|Time zone||IRST (UTC+3:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||IRDT (UTC+4:30)|
Piranshahr (kurdish : پیرانشار Persian : پیرانشهر , is a city located in West Azarbaijan Province in northwest Iran. The city is the official capital of Mokrian region in southern parts of West Azerbaijan province.
Piranshahr is the seat of Piranshahr County and its inhabitants are sometimes referred to as Piranshahris, but this term is also applied to those people who live in the neighbouring communities.
Piranshahr is on the border between Iran and Iraq, and the high mountains of Siyah Kooh and Sipan lie respectively to the northwest and south. The River Zaab and Lavin (Laven) originates in these mountains.
Piranshahr is one of the Iran's oldest cities and its foundations date back to the pre-Islamic era of Iran and the emergence of the kingdom of Media.
The city of Piranshahr produces a full range of over 100 different granite materials in a variety of colours and textures. The quality and the beauty of Piranshahr granites are one of the best-known in the world.
The city is one of the fastest-growing cities in Iran. The government's mid-year estimate for 2014 puts Piranshahr's population at 270,138 compared with the 2012 figure of 220,000.The city is forecast to have a population of approximately. 320,000 by 2015 and 350,000 by 2016.
Piranshahr experiences variable weather, including four distinct seasons. In July, the warmest month, high temperatures average 29 °C (84 °F), and low temperatures 17 °C (63 °F). In January, the coldest month, High temperatures average -2 °C (29 °F), with low temperatures averaging -11 °C (13 °F).
Piranshahr's yearly precipitation averages about 965 mm (38 inches). Summer is the rainiest season, with short-lived rainfall and thunderstorms more common than prolonged rainy periods . Winter is the driest season, with most of the precipitation falling as snow.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Piranshahr is an unofficial 44 °C (109 °F) on July 24, 1935. The highest official temperature ever recorded is 42 °C (105 °F) on July 17, 1995 during the Piranshahr Heat Wave. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Piranshahr is -33 °C (-27 °F) on January 20, 1985. On December 24, 1983, the high temperature at Piranshahr reached only -23 °C (-11 °F), and on July 30, 1916, the low temperature sank to only 29 °C (84 °F), both of which are records.
Winter in Piranshahr is a variable and fickle season. The average Piranshahr winter produces 940 mm (37.0 inches) of snow. This number can prove unreliable, as Piranshahr winters have produced between 249 and 2210 mm (9.8 and 87.0 inches) of snow. Snow tends to fall in light accumulations of around 50.8 mm (2 inches), but about once per year Piranshahr experiences a storm that can produce 254 to 356 mm (10 to 14 inches) of snow in one day. Temperatures can vary wildly within the span of one week, but extended periods of temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) are not uncommon in January and February. The temperature in January averages about -4 °C (25 °F) in the afternoon, and -12 °C (10 °F) at night. Temperatures can be expected to drop below -18 °C (0 °F) on 15 days throughout the winter season. Although rare, temperatures in Piranshahr even in the middle of winter can reach 10 °C (50 °F).
Piranshahr has no active or dormant volcanoes and few earthquakes, however many residents of Piranshahr city feel one or two minor earthquakes per year, which do little or no damage. Imperceptible quakes are detected by seismometers on a daily basis.
West Azarbaijan Rural Cooperative Organization has bought some 470,000 tons of wheat, valued at Rls.840 billion, from farmers since the beginning of the year. Among West Azarbaijan cities, Piranshar is considered as a fine example in agriculture improvements. Since 2002, most of the investments in the city are made in the agricultural sector. Therefore, farm and garden coverage in Piranshar has extended from 80 square kilometres in 2002 to 190 km² in 2004.
The Piranshar economy includes that of the City of Piranshar and the surrounding towns and villages of Piranshar area. The Piranshar area is an engine of the provincial economy. The city of Piranshar has the most important Sugar Company in the province. The employees and grower-owners are very proud of their company. There are four Sugar Companies in the province including the Sugar Company of Piranshar.
The plant, in the course of years of its activity, has been constantly renovated by making use of the existing capabilities in the plant. The plant produces 30,000 tons of sugar annually (from 1500 tons of sugar beet per day), and by-products include 100 tons of dried waste per day, which is used for animal food, and 3000 tons of medico-industrial alcohol produced annually from molasses.
Considering the national demand for sugar of 1.5 million tons per year, and the supply thereof by 35 manufacturing units equivalent to 800 thousand tons, and consequently considerable shortage of sugar, the manufacture of such a product is significant.
Sugar beet is supplied by 70 km² of farmland around the plant.
The Sugar Company of Piranshahr is the provinces largest producer of raw sugar, accounting for over 60% of all of the Province's sugar.
Piranshahr has an educated population and its literacy rate is very high: of Piranshahr's population over 28.60% (vs. a national average of 24%) hold a bachelor's degree or higher; 94% (vs. 82% nationally) have a high school diploma or equivalent. In fact, Piranshahr has the highest percentage of college graduates of any city in the entire country.
Zargatan is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.
According to the Management and Planning Organization, the city has a total area of 154.9 square miles (401.3 km²), of which 1.6 square miles (4.1 km²), or 1.03%, is water.
Piranshahr is surrounded by four other counties: Oshnavieh and Naghadeh to the north, Mahabad to the east and Sardasht to the south. The city is also bordered by Iraq to the west
The city has been home to various ethnic groups during its long history. For this reason, the demographics of the city have undergone numerous changes, with Kurds currently constituting the majority of the population.Nonetheless, many historical documents attest to the fact that at the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of the city's population was composed of Azerbaijanis.
The ethnic composition of Piranshahr is 78% Kurdish and 12% Azarbaijani, known locally as Ajams or Torks.
According to the Piranshahr's organization for Civil Registration the highest average annual growth rate in the province is in Piranshahr .
Law and government
The city's most responsible person is the mayor, who is elected by the municipal board of the city. According to the Iranian laws the municipal board is periodically elected by the city residents.
The distribution of a book during the Nowruz holidays which dissaproves the unity between the minority Sunnis and majority Shiites led to protests by a number of Sunni inhabitants of Piranshahr and West Azarbayjan Province. The Sunni clergy of Piranshahr have requested that the book's author be punished, and the governor of Piranshahr has promised to follow up the case with the Kurd deputies in the Islamic Consultative Majlis and to ask the Minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance to provide explanations in this regard.
According to genetic analysis, both mtDNA and Y chromosome polymorphisms showed a noticeable genetic affinity between Piranshahris and northern Iranians, especially Gilakis and Mazandaranis.
About 500,000 foreign and Iranian tourists visit Piranshahr each year.
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