Report on the Delegation of the ایران. (“Iran”) domain representing the Islamic Republic of Iran in Arabic

13 September 2013

This report is being provided under the contract for performance of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function between the United States Government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Under that contract, ICANN performs the “IANA functions”, which include receiving delegation and redelegation requests concerning TLDs, investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, making its recommendations, and reporting actions undertaken in connection with processing such requests.

Factual Information


The “IR” ISO 3166-1 code is designated for use to represent the Islamic Republic of Iran.


The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “ایران”.This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--mgba3a4f16a”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0627 U+06CC U+0631 U+0627 U+0646.

In Persian language, the string has a meaning and transliteration equivalent to “Iran” in English. The string is expressed using the Arabic script.

Chronology of events

In 1989, the Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IPM) was established initially “with the aim of supporting research in the fields of mathematics and theoretical physics.” The entity later expanded its responsibilities and was renamed to “the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences.” It functions under the auspice of the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology in the country.

In 2000, IPM established a semi-autonomous department “IRNIC” within IPM to be responsible for the DNS-related tasks.

In March 2005, a public test of second-level internationalised domain names was conducted to determine which domain name should be selected to represent the country in Arabic script. As a result, string “ایران” received the highest number of registrations.

On 25 November 2009, IPM applied for selection of the domain to represent Iran through the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process.

On 4 October 2010, review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that “the applied-for strings ... present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in [the IDN Fast Track implementation plan] ... and present an acceptably low risk of user confusion”. The request for the string to represent the Islamic Republic of Iran was subsequently approved.

On 8 July 2013, IPM initiated a request to ICANN for delegation of “ایران” as a country-code top-level domain for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Proposed Sponsoring Organization and Contacts

The proposed sponsoring organisation is the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences. The entity was established in 1989 initially “with the aim of supporting research in the fields of mathematics and theoretical physics.” These responsibilities were later expanded to include communication and connectivity, as well as the management of the .IR top-level domain for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The proposed administrative contact is Alireza Saleh, Chief Executive Officer of IRNIC. The administrative contact is understood to be based in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The proposed technical contact is Farzin Azaripour, Chief Technical Officer of IPM.

Evaluation of the Request

String Eligibility

The top-level domain is eligible for delegation under ICANN policy, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of the Islamic Republic of Iran through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and Iran is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.

Public Interest

The government support for the application was provided in a letter from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

Additional support was provided in a letter from the Iranian ICT Guild Organization.

The proposed sponsoring organisation undertakes to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.

Based in country

The proposed sponsoring organisation is constituted in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The registry is to be operated in the country.


The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer have not been evaluated.

The application is not known to be contested.


The application has provided satisfactory details on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain. The proposed operator is the current manager of .IR ASCII country code top-level domain for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.

Evaluation Procedure

ICANN is tasked with coordinating the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with the U.S. Government. This includes accepting and evaluating requests for delegation and redelegation of top-level domains.

A subset of top-level domains are designated for the local Internet communities in countries to operate in a way that best suits their local needs. These are known as country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs), and are assigned by ICANN to responsible trustees (known as “Sponsoring Organisations”) that meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the trustee has from its local Internet community, its capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and its applicability under any relevant local laws.

Through ICANN’s IANA department, requests are received for delegating new ccTLDs, and redelegating or revoking existing ccTLDs. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, the requests are implemented and a recommendation for delegation or redelegation is made to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Purpose of evaluations

The evaluation of eligibility for ccTLDs, and of evaluating responsible trustees charged with operating them, is guided by a number of principles. The objective of the assessment is that the action enhances the secure and stable operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.

In considering requests to delegate or redelegate ccTLDs, input is sought regarding the proposed new Sponsoring Organisation, as well as from persons and organisations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated.

The assessment is focussed on the capacity for the proposed sponsoring organisation to meet the following criteria:

Method of evaluation

To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and method of operation. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, various documentation is sought describing: the views of the local internet community on the application; the competencies and skills of the trustee to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed trustee; and the nature of government support fort he proposal. The view of any current trustee is obtained, and in the event of a redelegation, the transfer plan from the previous sponsoring organisation to the new sponsoring organisation is also assessed with a view to ensuring ongoing stable operation of the domain.

After receiving this documentation and input, it is analysed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed sponsoring organisation should the information provided in the original application be deficient. The applicant is given the opportunity to cure any deficiencies before a final assessment is made.

Once all the documentation has been received, various technical checks are performed on the proposed sponsoring organisation’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries correctly. Should any anomalies be detected, ICANN staff will work with the applicant to address the issues.

Assuming all issues are resolved, an assessment is compiled providing all relevant details regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and its suitability to operate the relevant top-level domain.