Volume. 11886

Relocating capital needs comprehensive studies: Transport minister
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TEHRAN – Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister has said that relocating the capital need comprehensive studies.
“Just being endangered by earthquakes or threatened by air pollution are not convincing to move the capital. A set of requirements, including economic and political ones, should be met,” the Mehr News Agency quoted Abbas Akhoundi as saying on Friday.
A special group will be formed next week to review similar cases in the world, he added.
The Iranian parliament has approved the outlines of a proposal to select another city as the country’s capital and move the seat of the government from Tehran. 
However, after the initial approval of the proposal to relocate the capital on Tuesday, the administration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed opposition to the plan, saying it would create a great financial burden for the government. 
Of the 214 MPs present in the parliament, 110 voted for the proposal, 67 against it, and 10 abstained. However, 27 lawmakers who were also present in the parliament did not participate in the voting.
Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Majid Ansari expressed vehement opposition to the plan on Tuesday. 
Considering the financial burdens it will create, it will not be possible to move the capital, even in 20 years, said Ansari, a former MP who once chaired the Majlis Budget and Planning Committee.
Ansari also stated that moving the capital is an important issue which falls within the country’s general policies, and it is not possible to make such a decision without seeking the views of the Supreme Leader.
The greater Tehran area has a population of 12 million and suffers from a number of problems, such as heavy pollution and traffic jams. 
Tehran’s population has increased greatly over the past decade as more and more Iranians move to the city in search of jobs and a better life.
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said that the amount of funding required for moving the capital has not been projected in the plan, and thus it will be rejected by the Guardian Council.

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