What are some lesser known facts about Iran?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 18, 2020 05:30 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 18, 2020 05:30 AM

Rhinoplasty or nose job is the most frequent plastic surgery in Iran, which made Iran the capital of nose surgery in the world! The patients are not always Iranian people, but also different people from all over the world travel to Iran to have nose job by an Iranian nose surgeon.

While homosexual relationships are banned in Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini decreed that transsexuals are allowed to have sex change operations in Iran. Since 2008, Iran has conducted more sex change operations than any other country in the world, second only to Thailand. The government even provides financial assistance.
As of 2016 Iran has the 5th highest number of STEM graduates worldwide with 335,000 annual graduates.

In September 2012, women made up more than 60% of all universities’ student body in Iran. According to UNESCO world survey, Iran has the highest female to male ratio at primary level of enrollment in the world among sovereign nations, with a girl to boy ratio of 1.22 : 1.00.
Iran has the highest rate of brain drain in the world.
Mahsa Tabatabaiy’s answer to Which developing countries are experiencing the most amount of brain drain? How can this be mitigated?

Iran is one of the primary trans-shipment routes for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe. Over 3,600 Iranians have been killed in the past 25 years fighting heroin smugglers.
Iran is the first place to have a condom factory in the Middle East.
Satellite television is banned in Iran, but receiver dishes sit in plain view on top of many houses. The most popular channels are run by Iranians based in Los Angeles, who broadcast Iranian pop music and a steady stream of anti-regime propaganda – though many Iranians also scoff at the radical tone taken by the stations.
Iran was host to the world’s largest and longest staying foreign refugees population,mostly Iraqi and Afghan refugees. As of 2010 there were more than 3 million Afghan refugees living in Iran, and in the prior three decades Iran was host to an average refugee population of over 5 million. Nowadays Iran is the 4th largest refugee host.

Diesel fuel prices in Iran are the second cheapest in the world. One liter of diesel costs in commodity barter comparison: ~0.3 of a hen egg. Gasoline (petrol) fuel prices are the 8th cheapest in the world. Iran spends 8% of its total state revenue, subsidizing fuel for the domestic market.
Highest science & technology growth rate in the world, 1000% increase in 9 years (1995–2004); Iran has increased its academic publishing output from 0.0003% of world’s total output in 1970 to 0.29% by 2004 (That is ~100000% growth in 33 years), by 2008 Iran’s share had reached 1.02% of the world’s total output (~340000% growth in 37 years); Iran’s 2009 growth rate in science & technology was highest globally being 11 times faster than the world’s average rate; Iran has been doubling its scientific output every 3 years. In 2009 ranked at 22nd by total scientific output; 19th in mathematics output.
There are 23 UNESCO world heritage sites in Iran and 55 sites on tentative list.
Iran (Islamic Republic of) – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

The Medes were of Aryan origin and the first people to unify Iran by the 6th century B.C. One of the tribes, the Magi, were powerful Zoroastrian priests. The most famous Magi are the Wise Men of the Christian Nativity story who brought gifts to the Christ.
Iran with its inception in 3200 BC, is the oldest country in the world. More info: History of Iran and List of sovereign states by formation date
EDIT: a few days ago when I first wrote this answer, inception of India was 3000 BC in the link I provided and now that I checked, it was 5000 BC!! So Iran turns out to be the second oldest country.

Great Wall of Gorgan is the second longest defensive wall in existence after the Great wall of China.
Great Wall Of Gorgan: One Of The World’s Most Sophisticated Frontier Walls Ever Built Is Now Examined | Ancient Pages

The world’s oldest artificial water reservoir is in Gonabad, is more than 2700 years old & is still in use; It is also the world’s largest artificial water reservoir.

Iran has the World’s largest collection of jewels.

Iranian Crown Jewels

Highest number of national capital relocations; Iran has had 31 former capitals before Tehran.
Iran produces 3/4 of the world’s handmade carpets; Iran has 30% share of the world’s carpet export market;Iran has also produced the world’s largest handmade carpet, measuring 60,546 square feet.
Poetry holds a special place in Iranian culture. All Iranians can recite lines from famous Persian poems.
Despite being in the Middle East, Iran boasts the Alborz mountain range, which has a number of ski resorts, with some being among the highest in the world.

