Text read by Mary Peters

Iran is located in the Middle East region of Western Asia. It is surrounded by the Caspian Sea to the north and the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea to the south.

Iran’s neighbours in the northeast are Turkmenistan, north is the Caspian Sea, east are Afghanistan and Pakistan, northwest are Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, to the west is Iraq, southwest lies Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and finally, Oman. In total, Iran is surrounded by 13 other countries.

The country has an area of over 1.65 million km²; making it the 17th largest country in the world. It is larger than Europe but has a population of only 83 million people, divided into 31 different provinces.

The history of the region in which Iran has located dates back to around 3000-3500 BC, and is linked to the Sumerian and Jiroft civilizations, which were both located in this region.

Persians speak various local languages, especially in the border regions of Iran. For example, in the north-western part, near Azerbaijan and Turkey, we speak a Turkish dialect. In the east, it is the Persian “Dari” dialect, in the south-western part, Arabic, and in the western part, people speak Kurdish.

I was born in 1974 in the city of Kermanshah in western Iran. We lived there with my family until I was seven. After the Iran-Iraq war, we moved to central Iran, to Tehran.

The city of Kermanshah and its surroundings is one of the most ancient parts of Iran because of its proximity to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and parts of the region have been populated for more than 7000 years, as can be found in some inscriptions near the city. The most important of these inscriptions are Biston of Kermanshah and Biston Arch of Kermanshah.

When visiting Iran, I suggest staying in Teheran and from there, visit the cities of Yazd, Isfahan and Shiraz. From Shiraz you can go to Persepolis, Pasargad and Naghsh-e Rostam, where you can see the splendid antiques of these regions. Also, in Isfahan, you can visit
Naghsh-e Jahan Square and other places such as Aali Qapo, Chehelston.

Then return to Teheran and go to Kermanshah to see the inscriptions of Biston and Biston Arch.

In Teheran, I recommend you visit the historic sites of the Naser al-Din Shah Palace Bazaar and the Shah Palaces in the summer areas of Damavand Mountain and other places.

In addition to oil and gas, Iranian products include handicrafts and its native products such as pistachio nuts and saffron. Don’t forget our carpets and other handicrafts from Isfahan.

Iranian cuisine and especially traditional Iranian cuisine is rich. You should really try the meat juice from the Fosanjan stew. The Nowruz table is decorated with 7 elements called Haftsin and all the dishes start with the letter S.

Like all people around the world, we too love our festivals. At one particular festival, people jump over fire and say that all the problems of Sharia and Sharia law are far away from them.

That is, for the moment, my brief introduction and I look forward to sharing more about my country with you later.

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