West Azerbaijan Province is one of V the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the northwest of the country, bordering Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, as well as the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Kurdistan. It is separated from Armenia by Turkey’s short border with the Azerbaijan Republic. The province of West Azerbaijan covers an area of 39,487 km2. The capital and largest city of the province is Uremia.
With an area of 43,660 square km, including Lake Uremia, the province of West Azerbaijan is located on the northwest of Iran. The climate of the province is largely influenced by the rainy winds of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean. Cold northern winds affect the province during winter and cause heavy snow.
The major known ancient civilization in the region was a state between Urartian and Assyrian sphere of influence. Mannaeans in turn spoke a language related to Urartian. After the fall of Assyria, the region was known as Mantiene (or Matiene) in Greek sources. Matiene bordered on Atropatene situated east of Lake Urumiä. In the late 4th century the Sassanids incorporated the area into the neighbouring Adhurpadagan satrapy to the east. At 7th century this area was under Islamic rule. After Babak Khorramdin revolted, the grip of the Abbasid caliphate weakened, allowing some native dynasties to rise. By the first half of the 11″ century the Byzantine emperors were actively trying to found off their eastern territories, in an attempt to absorb the unstable Armenian dynasties.
West Azerbaijan possesses a rich culture, stemming from Azeri and Kurdish traditions. Many local traditions, such as music and dance, continue to survive among the peoples of the province. As a longstanding province of Persia, West Azerbaijan is mentioned favorably on many occasions in Persian literature by Iran’s greatest authors and poets:
All the nobles and grats of Iran,
Choose from Azarbaijan, Rey, and Gorgan