Gandom-Beriyan in Dasht-e Lut is the world’s hottest place with a recorded temperature of 70.7 °C (159 °F). Iran ranks first in hottest places on planet earth.

Sarv-e-Abarkooh, at over 4,000 years of age, is the world’s third oldest tree.


In Persia, Pahlavani traditional grappling or koshti (کشتی) was practiced by both the upper and lower classes both for sport and as training for battle. In training halls known as zourkhaneh, soldiers practiced resistance exercises and grappling in a tradition now called varzesh-e bastani. Ancient Iranian combat-wrestling included not only grabs but also punches and low kicks. As Iranian influence spread with the Achaemenid Empire and later the Persian Empire, the practice was adopted in the Indian subcontinent as pehlwani.
It is believed that Polo first originated in Persia ages ago. The poet Firdowsi described royal polo tournaments in his 9th century epic, the Shahnameh. Polo competitions are the subject of many traditional paintings in Iran.

Thanks to User-9444166202387223674 (धनराज भोसले) for the suggestion.

Iran is the world’s largest producer of saffron, pistachios, berberis and also caviar.
Jules Doumergue and Ishwar Karthik, thank you for the suggestion.

After Arab invasion in the 7th century, Iran was heavily influenced by Islam and Arabic. While Persian language and culture was in danger of being Arabized, we kept our Persian identity and language right next to Arab nations. After 2500 years passing from the start of the great civilization of Persia, Iranians still speak Persian and also celebrate Zaroastrian festivals such as Nowruz and Yalda.
Centuries before fridges (400 BC), Iranians invented Yakhchāl to store ice and food even during hot summer days.

Salman Naseer and Hurmat Favourites ,Thank you for the suggestion!

Along with China, Iran has been lauded as one of the best exporters of cinema in the 1990s. Some critics now rank Iran as the world’s most important national cinema, artistically, with a significance that invites comparison to Italian neorealism and similar movements in past decades. Here are some examples of Grand Prizes awarded to Iranian cinema:
2016: Prix du scénario (Best Screenplay): Asghar Farhadi
2016: Prix d’interprétation masculine (Best Actor): Shahab Hosseini
2018: Prix du scénario (Best Screenplay): Jafar Panahi
2. Academy Awards (Oscars)

1999: Majid Majidi: Best Foreign Language Film Nomination for Children of Heaven
2012: Asghar Farhadi: Best Foreign Language Film Award for A Separation
2017: Asghar Farhadi: Best Foreign Language Film Award for The Salesman
3. Golden Globe Awards

2011: Asghar Farhadi (Award) Best Foreign Language Film, A Separation
2013: Asghar Farhadi (Nominated) Best Foreign Language Film, The Past
2016: Asghar Farhadi (Nominated) Best Foreign Language Film, The Salesman
There are many! Please check out this link: Cinema of Iran – Wikipedia

There exist some evidences suggesting that Ancient Iranians made animations. An animated piece on an earthen goblet made 5000 years ago was found in Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran. The artist has portrayed a goat that jumps toward a tree and eats its leaves.

First Animation of the World Found In Burnt City

Thanks to Ravindra Daundkar for the suggestion!

Cyrus Cylinder is an ancient clay cylinder on which is written a declaration in Akkadian cuneiform script in the name of Persia’s king, Cyrus the Great. The cylinder belongs to 538 BCE and is sometimes believed to be the first declaration of human rights.

EDIT: This answer has got a lot of attentions. Thank you all for your kind and beautiful words!

It makes me so happy that you are interested in my country, and I’m really grateful. However, some of the comments and messages make me wonder if I had said anything that makes some people think that what I wrote about Iran is a paradox to greatness of India in particular. India is a large and diverse country with very kind people, and also a rich culture and history, I know that myself so I can’t get the meaning of some of the comments.

The question was what are some lesser known facts about Iran and I answered only about Iran. However, I run into comments talking about India has the largest unregistered refugee, India importing gasoline to Iran, Iran being a part of India! Come on, what’s wrong?

I’m not talking about Indians generally, on the other hand, I’ve got many beautiful messages from Indians and I loved them all. I just can’t understand the other comments!

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