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Iran decides to abandon Tehran as capital city

25 December 2013 [14:35] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Iran decided to move the capital out of Tehran, which is home to over 15 million people.

The Iranian parliament approved general outlines of a proposal on relocating the capital, to another city on December 24, Mehr news agency reported.

The Iranian parliament approved the proposal despite the Rouhani administration's resist. 110 MPs voted in favor, 67 voted against, and 10 abstained.

A special council will be formed, tasked with preparing a comprehensive plan to find an appropriate city within two years and present results to the administration. The government will prepare and approve an executive bylaw within six months in this regard.

In November, the judicial committee of the parliament approached the presidency for a green light on a draft bill to relocate the Iranian capital to another city, probably Tabriz.

The lawmakers cited intolerable congestion in Tehran and also the city's precarious location in an area prone to strong earthquakes.

However, the parliament speaker dubbed the capital transfer bill 'impossible.' Ali Larijani has even said that the proposal is against the Iranian Constitution.

The cabinet of ministers also opposed the bill as 'not executable.' Majid Ansari, president's Parliamentary deputy said the government should find clear perspective on the issue.

He pointed to the earthquake band where the country is located, saying that "no province is secured against the quake.

The overpopulation and excessive pollution in Tehran were named as the main reasons for raising the issue of replacing the country's capital.

Currently, Tehran suffers from the major problems of megacities: traffic jams, high pollution and crime.

Member of the Iranian parliamentary committee on environment Mehrdad Lakhuti said earlier over 4,000 people die each year in Tehran from diseases caused by air pollution.

Tehran's population for the last 10 years has tripled because of the influx of people of the provinces in search of work and a better life.

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