Baku, Azerbaijan, April 26
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's president supports moving the country's capital from Tehran, senior Iranian lawmaker said.
President Hassan Rouhani and his administration agree with the plan, the head of councils and internal affairs commission of the parliament, Amir Khojasteh said, Iranian Basij news agency reported on April 26.
"The ministry of the Housing and Urban Development is instructed to study the issue," he added.
Iranian parliament scheduled to study the details of a draft law on moving the capital in next week.
Earlier in December 2013, the Iranian parliament approved generalities of the MP-proposed draft law that authorizes investigating moving the country's capital city to a location outside Tehran.
Though the parliament has accepted the draft law in general, it still has to study the details of the proposal, and if approved, the document will be forwarded to Iran's Guardian Council, which reviews the document, to determine whether it violates the Constitution and the Islamic laws.
The proposal reads that a council headed by president or vice-president should be set up and spend the next two years studying which alternate location would be best for the capital.
Proponents of the draft law say that Tehran is vulnerable to earthquakes and facing resource and pollution challenges. They say that 11 percent of Iran's population is located in Tehran, however the city accounts for 25 percent of the country's GDP.
Those opposed to the draft law said that instead of running away from the issues that have inflicted Tehran by moving the capital, it is better to fundamentally address the problems facing the city. They say that moving the administrative and political capital does not mean people will automatically move too, and that major steps need to be taken to assure the proper living conditions for the new suggested capital.
At present, there reside 12-13 million people in Tehran, according to official statistics.