Iran and its neighbors General information
Iran, also known as Persia officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran . Iran, a Middle Eastern country south of the Caspian Sea and north of the Persian Gulf. It shares borders with Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Farsi (Persian) is spoken by the majority of the population in Iran, though a significant portion of the population also speaks other languages/dialects such as Azeri, Kurdish, Lori, Arabic, Baluchi, Gilaki, Mazandarani, and Turkmen. The vast majority of Iranians are muslims. There are also small populations of Zoroastrians, Christians, Jewish people, and people of other faiths living in Iran. The capital of Iran is Tehran. Iran also has one of the largest nomadic populations in the world .
Political system of Iran is the Islamic Republic. The supreme leader is the highest ranking political and religious authority. The President is the head of stateelectedby nationwide suffrage for four-year terms and the parliament members are popularly elected for four years. The Judiciary branch is independent. Cities are administered by mayors that are elected by city councils.
Islam is the state religion and to which more than 98 percent of population belong. The remaining 2% are non-Muslim religious minorities, including Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians who can practice their rituals in their particular places of worship.
Time difference of Iran is +3:30 GMT. Daylight saving time is a common practice in Iran. When local standard time is about to reach 00:00:00 on March 21, clocks turned forward one hour and on September 22, 00:00:00, clocks are turned backwards one hour. So, from March 21 to September 22, local time in Iran is +4:30 GMT.
Working Hours and Holidays
In Tehran, government offices are closed on Thursdays and Fridays. During the week, working hours are from 8:00-16:00; except for banks and “Police Offices of Foreign Aliens” which are open from 8:00-14:00. In other cities, working hours are 8:00-14:00. On Thursdays, banks and other government offices are open till 12:00. Holidays can be categorized into National and Religious. Tables (1) and (2) depict Iran holiday types, date and occasion (name), respectively.
Table 1- National Holidays
|Iranian New Year (NOWRUZ)||March 21-24|
|Islamic Republic Day||April 01|
|Nature Day||April 02|
|Anniversary of Imam Khomeini Demise||June 04|
|Revolt of Khordad 15||June 05|
|Revolution Day||February 11|
|Oil Nationalization Day||March 19|
To get an Iranian visa, your passport should have a validity of at least 6 months. Keep your passport separate from other personal belongings and always have a copy of your passport in case of any potential problems. If your passport happens to get lost, please inform police!
It is essential for women to cover their hair and body in public places, called hijab. Minimum hijab allowed for women includes full pants, long sleeved shirt over pants (also known as Manteau) and a scarf to cover the head. Manteaux are normally cheap with a variety of colors and designs available. Women, upon arrival or departure from their place of residence, must wear their Manteau and scarf. It is forbidden for men to wear shorts in public places. Wearing ties, though not common, is not forbidden. According to Islamic Shariah rules, physical contact, such as shaking hands with the opposite sex is not allowed. Also sexual relations outside marriage are forbidden and punishable.
Photography and Filming
Photography and filming military facilities and other places with the sign “No photo” is forbidden .
Running into a Problem during Visit
In case of any problems (stolen property, missing mobile phone, etc.), immediately inform your tour guide and the nearest police station. If it’s lost or stolen travel documents, after carrying out the necessary follow-up by the police and the travel agency, you can inform representatives of your country in Iran.
Important Phone Numbers
|24-Hours Telephone Service||118|
|Tourist Information Center||09620|
|Road Traffic Information||141|
|Railway Information Center||021-1549|
|Imam Khomeini Airport Flight Information||09633|
|Mehrabad Airport Flight Information||199|
|Ministry of Foreign Affairs||021-61151|
|Iranian Immigration and Passport Police Office||021-88800000|