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A map of Iran Once the centre of the great Persian Empire, Iran sits at a geographical crossroads where the Arab states of the Middle East meet Asia. Much of the country consists of a high central plateau covered by salty, dry deserts. This plateau is surrounded by steep, rugged mountains; the Elburz Mountains border the Caspian Sea to the north, while in the west, the Zagros Mountains stretch northwestwards into Turkey and Armenia. 

A map of Iran

The deserted village of Kharanaq near Yazd, central Iran. Agriculture is only possible with irrigation on the dry Plateau of Iran.


Most of Iran has a continental climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Around the Caspian coast in the north is a humid, forested region known as the Shomal. Along the Persian Gulf in the south the climate is far drier, while the deserts of the eastern plateau hardly ever see rain at all.

A Persian mathematician, Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, is considered to be one of the inventors of algebra. The world “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al-jebr” meaning "reunion of broken parts”.

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