The ceramics were developed in a myriad of varying shapes and colors both for use in architectural decoration and as smaller objects for use and decoration. Textile art gained an international reputation with magnificent rugs, silk velvet and brocades, which were exported to Europe, where they were imitated.

It was the large courts that attracted artists in all branches, but both painting and handicrafts are simultaneously made for free circulation, for example Kashan is known for its faience industry, Rasht for its silk weaving industry and Shiraz for its so-called commercial manuscripts. See also Islamic art and Persian rugs.

Iran – literature

Like Iran’s other culture, literary history can also be divided into a pre-Islamic and an Islamic period.

Pre-Islamic literature

The literature before Islam, and for that matter also after Islam, was almost entirely Persian for the simple reason that the all-dominant dynasties were Persian with the Parthian Arsacids as the only exception.

Of the two ancient Iranian languages ​​known within the territory of present-day Iran, medical and ancient Persian, medically weakly handed down; it is found only in some proper names and in Old Persian, Assyrian and Greek texts.

On the other hand, the ancient Persian empire is richly represented by the wedge inscriptions of the Achaemenid kings, especially Darius I’s Bisutun inscription, which painstakingly tells how in one year he brought order to the chaotic empire, not only depicted with dry figures but also with a great deal of life wisdom.

Aramaic translations (on papyrus) of parts of the Bisutun inscription are known from the Jewish military colony on the Niløen Elefantine (400 BC). Darius inscriptions are also known from places in ancient Iran such as Persepolis, Susa and Hamadan.

Darius’ successors followed his practices: Artaxerxes I, Darius II, Artaxerxes II, and Xerxes, and Xerxes especially with the Daiva inscription from Persepolis against the false gods, the daivas, and everything else corrupting; the thanks for help and blessing are addressed to the good god Ahura Mazda, “who created man, who created the bliss of man”.

In the parthian language of the Arsacids, nothing is literary handed down, only some inscriptions and several Manichaean texts, especially some important anthem collections, but all from Sasanian times. However, the arsacid era was by no means without poetry. It is due to the cultural carrier of the time of rank, the wandering shield, the gosan. The oral tradition was paramount because it was considered far more secure than the written one.

However, from the Parthian period something was preserved, but only because it was later written down. This applies to the erotically daring, atypical poem Vis and Ramin about Queen Vis’ relationship with Ramin, the king’s brother; it was preserved and written down by the Persian poet Gurgani in the mid-1000-t.

The same goes for the rank-and- file poem Drakht asurik (The Babylonian Tree), known only in a Sasanian editorial office; it reproduces the argument between a date palm and a goat seeking to surpass each other in self-praise.

Under the Sasanids, on the other hand, it was written in Middle Persian, but this literature is almost purely religious, Zoroastrian. Exceptions are the Book of the Papa Son Ardashir’s exploits, which depicts the founder of the Sasanian dynasty and his adventurous life as a “lucky man”, the Chess Book on the origins and significance of the game of chess and nard, the cities of the Iranian kingdom and a number of others.

The religious literature is, however, completely dominant, and here first and foremost Denkart (The work of faith) with a list of the entire collection of texts Avesta’s content, Bundahishn, a cosmogony and cosmology, Menok-i Khrat (Decisions of the Spirit of Wisdom) as well as a series of apocalyptic texts, prayers, penance and praise texts.

Of crucial importance, however, was that the original Avesta was fixed in writing after centuries of oral tradition. In this connection, the Avesta script was invented with the 46 letters, but only parts of the original Avesta of 21 sections (nasker ‘bundles’) are preserved.

However, there are Middle Persian translations of the Gathas, Yasna, a few Yashter, Vendidad and Nirangistan. During the Sasanian period, an extensive collection of Manichaean texts was created.

Literature after Islamization

In the middle of the 600-t. the Arabs conquered the ancient Iranian empire, and within a few centuries the Iranian land was Islamized; Islam became the framework of cultural and social life. Among other things. in response to this, around 900 a movement arose in Khorasan, which has later been called the Persian Renaissance. Poets who wrote poetry in Persian about Iranian culture were favored, and the Iranians’ distance from the Arab caliphate was made clear. With this movement was born the New Persian literature, which has developed to this day with a noticeable continuity.

Poetry has been the genre in which it was written since the beginning of New Persian literature, and not until the 1900’s. the prose has gained ground. In general, it can be said of New Persian poetry that it is not tightly composed and that it is stylistically ornamented and adorned with many rhetorical figures. Its imagery and themes remain unchanged throughout the period of classical poetry, where it is also determined which themes belong to which of the subgenres of poetry.

The neo-Persian poetry can be roughly divided into two periods: the classical, which extends from the 900’s. and up to about World War II, and the modern from here on out. The classical poetry from the 900-1400-t. was at first pure court poetry marked by panegyric, and the style is sublime, strictly literary, and clear (called Khorasani).

