Kerman is the capital city of Kerman, the biggest province of Iran. Kerman is one of the five historical cities of Iran. From the industrial, political, cultural and scientific points of view, it is the most important city in the southeast of Iran. The city lies on a sandy plain, 1755 meters above sea level, under barren rocky hills. Surrounded by mountains on the north and east, it has a cool climate and frequent sandstorms in the autumn and spring. Kerman is very famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. Due to the special geographical conditions Kerman province enjoys considerable changeable climate. The population is mostly Persian-speaking Muslims, with a Zoroastrian minority.
Kerman city was probably founded by Ardashir I of the Sasanid dynasty and was called Behdesir. Under the Safavid, it came to be known as Kerman and was made capital of a province. Kerman city with a height of 1755 meters is located on a high margin of Lut Desert in the central south of Iran, is the Capital of Kerman Providence. Kerman is counted as one of the oldest cities.
The Sar-ta-sari Mall of Kerman is large and there are some old mosques including Masjed-e Malek, Masjed-e Jomeh, Masjed-e Bazar-e Shaah, and Masjed-e Pa Minar. At the western end of the bazaar is the Arg, the former citadel of the Qajar dynasty. Next to it is the Qaleh, allegedly constructed as a citadel by the Afghans during a short-lived subjugation of Kerman. On the Kerman plain stands the Jabel-e Sang and to the west is the Bagh-e Sirif, a luxuriant garden.
The great potentials in Kerman province, regarding such resources as industry, mining, agriculture, and service-sector, have all created favorable conditions to establish postgraduate education and research centers for further development of the area. Graduate University of Advanced Technology (GUAT) was thus founded in 2007 with the aim to partly fill this gap. With an area of 2000 hectares, the GUAT is located in Mahan, 28km southeast of Kerman. Currently, there are three faculties providing educational and research services in 39 MSc and 15 PhD programs, together with the facilities prepared in the same campus for commercializing the knowledge-based achievements of the GUAT post-graduate students and researchers.
Kerman is the largest carpet exporting center of Iran. The city formerly owed its industrial reputation to its shawl making, but that industry was surpassed by carpet making and is a major exporter of pistachio nuts.