East Azerbaijan Province tourist information
East Azerbaijan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran . It is located in Iranian Azerbaijan , bordering with Armenia , Republic of Azerbaijan , Ardabil Province , West Azerbaijan Province , and Zanjan Province . The capital of East Azerbaijan is Tabriz . East Azerbaijan Province is in Regions 3 of Iran , with its secretariat located in its capital city , Tabriz .
The province covers an area of approximately 47,830 km² , it has a population of around four million people . The historical city of Tabriz is the most important city of this province , culturally , politically , and commercially . The province has common borders with the current Republics of Azerbaijan , Armenia and Nakhchivan . A fine network of roads and railways connect East Azerbaijan to other parts of Iran and also to neighboring countries .
The highest peak of East Azerbaijan 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 .
Generally speaking , East Azerbaijan enjoys a cool , dry climate , being in the main a mountainous region . But the gentle breezes off the Caspian Sea have some influence on the climate of the low-lying areas . Temperatures run up to 8.9 °C in Tabriz , and 20 °C in Maraqeh , in the winter dropping to -10-15 °C at least (depending on how cold the overall year is) . The ideal seasons to visit this province are in the spring and summer months .
East Azerbaijan is one of the most archaic territories in Iran . During the reign of Alexander of Macedon in Iran (331 BCE) , a warrior known as Attorpat led a revolt in this area , then a territory of the Medes , and thereafter it was called Attorpatkan . Since then this vicinity has been known as Azarabadegan , Azarbadgan and Azarbayjan .
Islamic researchers proclaim that the birth of the prophet Zoroaster was in this area , in the vicinity of Lake Orumieh (Chichesht) , Konzak City . 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 constitutionalist movement of Iran began here in the late 19th century .
Ethnic tensions in Azerbaijan can visibly trace their origins back to the colonialist policies of Imperial Russia and later the Soviet Union . In a cable sent on July 6 , 1945 by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , the local Soviet commander in Russian (northern) held Azerbaijan was instructed as such :
“Begin preparatory work to form a national autonomous Azerbaijan district with broad powers within the Iranian state and simultaneously develop separatist movements in the provinces of Gilan , Mazandaran , Gorgan , and Khorasan”
In 1945 the Soviet Union helped set up the Azerbaijan People's Government in what is now East Azerbaijan .
At the 1986 census there were twelve counties in East Azerbaijan Province . By the 1996 census two additional counties had been formed , Jolfa from part of Marand , and Malekan from part of Bonab . Between 1996 and 2002 , five new counties were formed : Ajabshir , Azarshahr , Charoimaq , Osku , and Varzaqan . In 2010 Kalibar was split in half with the northern part becoming Khoda Afarin , while the southern part kept the name Kalibar .
The most outstanding features from a cultural point of view are the language , Azari / Azerice , and folklore of this region . According to Dehkhoda Dictionary , the language of Azerbaijan is originally "a branch of the Iranian languages known as Azari . However the modern Azeri language is a Turkic language very closely related to the language of Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkey . Apart from this , the province also boasts numerous learned scholars , Gnostics , 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 . Some are contemporary , and some are from the antiquity of ancient Persia . "Zahak Citadel" , for example , is the name of an ancient ruin in East Azerbaijan , which according to various experts , was inhabited from the second millennium BC until the Timurid era . First excavated in the 1800s by British archeologists , Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has been studying the structure in 6 phases .
East Azerbaijan hails from a rich compendium of Azeri traditions . Many local dances and folk songs continue to survive among the various peoples of the province . As a longstanding province of Iran , Azerbaijan is mentioned favorably on many occasions in Persian literature by Iran's greatest authors and poets .
East Azerbaijan today
East Azerbaijan province is an industrial centre of Iran . East Azerbaijan province has over 5000 manufacturing units . The value of product from these units in 1997 was US$374 million . Total investments were valued at US$2.7 billion in 1997 .
Some of the major industries in East Azerbaijan are glass industries , paper manufacturing , steel , copper and nepheline syenite , oil refinery , petrochemical processing facilities , chemical products , pharmaceutical processing , foundries , vehicle and auto-parts industries , industrial machines , agricultural machine , food industries , leather and shoe industries .
East Azerbaijan has an excellent position in the handicraft industry of Iran , which has a large share in the exports of the province . Tabriz carpets are widely known around the world and in international markets for their vibrant designs and colors . At present there are about 66,000 carpet production units in the province , employing some 200,000 people . The annual production of these carpets is roughly 792,000 m² , which comprises more than 70% of Iran's carpet exports . 35% of all Iranian carpets are produced in East Azerbaijan .
East Azerbaijan province is also one of the richest regions of Iran in natural minerals , with 180 mines in 1997 , of which 121 units are currently in operation , and the rest are being planned .
UNESCO has two Biosphere reserves in East Azerbaijan province . One in Lake Urmia and the other at Arasbaran .