East Azerbaijan Province

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This article is about the Iranian province. For other uses, see Azerbaijan (disambiguation).
East Azerbaijan Province
استان آذربایجان شرقی
Province
Map of Iran with East Azerbaijan highlighted
Location of East Azerbaijan within Iran
East Azerbaijan counties
East Azerbaijan counties
Coordinates: 38°04′36″N 46°16′48″E / 38.0766°N 46.2800°E / 38.0766; 46.2800Coordinates: 38°04′36″N 46°16′48″E / 38.0766°N 46.2800°E / 38.0766; 46.2800
Country  Iran
Region Region 3
Capital Tabriz
Counties 19
Government
 • Governor Easmaeil Jabbarzadeh
Area
 • Total 45,650 km2 (17,630 sq mi)
Population (2011 Census)[1]
 • Total 3,724,620
 • Density 82/km2 (210/sq mi)
Time zone IRST (UTC+03:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRST (UTC+04:30)
Main language(s) Persian (official)
local languages:
Azerbaijani

East Azerbaijan Province (Persian: استان آذربایجان شرقی‎, Āzarbāijān-e Sharqi: Azerbaijani: شرقی آذربایجان اوستانی) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is located in Iranian Azerbaijan, bordering with Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Ardabil Province, West Azerbaijan Province, and Zanjan Province. The capital of East Azerbaijan is Tabriz. East Azerbaijan Province is in Regions 3 of Iran, with its secretariat located in its capital city, Tabriz.[2]

Geography

Arasbaran Forests, a UNESCO reserved biosphere

The province covers an area of approximately 47,830 km², it has a population of around four million people. The historical city of Tabriz is the most important city of this province, culturally, politically, and commercially. The province has common borders with the current Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nakhchivan. A fine network of roads and railways connect East Azerbaijan to other parts of Iran and also to neighboring countries.

The highest peak of East Azerbaijan is Sahand Mountain at 3,722 m of elevation, lying south of Tabriz, whereas the lower lying areas are around Garmadooz (Ahar). The heights of the province may be classified into three sectors, namely: the Qara Daq Mountains, the Sahand and Bozqoosh Mountains, and the Qaflan Kooh Mountains.

Generally speaking, East Azerbaijan enjoys a cool, dry climate, being in the main a mountainous region. But the gentle breezes off the Caspian Sea have some influence on the climate of the low-lying areas. Temperatures run up to 8.9 °C in Tabriz, and 20 °C in Maraqeh, in the winter dropping to -10-15 °C at least (depending on how cold the overall year is). The ideal seasons to visit this province are in the spring and summer months.

History

East Azerbaijan is one of the most archaic territories in Iran. During the reign of Alexander of Macedon in Iran (331 BCE), a warrior known as Attorpat led a revolt in this area, then a territory of the Medes, and thereafter it was called Attorpatkan. Since then this vicinity has been known as Azarabadegan, Azarbadgan and Azarbayjan.

Islamic researchers proclaim that the birth of the prophet Zoroaster was in this area, in the vicinity of Lake Orumieh (Chichesht), Konzak City. Needless to say, this province was subject to numerous political and economical upheavals, attracting the interest of foreigners. The Russians in particular have tried to exert a lasting influence in the region over the past 300 years, occupying the area on numerous occasions. The constitutionalist movement of Iran began here in the late 19th century.

Ethnic tensions in Azerbaijan can visibly trace their origins back to the colonialist policies of Imperial Russia & later the Soviet Union. In a cable sent on July 6, 1945 by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the local Soviet commander in Russian (northern) held Azerbaijan was instructed as such:

Begin preparatory work to form a national autonomous Azerbaijan district with broad powers within the Iranian state and simultaneously develop separatist movements in the provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran, Gorgan, and Khorasan".[3]

In 1945 the Soviet Union helped set up the Azerbaijan People's Government in what is now East Azerbaijan.

Administrative divisions

At the 1986 census there were twelve counties in East Azerbaijan Province. By the 1996 census two additional counties had been formed, Jolfa from part of Marand, and Malekan from part of Bonab. Between 1996 and 2002, five new counties were formed: Ajabshir, Azarshahr, Charoimaq, Osku, and Varzaqan.[4] In 2010 Kalibar was split in half with the northern part becoming Khoda Afarin, while the southern part kept the name Kalibar.

