Ramsar, Mazandaran

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Persian: رامسر
Ramsar skyline 2019.jpg
Bonyad-e Pahlavi Hotel 2019-11-05.jpg
کوهپایه رامسر (cropped).jpg
Royal Palace Ramsar 1.jpg
Ramsar Hotel Boulevard.jpg
The Paradise on Earth (Behesht-e rooy-e Zamin)
Ramsar is located in Iran
Location of Ramsar in Iran
Coordinates: 36°54′11″N 50°39′30″E / 36.90306°N 50.65833°E / 36.90306; 50.65833Coordinates: 36°54′11″N 50°39′30″E / 36.90306°N 50.65833°E / 36.90306; 50.65833
Country Iran
 • Mayor (Ŝahrdār)Mohsen Morradi
−21 m (−69 ft)
 (2016 Census)
 • Total35,997 [1]
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+4:30 (IRDT)

Ramsar (Persian: رامسر‎, also Romanized as Rāmsar and Rānsar; formerly, Sakht Sar)[2] is the capital of Ramsar County, Mazandaran Province, Iran. In 2012 its population was 33,018, in 9,421 families.

Ramsar lies on the coast of the Caspian Sea. It was also known as Sakhtsar in the past. The native people in Ramsar are Gilaks although there are also Mazandarani people living there. They speak the Gilaki language (eastern dialect) although the style they speak has been influenced by the Mazandarani language, making it slightly different from the Gilaki (eastern dialect) spoken in Gilan. The natives of Ramsar call their dialect "Ramsari" as it's a combination of Eastern Gilaki and Royan/Western Mazandarani (Mazandarani-Gilaki dialect). They are also able to speak standard Persian, the official language of Iran.


Ramsar is the westernmost county and city in Mazandaran. It borders the Caspian Sea to the north, Gilan province to the west, Qazvin Province to the south, and Tonekabon to the east.

Map showing position of Ramsar county as well as Ramsar city in Mazandaran province


In 1971, Ramsar hosted the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.


The front yard of the old hotel of Ramsar in 1973

Ramsar is a popular sea resort for Iranian tourists. The town also offers hot springs, the green forests of the Alborz Mountains, the vacation palace of the last Shah, and the Hotel Ramsar. twenty-seven kilometres (17 mi) south of Ramsar and 2,700 metres (8,900 ft) above sea level in the Alborz mountains is Javaher Deh village, which is an important tourist attraction in Ramsar county.

Ramsar Convention[edit]

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are presently 160 Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1920 wetland sites, totaling 1,680,000 square kilometres (650,000 sq mi), designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Presently,[when?] there are 160 contracting parties, up from 119 in 2000 and from 18 initial signatory nations in 1971.[3] Signatories meet every three years as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the first held in Cagliari, Italy, in 1980. Amendments to the original convention have been agreed to in Paris (in 1982) and Regina, Canada (in 1987).[4]


Climate data for Ramsar (1961–1990, extremes 1955–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.0
Average high °C (°F) 10.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.9
Average low °C (°F) 3.4
Record low °C (°F) −10.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 86.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9.0 8.7 11.0 8.3 7.3 4.9 3.9 6.6 8.6 11.6 9.2 8.8 97.9
Average snowy days 1.2 1.2 0.8 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.3 3.7
Average relative humidity (%) 84 85 88 86 85 81 79 82 84 86 86 85 84
Mean monthly sunshine hours 111.3 98.9 84.1 119.4 161.7 186.8 183.3 159.8 119.5 108.8 110.2 96.1 1,539.9
Source 1: NOAA[5]
Source 2: Iran Meteorological Organization (records)[6][7]

Northern Iran, as well as most portions of Iran, is separated by mountains. As a result, the air in Teheran is very dry. When driving to Ramsar from Teheran, one drives up the mountains until arriving at a tunnel. On passing through this tunnel and coming out the other side, the environment is very different; it is more humid and green due to moisture from the Caspian sea.[citation needed]


Two survey meters show dose rates of 142 and 143 µSv/h on contact with a bedroom wall.

Ramsar's Talesh Mahalleh district is the most radioactive inhabited area known on Earth, due to nearby hot springs and building materials originating from them.[8] A combined population of 2,000 residents from this district and other high radiation neighbourhoods receive an average radiation dose of 10 mSv per year, ten times more than the ICRP recommended limit for exposure to the public from artificial sources.[9] Record levels were found in a house where the effective radiation dose due to external radiation was 131 mSv/a, and the committed dose from radon was 72 mSv/a.[10] This unique case is over 80 times higher than the world average background radiation.

The prevailing model of radiation-induced cancer posits that the risk rises linearly with dose at a rate of 5% per Sv.[dubious ] If this linear no-threshold model is correct, it should be possible to observe an increased incidence of cancer in Ramsar through careful long-term studies currently[when?] underway.[9] Early anecdotal evidence from local doctors and preliminary cytogenetic studies suggested that there may be no such harmful effect, and possibly even a radioadaptive effect.[11] More recent epidemiological data show a slightly reduced lung cancer rate[12] and non-significantly elevated morbidity, but the small size of the population (only 1800 inhabitants in the high-background areas) will require a longer monitoring period to draw definitive conclusions.[13] Furthermore, there are questions regarding possible non-cancer effects of the radiation background. An Iranian study has shown that people in the area have a significantly higher expression of CD69 gene and also a higher incidence of stable and unstable chromosomal aberrations.[14] Chromosomal aberrations have been found in other studies[15] and a possible elevation of female infertility has been reported.[16]

Radiation hormesis was observed in a study that also recommended that Ramsar does provide justification to relax existing regulatory dose limits.[17] Pending further study, the potential health risks had moved scientists in 2001–02 to call for relocation of the residents and regulatory control of new construction.[18][19]

The radioactivity is due to the local geology. Underground water dissolves radium in uraniferous igneous rock and carries it to the surface through at least nine known hot springs.[11] These are used as spas by locals and tourists. Some of the radium precipitates into travertine, a form of limestone, and the rest diffuses into the soil, where it is absorbed by crops and mixes with drinking water. Residents have unknowingly used the radioactive limestone as a building material for their homes. The stone irradiates the inhabitants and generates radon gas which is usually seen to promote lung cancer. Crops contribute 72 µSv/yr to a critical group of 50 residents.[20]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Ramsar is twinned with:

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Statistical Center of Iran > Home".
  2. ^ Ramsar, Mazandaran can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3081959" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  3. ^ 2011-03-07
  4. ^ "History of the Ramsar Convention | Ramsar". www.ramsar.org. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  5. ^ "Ramsar Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "Highest record temperature in Ramsar by Month 1955–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "Lowest record temperature in Ramsar by Month 1955–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  8. ^ Selinus, Olle; Finkelman, Robert B.; Centeno, Jose A. (14 January 2011). Medical Geology: A Regional Synthesis. Springer. pp. 162–165. ISBN 978-90-481-3429-8. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b Mortazavi, S.M.J.; P.A. Karamb (2005). "Apparent lack of radiation susceptibility among residents of the high background radiation area in Ramsar, Iran: can we relax our standards?". Radioactivity in the Environment. 7: 1141–1147. doi:10.1016/S1569-4860(04)07140-2. ISBN 9780080441375. ISSN 1569-4860.
  10. ^ Hendry, Jolyon H; Simon, Steven L; Wojcik, Andrzej; Sohrabi, Mehdi; Burkart, Werner; Cardis, Elisabeth; Laurier, Dominique; Tirmarche, Margot; Hayata, Isamu (1 June 2009). "Human exposure to high natural background radiation: what can it teach us about radiation risks?" (PDF). Journal of Radiological Protection. 29 (2A): A29–A42. Bibcode:2009JRP....29...29H. doi:10.1088/0952-4746/29/2A/S03. PMC 4030667. PMID 19454802. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  11. ^ a b Ghiassi-nejad, M; Mortazavi, SM; Cameron, JR; Niroomand-rad, A; Karam, PA (January 2002). "Very high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran: preliminary biological studies" (PDF). Health Physics. 82 (1): 87–93. doi:10.1097/00004032-200201000-00011. PMID 11769138. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  12. ^ Mortazavi, S.M.J.; Ghiassi-Nejad, M.; Rezaiean, M. (2005). "Cancer risk due to exposure to high levels of natural radon in the inhabitants of Ramsar, Iran". High Levels of Natural Radiation and Radon Areas: Radiation Dose and Health Effects. 1276: 436–437. doi:10.1016/j.ics.2004.12.012.
  13. ^ Mosavi-Jarrahi, Alireza; Mohagheghi, Mohammadali; Akiba, Suminori; Yazdizadeh, Bahareh; Motamedid, Nilofar; Shabestani Monfared, Ali (2005), "Mortality and morbidity from cancer in the population exposed to high level of natural radiation area in Ramsar, Iran", International Congress Series, 1276: 106–109, doi:10.1016/j.ics.2004.11.109
  14. ^ Ghiassi-Nejad, M.; Zakeri, F.; Assaei, R.Gh.; Kariminia, A. (2004). "Long-term immune and cytogenetic effects of high level natural radiation on Ramsar inhabitants in Iran". J Environ Radioact. 74 (1–3): 107–16. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2003.12.001. PMID 15063540.
  15. ^ Zakeri, F.; Rajabpour, M. R.; Haeri, S. A.; Kanda, R.; Hayata, I.; Nakamura, S.; Sugahara, T.; Ahmadpour, M. J. (2011), "Chromosome aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of individuals living in high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran", Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, 50 (4): 571–578, doi:10.1007/s00411-011-0381-x, PMID 21894441
  16. ^ Tabarraie, Y.; Refahi, S.; Dehghan, M.H.; Mashoufi, M. (2008), "Impact of High Natural Background Radiation on Woman's Primary Infertility", Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 3 (5): 534–536
  17. ^ Ghiassi-nejad, M; Mortazavi, SM; Cameron, JR; Niroomand-rad, A; Karam, PA (January 2002). "Very high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran: preliminary biological studies" (PDF). Health Physics. 82 (1): 92. doi:10.1097/00004032-200201000-00011. PMID 11769138. Retrieved 11 November 2012. we do not claim to have seen hormetic effects in any of those studied. ... the available data do not seem sufficient to cause national or international advisory bodies to change their current conservative radiation protection recommendations;
  18. ^ Ghiassi-Nejad, M.; S. M. J. Mortazavi; M. Beitollahi; R. Assaie; A. Heidary; R. Varzegar; F. Zakeri; M. Jafari (2001). "Very High Background Radiation Areas (VHBRAs) of Ramsar: Do We Need Any Regulations to Protect the Inhabitants?". 34th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety and ALARA Considerations for the 21st Century", Regulatory Considerations Session. Anaheim, CA.
  19. ^ Karam, P.A; Mortazavi, S.M.J; Ghiassi-Nejad, M; Ikushima, T; Cameron, J.R; Niroomand-rad, A (2002). "ICRP evolutionary recommendations and the reluctance of the members of the public to carry out remedial work against radon in some high-level natural radiation areas". Radiation and Homeostasis. 1236: 35–37. doi:10.1016/S0531-5131(01)00765-8.
  20. ^ Ghiassi-Nejad, M; Beitollahi, MM; Asefi, M; Reza-Nejad, F (2003). "Exposure to (226)Ra from consumption of vegetables in the high level natural radiation area of Ramsar-Iran". Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. 66 (3): 215–25. doi:10.1016/S0265-931X(02)00108-X. PMID 12600755.

External links[edit]