|TOP 10 SITES IN Iran|
GDP (purchasing power parity): $876 billion
GDP – per capita (PPP): $ 12,900
Persian and Persian dialects, 58%; Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
1.10 million domain names registered
23 million users online
|Iran Search Engines and Directories|
Paid Search Engines in Iran:
Google (64.9% market share)
Yahoo (18.8% market share)
Microsoft (9.4 % market share)
Ask (3.9% market share)
AOL (3.0% market share)
The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the most volatile countries in the Middle East and home to many Islamic Fundamentalists that have made enemies in the Western World, particularly the United States.
Known as Persia until 1935, Iran is endowed with vast oil resources that have helped sustain the country’s economy despite years of political struggle within the country and against its immediate neighbors and the United States.
Iran is under a semi-theocratic system of government, under conservative Muslim clerics personified by former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, who led the 1979 Iranian Revolution that led to the downfall of autocratic leader Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran.
After the infamous Iran-Iraq war, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani led the country in rebuilding the economy without making any dramatic shift in ideology. He served until 1997 and was followed by moderate reformist Mohammad Khatami who served for two terms.
Khatami instituted new reforms that included freedom of expression and constructive diplomatic relations with other states, and a new economic policy that supported free market and foreign investment.
In the 2005, new winds of change swept through Iran’s political scene with the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Aside from election cheating, Ahmadinejad was also accused of having participated in the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
In 2009, he was challenged in another presidential election by Mir-Hossein Mosavi, who also accused him of cheating to win his second term. Mosavi’s accusation was backed by EU and other Western countries who expressed their concern over the election irregularities.
As protests broke out in Tehran, Iran’s new Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sided with Ahmadinejad and urged the Iranians to unite behind the reelected leader, calling his victory as “divine assessment.” He was sworn in for a second term in the midst of a brewing opposition movement, a deep crack within the conservative ruling elite, and guarded acceptance of the international community.
Iran, under Ahmadinejad, has defied resolutions passed by the UN Security Council calling for a stop to the uranium enrichment program it restarted in 2006, shortly after Ahmadinejad’s first term of office.
Ahmadinejad has made himself known in the international community as the face of Iran’s defiance over its nuclear program and hostility towards Israel, outraging the world when he called the Holocaust a “myth” and repeating an old slogan from the early days of the 1979 Iranian revolution: “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
Sanctions imposed by the UN against Iran over the nuclear program are certain to cause problems to Iran’s oil-dependent economy, where private sector involvement is limited to small-scale operations, farming and services. Price controls, subsidies, and other government-initiated market forces are undermining free market and private initiatives as growth engines.
While recent high oil prices allowed Iran to increase its export earnings and earn nearly $100 billion in foreign exchange reserves, this is not enough to sustain the economy. A more recent drop in oil prices, from March 2009 to December 2009, has caused budget deficits and a sudden dip of foreign exchange reserve at the end of 2009.