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Daily life in Tehran

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.4 million in the city and 14 million in the wider metropolitan area,  Tehran is Iran's largest city and urban area, the largest city in Western Asia and one of the largest three cities in the Middle East (along with Istanbul and Cairo). In pre-Islamic times, part of the area of present-day Tehran was occupied by Rey. It was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century. In 1796, Agha Mohammad Khan chose Tehran as Iran's new capital, in order to remain in close reach of Iran's territories in the Caucasus, at that time still part of Iran, and to avoid vying factions of previous Iranian dynasties. Throughout Iran's history, the capital has been moved many times; Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran. 
Large scale demolition and rebuilding took place beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, and Tehran has been the subject of mass migration of people from all over Iran up until the present.  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. The majority of the inhabitants of the city are Persians, but there are also populations of other Iranian ethnicities such as Azerbaijanis, Lurs, Armenians, Kurds and other ethnic groups who speak Persian as their second language.  The majority of people in Tehran identify themselves as Persians.
Settlement of Tehran dates back over 7,000 years.  An important historical city in the area of modern-day Tehran, now absorbed by it, is known as "Rey", which is etymologically connected to the Old Persian and Avestan "Rhages".  The city was a major area of the Iranian speaking Medes and Achaemenids. In the Zoroastrian Avesta's Videvdad (i, 15), Rhaga is mentioned as the twelfth sacred place created by Ahura-Mazda.  In the Old Persian inscriptions (Behistun 2, 10–18), Rhaga appears as a province. From Rhaga, Darius the Great sent reinforcements to his father Hystaspes, who was putting down the rebellion in Parthia (Behistun 3, 1–10). 
In the early 18th century, Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty ordered a palace and a government office to be built in Tehran, possibly to declare the city his capital, but later moved his government to Shiraz. Once again, in 1776, Tehran became the capital of Iran, as done by the Qajar king Agha Mohammad Khan.  The capital of Iran has remained Tehran ever since. Agha Mohammad Khan's choice of his capital was based on a similar concern for control of both the northern and the southern regions.  He was aware of the loyalties of the inhabitants of previous capitals, Isfahan and Shiraz, to the Safavid and Zand dynasties, respectively, and was wary of the power of the notables in these cities.  He probably viewed Tehrans' lack of a substantial urban structure as a blessing, because it minimized the chances of resistance to his rule by the notables and by the general public. Moreover, the Shah had to remain within close reach of Azarbaijan and Iran's integral Caucasian territories in the North Caucasus and South Caucasus,  at that time not yet irrevocably lost per the Treaty of Gulistan and Treaty of Turkmenchay to neighboring Imperial Russia, which would follow in the course of the 19th century. After 50 years of Qajar rule the city still barely had more than 80,000 inhabitants.
From the 1920s to 1930s, the city essentially was rebuilt from scratch under the rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi. Reza Shah believed that ancient buildings such as large parts of the Golestan Palace, Tekieh Dowlat, the Toopkhaneh Square, the city fortifications, and the old citadel among others, should not be part of a modern city. They were systematically demolished, and modern buildings in the pre-Islamic Iranian style, such as the National Bank, the Police Headquarters, the Telegraph Office, and the Military Academy, were built in their place. The Tehran Bazaar was divided in half and many historic buildings were demolished, in order to build wide straight avenues in the capital. Many Persian gardens also fell victim to new construction projects. 

During the Second World War, Soviet and British troops entered the city. Tehran was the site of the Tehran Conference in 1943, attended by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Between the 1960s to 1970s, Tehran was rapidly developing under the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Modern buildings altered the face of Tehran and ambitious projects were envisioned for the following decades. The majority of these projects, such as Milad Tower, were continued after the Revolution of 1979, when Tehran's urbanization had reached its peak, and the new government started many other new projects. During the 1980–88 Iran–Iraq War, Tehran was the target of repeated Scud missile attacks and air strikes.
As a response to the growing social consciousness of civil rights, on June 2, 1907, the first parliament of Persian Constitutional Revolution passed a law on local governance known as "Baladieh Law". The second and third articles of the law, on "Baladieh Community", or the city council, provide a detailed outline on issues such as the role of the councils in the city, the members' qualifications, the election process, and the requirements to be entitled to vote.

After the First World War, Reza Shah immediately suspended the Baladieh Law of 1907 and the decentralized and autonomous city councils were replaced by centralist/sectoralist approaches of governance and planning. The changes in the urban fabric started with the street-widening act of 1933 which served as a framework for changes in all other cities. As a result of this act, the traditional texture of the city was replaced with cruciform intersecting streets creating large roundabouts, located on the major public spaces such as the bazaar or the hussainia.

As an attempt to create a network for the easy movement of goods and vehicles in Tehran, the city walls and gates were demolished in 1937 and replaced by wide streets cutting through the urban fabric. The new city map of Tehran in 1937 was heavily influenced by modernist planning patterns of zoning and gridiron network. 
 Tehran features a semi-arid climate (K√∂ppen climate classification: BSk). Tehran's climate is largely defined by its geographic location, with the towering Alborz Mountains to its north and the central desert to the south. It can be generally described as mild in the spring and autumn, hot and dry in the summer, and cold in the winter. Because the city is large with significant differences in elevation among various districts, the weather is often cooler in the hilly north than in the flat southern part of Tehran. For instance, the 17.3 km (10.7 mi) Valiasr Street runs from the Tehran's railway station than, 1,117 m (3,665 ft) elevation above sea level, in the south of the city to the Tajrish Square, 1,612 m (5,289 ft) elevation above sea level, in the north.[citation needed] However, the elevation can even rise up to 1,900 m (6,200 ft) at the end of the Velenjak Street in the north of Tehran.
In February 2005, heavy snow covered all of the parts of the city. Snow depth was 15 cm (6 in) in south part of the city and 100 cm (39 in) in the north of city. A newspaper said it had been the worst weather for 34 years. 10,000 bulldozers and 13,000 municipal workers deployed to keep the main roads open. 

On February 3, 2014, Tehran reached a heavy snowfall, specifically in the northern parts of the city, with a height of 2 meters. Within the one week successive snowfall roads were made impassable in some areas in north of Tehran along with a temperature variety of -8 °C to -16 °C  

On June 3, 2014, a severe thunderstorm with powerful microbursts created a haboob that engulfed the city in sand and dust. Five people were killed and more than 57 injured. This disaster also knocked numerous trees and power lines down. It struck between 5 and 6 PM, plummteing temperatures from 33 °C to 19 °C in just an hour. The dramatic temperature drop was accompanied by wind gusts reaching nearly 118 km/h.

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