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Iran is subdivided into thirty-one provinces (Persian: استانOstān, plural استان‌ها Ostānhā), each governed from a local center, usually the largest local city, which is called the capital (Persian: مرکز, markaz) of that province. The provincial authority is headed by a Governor-General[1] (Persian: استاندار Ostāndār), who is appointed by the Minister of the Interior subject to approval of the cabinet.

Provinces of Iran
استان‌های ایران (in Persian)
Also known as:
Province
استان
Iran provinces.svg
CategoryUnitary state
LocationIran
Number31
Populations557,599 (Ilam Province) – 12,183,391 (Tehran)
Areas5,833 km2 (2,252 sq mi) (Alborz) – 183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi) (Kerman Province)
GovernmentProvincial government (National government)
SubdivisionsCounty
Provinces of Iran by population in 2014
Provinces of Iran by population density in 2013
Map of the Iranian provinces by Human Development Index in 2017.
Legend:
  0.800 – 1.000 (Very high)
  0.700 – 0.799 (High)
  0.600 – 0.699 (Medium)
Provinces of Iran by contribution to national GDP in 2014
Provinces of Iran by GDP per capita in 2012

Modern historyEdit

Iran has held its modern territory since the Treaty of Paris in 1857. From 1906 until 1950, Iran was divided into twelve provinces: Ardalan, Azerbaijan, Baluchestan, Fars, Gilan, Araq-e Ajam, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kerman, Larestan, Lorestan, and Mazandaran.[2]

In 1950, Iran was reorganized to form ten numbered provinces with subordinate governorates: Gilan; Mazandaran; East Azerbaijan; West Azerbaijan; Kermanshah; Khuzestan; Fars; Kerman; Khorasan; Isfahan.[2]

From 1960 to 1981 the governorates were raised to provincial status one by one. Since then several new provinces have been created, most recently in 2010 when the new Alborz Province was split from Teheran province, and before that in 2004 when the province of Khorasan was divided into three provinces.[3]

 
Map of the 31 provinces of Iran

InformationEdit

Current provincesEdit

Province Capital Area[4] Population[5] Density Shahrestans (counties) Notes Map
Alborz Karaj 5,833 km2 (2,252 sq mi) 2,712,400 413.6/km2 (1,071/sq mi) 4 Until 23 June 2010, Alborz was part of Tehran province.  
Ardabil Ardabil 17,800 km2 (6,900 sq mi) 1,270,420 70.1/km2 (182/sq mi) 9 Until 1993, Ardabil was part of East Azerbaijan province.[6]  
Azerbaijan, East Tabriz 45,650 km2 (17,630 sq mi) 3,909,652 82.3/km2 (213/sq mi) 19  
Azerbaijan, West Urmia 37,437 km2 (14,455 sq mi) 3,265,219 78.8/km2 (204/sq mi) 14 During the Pahlavi Dynasty Urmia was known as Rezaiyeh.[7]  
Bushehr Bushehr 22,743 km2 (8,781 sq mi) 1,163,400 45.4/km2 (118/sq mi) 9 Originally part of Fars province. Until 1977, the province was known as Khalij-e Fars (Persian Gulf).[2]  
Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Shahrekord 16,332 km2 (6,306 sq mi) 947,763 54.8/km2 (142/sq mi) 6 Until 1973 was part of Isfahan province.[8]  
Fars Shiraz 122,608 km2 (47,339 sq mi) 4,851,274 37.5/km2 (97/sq mi) 23  
Gilan Rasht 14,042 km2 (5,422 sq mi) 2,530,696 176.7/km2 (458/sq mi) 16  
Golestan Gorgan 20,195 km2 (7,797 sq mi) 1,868,819 88.0/km2 (228/sq mi) 11 On the 31 May 1997, the shahrestans of Aliabad, Gonbad-e-kavus, Gorgan, Kordkuy, Minudasht, and Torkaman were separated from Mazandaran province to form Golestan province. Gorgan was called Esteraba or Astarabad until 1937.[2]  
Hamadan Hamadan 19,368 km2 (7,478 sq mi) 1,738,234 90.8/km2 (235/sq mi) 8 Originally part of Kermanshah province.[2]  
Hormozgān Bandar Abbas 70,669 km2 (27,285 sq mi) 1,776,415 22.3/km2 (58/sq mi) 11 Originally part of Kerman province.[2] Until 1977, the province was known as Banader va Jazayer-e Bahr-e Oman (Ports and Islands of the Sea of Oman).[2]  
Ilam Ilam 20,133 km2 (7,773 sq mi) 580,158 27.7/km2 (72/sq mi) 7 Originally part of Kermanshah province.[2]  
Isfahan Isfahan 107,029 km2 (41,324 sq mi) 5,120,850 45.6/km2 (118/sq mi) 21 In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2]  
Kerman Kerman 183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi) 3,164,718 16.3/km2 (42/sq mi) 14  
Kermanshah Kermanshah 24,998 km2 (9,652 sq mi) 1,952,434 77.8/km2 (202/sq mi) 13 Between 1950 and 1979, both Kermanshah province and city were known as Kermanshahan and between 1979 and 1995 were known as Bakhtaran.[2]  
Khorasan, North Bojnourd 28,434 km2 (10,978 sq mi) 863,092 30.5/km2 (79/sq mi) 6 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[3]  
Khorasan, Razavi Mashhad 118,884 km2 (45,901 sq mi) 6,434,501 41.4/km2 (107/sq mi) 29 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[3]  
Khorasan, South Birjand 151,913 km2 (58,654 sq mi) 768,898 9.5/km2 (25/sq mi) 8 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[3]  
Khuzestan Ahvaz 64,055 km2 (24,732 sq mi) 4,710,509 67.8/km2 (176/sq mi) 18  
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Yasuj 15,504 km2 (5,986 sq mi) 713,052 42.5/km2 (110/sq mi) 5 Originally part of Khuzestan province. Until 1990, the province was known as Bovir Ahmadi and Kohkiluyeh.[2]  
Kurdistan Sanandaj 29,137 km2 (11,250 sq mi) 1,603,011 51.3/km2 (133/sq mi) 9 Originally part of Gilan province.[2]  
Lorestan Khorramabad 28,294 km2 (10,924 sq mi) 1,760,649 62.0/km2 (161/sq mi) 9 Originally part of Khuzestan province.[2]  
Markazi Arak 29,130 km2 (11,250 sq mi) 1,429,475 48.5/km2 (126/sq mi) 10 Originally part of Mazandaran province.[2] In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2]  
Mazandaran Sari 23,701 km2 (9,151 sq mi) 3,283,582 129.7/km2 (336/sq mi) 15  
Qazvin Qazvin 15,549 km2 (6,004 sq mi) 1,273,761 77.3/km2 (200/sq mi) 5 On 31 December 1996, the shahrestans of Qazvin and Takestan were separated from Zanjan province to form the province of Qazvin.[2]  
Qom Qom 11,526 km2 (4,450 sq mi) 1,292,283 99.9/km2 (259/sq mi) 1 Until 1995, Qom was a shahrestan of Tehran province.[2]  
Semnan Semnan 97,491 km2 (37,641 sq mi) 702,360 6.5/km2 (17/sq mi) 4 Originally part of Mazandaran province.[2] In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2]  
Sistan and Baluchestan Zahedan 180,726 km2 (69,779 sq mi) 2,775,014 13.9/km2 (36/sq mi) 8 Until 1986, the province was known as Baluchestan and Sistan.[2]  
Tehran Tehran 18,814 km2 (7,264 sq mi) 13,267,637 647.6/km2 (1,677/sq mi) 13 Until 1986, Tehran was part of Markazi province.  
Yazd Yazd 129,285 km2 (49,917 sq mi) 1,138,533 8.3/km2 (21/sq mi) 10 Originally part of Isfahan province.[8] In 1986, part of Kerman province was transferred to Yazd province. In 2002, Tabas shahrestan (area: 55,344 km²) was transferred from Khorasan province to Yazd.[2]  
Zanjan Zanjan 21,773 km2 (8,407 sq mi) 1,057,461 46.6/km2 (121/sq mi) 7 Originally part of Gilan province. In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2]  
Iran (Total) Tehran 1,628,554 km2 (628,788 sq mi) 79,926,270 46.1/km2 (119/sq mi) 342  

See alsoEdit

References and notesEdit

  1. ^ IRNA, Online Edition. "Paris for further cultural cooperation with Iran". Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Gwillim Law, Statoids website. "Provinces of Iran". Retrieved 30 April 2006.
  3. ^ a b c d Online edition, Al-Jazeera Satellite Network. "Iran breaks up largest province". Archived from the original on 20 May 2006. Retrieved 30 April 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ Statistical Centre, Government of Iran. "General Characteristics of Ostans according to their administrative divisions at the end of 1383 (2005 CE)". Retrieved 30 April 2006.[dead link]
  5. ^ "National census 2016". amar.org.ir. Retrieved 14 March 2017.[]
  6. ^ Chamber Society, Iranian. "Ardabil Province". Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Urmia". Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  8. ^ a b Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Province, Ostandarie. "Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Province". Retrieved 23 July 2008.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit