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Kerman ‎, also Romanized as Kermān, Kermun, and Kirman; also known as Carmania) is the capital city of Kerman Province, Iran.

At the 2011 census, its population was 821,374, in 221,389 households, making it the 10th most populous city of Iran.  It is the largest and most developed city in the Kerman Province and the most important city in South-East Iran. It is one of the largest cities of Iran in terms of area. Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. Kerman is also on the list of the recent world's 1000 cleanest cities. Kerman is also a former capital of Iran, a position that it held during several periods. It is located on a large, flat plain, 1,036 km (643 mi) south of Tehran, the capital of Iran. Kerman was founded as a defensive outpost, with the name Behdesīr, by Ardeshir I, founder of the Sassanid Empire, in the 3rd century AD. After the Battle of Nahāvand in 642, the city came under Muslim rule. At first the city's isolation allowed Kharijites and Zoroastrians to thrive there, but the Kharijites were wiped out in 698, and the population was mostly Muslim by 725. Already in the eighth century the city was famous for its manufacture of cashmere wool shawls and other textiles. The Abbasid Caliphate's authority over the region was weak, and power passed in the tenth century to the Buyid dynasty, which maintained control even when the region and city fell to Mahmud of Ghazna in the late tenth century. The name Kerman was adopted at some point in the tenth century.  Kerman was under the Seljuk Turks in the 11th and 12th centuries, but remained virtually independent, conquering Oman and Fars.  When Marco Polo visited the city in 1271 it had become a major trade emporium linking the Persian Gulf with Khorasan and Central Asia.  Subsequently, however, the city was sacked many times by various invaders. Kerman expanded rapidly during the Safavid Dynasty. Carpets and rugs were exported to England and Germany during this period.  In 1793 Lotf Ali Khan defeated the Qajars and in 1794 captured Kerman. But soon, he was besieged in Kerman for six months by Agha Mohammad Khan. When the city fell to Agha Mohammad Khan, angered by the popular support that Lotf Ali Khan had received, all the male inhabitants were killed or blinded, and a pile was made out of 20,000 detached eyeballs and poured in front of the victorious Agha Muhammad Khan. The women and children were sold into slavery, and the city was destroyed over ninety days. The present city of Kerman was rebuilt in the 19th century to the northwest of the old city, but the city did not recover to its former size until the 20th century.
The city's many districts are surrounded by mountains which bring variety to Kerman's year round weather pattern, thus the northern part of the city is located in an arid desert area, while the highland of the southern part of the city enjoys a more moderate climate. The mean elevation of the city is about 1755 m above sea level. Kerman city has a moderate climate and the average annual rainfall is 135 mm. Because it is located close to the Kavir-e lut, Kerman has hot summers and in the spring it often has violent sand storms. Otherwise, its climate is relatively cool.


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