Counties at the 1986 census

Map Abbreviation in map County (Shahrestan)
East-Azarbaijan-Abb.PNG
A Ahar County
B Bonab County
BA Bostanabad County
H Heris County
HR Hashtrud County
K Kalibar County
Md Marand County
Mn Mianeh County
Mq Maragheh County
S Sarab County
Sh Shabestar County
T Tabriz County

Counties as of 2012

Culture

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Carpet Bazaar of Tabriz.JPG
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii, iv
Reference 1346
UNESCO region Asia and Australasia
Inscription history
Inscription 2010 (34th Session)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Armenian Monastic Ensembles in Iran
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
St-Stepanous-02.jpg
Saint Stepanos Monastery, Jolfa.
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii, vi
Reference 1262
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 2008 (32nd Session)
A sample of Tabriz rugs
Ghorabiye cookies of Tabriz

The most outstanding features from a cultural point of view are the language, Azari/Azerice, and folklore of this region. According to Dehkhoda Dictionary, the language of Azerbaijan is originally "a branch of the Iranian languages known as Azari" (see Ancient Azari language).However the modern Azeri language is a Turkic language very closely related to the language of Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkey.[5] Apart from this, the province also boasts numerous learned scholars, gnostics, several national poets such as Mowlana Baba Mazeed, Khajeh Abdol Raheem Aj Abadi, Sheikh Hassan Bolqari, and Abdolqader Nakhjavani, to name a few, and the contemporary poet Ostad Mohammad Hossein Shahriyar. The current leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, also originally comes from this region.

Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has registered 936 sites of historical significance in the province. Some are contemporary, and some are from the antiquity of ancient Persia. "Zahak Citadel", for example, is the name of an ancient ruin in East Azerbaijan, which according to various experts, was inhabited from the second millennium BC until the Timurid era. First excavated in the 1800s by British archeologists, Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has been studying the structure in 6 phases.[1]

East Azerbaijan hails from a rich compendium of Azeri traditions. Many local dances and folk songs continue to survive among the various peoples of the province. As a longstanding province of Iran, Azerbaijan is mentioned favorably on many occasions in Persian literature by Iran's greatest authors and poets.

Notable people

East Azerbaijan today

Bank Sepah, Tabriz

East Azerbaijan province is an industrial centre of Iran. East Azerbaijan province has over 5000 manufacturing units (6% percent of national total). The value of product from these units in 1997 was US$374 million (373 billion rials = 4.07% of the national total). Total investments were valued at US$2.7 billion (2.4513 trillion rials) in 1997.[6]

Some of the major industries in East Azerbaijan are glass industries, paper manufacturing, steel, copper and nepheline syenite, oil refinery, petrochemical processing facilities, chemical products, pharmaceutical processing, foundries, vehicle and auto-parts industries, industrial machines, agricultural machine, food industries, leather and shoe industries.

East Azerbaijan has an excellent position in the handicraft industry of Iran, which has a large share in the exports of the province. Tabriz carpets are widely known around the world and in international markets for their vibrant designs and colors. At present there are about 66,000 carpet production units in the province, employing some 200,000 people. The annual production of these carpets is roughly 792,000 m², which comprises more than 70% of Iran's carpet exports. 35% of all Iranian carpets are produced in East Azerbaijan.

East Azerbaijan province is also one of the richest regions of Iran in natural minerals, with 180 mines in 1997, of which 121 units are currently in operation, and the rest are being planned.

UNESCO has two Biosphere reserves in East Azerbaijan province. One in Lake Urmia and the other at Arasbaran.

Colleges and universities

East Azerbaijan also has some of Iran's prestigious universities including:

See also

References

  1. ^ National Census 2012
  2. ^ "همشهری آنلاین-استان‌های کشور به ۵ منطقه تقسیم شدند (Provinces were divided into 5 regions)". Hamshahri Online (in Persian (Farsi)). 22 June 2014 (1 Tir 1393, Jalaali). Archived from the original on 23 June 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Decree of the CC CPSU Politburo to Mir Bagirov, CC Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, on "measures to Organize a Separatist Movement in Southern Azerbaijan and Other Provinces of Northern Iran". Translation provided by The Cold War International History Project at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
  4. ^ "Iran Counties". 
  5. ^ See also Ahmad Kasravi, Azari or The Ancient Language of Azerbaijan (Āzari yā Zabān-e Bāstān-e Āzar'bāi'jān), in Persian, third edition (Tehran, 1325 AH/1946). This text can be downloaded free of charge from the bibliography section (Ketāb Shenāsi) of: Ahmad Kasravi, 1891-1946.
  6. ^ According to the information released by the office of the provincial governor.

External links