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Approximately 30 percent of this boundary is seacoast. Iran's central plateau is actually a tectonic plate.
It forms a basin surrounded by several tall, heavily eroded mountain ranges, principally the Elburz Mountains in the north and the Zagros range in the west and south.
It is perhaps easiest to speak of the various ethnic groups in the country in terms of their first language.
Approximately half of the population speaks Persian and affiliated dialects as their primary language.
This marks a radical shift from the mid-twentieth century when only 25 percent lived in cities.
Iran is a multiethnic, multicultural society as a result of millennia of migration and conquest.
Turkic speakers constitute approximately 20 to 25 percent of the population.
The term is often used to designate the larger cultural sphere of Iranian civilization.
Ancient Greek geographers designated the territory as "Persia" after the territory of Fars where the ancient Achamenian Empire had its seat.
Today as a result of migration and conquest, people of Indo-European, Turkic, Arab, and Caucasian origin have some claim to Iranian cultural identity.
The arid interior plateau contains two remarkable deserts: the Dasht-e-Kavir (Kavīr Desert) and the Dasht-e-Lut (Lūt Desert).
These two deserts dominate the eastern part of the country, and form part of an arid landscape extending into Central Asia and Pakistan.