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Turkmenistan vs. Iran

Introduction

TurkmenistanIran
BackgroundPresent-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim armies, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times, Merv (located in present-day Mary province) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. The Government of Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects and has attempted to diversify its gas export routes beyond Russia's pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. In 2016, Russia and Iran halted their purchase of gas from Turkmenistan making China the only buyer of Turkmen gas. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president. He was reelected in 2012 and again in 2017 with over 97% of the vote in both instances, in elections widely regarded as undemocratic.
Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces led by Ayatollah Ruhollah KHOMEINI established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to the Assembly of Experts (AOE) - a popularly elected 86-member body of clerics. US-Iranian relations became strained when a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held embassy personnel hostages until mid-January 1981. The US cut off diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1980. During the period 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US, UN, and EU economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism and concerns over possible military dimensions of its nuclear program. Following the election of reformer Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 and a reformist Majles (legislature) in 2000, a campaign to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated. The movement floundered as conservative politicians, supported by the Supreme Leader, unelected institutions of authority like the Council of Guardians, and the security services reversed and blocked reform measures while increasing security repression.
Starting with nationwide municipal elections in 2003 and continuing through Majles elections in 2004, conservatives reestablished control over Iran's elected government institutions, which culminated with the August 2005 inauguration of hardliner Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD as president. His controversial reelection in June 2009 sparked nationwide protests over allegations of electoral fraud, but the protests were quickly suppressed. Deteriorating economic conditions due primarily to government mismanagement and international sanctions prompted at least two major economically based protests in July and October 2012, but Iran's internal security situation remained stable. President AHMADI-NEJAD's independent streak angered regime establishment figures, including the Supreme Leader, leading to conservative opposition to his agenda for the last year of his presidency, and an alienation of his political supporters. In June 2013 Iranians elected a moderate conservative cleric Dr. Hasan Fereidun RUHANI to the presidency. He is a longtime senior member in the regime, but has made promises of reforming society and Iran's foreign policy. The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions calling for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and comply with its IAEA obligations and responsibilities, and in July 2015 Iran and the five permanent members, plus Germany (P5+1) signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under which Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Iran held elections in 2016 for the AOE and Majles, resulting in a conservative-controlled AOE and a Majles that many Iranians perceive as more supportive of the RUHANI administration than the previous, conservative-dominated body. Iran will hold presidential elections in May 2017. RUHANI is currently favored to win a second term.

Geography

TurkmenistanIran
LocationCentral Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan
Geographic coordinates40 00 N, 60 00 E
32 00 N, 53 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Middle East
Areatotal: 488,100 sq km
land: 469,930 sq km
water: 18,170 sq km
total: 1,648,195 sq km
land: 1,531,595 sq km
water: 116,600 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than three times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than California
almost 2.5 times the size of Texas; slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundariestotal: 4,158 km
border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1,148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1,793 km
total: 5,894 km
border countries (7): Afghanistan 921 km, Armenia 44 km, Azerbaijan 689 km, Iraq 1,599 km, Pakistan 959 km, Turkey 534 km, Turkmenistan 1,148 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked); note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
2,440 km; note - Iran also borders the Caspian Sea (740 km)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: bilateral agreements or median lines in the Persian Gulf
continental shelf: natural prolongation
Climatesubtropical desert
mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast
Terrainflat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 230 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 m (Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya, the lake has dropped as low as -110 m)
highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m
mean elevation: 1,305 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Kuh-e Damavand 5,671 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
Land useagricultural land: 72%
arable land 4.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 67.8%
forest: 8.8%
other: 19.2% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 30.1%
arable land 10.8%; permanent crops 1.2%; permanent pasture 18.1%
forest: 6.8%
other: 63.1% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land19,950 sq km (2012)
95,530 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsNA
periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes
Environment - current issuescontamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; desertification
air pollution, especially in urban areas, from vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; oil pollution in the Persian Gulf; wetland losses from drought; soil degradation (salination); inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution from raw sewage and industrial waste; urbanization
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - notelandlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau
strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport
Population distributionthe most densly populated areas are the southern, eastern, and northeastern oases; approximately 50% of the population lives in and around the capital of Ashgabat
population is concentrated in the north, northwest, and west, reflecting the position of the Zagros and Elburz Mountains; the vast dry areas in the center and eastern parts of the country, around the deserts of the Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut, have a much smaller population density

