Found in: Iranian provincial capitals
Arak, previously known as Soltan-abad, is the center of Markazi province, Iran. It had an estimated population of 511,127 in 2005. [*]
Arak is built on the ruins of a small town called Daskerah, which was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Persia. Modern Arak is a relatively new city on fertile lands, reestablished in 1795 with primary construct ending in 1852. The new city was founded and financed during the Qajar era by an Iranian Georgian Yusef Khan Gorji, a pro-Iranian Georgian warlord given refuge by Shah Muammad Khan Qajar (1742-1797) following a territorial dispute with his cousins who were supported by Imperial Russian Empress Catherine the Great. In the period between 1795 and 1797, Yusef Khan-e Gorji, renamed Yusef Khan-e Sepahdar by the Shah, settled his army in the fertile though poorly-controlled territory that would become modern Arak. Hostile tribes in this region had operated autonomously from Qajar rule. With the Persian Shahs approval, Yusuf Khan diverted the main river to drive out the hostiles and built the Soltan Abad fortress, or Baladeh, a war fortress to act as a buffer and serve as the foundation of what would become modern Arak. Yusuf Khans organized military force was established in this region aptly named "Persian Iraq" (Iraq-e ajam) ( ) from ancient times meaning 'smooth land'. According to historians, Yusef Khan built Arak from his own personal income and with the aid of affluents. The town would remain a military base and fortress until 1892. The Soltan Abad fortress had a thick wall surrounded by great moats, 7 meters deep. Eight towers were constructed around the town and the governmental building was established in its northern part. In 1891 deputy governor, Etemadol Saltaneh Mirza Hasan, repaired all of the shops, gardens and all government buildings in Soltan Abads greater town and with the owners of industries from other towns, settled in Arak. Large portions of the town were annexed as personal property to the pre-existing army commanders though these were ultimately turned over to the state from 1918-1922. The evolution of the modern town name is from Soltan Abad fortress, to Soltan Abad, to Iraq-e Ajam (Persian Iraq), and finally to its current name, Arak, in 1938.
Under the rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi, main railways crossed along the city and later the south-north oil pipe line passed through the city, which lead to rapid growth. Great attention to the building of Arak during the Pahlavi dynasty led many to speculate its intended designation as the future capital of Iran.
Historical Buildings and Architecture
borje shishe (glass tower)
Baghe nezam lashgar (Esmaeili)
Mouse-ie Sanaie Dasti
Mojtama-e Tafrihi-ie Amirkabir
chepeghli mineral water
Location and climate
Arak is located at . The city is surrounded by mountains in the south, west, and east.
Arak is located in adjacency two important cities: Qom and Isfahan. Its average altitude is 1750m above sea level and is 260 km from the capital, Tehran.
Arak in geneal has a relatively cold and dry climate. Its weather is warm and dry in summer, windy and cool in autumn, cold and snowy in winter, and mild in spring. The maximum temperature may raise up to 35 degrees Celsius in summer and may fall to below -25 degrees Celsius in winter. The average rainfall is around 300mm and the annual relative humidity is 50%.
Arak is one of the main industrial cities of Iran, possessing many plants for heavy industries especially for the metal and machinery industries, namely:
Aluminat [*] (Manufacturer of heavy and highly specialized industrial parts and profiles)
Machin Sazi Arak (MSA) and AZAR AB factories (for producing heavy machinery such as boilers and chemical reactors)
Jam Avaran Borya (Mreza Esmaeili)
Wagon Pars (train manufacturer)
Iranian Aluminium Company (IrAlCo)
Avangan (for high voltage pylons)
HEPCO (heavy road construction vehicles)
Petrochemical factories and oil refineries
Navard Aluminum Mfg. Group (Navard e Aluminum) aluminum factory
Iran Combine Manufacturing Company (Combine-sazi-e Iran)
Arak Petrochemical Company (ARPC)
Arak 1300Mw powerplant
Arak agricultural equipments company
Iran mineral company OF Arak
Machin sazi e daghayegh e arak(creator of car parts)
In recent years, a heavy water production plant and two power plants: a fossil fuel power plant and a low power (less than 40 megawatts) heavy water nuclear power plant.
Arak University of Medical Sciences
Iran University of Science and Technology,Arak Campus
University of Arak
Islamic Azad University of Arak
Tarbiat Moallem University of Arak
payam-e-noor univercity of arak
machinsazi technological training center
There is a diversity in the Iranian ethnic living in this city. It includes Persians and Lurs. Also, in the Safavid era, Armenians had settled in Arak [*], but their numbers have declined due to migration to Tehran.
Agriculture and handicrafts
The main agricultural products are grain, barley, and fruits which are grape, apple, walnut and almond. However, Arak's hand made carpets],especially the Sarough brand, are famous internationally.
Notable people from Arak
Mansour Bahrami, famous tennis player.
Ezatollah Bayat, who was Mosadegh's son in law and Arak's member of parlimant in the Shah regime.
Amir Kabir, was born in Arak, in a northern region known as Hezaveh.Ghaem Magham Farahani, was born in Arak, in a Northern region named Farahan.
Note that Amir Kabir has grown up in Ghaem Magham's family.
Mohammad Mossadegh, Iran's Nationalist Prime Minister.
Ata'ollah Mohajerani, He was one of Khatami's cabinet ministers during the power of reformists.
Kader Abdolah, laureated Dutch writer.
Arak entries in the Encyclopaedia Iranica