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|— Former Province —|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+03:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||IRST (UTC+04:30)|
Khorasan (Persian: استان خراسان) (also transcribed as Khurasan and Khorassan, anciently called Traxiane during Hellenistic and Parthian times) currently names a region located in north eastern Iran, but historically referred to a much larger area east and north-east of the Persian Empire. The name Khorasan is Persian and means "where the sun arrives from." The name was given to the eastern province of Persia during the Sassanid Empire.
Khorasan is famous world wide for its saffron and zereshk which are produced in the southern cities of the province. Production is more than 170 tons per year. Khorasan is also known for its famous rugs as well as for the Ferdousi and Imamreza shrines/tombs.
Khorasan was the largest province of Iran until it was divided to three provinces on September 29, 2004. The provinces approved by the parliament (on May 18, 2004) and the Council of Guardians (on May 29, 2004) are:
- North Khorasan, center: Bojnourd, other counties: Shirvan, Esfarayen, Garmeh and Jajarm, and Maneh and Samalgan
- South Khorasan, center: Birjand, other counties: Ferdows, Qaen, Nehbandan, Sarayan, Sarbisheh and Darmian.
- Razavi Khorasan, center: Mashhad, other counties: Sabzevar, Neyshabour, Torbat-e-Heydariyeh, Quchan, Torbat-e Jam, Kashmar, Taybad, Gonabad, Dargaz, Sarakhs, Chenaran, Fariman, Khaf, Roshtkhar, Bardaskan, Kalat and Khalil Abad.
Some parts of the province were added to
The older Persian province of Khorasan included parts which are today in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Some of the main historical cities of Persia are located in the older Khorasan: Nishapur and Tus (now in Iran), Merv and Sanjan (now in Turkmenistan), Samarkand and Bukhara (both now in Uzbekistan), Herat and Balkh (now in Afghanistan), Khujand and Panjakent (now in Tajikistan). In its long history, Khorasan knew many conquerors and empires: Greeks, Mauryans, Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Safavids, Pashtuns (ethnic Afghans) and others.
The major ethnic groups in this region are Persians with Kurdish, Turkish and Turkmen minorities. Most of the people in the region speak closely related modern day dialects of Persian. The largest cluster of settlements and cultivation stretches around the city of Meshed northwestward, containing the important towns of Quchan, Shirvan, and Bojnurd. The languages spoken in Khorasan is Persian.
In August 1968 and September 1978, the region was the scene of two major earthquakes that left 12,000 and 25,000 people dead, respectively.
References and notes 
The population of all 3 provinces is over 7,000,000 (including the township of Tabas), but the total area of the Khorasan region is greater than the size of the United Kingdom which is 244,000 square km. The main ethnic group is Persians
See also