From approximately 1100-1400-t. Sufism left its clear mark on poetry, and lyrical poetry came to the fore. The imagery became more ambiguous, and the style more refined and complicated, but still relatively clear (called Iraqi). The complexity of the style expresses a greater variation in the worldview and an increased refinement in the personification, which can especially be observed in the poet of five beautiful, epic romances, Nizami.

From the beginning of the 1500’s to the 1700’s. followed a period in which poetry was predominantly a mere repetition of the thought and image worlds of earlier periods framed by wordsmithing and a sought-after imagery (the Safavid or Indian style).

In the mid-1700’s. broke the poets with the Safavid style, sought to return to the Khorasani and Iraqi styles, and after the constitutional revolution (1905-11) the poetry added new themes, patriotism, political and social satire, as well as a more mundane language emerged.

With Nima Yushidj in the 1920’s, modern poetry, sher-i now, saw the light of day. This direction, which radically broke with the traditional poetic idiom and embarked on any subject, did not really take hold until after World War II, when one of the main characters was the poetess Forough Farrokhzad.

The history of prose in Persian literature actually begins in the 1900’s, although the prose also existed in the classical period: in parts of the historical works, in travelogues, in the moralizing and educational literature, to which Sadis Gulistan (1258) belongs.

The novel genre lay in the early 1900-t. out with technically weak historical novels often with a nationalistic tone. In the period up to World War II, works appeared about the inferno of the big city and the decadent bourgeoisie. These were technically also weak with the exception of Sadiq Hidayat’s The Blind Owl (1937, then 1989).

After World War II, the novel genre flourished, and the realistic, the naturalistic, the psychologising as well as a broader socially descriptive novel found fine expression. The short story genre had a good prelude in 1921/22 with Muhammad Ali Jamalzade’s collection of short stories entitled after the fairy tale formula Once Upon a Time, which with its socially critical realism and its straightforward and eloquent language made a great impression on contemporary and posterity writers.

Among other things. Hidayat and Bozorg Alavi carried on the realistic and critical short story, adding to it moments of naturalism, existentialism and the influence of Freud. These writers were followed from the 1940’s by a large number of short story lists who embarked on the same path.

After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, a number of female short story and novel writers have appeared; they have stood for a re-orientation within these genres. Around the turn of the millennium, generational and genealogical novels with the woman at the center have thus won an unprecedented readership.

The literary drama began around 1900 with classic comedies containing satire aimed at certain sections of society and the political powers that be. After a long period of fluctuating quality, the genre took off in the 1960’s with Bahram Bayzais (b. 1938) and Gholam Hoseyn Saidi’s modern (absurd) dramas containing existentialist themes as well as social and political critique.

Throughout the 1900’s, both under the Pahlavi Shas and in the subsequent Islamic Republic of Iran, censorship has been harsh, with some periods of freer conditions for literature and the press. This has meant that writers have had to develop a special language in order to indirectly express criticism, or they have had to live or publish in exile.

Iran – music

The main component of Iranian music is the Persian tonal art, but the country’s musical life encompasses many other styles and genres. The earliest reliable sources of Persian music date from the early 200’s. With the Arab conquest of Iran in the 600’s. the Persian music, which was very popular among learned Arabs, was spread over large parts of the Arab world. Among the great music theorists of the time were many Persians, though known by Arabic names which they were compelled to bear. Typical of Persian music is the scale in which the octave is divided into approximately 22 steps (against our 12), the tonality with the 12 modes (dastgah), the improvised style in which the solo element is predominant, and not least the way in which the melody is often obscured by almost cobweb-like ornaments, including the technically very demanding singing style tahrir.

Since the 1500’s. art music has had difficult conditions under the negative attitude of the Shia Muslim regime towards music. No music theoretical works were written, and the practice of music was considered a private matter, so it did not receive the necessary support to develop. From the late 1800’s. until the fall of the shah in 1979, interest in western music increased and limited state support was given to traditional genres. At the same time, there was some development in popular music with a mixture of Western, Arabic and Persian elements.

In addition to art and popular music, a number of local folk music genres thrive among the country’s various ethnic groups. The musical elements of Quran recitation, prayer calls and other religious activities play a major role. The fall of the Shah was followed by a brief period of experimentation before Khomeini’s clerical regime again imposed restrictions on and effectively banned musical performance. Following popular pressure, however, the ban was lifted. Among exiled Iranians in Europe and the United States, both classical Persian music and various types of popular music have flourished.

Iran – film

Iran began producing its own films in the 1950’s, and its own production culminated in 1961-62 with 50 films that were mainly simple melodramas. In the early 1970’s, the use of the Super 8 mm format led to an artistic recovery and more critical films, but this new wave was interrupted by the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In the early 1980’s, very few films were made, but in the late 1990’s, production has gradually rebuilt to 1960’s level, while foreign films are still banned. Since the end of the 1980’s, Iranian film has celebrated international triumphs with low-key everyday realistic dramas, which, however, are only shown to a limited extent in the home country.The Taste of Cherries (1997), Mohsen Makhmalbafs (b. 1957) The Journey to Kandahar (2001) and Samira Makhmalbafs (b. 1980) Blackboards (2000).

Iran Education