0845 GMT March 19, 2019
The plan to conduct feasibility studies on moving the country’s political and administrative capital to another city can minimize Tehran’s problems in the short-, medium- and long-term if pursued seriously, President Rouhani said in a message to the Conference on Decentralization and Reorganizing the Capital, Tasnim reported.
Rouhani noted that many urban problems have made us all aware of the threats of centralization in Tehran.
Tehran’s large population, centralization of economic, political and trade activities, environmental issues, traffic jams, low quality of life index and above all, the “strategic threat of an earthquake” are the main problem, Rouhani said in his message.
The Iranian Parliament has already considered plans to find an alternate location as capital.
The greater Tehran area has a population of over 12 million. Its residents have tripled in number over the past decade, as more and more Iranians migrated to the city in search of jobs and a better life.
Meanwhile, seismologists have warned that Tehran is liable to be struck by a strong earthquake in the foreseeable future.
Iran has had numerous capitals during its history, including Isfahan, Qazvin, Shiraz, Mashhad and Hamedan. Since Qajar King Agha Mohammad Khan declared it capital in 1795, Tehran has become the country's political, social, economic and cultural center.