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During 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 between 1987 and 1988. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US and UN economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism and conventional weapons proliferation. Following the election of reformer Hojjatol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 and similarly a reformer Majles (parliament) in 2000, a campaign to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated.
15-64 years: 70.9% (male 28,083,193/female 27,170,445)
65 years and over: 5% (male 1,844,967/female 2,055,846) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Iran
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
local short form: Iran
geographic coordinates: 35 40 N, 51 25 E
time difference: UTC+3.5 (8.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
over 3,047 m: 42
2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 24
914 to 1,523 m: 34
under 914 m: 7 (2012)
As a result of these inefficiencies, significant informal market activity flourishes and shortages are common. High oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass nearly $70 billion in foreign exchange reserves. Yet this increased revenue has not eased economic hardships, which include double-digit unemployment and inflation. The economy has seen only moderate growth. Iran’s educated population, economic inefficiency and insufficient investment – both foreign and domestic – have prompted an increasing number of Iranians to seek employment overseas, resulting in significant “brain drain.”
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