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|Official Name||Islamic Republic of Iran|
|Land Area||1,648,000 sq km|
|Population||75.33 million (2011 UN estimate)|
|Religion||Shi’a Muslim (95%); Sunni Muslim (4%); Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Bahá’i minorities (1%)|
|Language||Persian (Farsi) and Persian dialects (58%); Turkic dialects (26%); Kurdish (9%); Lori (2%); Baluchi (1%); Arabic (1%); Turkish (1%)|
|Currency||1 Touman = 10 Iranian Riyals (IR)|
|Exchange Rate||US$1 = IRR11,120 (as at January 2012)
NZ$1 = IRR8,759 (as at January 2012)
|Political system||Presidential and parliamentary Islamic republic|
|National government||Dual power structure with a supreme religious leader (valih-e faqih or rahbar) directing the government under a constitution based on the late Ayatollah Khomeini’s theory of Islamic government. Policy is determined by the President and his appointed ministers who collectively make up the Cabinet.|
|National legislature||Majlis-e-Shuray-e Islami (Islamic Consultative Assembly) of 290 members. All candidates for the Majlis must be recommended by recognised political groups and approved by an Islamic screening committee. A 12-member Council of Guardians – composed of senior jurists - make up the upper chamber. An Expediency Council mediates between the Majlis and the Guardian Council.|
|Last election||April 2008 (parliamentary runoffs), June 2009 (presidential)|
|Next election due||Early 2012 (legislative), 2013 (presidential)|
|Supreme Leader||Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appointed by the Council of Guardians in June 1989|
Head of State and Government
|President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, first elected in June 2005|
|Main political parties||Political parties are technically illegal in Iran. The conservative faction holds an outright majority in the Majlis. A loose confederation of opposition supporters - the “Green Movement” - represents reformist interests.|
|GDP||US$473.59 billion (2011 EIU estimate)|
|Real GDP growth||2% (2011 EIU estimate)|
|Exports||US$100.78 billion (2011 EIU estimate)|
|Imports||US$57.16 billion (2009 EIU estimate)|
|Current account balance||US$66.93 billion (2011 EIU estimate)|
|Inflation||17.8% (2011 EIU estimate)|
|NZ Exports (FOB)||NZ$257.1 million (for the year to December 2011)|
|Main Exports||Butter (76.2%); frozen fish (9.7%); milk powder (7.2%); wool (5.1%)|
|NZ Imports (CIF)||NZ$4.28 million (for the year to December 2011)|
|Main Imports||Dates and figs (57.4%); ethylene polymers (11.5%); carpets (4.3%)|
EIU = Economist Intelligence Unit
The New Zealand Embassy in Tehran opened in April 1975, and was New Zealand’s first diplomatic mission in the region. Iran established its embassy in Wellington in the mid-1980s.
The bilateral relationship has traditionally been based primarily on the commodities trade between the two countries. Iran is currently New Zealand’s third largest export market in the Middle East. In the year to December 2012, New Zealand exports to Iran were worth NZ$257.1 million, with dairy products, fish and wool being the major export commodities. Imports in the same period amounted to NZ$4.28 million and consisted mainly of dried fruits, nuts and dates.
Over recent years, Iran’s nuclear programme has been the subject of a number of resolutions by both the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors. New Zealand has supported the UNSC resolutions which impose sanctions on Iran for non-compliance with IAEA inspection requirements. These resolutions are implemented in New Zealand through the United Nations (Iran) Sanctions Amendment Regulations 2010.
New Zealand is represented in Iran by:
Iran is represented in New Zealand by:
The Safetravel website [external link] provides a travel advisory for travellers to Iran.
Enquiries may be directed to Consular Division at the following numbers: telephone: +64 4 439 8000; fax: +64 4 439 8532.