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Ancient Greek geographers designated the territory as "Persia" after the territory of Fars where the ancient Achamenian Empire had its seat.
Today as a result of migration and conquest, people of Indo-European, Turkic, Arab, and Caucasian origin have some claim to Iranian cultural identity.
This is also true of some members of modern Iranian émigré populations in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere who do not wish to be identified with the current Islamic Republic of Iran, established in 1979. Iran is located in southwestern Asia, largely on a high plateau situated between the Caspian Sea to the north and the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south.
Its area is 636,300 square miles (1,648,000 square kilometers).
Its neighbors are, on the north, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkmenistan; on the east, Pakistan and Afghanistan; and on the west Turkey and Iraq.
Iran's total boundary is 4,770 miles (7,680 kilometers).
Rainfall varies from less than two inches (five centimeters) annually in Baluchistan, near the Pakistani border, to more than eighty inches (two hundred centimeters) in the subtropical Caspian region where temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Iran's population has not been accurately measured since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The term is often used to designate the larger cultural sphere of Iranian civilization.
This marks a radical shift from the mid-twentieth century when only 25 percent lived in cities.
Iran is a multiethnic, multicultural society as a result of millennia of migration and conquest.
The geology is highly unstable, creating frequent earthquakes.
Several important volcanoes, including Mount Damāvand, the nation's highest peak at approximately 19,000 feet, (5,800 meters) also ring the country.