Located in southwest Asia, in the Middle East, Iran is one of the largest countries in the region with an area of about 1.6 million square kilometers and a population of about 79 million. Tehran is the largest and most populous city and the political center of Iran.
The official language is called Persian or Farsi. Iran is one of the oldest countries of the world and one of the cradles of civilization. Also it is home to a rich cultural heritage, part of which has been registered on UNESCO World Heritage List, giving it the 4th rank in Asia and 12th in the world.
According to the latest administrative divisions (2014), Iran is divided into 31 provinces. Its ethnic composition is diverse: 50% Farsi-speaking people, 19% Azerbaijanis, 10% Lors, 6% Gilaks and Mazandaranis, 6% Kurds, 2% Baluchis, 2% Arabs and 2% Turkmens, and the remaining 1% from other ethnicities (from the report of United Nations Population Fund).
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO) report, Iran ranks 10th in ancient and historic attractions and 5th in natural attractions in the world. Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz and Neishaboor are some of Iran's tourist destinations.
This country is climatically dry, except in a northern strip beside the Caspian Sea with a Mediterranean-like climate.
There are 2569 universities in 31 provinces of Iran, including 530 "Islamic Azad" universities, 309 "nonprofit" institutions, 170 occupational and professional training centers, 466 "Payam-e Noor" universities, 953 universities of applied sciences, 141 public universities (covered by Ministry of Science, Research and Technology), 61 universities and schools of medical sciences,
and 4 independent universities (Shahed, Baqiyat-Allah, Army, and Azad universities). These institutions are teaching and training a total of 3,794,420 students (1,723,269 female and 2,071,151 male students).
Neishaboor is located in Razavi Khorasan province (northeastern Iran), 110 km from provincial capital, Mashhad.