IRAN APPROVES PLAN TO CHANGE ITS CAPITAL: REPORT

AZG DAILY
03-11-2009

Iran

Iran approves a plan to change its capital amid earthquake fears over
Tehran, a newspaper said.

Seismologists have warned that Tehran is liable to be struck by a
catastrophic earthquake in the foreseeable future.

"The idea was proposed by the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, and rubber-stamped by the expediency council," British
Guardian newspaper said.

Experts warn that Tehran sits on at least 100 faultlines - including
one nearly 60 miles long - and that many of its buildings would not
survive a major quake.

Professor Bahram Akasheh, a seismologist and dean of the faculty of
basic sciences at Tehran Azad University, told the report the city
had been chosen as capital "by mistake" and its north-eastern suburbs
were vulnerable to an earthquake measuring eight on the Richter scale.

"I warned of this 40 to 50 years ago and if they had listened to me
then, Tehran wouldn't have grown into a macro-city, but now control
is lost over it. The city is growing bigger and bigger every day and
so are the poor suburbs around it," he told the newspaper.

He said a new capital should be built between Qom - home to the
country's clerical establishment - and Delijan, in Markazi province,
an area that has not seen an earthquake in 2,000 years.

It is not clear whether a new capital will be built from scratch or
sited in an existing city.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress