Baku, Azerbaijan, March 16
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
A committee was set up at Iranian Interior Ministry in connection with moving the country's capital, advisor to Iranian parliament's Councils and Domestic Affairs Commission, Dakhil Abbas Zarezadeh said on March 15, according to the Iranian ISNA news agency.
Zarezadeh said the committee will be led by Iran's Interior Minister, Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli.
"Within two years the committee will study the issue of moving capital from Tehran and will prepare a plan with this regard," he said.
The committee was established on the basis of an act on moving the capital, which was approved by Iran's parliament.
The parliament will monitor the committee.
Some 50 members of the Iranian parliament requested to discuss issue of moving the political capital from Tehran as a matter of priority.
Even before this there were proposals to move Tehran given the rapid growth of the city's population and its location in a seismically active zone.
Currently there reside 12-13 million people in Tehran, according to official stats.
A project was launched during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency to move 200,000 civil servants from Tehran, however it was not completed.
Iranian media reported about moving the capital to Tabriz. But currently there is no accurate information about the place where the capital will be moved.
Earthquakes often hit in Iran. Lately, the most powerful earthquake occurred in December 2003 jolting Bam city located in Iran's southeast province of Kerman. Some 31,000 people were killed and an ancient tower was destroyed as a result of the earthquake.
The most devastating earthquake jolted the country in June 1990. Its strength was 7.7 on the Richter scale. The earthquake caused deaths of 37,000 people in the provinces of Gilan and Zanjan and affected over 100,000 people.
Translated by E.A.