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Full nameRasht
Official nameRasht
Native nameرشت
Other nameRain City
Total Population650000 (2011)
Metro (pop.)1000000
Other information
Time zoneIRST (UTC+3:30)

     Home | City | Rasht

Rasht ( , ), often spelt Recht in French and older German manuscripts, is the capital of Gilan province in north western Iran and the largest city along the Caspian Sea coast. It is a major trade center between Caucasia, Russia and Iran using the port of Bandar-e Anzali. Rasht is also a major tourist center with the resort of Masouleh in the adjacent mountains and the beaches of Caspian as some of the major attractions. Rasht had an estimated population of 560,123 in 2005.

Historically, Rasht was a major transport and business centre which connected Iran to Russia and Europe, and was therefore entitled the "Gate of Europe". The city has a history that goes back to the 13th century but its modern history dates back to the Safavid era during which Rasht was a major centre of the silk trade with numerous textile workshops. The name Rasht comes most plausibly from the verb reshtan, weaving. Rasht has, along with regions around Tabriz and Teheran, one of the earliest industry plants during the last quarter of the 19th century, prominently in fields such as fishing, caviar production, the Caspian sea oil pipeline construction and textiles. During the 20th century, until the mid-70s, Gilan and the Rasht region was the third-ranking industrial city in Iran by number of workers and per capita productivity. It lost its cultural and industrial status to a large extent after the 1970s.

The people of Rasht played a prominent role in instigation and radicalization of the Constitutional Revolution. Rasht is the birthplace of Mīrzā Kūchak Khān, one of the leading figures of the Constitutional Revolution (1905 1907). His own movement in Gilan, which went by the name of Jangalihã, represented a pro-modern and social democratic programme for reformation of Muslim rituals and traditions. Mirza Kuchak khăn established the short-lived Persian Socialist Soviet Republic in 1920 after the defeat of the constitutional forces and in coalition with Iranian communists. The republic had the support of the newly established Russian Red Army. The Soviet Government, after a turn of military and political strategy proposed by Trotsky, withdrew its support and the republic itself was tormented by the inner conflicts between the newly established Iranian Communist Party (1919) and the Jangalis and other factions. The republic was finally defeated by the Iranian army under the command of Reza Shah.

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