|• Governor-general||Ali Zeynivand|
|• Total||183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi)|
|Elevation||192 m (630 ft)|
|• Density||17/km2 (45/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+03:30 (IRST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+04:30 (IRST)|
high · 20th
Kerman Province (Persian: استان کرمان, Ostān-e Kermān) is the largest province of the 31 provinces of Iran. Kerman is in the southeast of Iran with its administrative center in the city of Kerman. In 2014 it was placed in Region 5. Mentioned in ancient times as the Achamenid satrapy of Carmania, it is the largest province of Iran with an area of 183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi), that encompasses nearly 11 percent of the land area of Iran. The population of the province is about 3 million (9th in the country).
The main languages of Kerman Province are Persian and Garmsiri. Smaller languages include Achomi, Turkic dialects and a Median-type dialect spoken by the Jewish and Zoroastrian communities.
The Persian varieties can be considered one single Kermani accent and they are sufficiently close to Standard Persian which they share intelligibility with.
See also: Qutlugh-Khanids
According to a text from the 8th century commontly attributed to the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi, present-day Kerman Province was situated in the southern quarter of the Sasanian Empire. The main city of the region from the Sasanian era to the 10th century was Sirjan. Early Muslim geographers considered the area as part of the hot climatic zone and the mountainous interior as home of predatory people including the Kufečs (or Kofejān). Hamdallah Mustawfi stated that predatory beasts roamed the area which by then had undergone forestation.
The altitudes and heights of the province are the continuation of the central mountain ranges of Iran. They extend from the volcanic folds beginning in Azarbaijan and, by branching out in the central plateau of Iran, terminate in Baluchestan. These mountain ranges have brought about vast plains in the province. The Bashagard and Kuhbonan Mountains are the highest in this region and include peaks such as Toghrol, Aljerd, Palvar, Sirach, Abareq and Tahrood. Other ranges that stretch out from Yazd to Kerman and Challeh-ye-Jazmoorian include high peaks like Hazaran 4501 meters above sea level, Kuh-e Shah 4402 meters, Joupar, Bahr Aseman and Khabr mountain in Khabr National Park and others.
Most of the province is largely steppe or sandy desert, although there are some oases where dates, oranges (said to be the best in Iran), and pistachios are cultivated. In antiquity "Carmanian" wine was famed for its quality [Strabo XV.2.14 (cap. 726)]. The province is dependent on qanats (underground water channels) for its irrigation. In the central parts, Mount Hezar is the highest peak, 4501 meters above sea level.
Kerman is prone to natural disasters. A recent flood for example, unearthed the archeological ancient city of Jiroft, in the south of Kerman province. Arg-é Bam on the other hand, the world's largest adobe structure, was destroyed in an earthquake in December 2003. On February 22, 2005, a major earthquake killed hundreds of residents in the town of Zarand and several nearby villages in north Kerman (see 2005 Zarand earthquake).
The counties of Kerman province are Baft County, Bardsir County, Bam County, Jiroft County, Rafsanjan County, Zarand County, Sirjan County, Shahr-e-Babak County, Kerman County, Kahnuj County, Qaleh Ganj County, Manujan County, Rudbar-e Jonubi County, Anbarabad County, Rabor County, Rigan County, Arzuiyeh County, Fahraj County, Faryab County and Ravar County.
In 2011 the population of the province was 2,938,988 (1,482,339 male; 1,456,649 female) in 786,400 households. 1,684,982 lived in urban areas, 1,242,344 in rural vicinities and 6,082 accounted as non-residents.
In 1996, 52.9% of Kerman's population lived in urban areas, and 46% in rural vicinities, the remaining 1.1% accounted as non-residents. In 2006 urban population made 58.5%, in 2011 this rate decreased by one percent. The city of Kerman (2011 population: 621,374) embraces about 80% of the urban population, being the most developed and largest city of the province.
The following sorted table, lists the most populous cities in Kerman.
|8||Shahr-e Babak||Shahr-e Babak||51,620|
As of 1920, the province was known for the quality of its caraway. Today, Kerman is where a large portion of Iran's auto industry is based. Sirjan, a specially designated economic zone, is considered a passageway for transfer of imported commercial goods from the south (through the Persian Gulf). Arg e Jadid, is another specially designated economic zone of Iran, located in Kerman province. Furthermore, Kerman Province is famous for its abundance of pistachio fields both in the city itself and surrounding ones such as Rafsanjan, Ravar and Nooq.
Kerman province contains the following universities: