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Zahedan, Iran

City in southeastern Iran with 460,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) at an elevation of 1350 metres above sea level. It is the capital of the Sistan va Baluchestan Province with 2.3 million inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 178,431 km².
Zahedan lies 60-80 km from the borders to both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Zahedan is one of the poorest cities of Iran. The economic base of the city is the production of bricks, milled rice, livestock feed, processed foods, mats and baskets, embroidered articles and ceramics. But the most important economic activity today might be smuggling between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The main attractions of Zahedan are the ruined citadel in the centre of the city, and the Friday Mosque.

By Tore Kjeilen