Iranian province of Khuzestan and has a warm & humid climate. Ahvaz is the center and largest city of the province, and is located 874 km. from Tehran. Population (2002 estimate): 2,504,804.
In ancient times it was called "Hormozd-Ardashir" and then "Soq-ol-Ahvaz". Later on it was known as "Naseri". Some historians have mentioned it as "Algeenis".
There is a strong possibility that the city of Ahvaz (Ahwaz) is located on the site of the old city of "Taryana". The Sassanid king Ardashir I rebuilt Taryana and named it "Hormozd-Ardashir". During his reign and that of his successors, the city prospered, and instead of Susa became the capital of "Suziana" (Khuzestan). At the time that the Arabs gained control of Suziana, Hormozd-Ardashir was re-named to Soq-ol-Ahvaz, meaning the market of Khuzis or Hoories.
During the period of Ummayad and Abbasid Caliphs, Ahvaz flourished and became the center for the cultivation of sugar-cane. But at the end of the 3rd century, due to the upheavals of Saheb-ol-Zanj, it witnessed a decline. In the year 750, Ahvaz was the birthplace of the famous poet Abu Nuwas. Many efforts were made to recapture earlier fame, with some success, but the Mongol invasions of the 13th and 14th centuries and the destruction of its large dam both caused a sharp decline.
Ahvaz is also not far from the ancient Academy of Gundishapur (aka Jondishapour, Jondishapur), where the modern day teaching hospital is said to have been first invented.
By the 1880s Ahvaz was little more than a shanty village, until the Karun River (aka Karoon, Karoun) was re-opened. Oil and railways further boosted the town's importance.
The construction of the Suez Canal further improved trade and shipping on Karun River, This, and the reformation of Bandar-e-Naseri as a port during the Qajar era, further stimulated the town, and its name was changed to Naseriyeh. During the Pahlavi period, the city re-gained its old name of Ahvaz.
Oil was found near Ahvaz in 1980, and the oil industry has since been central to the city's economy. At present it plays an important role in cultural, economical and industrial fields in Iran, as well as being one of the most highly populated areas of the province.
Ahvaz was badly damaged during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988).