Demographics

TurkmenistanIran
Population5,291,317 (July 2016 est.)
82,801,633 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 25.95% (male 695,752/female 677,166)
15-24 years: 19.04% (male 506,856/female 500,647)
25-54 years: 42.86% (male 1,125,058/female 1,142,870)
55-64 years: 7.59% (male 189,464/female 212,330)
65 years and over: 4.56% (male 105,140/female 136,034) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 23.65% (male 10,037,814/female 9,546,710)
15-24 years: 16.57% (male 7,041,801/female 6,675,656)
25-54 years: 47.59% (male 20,085,331/female 19,319,933)
55-64 years: 6.79% (male 2,770,618/female 2,855,362)
65 years and over: 5.4% (male 2,052,541/female 2,415,867) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.5 years
male: 27 years
female: 28 years (2016 est.)
total: 29.4 years
male: 29.1 years
female: 29.7 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.13% (2016 est.)
1.18% (2016 est.)
Birth rate19.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
17.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 35.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 42.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 37.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 37.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 70.1 years
male: 67.1 years
female: 73.3 years (2016 est.)
total population: 71.4 years
male: 69.8 years
female: 73.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.08 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.83 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.14% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Turkmen(s)
adjective: Turkmen
noun: Iranian(s)
adjective: Iranian
Ethnic groupsTurkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)
Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
73,200 (2015 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
Muslim (official) 99.4% (Shia 90-95%, Sunni 5-10%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian) 0.3%, unspecified 0.4% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
4,000 (2015 est.)
LanguagesTurkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Persian (official), Azeri Turkic and Turkic dialects, Kurdish, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Luri, Balochi, Arabic, other
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.8%
male: 91.2%
female: 82.5% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2014)
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2015)
Education expenditures3% of GDP (2012)
2.9% of GDP (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 50% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.94% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 73.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.07% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 89.1% of population
rural: 53.7% of population
total: 71.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.9% of population
rural: 46.3% of population
total: 28.9% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 97.7% of population
rural: 92.1% of population
total: 96.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.3% of population
rural: 7.9% of population
total: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 98.2% of population
total: 99.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 1.8% of population
total: 0.9% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 92.8% of population
rural: 82.3% of population
total: 90% of population
unimproved:
urban: 7.2% of population
rural: 17.7% of population
total: 10% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationASHGABAT (capital) 746,000 (2015)
TEHRAN (capital) 8.432 million; Mashhad 3.014 million; Esfahan 1.88 million; Karaj 1.807 million; Shiraz 1.661 million; Tabriz 1.572 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate42 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures2.1% of GDP (2014)
6.9% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.29 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density4 beds/1,000 population (2012)
0.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate18.8% (2014)
24.9% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 47.9
youth dependency ratio: 41.7
elderly dependency ratio: 6.1
potential support ratio: 16.3 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 40.2
youth dependency ratio: 33.1
elderly dependency ratio: 7.1
potential support ratio: 14.1 (2015 est.)

