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Tehran

TEHRAN

Capital of Iran since the late eighteenth century.

In 1800, Tehran was a small city with an estimated population of 20,000; it was surrounded by twenty-foot mud walls with four gates. The wall was encircled by a moat, which was up to 40 feet wide and between 20 and 30 feet deep. Although several new buildings were constructed during the reign of Fath Ali Shah Qajar (17971834), the first major expansion of Tehran dates from the reign of Naser al-Din Shah (18481896), the third Qajar monarch. The old walls were pulled down, plans for an octagonal wall on a French model were followed, and twelve gates were built. New grounds were added to the city compound, as well as large boulevards and imposing public and private buildings, designed with many European features. The city had a small railway leading to a place of pilgrimage in the south, and the summer resorts in the Alborz Mountains in the north were developed and became popular with richer Tehranis. In 1852, a first census and a count of all the buildings were made, which show how small the city still was: It had only 12,772 buildings, 8,697 houses, and 4,220 shops. The second census, prepared in 1869, gave the population as 150,000.


Tehran's second phase of development dates to the reign (19261941) of Reza Shah Pahlavi, founder of the Pahlavi dynasty. The city was expanded outside its old walls, especially to the north and the northwest. A notable feature was the neoclassical buildings, designed mainly by European architects, especially exiles fleeing the Russian Revolution but also Iranians who had studied abroad. Houses began to be built facing outward, to the street, instead of inward, to the courtyard, and streets were planned for the passage of automobiles. The ornate gates, a special feature of old Tehran, were pulled down, as were many buildings of the Qajar dynasty period.


Tehran's third phase of development dates to the early 1950s, when a new generation of Iranian architects and technocrats, who had studied in U.S. universities, returned to erase many of the remaining features of the old city. Tehran began expanding rapidly and haphazardly, because of the petroleum industry, oil-induced construction, and the industrialization boom of the 1960s and 1970s. Between 1956 and 1976, the city's population tripled, from 1.5 million to 4.5 million. Despite the economic, political, and social upheavals caused by the Iranian Revolution (1979) and the IranIraq War (19801988), Tehran's population continued to grow at an average annual rate of 3.5 percent from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s. Thereafter, population growth declined by about 1 percent per year within the city, but nearby towns and rural areas experienced rapid growth as they were developed as suburban communities to the east, south, and west of Tehran. According to the 1996 census, a total of 6,759,000 people lived in the city of Tehran; more than 1.3 million lived in suburbs, including the densely populated communities of Islamshahr and Karaj.

see also fath ali shah qajar; iranian revolution (1979); iraniraq war (19801988); naser al-din shah; pahlavi, reza.


Bibliography

Adamec, Ludwig W., ed. Historical Gazetteer of Iran, Vol. 1, Tehran and Northwestern Iran. Graz, Austria: Akademische Drucku, 1976.

Ettehadieh, Mansoureh. "Patterns in Urban Development: The Growth of Tehran, 18521903." In Qajar Iran: Political, Social and Cultural Change, 18001925, edited by Edmund Bosworth and Carole Hillen-brand. Edinburgh, U.K.: Edinburgh University Press, 1983.

Firoozi, Ferydoon. "Tehran: A Demographic and Economic Analysis." Middle Eastern Studies 10, no. 1 (Jan. 1974): 6067.

mansoureh ettehadieh
updated by eric hooglund

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Tehran

Tehran or Teheran (both: tā´ərän´, –răn´), city (1991 pop. 6,475,527), capital of Iran and Tehran prov., N Iran, near Mt. Damavand. It is Iran's largest city and its administrative, commercial, and industrial center. More than half of the country's industry is based in Tehran. Manufactures include electrical equipment, textiles, sugar, and cement; motor vehicles are assembled. The city has a large bazaar and is a leading center for the sale and export of carpets. It is served by rail lines, roads, and an international airport. There is an oil refinery at Ray. Tehran was long overshadowed by nearby Rages, but in the 13th cent., when the latter was destroyed by the Mongols, many of its inhabitants migrated to Tehran. It served as the occasional residence of the Safavid rulers in the 17th cent. and became the capital of Persia in 1788. Tehran was renovated by Fath Ali Shah (reigned 1797–1834) and by Nasir ad-Din Shah (reigned 1848–96). Under Reza Shah Pahlevi (reigned 1925–41) the city was much modernized. During World War II, when the Allies occupied (1941) Iran, British and Soviet troops entered Tehran's suburbs. The city was the site of the Tehran Conference (1943), which brought together President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Premier Stalin. The center of the city is the large Maidan-i Sipah Square, south of which is the Gulistan Square with its royal throne hall and its museum containing the Peacock Throne, brought to Persia from Delhi, India, by Nadir Shah in 1739. Tehran's importance and population grew greatly in the 20th cent., and today it is one of the major cities of the Middle East. Under Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi (1941–79), the expansion of Iran's economy during the oil boom led to rapid growth and modernization of the capital. Production in the city was slowed after the overthrow of the Shah (1979) and the transition of government. The city's economy suffered further as a result of the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. Tehran is the site of the National Univ. (1960), the Univ. of Tehran (1934), a university of technology, a college of fine arts, a military academy, several Muslim religious schools, and other educational institutions. An ethnological museum and an archaeological museum are there.

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Tehran

Tehran Capital of Iran, 105km (65mi) s of the Caspian Sea, in a strategic position on the edge of the plains and in the foothills of the country's highest mountains. In 1788, it replaced Isfahan as the capital of Persia. In the early 20th century, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi demolished the old fortifications and established a planned city. Tehran is now the industrial, commercial, administrative and cultural centre of Iran. Industries: carpets, cement, textiles. Pop. (1996) 6,758,845.

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"Tehran." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Tehran

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