President signals support for plan to change Iran’s capital

Tehran's Azadi Tower

Tehran’s Azadi Tower

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced support on Monday for plans to pick another city as Iran’s political capital as part of a broader effort to decentralize the overcrowded Tehran.

The plans to conduct feasibility studies on moving the country’s political and administrative capital to another city can minimize and settle Tehran’s problems in the short, medium and long term if pursued seriously, President Rouhani said in a message to the Conference on Decentralization and Ordering the Capital.

President Rouhani noted that many urban problems have made all aware of the threats of such centralization in Tehran.

Large population, centralization of the economic, political and trade activities, environmental issues, traffic jams, low degree of life quality index and above all, the “strategic threat of an earthquake” in Tehran were the main problems Rouhani cited in his message.

The Iranian parliament has already considered plans to find an alternate location as capital.

The greater Tehran area has a population of over 12 million. Its residents have tripled in number over the past decade as more and more Iranians moved into the city in search of jobs and a better life.

Meanwhile, seismologists have warned that Tehran is liable to be struck by a catastrophic earthquake in the foreseeable future.

Iran has had numerous capitals during its history, including Isfahan, Qazvin, Shiraz, Mashhad and Hamedan. Since the Qajar king Agha Mohammad Khan declared it capital in 1795, Tehran has become the country’s political, social, economic and cultural center.

By Tasnim News Agency