Body Rejects Idea of Relocating Tehran

Body Rejects Idea of Relocating TehranBody Rejects Idea of Relocating Tehran

A majority of senior policymakers and decision makers are against the relocation of the national capital Tehran.

At the first meeting of the Research Council of “Tehran Decentralization” held on Monday at the Office of the First Vice-President Ishaq Jahangiri, the officials raised ‘preliminary objections’ to the shifting of the capital, citing various reasons.

Forty officials attended the meeting including current and former officials, ministers and deputy ministers, heads of parliamentary committees, head of Tehran City Council and advisor to the Supreme Leader, Major-General Yahya Rahim Safavi. University professors and urban management experts also attended, the Persian language newspaper ‘Donya-e-Eghtesad,’ reported.

The meeting was held following approval of the law “evaluating feasibility of transfer and decentralization of Tehran” in April.

According to the law, a 15-member council should be formed, comprising the president,  or  first vice president, four ministers, the Tehran mayor and head of the Tehran City Council, head of the armed forces, four lawmakers and heads of the Department of Environment, Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization and the Management and Planning Organization.

The council was enjoined to undertake two-year research on feasibility of capital relocation.

Besides TCC members, 25 other experts also attended the conference. The Tehran mayor was absent.

Seyed Reza Hashemi, advisor to Abbas Akhundi, minister of roads and urban development, said in line with the law, the ministry had undertaken two main research plans, including ‘Organizing of Tehran Urban Areas’ and ‘Transfer of political and administrative capital from Tehran’.

The results of the second plan were presented to the meeting in a 50-page PowerPoint presentation.

Akhundi said Tehran is facing major population, environmental and economic crises. The high rate of influx from other provinces and regions had seen a building boom. He also discussed the positive and negative aspects of shifting the capital.

In the first plan, solving the current problems of the capital are being studied.

“If we succeed in solving the challenges of a ‘floating population’, there will be no need to relocate the capital, as this in itself can have several negative consequences.”

He also said other countries with the same urban problems, are not agreeable to plans to relocate their capitals. Instead they are using “new decentralization techniques to address the problems.”