Capital of Iran since 1788. Under the Pahlavi dynasty (1925-1979), Tehran was modernized, industrialized, and considerably rebuilt.
Tehran experiences warm summers and relatively cool winters. High and low mean monthly temperatures are 84° F (29° C) in July and 39° F (4° C) in January. The average annual rainfall is about 8 inches (203 mm); rain usually falls from November to the end of May, and snow also occurs from December to the end of February.
Tehran became prominent after its capture in 1785 by Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar dynasty (17791925), who made the city his capital in 1788. Population (1991) 6,475,527. While several mosques and palaces of the 19th century remain, most of the architecture is new.
Local industries produce processed food, cotton textiles, cement, and bricks. The huge crude-oil industry, although centered in Abadan and other areas, is administered by the National Iranian Oil Company in Tehran. More than half of Iran's manufactured goods are produced in Tehran. Industrial plants manufacture such items as textiles, cement, sugar, chinaware and pottery, electrical equipment, and pharmaceuticals. There is also a car-assembly industry, and an oil refinery is in operation at Rayy.
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When the ancient city of Rayy was destroyed by the Mongols in 1220, Tehran, a small suburb dating possibly from the 4th century AD, survived; it grew slowly in succeeding centuries. The city contained a walled bazaar and some 3000 houses early in the 17th century.
In 1943 the World War II leaders of the Allies, representing the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, met at the Tehran Conference, at which, among other decisions, they guaranteed the independence of Iran. During the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (194179) the city was rapidly modernized, partly the result of a booming petroleum industry. Following the overthrow of the shah in 1979 and the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Iran, the city's development was hampered by economic and political difficulties.
To the north of the city, in the foothills of the Elburz Mountains, is the Shemėranat residential district. Most of the recent rapid growth of Tehran has been to the north, where new residential sections now link it with Shemėranat. To the south are the factories and the older sections, including remnants of a large bazaar that has been largely replaced by shops.
Air pollution has worsened as a result of the increase in motor traffic and the increased use of oil fuel by industry.
Three paved roads run northward, one runs to the west, two to the south, and one to the east.
Major cities near Tehran:
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