Iran with an area of 1,648,195 km2 is situated in the southwest of Asia and in the Middle East. Its neighboring countries include Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkmenistan in the north, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in the east and Turkey and Iraq in the west. The Caspian Sea from the north, and the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea from the south surround the country, providing rich fossil fuels and marine resources. Furthermore, the Persian Gulf region comprises one of the major oil and natural gas resources in the world.
Iran is divided into four levels in terms of country divisions: Province (Ostan), County (Shahrestan), District (Bakhsh), and Rural District (Dehestan). There are 31 provinces (as the largest national division) in Iran, each under the political administration by a governor. Also, Iran has 429 counties, each of which including several sectors (district) is run under the supervision of the governorate.
The third level refers to the district that deals with the affairs of the sectors; there are 1057 districts in the country. The rural district is the smallest sector of a county, which is made up of several close villages. There are a total number of 2,589 rural districts in the country. It should be noted that in different divisions of Iran, “city” or “village” are not mentioned as they have been considered a part of the province and rural district, respectively.
Some cities with a large area are run by the municipality. Iran currently has 1245 cities but the development of metropolitan cities has been causing the creation of new nearby cities.