Iran is dominated by the Iranian plateau and surrounded by mountain ranges, such as the Zagros mountains (in the south-west) and the Elburz (in the north). In the latter is the country’s highest peak, the Damavand, reaching 5,610 meters (18,405 ft). The main plains are the Aralo-Caspian depression along the Caspian coast and the Mesopotamian depression on the Persian Gulf, next to the frontier with Irak in Arvandrud (Chat-el-Arab). The climate is desert or dry continental.
The whole of Iran is arid or semi-arid, except along the Caspian coast where the climate is mainly subtropical. The main rivers of Iran are the Sefid-Rud, Karun and Hilment. The main cities are Teheran (the capital), Tabriz, Meshed, Ispahan, Shiraz, Abadan, Ahwaz and Kermanshah.