Population: 56 million
Land area: 634,000 sq miles (UK: 95,000 sq miles)
Population: 6 million
Per capita GDP: pounds 1,050.
In the UK: pounds 10,500
Main exports: Oil. Iran produces 5.3 per cent of the world's oil. Also exports gas, petrochemicals, steel and copper
Main imports: Technological products, industrial equipment.
Government: Supreme Leader is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a religious leader with wide powers of patronage, and legitimacy built in to the constitution. President Mohammed Khatami, elected 1997 is a "mild reformer".
Religion: 99 per cent Muslim. (93 per cent Shia, 6 per cent Sunni)
Official language: Farsi
Life expectancy: 65 male, 66 female
Literacy: 54 per centReuse content