Tehran () () is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.3 million and surpassing 12 million in the wider metropolitan area, Tehran is Iran’s largest city and urban area, and the largest city in Western Asia. Until 1796, Tehran was an unimportant village. In 1796, Agha Mohammed Khan chose Tehran as Iran’s new capital. Throughout Iran’s history, the capital has been moved many times, Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran. In pre-Islamic times, part of the area of present-day Tehran was occupied by Rey (which in the Avesta occurs in the form of Rhaga), now a part of the city of Tehran, which took over its role after the destruction of Rey by the Mongols in the early 13th century. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tehran has been the subject of mass migration of people from all over Iran. The city is home to many historic mosques as well as several churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples. However, modern structures, notably Azadi Tower and the Milad Tower, have come to symbolize the city. Tehran is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area. Although a variety of unofficial languages are spoken, roughly 99% of the population understand and speak Persian. There are plans to relocate Iran’s capital from Tehran to another area because Tehran is prone to earthquakes. The majority of the inhabitants of the city are Persian speakers, but there are also populations of Lurs, Kurds, Azarbaijanis, and Northern Iranians (Shomali). The majority of people in Tehran identify themselves as Persians.


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