Government

TurkmenistanIran
Country name"conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turkmenistan
local long form: none
local short form: Turkmenistan
former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the suffix ""-stan"" means ""place of"" or ""country,"" so Turkmenistan literally means the ""Land of the Turkmen [people]""
"
"conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran
conventional short form: Iran
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
local short form: Iran
former: Persia
etymology: name derives from the Avestan term ""aryanam"" meaning ""Land of the noble [ones]""
"
Government typepresidential republic; authoritarian
theocratic republic
Capitalname: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)
geographic coordinates: 37 57 N, 58 23 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Tehran
geographic coordinates: 35 42 N, 51 25 E
time difference: UTC+3.5 (8.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins fourth Tuesday in March; ends fourth Thursday in September
Administrative divisions5 provinces (welayatlar, singular - welayat) and 1 independent city*: Ahal Welayaty (Anew), Ashgabat*, Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dashoguz Welayaty, Lebap Welayaty (Turkmenabat), Mary Welayaty
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
31 provinces (ostanha, singular - ostan); Alborz, Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi (West Azerbaijan), Azarbayjan-e Sharqi (East Azerbaijan), Bushehr, Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan-e Jonubi (South Khorasan), Khorasan-e Razavi (Razavi Khorasan), Khorasan-e Shomali (North Khorasan), Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh va Bowyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan
Independence27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed); notable earlier dates: ca. 550 B.C. (Achaemenid (Persian) Empire established); A.D. 1501 (Iran reunified under the Safavid Dynasty); 1794 (beginning of Qajar Dynasty); 12 December 1925 (modern Iran established under the PAHLAVI Dynasty)
National holidayIndependence Day, 27 October (1991)
Republic Day, 1 April (1979)
Constitutionhistory: adopted 18 May 1992
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership or absolute majority approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2008; note - in mid-2014, the president established a Constitutional Commission to initiate a process for developing constitutional reforms (2017)
history: previous 1906; latest adopted 24 October 1979, effective 3 December 1979
amendments: proposed by the supreme leader – after consultation with the Exigency Council – and submitted as an edict to the “Council for Revision of the Constitution,” a body consisting of various executive, legislative, judicial, and academic leaders and members; passage requires absolute majority vote in a referendum and approval of the supreme leader; articles including Iran’s political system, its religious basis, and its form of government cannot be amended; amended 1989 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system with Islamic law influences
religious legal system based on secular and Islamic law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held in February 2024)
election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW 97.7%, other candidates 2.3%
chief of state: Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
head of government: President Hasan Fereidun RUHANI (since 3 August 2013); First Vice President Eshaq JAHANGIRI (since 5 August 2013)
cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval; the supreme leader has some control over appointments to several ministries
elections/appointments: supreme leader appointed for life by Assembly of Experts; president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term and an additional nonconsecutive term); election last held on 19 May 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: Hasan Fereidun RUHANI reelected president; percent of vote - Hasan Fereidun RUHANI Moderation and Development Party) 58.8%, Mohsen REZAI (Conservative) 39.4%, other 1.8%
note: 3 oversight bodies are also considered part of the executive branch of government
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected from single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 15 December 2013 (next to be held in December 2018), although interim elections are held on an ad hoc basis to fill vacant sets
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 47, Organization of Trade and Unions of Turkmenistan 33, Women's Union of Turkmenistan 16, Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs 14, Magtymguly Youth Organization 8, independents 7; note - all of these parties support President BERDIMUHAMIDOW
description: unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e Shura-ye Eslami or Majles (290 seats; 285 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by two-round vote, and 1 seat each for Zoroastrians, Jews, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians, Armenians in the north of the country, and Armenians in the South; members serve 4-year terms); note - all candidates to the Majles must be approved by the Guardians Council, a 12-member group of which 6 are appointed by the supreme leader and 6 are jurists nominated by the judiciary and elected by the Majles
elections: first round held on 26 February 2016 with second round for 68 remaining seats held on 29 April 2016; (next full Majles election to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by coalition - List of Hope 37.2%, Principlists Grand Coalition 25.9%, People's Voice Coalition 4.5%, joint Hope/People’s Voice 4.1%, joint People’s Voice/Principlist 0.3%, religious minorities 1.7%, independent 26.4%; seats by coalition - List of Hope 108, Principlists Grand Coalition 75, People's Voice Coalition 13, joint Hope/People’s Voice 12, joint People’s Voice/Principlist 1, religious minorities 5, independent 76
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Turkmenistan (consists of the court president and 21 associate judges and organized into civil, criminal, and military chambers)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms
subordinate courts: High Commercial Court; appellate courts; provincial, district, and city courts; military courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the president and NA judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the head of the High Judicial Council (HJC), a 5-member body to include the Supreme Court chief justice, the prosecutor general, and 3 clergy, in consultation with judges of the Supreme Court; president appointed for a 5-year term; other judges appointed by the HJC; judge tenure NA
subordinate courts: Penal Courts I and II; Islamic Revolutionary Courts; Courts of Peace; Special Clerical Court (functions outside the judicial system and handles cases involving clerics); military courts
Political parties and leadersAgrarian Party of Turkmenistan or APT [Ovezmyrat ENERMYRADOV]
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Kasymguly BABAYEW]
Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Orazmammet MAMMEDOW]
note: a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad
Followers of Walayat [Ali LARIJANI]
Pervasive Coalition of Reformists: The Second Step [Ali SOUFI, chairman] (includes Council for Coordinating the Reforms Front, National Trust Party, Union of Islamic Iran People Party, Moderation and Development Party)
Principalists Grand Coalition [Alireza ZAKANI] (includes Combatant Clergy Association and Islamic Coalition Party, Society of Devotees and Pathseekers of the Islamic Revolution, Front of Islamic Revolution Stability)
Progress and Justice Population of Islamic Iran [Hssein GHORBANZADEH]
Political pressure groups and leadersnone
other political groups that support the Islamic Republic: Ansar-e Hizballah
Democracy Party (Hezb-e Mardom Salari)
Executives of Construction Party (Kargozaran)
Followers of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent (Rahrovan)
Followers of the Line of the Imam and the Leader (Peyrovan)
Islamic Iran Freedom Party (Hezb-e Azadegi)
Islamic Coalition Party (Motalefeh)
Islamic Labor Party (Hezb-e Kar)
Militant Clerics Society or MCS (Ruhaniyun)
Moderation and Development Party (Hezb-e Etedal va Tose-eh)
Nation of Iran Unity Party (Hezb-e Etehad)
National Trust Party (Hezb-e Etemad-e Meli)
Qom Theological Lecturers Association
Reform Front Coordination Council (Shora-ye Hamahangi Eslahat)
Society of Devotees (Isargaran)
Society of Modern Thinking Muslim Women of Iran (Jamiat-e Zanan-e Noandish)
Steadfastness Front (Paydari)
Tehran Militant Clergy Association or MCA (Ruhaniyat)
Voice of Iranians (Neda)
Wayfarers of the Islamic Revolution (Rahpuyan)

armed political groups repressed by the government:
Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan or KDPI
Harekat-e Ansar-e Iran (splinter faction of Jundallah)
Jaysh l-Adl (formerly known as Jundallah)
Komala
Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization or MEK (MKO)
People's Fedayeen
People's Free Life Party of Kurdistan or PJAK
International organization participationADB, CIS (associate member, has not ratified the 1993 CIS charter although it participates in meetings and held the chairmanship of the CIS in 2012), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
CICA, CP, D-8, ECO, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, SAARC (observer), SCO (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mered Bairamovich ORAZOW (since 14 February 2001)
chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0697
none; note - Iran has an Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy; address: Iranian Interests Section, Pakistani Embassy, 2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007; telephone: [1] (202) 965-4990; FAX [1] (202) 965-1073
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Allan MUSTARD (since 20 January 2015)
embassy: No. 9 1984 Street (formerly Pushkin Street), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 744000
mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, DC 20521-7070
telephone: [993] (12) 94-00-45
FAX: [993] (12) 94-26-14
none; note - the US Interests Section is located in the Embassy of Switzerland No. 39 Shahid Mousavi (Golestan 5th), Pasdaran Ave., Tehran, Iran; telephone [98] 21 2254 2178/2256 5273; FAX [98] 21 2258 0432
Flag descriptiongreen field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches; five white stars and a white crescent moon appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe; the green color and crescent moon represent Islam; the five stars symbolize the regions or welayats of Turkmenistan; the guls reflect the national identity of Turkmenistan where carpet-making has long been a part of traditional nomadic life
note: the flag of Turkmenistan is the most intricate of all national flags
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red; the national emblem (a stylized representation of the word Allah in the shape of a tulip, a symbol of martyrdom) in red is centered in the white band; ALLAH AKBAR (God is Great) in white Arabic script is repeated 11 times along the bottom edge of the green band and 11 times along the top edge of the red band; green is the color of Islam and also represents growth, white symbolizes honesty and peace, red stands for bravery and martyrdom
National anthem"name: ""Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn"" (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)
lyrics/music: collective/Veli MUKHATOV
note: adopted 1997, lyrics revised in 2008, following the death of President Saparmurat NYYAZOW, to eliminate references to him
"
"name: ""Soroud-e Melli-ye Jomhouri-ye Eslami-ye Iran"" (National Anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran)
lyrics/music: multiple authors/Hassan RIAHI
note: adopted 1990
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)Akhal-Teke horse; national colors: green, white
lion; national colors: green, white, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Turkmenistan
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Iran
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

TurkmenistanIran
Economy - overviewTurkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 9% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports (mainly natural gas) make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP, the bulk of which is natural gas going to China. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face major financing and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon.

Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, and combatting corruption, limiting economic development outside the energy sector. High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing heavy utility subsidies.

Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.49 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 7 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation, corruption, isolationist policies, and limited spending on public services has resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.
"Iran's economy is marked by statist policies, inefficiencies, and reliance on oil and gas exports, but Iran also possesses significant agricultural, industrial, and service sectors. The Iranian government directly owns and operates hundreds of state-owned enterprises and indirectly controls many companies affiliated with the country's security forces. Distortions - including inflation, price controls, subsidies, and a banking system holding billions of dollars of non-performing loans - weigh down the economy, undermining the potential for private-sector-led growth.

Private sector activity includes small-scale workshops, farming, some manufacturing, and services, in addition to medium-scale construction, cement production, mining, and metalworking. Significant informal market activity flourishes and corruption is widespread.

Fiscal and monetary constraints, following the expansion of international sanctions in 2012 on Iran's Central Bank and oil exports, significantly reduced Iran's oil revenue, forced government spending cuts, and sparked a sharp currency depreciation. Iran’s economy contracted for the first time in two decades during both 2012 and 2013, but growth resumed in 2014. Iran's stock market plunged between 2013 and 2015. Iran continues to suffer from high unemployment and underemployment. Lack of job opportunities has prompted many educated Iranian youth to seek employment overseas, resulting in a significant ""brain drain.""

In June 2013, the election of President Hasan RUHANI generated widespread public expectations of economic improvement and greater international engagement. Almost three years into his term, RUHANI has achieved some success, including reining in inflation and, in July of 2015, securing the promise of sanctions relief for Iran by signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the P5+1. The JCPOA, which severely limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for unfreezing Iranian assets and reopening Iran to international trade, should bolster foreign direct investment, increase trade, and stimulate growth.
"
GDP (purchasing power parity)$94.72 billion (2016 est.)
$89.95 billion (2015 est.)
$84.46 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$1.459 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.397 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.391 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate5.3% (2016 est.)
6.5% (2015 est.)
10.3% (2014 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
0.4% (2015 est.)
4.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$17,300 (2016 est.)
$16,700 (2015 est.)
$15,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$18,100 (2016 est.)
$17,600 (2015 est.)
$17,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 13.2%
industry: 47.7%
services: 39.2% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 9.1%
industry: 39.9%
services: 51% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line0.2% (2012 est.)
18.7% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 29.6% (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.5% (2016 est.)
6.4% (2015 est.)
8% (2016 est.)
13.7% (2015 est.)
note: official Iranian estimate
Labor force2.305 million (2013 est.)
29.75 million
note: shortage of skilled labor (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 48.2%
industry: 14%
services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
agriculture: 16.3%
industry: 35.1%
services: 48.6% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate11% (2014 est.)
10.6% (2013)
10.7% (2016 est.)
10.5% (2015 est.)
note: data are according to the Iranian Government
Distribution of family income - Gini index40.8 (1998)
44.5 (2006)
Budgetrevenues: $5.523 billion
expenditures: $5.818 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $65.87 billion
expenditures: $72.29 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesnatural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
petroleum, petrochemicals, gas, fertilizers, caustic soda, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), ferrous and nonferrous metal fabrication, armaments
Industrial production growth rate-1% (2015 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscotton, grain, melons; livestock
wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, sugarcane, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar
Exports$8.756 billion (2016 est.)
$10.38 billion (2015 est.)
$87.52 billion (2016 est.)
$64.6 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
petroleum 80%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets, cement, ore
Exports - partnersChina 68.7%, Turkey 4.9% (2015)
China 22.4%, India 8.7%, Turkey 8.5%, Japan 4.5% (2015)
Imports$7.467 billion (2016 est.)
$8.198 billion (2015 est.)
$62.12 billion (2016 est.)
$52.42 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
industrial supplies, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services
Imports - partnersTurkey 25.1%, Russia 12.3%, China 11%, UAE 9.1%, Kazakhstan 5.2%, Germany 4.6%, Iran 4.5% (2015)
UAE 39.5%, China 22.3%, South Korea 4.7%, Turkey 4.6% (2015)
Debt - external$502.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$454.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$7.116 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.348 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesTurkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar -
4.25 (2016 est.)
3.5 (2015 est.)
3.5 (2014 est.)
2.85 (2013 est.)
2.85 (2012 est.)
Iranian rials (IRR) per US dollar -
30,462.1 (2016 est.)
29,011.5 (2015 est.)
29,011.5 (2014 est.)
25,912 (2013 est.)
12,176 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
21 March - 20 March
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$10.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$135.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$110 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$7.605 billion (2016 est.)
-$5.054 billion (2015 est.)
$23.57 billion (2016 est.)
$9.019 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$36.57 billion (2016 est.)
$412.3 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$3.061 billion (2013 est.)
$3.117 billion (2012 est.)
$46.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$43.05 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$89.43 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$116.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$345.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate5% (31 December 2014)
5% (31 December 2013)
NA%
Stock of domestic credit$28.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$13.09 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$54.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$47.04 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.326 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.255 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$40.23 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$38.44 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$12.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.632 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$363.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$307.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues15.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
16% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
-1.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 50%
government consumption: 10.9%
investment in fixed capital: 26.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 33.9%
imports of goods and services: -21.6% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 50.8%
government consumption: 10%
investment in fixed capital: 27.1%
investment in inventories: 6.1%
exports of goods and services: 23.2%
imports of goods and services: -17.2% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving20.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
-22.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
33% of GDP (2016 est.)
31.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
34.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

TurkmenistanIran
Electricity - production22.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
258 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption13 billion kWh (2014 est.)
218 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports3.2 billion kWh (2014 est.)
9.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
3.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production243,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
3.3 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
87,440 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports70,740 bbl/day (2013 est.)
1.042 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves600 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
157.8 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves7.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
34.02 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production76 billion cu m (2014 est.)
174.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption30.2 billion cu m (2014 est.)
170.2 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports45.79 billion cu m (2014 est.)
9.86 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2014 est.)
6.886 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity4.275 million kW (2014 est.)
77 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels100% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
85.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
12.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
1.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production173,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
1.93 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption145,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
1.952 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports47,830 bbl/day (2013 est.)
240,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
12,630 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy67 million Mt (2013 est.)
650.4 million Mt (2014 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
population without electricity: 1,100,000
electrification - total population: 98.6%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 95% (2013)

Telecommunications

TurkmenistanIran
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 648,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 30,418,973
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 7.842 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 150 (July 2015 est.)
total: 74.219 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: telecommunications network is gradually improving
domestic: Turkmentelekom, in cooperation with foreign partners, has installed high-speed fiber-optic lines and has upgraded most of the country's telephone exchanges and switching centers with new digital technology; combined fixed-line and mobile teledensity is about 160 per 100 persons; Russia's Mobile Telesystems, the only foreign mobile-cellular service provider in Turkmenistan, had its operating license suspended in December 2010 but was able to resume operations in September 2012; Turkmenistan's first telecommunication satellite was launched in 2015 and is expected to greatly improve connectivity in the country
international: country code - 993; linked by fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; an exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat (2015)
general assessment: currently being modernized and expanded with the goal of not only improving the efficiency and increasing the volume of the urban service but also bringing telephone service to several thousand villages not presently connected
domestic: heavy investment by Iran's state-owned telecom company has greatly improved and expanded both the fixed-line and mobile cellular networks; a huge percentage of the cell phones in the market have been smuggled into the country
international: country code - 98; submarine fiber-optic cable to UAE with access to Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line runs from Azerbaijan through the northern portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with expansion to Georgia and Azerbaijan; HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; satellite earth stations - 13 (9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat) (2015)
Internet country code.tm
.ir
Internet userstotal: 785,000
percent of population: 15% (July 2015 est.)
total: 36.07 million
percent of population: 44.1% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediabroadcast media is government controlled and censored; 7 state-owned TV and 4 state-owned radio networks; satellite dishes and programming provide an alternative to the state-run media; officials sometimes limit access to satellite TV by removing satellite dishes (2007)
state-run broadcast media with no private, independent broadcasters; Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the state-run TV broadcaster, operates 5 nationwide channels, a news channel, about 30 provincial channels, and several international channels; about 20 foreign Persian-language TV stations broadcasting on satellite TV are capable of being seen in Iran; satellite dishes are illegal and, while their use had been tolerated, authorities began confiscating satellite dishes following the unrest stemming from the 2009 presidential election; IRIB operates 8 nationwide radio networks, a number of provincial stations, and an external service; most major international broadcasters transmit to Iran (2009)

Transportation

TurkmenistanIran
Railwaystotal: 2,980 km
broad gauge: 2,980 km 1.520-m gauge (2014)
total: 8,483.5 km
broad gauge: 94 km 1.676-m gauge
standard gauge: 8,389.5 km 1.435-m gauge (189.5 km electrified) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 58,592 km
paved: 47,577 km
unpaved: 11,015 km (2002)
total: 198,866 km
paved: 160,366 km (includes 1,948 km of expressways)
unpaved: 38,500 km (2010)
Waterways1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
850 km (on Karun River; some navigation on Lake Urmia) (2012)
Pipelinesgas 7,500 km; oil 1,501 km (2013)
condensate 7 km; condensate/gas 973 km; gas 20,794 km; liquid petroleum gas 570 km; oil 8,625 km; refined products 7,937 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Turkmenbasy
major seaport(s): Bandar-e Asaluyeh, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Emam
container port(s) (TEUs): Bandar Abbas (2,752,460)
Merchant marinetotal: 11
by type: cargo 4, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)
total: 76
by type: bulk carrier 8, cargo 51, chemical tanker 3, container 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 2 (UAE 2)
registered in other countries: 71 (Barbados 5, Cyprus 10, Hong Kong 3, Malta 48, Panama 5) (2010)
Airports26 (2013)
319 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 21
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
total: 140
over 3,047 m: 42
2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 26
914 to 1,523 m: 36
under 914 m: 7 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
total: 179
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 135
under 914 m: 32 (2013)
Heliports1 (2013)
26 (2013)

Military

TurkmenistanIran
Military branchesTurkmen Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2013)
Islamic Republic of Iran Regular Forces (Artesh): Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force (IRIAF), Khatemolanbia Air Defense Headquarters; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Eslami, IRGC): Ground Resistance Forces, Navy, Aerospace Force, Qods Force (special operations); Law Enforcement Forces (2015)
Military service age and obligation18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2015)
18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 17 years of age for Law Enforcement Forces; 15 years of age for Basij Forces (Popular Mobilization Army); conscript military service obligation is 18 months; women exempt from military service (2012)

Transnational Issues

TurkmenistanIran
Disputes - internationalcotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005, but Caspian seabed delimitation remains stalled with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan due to Turkmenistan's indecision over how to allocate the sea's waters and seabed; bilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian
Iran protests Afghanistan's limiting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which are occupied by Iran; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey
Illicit drugstransit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan
despite substantial interdiction efforts and considerable control measures along the border with Afghanistan, Iran remains one of the primary transshipment routes for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe; suffers one of the highest opiate addiction rates in the world, and has an increasing problem with synthetic drugs; regularly enforces the death penalty for drug offences; lacks anti-money laundering laws; has reached out to neighboring countries to share counter-drug intelligence
Refugees and internally displaced personsstateless persons: 5,744 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 2.5 - 3.0 (1 million registered, 1.5 - 2.0 million undocumented) (Afghanistan); 28,268 (Iraq) (2016)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Turkmenistan is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Turkmen who migrate abroad are forced to work in the textile, agriculture, construction, and domestic service industries, while women and girls may also be sex trafficked; in 2014, men surpassed women as victims; Turkey and Russia are primary trafficking destinations, followed by the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and other parts of Europe; Turkmen also experience forced labor domestically in the informal construction industry; participation in the cotton harvest is still mandatory for some public sector employees
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Turkmenistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Turkmenistan was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government made some progress in its law enforcement efforts in 2014, convicting more offenders than in 2013; authorities did not make adequate efforts to identify and protect victims and did not fund international organizations or NGOs that offered protective services; some victims were punished for crimes as a result of being trafficked (2015)
current situation: Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; organized groups sex traffic Iranian women and children in Iran and to the UAE and Europe; the transport of girls from and through Iran en route to the Gulf for sexual exploitation or forced marriages is on the rise; Iranian children are also forced to work as beggars, street vendors, and in domestic workshops; Afghan boys forced to work in construction or agriculture are vulnerable to sexual abuse by their employers; Pakistani and Afghan migrants being smuggled to Europe often are subjected to forced labor, including debt bondage
tier rating: Tier 3 – Iran does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government does not share information on its anti-trafficking efforts, but publically available information from NGOs, the media, and international organizations indicates that Iran is not taking adequate measures to address its trafficking problems, particularly protecting victims; Iranian law does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking; female victims find it extremely difficult to get justice because Iranian courts accord women’s testimony half the weight of men's, and female victims of sexual abuse, including trafficking, are likely to be prosecuted for adultery; the government did not identify or provide protection services to any victims and continued to punish victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; the government made some effort to cooperate with neighboring governments and an international organization to combat human trafficking and other crimes (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook