Zahedan is an Iranian city and the capital of the province of Sistan and Baluchistan. Zahedan had an estimated population of 580,071 in 2005.
Zahedan, city in southeastern Iran, located near the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province at altitude of 1,352 m from sea level at a distance of 1,605 km from Tehran.
The overwhelming majority of the city's inhabitants are ethnic Baluchi and Speak the Baluchi language. There are smaller number of Pashtun's, Sistani's and Brahui's.
The city was part of the historic region of Sistan, situated today on the borders of southeastern Iran and southwestern Afghanistan. One portion is part of the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan. The other portion is part of the Nimruz Province of Afghanistan.
Sistan derives its name from 'Sakastan', which Sistan was once the westernmost part of. The Sakas that were once native to Sistan were driven to the Punjab during the Arsacid era (63 BCE-220 CE). The Saffarids (861-1003 CE), one of the early Iranian dynasties of the Islamic era, were originally rulers of Sistan.
In the Shahnameh, Sistan is also referred to as Zabulistan, after Zabol, a city in the region. In Ferdowsi's epic, Zabulistan is in turn described to be the homeland of the mythological hero-king Rostam.