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Lankaran (lĭnˌkărănˈ) [key] or Lenkoran lyĕnˌkəränˈyə, city (1989 pop. 45,020), SE Azerbaijan, near the Iranian border, on the Caspian Sea. It is a port and an important food-processing center for fish and tea. Its inhabitants are mostly Talysh, an Iranian-speaking people who are Shiite Muslims. Lankaran, known since the 17th cent., was the capital of the Talysh khanate under Persia in the 18th cent. and was ceded to Russia by Persia in 1813. The Lankaran Lowland, a coastal strip c.40 mi (60 km) long, has a humid, subtropical climate. Citrus fruit, tea, and rice are grown here.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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