- Until recently there were two Azarbaijan (Azerbaijan or Azarbayjan) provinces in Iran, Western Azarbaijan Province and Eastern Azarbaijan Province which are located on the northwest corner of Iran. The newest province Ardabil Province was separated from the eastern region. The western region follows the course of the Aras (Araxes) River, the eastern region runs through the Zaki Mountains.
Aras (Araxes) River and view of Mt. Ararat
- This area contains a series of mountains and basins. The mountains are of volcanic origin and have heights as high as 4,811 meters (15,876 feet), the Sabalan to the west of Ardabil and 3710 meters (12,243 feet), the Sahand, between Tabriz and Maragheh. Lake Orumiye (Orumieh) is one of the largest basins.
- The climate is dry with little rainfall and has a cold temperature. Average temperature is about 27°C (81°F) in summer (colder in Ardabil, 21°C, 70°F), and -2° (28°F) in winter (-20°, -4°F in Ardabil).
- Azarbaijan has gone under ethno-linguistic changes since the arrival of Turkish tribes from Central Asia. This region fell to Arabs, Turks and Mongols until Safavid Dynasty recovered this area.
- All Azaris in Iran, Turkey, or the independent Republic of Azarbaijan speak Azari, a language descended from Anatolian Turkish. However, the Iranian Azari are mostly Shiite, the Turks are predominantly Sunni.
- The climate was ideal for nomadic lifestyle. Today, other than a semi-nomadic population in Azarbaijan, nomadism has disappeared.
Jalali Nomads in West Azarbaijan
- Western Azarbaijan Province is on the border of Turkey and the independent Republic of Azarbaijan. The capital is Orumiye (Orumieh).
- Eastern Azarbaijan Province capital is Tabriz which is set in a valley at the foot of the Sahand Mountains.
- Ardabil Province is one of the newest provinces in Iran. It was separated from Eastern Azarbaijan. The capital is Ardabil city.