Province of East Azarbaijan
The province of East Azarbaijan is 45,481 km2 (17,560 sq mi) in the north-west of Iran, bordering Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the provinces of Ardabil, West Azarbaijan, and Zanjan. Its capital is Tabriz.
The historical city of Tabriz is capital and the most important city of this province, culturally, politically, economically and commercially. A fine network of roads and railways connect East Azarbaijan to other parts of Iran and also to neighboring countries.
The highest peak of East Azarbaijan is Sahand Mountain at 3,722 m of elevation, lying south of Tabriz, whereas the lower lying areas are around Garmadooz (Ahar). The heights of the province may be classified into three sectors, namely: the Qara Daq Mountains, the Sahand and Bozqoosh Mountains, and the Qaflan Kooh Mountains.
In general, East Azarbaijan enjoys a cool and dry climate, but the gentle breezes off the Caspian Sea have some influence on the climate of the low-lying areas. Temperatures run between -10°C in the winter and up to 30°C in the summer.
The ideal time to visit this province is during the spring and summer months.
East Azarbaijan is one of the most archaic territories in Iran. Islamic researchers proclaim that the birth of the prophet Zoroaster was in this area, in the vicinity of Lake Orumieh (Chichesht), Konzak City. Babak Khoramdin, a national hero, who led a popular revolt against the Arab invaders in 9th century CE, was a brave son of this region. Needless to say, this province was subject to numerous political and economical upheavals, attracting the interest of foreigners. The Russians in particular have tried to exert a lasting influence in the region over the past 300 years, occupying the area on numerous occasions. The Constitutional Revolution of Iran began here in the late 1800s and early 1900"s with involvement of national heroes like Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan.
The most outstanding features from a cultural point of view are the language, which is Azari, and folklore of this region.
Apart from this the province also boasts numerous learned scholars and several national poets such as Mowlana Baba Mazeed, Khajeh Abdol Raheem Aj Abadi, Sheikh Hassan Bolqari, and Abdolqader Nakhjavani, to name a few, and the contemporary poet Ostad Mohammad Hossein Shahriyar. The current leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, also originally comes from this region.
Iran"s Cultural Heritage Organization has registered 936 sites of historical significance in the province.
East Azarbaijan province is an industrial centre of Iran and has over 5000 manufacturing units, of which at least 800 are industrial (6% percent of national total) in year 2004.
Some of the major industries like steel, machinery, oil refinery and food are located in this province. Tabriz has an excellent position in the handicraft industry of Iran, having a large share in the exports of the province. Tabriz carpets are widely known and appreciated in international markets for their vibrant designs and colors. With no doubt, Persian Carpets owe their fame to the creative minds of the designers and the deft hands of the carpet weavers of this region.
East Azarbaijan province is also one of the richest regions of Iran in natural minerals.
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