According to Mehrnews, latest statistics from IRNIC show that over 754 thousand .IR domains have been registered and are active. The statistics for the number of .IR domains in the past year was 618 thousand.
.IR is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Iran and is managed by IRNIC which has been established since 1994. IRNIC is associated with the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences. Though .IR domains are intended for entities connected to Iran, the domain is also available for registration by non-Iranians.
The recent statistics show that .IR tops the list of the registered users while NET.IR which is intended for ISPs and network companies has the least number of registered users allocated to itself. CO.IR, .ایران and AC.IR also have more than 3700, 2100 and 1500 registries respectively to themselves. There are currently 47 domestic resellers and 8 foreign resellers for .IR domain.
In 2012 there were more than 100,000 registered .IR domains, almost two times the amount in the previous year. In 2013 this number reached to over 400,000 and in the last year in passed 600,000.
Currently Iran has the biggest number of registered country code top-level domains (ccTLD) in the region and has surpassed countries such as Singapore, Turkey, Malaysia, Finland and Greece. With 45 percent annual growth of internet domains, Iran is considered as one of the four countries in terms of internet domain growth.
Why is .IR becoming more popular?
One of the main reasons could be the low price of .IR domains. These domains are being sold by third party resellers for as low as 6,000 Tomans (1.5 dollars) where .COM domains are being sold for 39,000 Tomans (11 dollars).
There are also many up and coming startups which are looking for a unique name for their new initiatives and by going for a .IR domain, they’ll have a better chance at finding a name that is available for registration. Although there are many online companies in Iran which have the same name as an another company outside the country, since their target market is in Iran it’s not that important for them in terms of branding.
As people are becoming more aware of the value of these .IR domains, the demand for some of the popular names is raising and the black market prices is increasing. But even the after-market prices for these .IR prices is much lower than the .COM names.