Iran is located in Western Asia and shares borders with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Iran's coastlines adjoin the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Oman. One of the most mountainous countries in the world, Iran's geographical diversity also includes vast plateaus, a rain forest in the northern region, and desert basins in the eastern region.
Iran is a constitutional republic. The Iranian Parliament, President, and Assembly of Experts are directly chosen by the electorate. The Guardian Council, Cabinet, and Supreme Leader are appointed or approved by the elected governmental institutions. The current Supreme Leader is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran's economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil and large enterprises, and small-scale agricultural, private sales and services ventures. The Iranian currency is the Rial. Despite being a major oil-producing country, the service sector is the largest contributor to Iran's GDP.
Persian is the official language of Iran and Persian language and culture are shared by a diverse ethnic population. Islam religion dominates the country, with majority of the people following the Twelver Shia branch of Islam.
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