Mazandaran (mäzänˌdäränˈ) [key] or Mazanderan mäzänˌdĕränˈ, province (1991 pop. 3,793,149), c.20,400 sq mi (52,840 sq km), N Iran, bordering the Caspian Sea in the north. Sari is the capital; other cities include Babol, Amul, and Gorgan. It is traversed by the Elburz Mts., which run parallel to the Caspian Sea and divide the province into many isolated valleys. Rice, grain, fruits, cotton, tea, tobacco, sugarcane, and silk are produced in the lowland strip along the Caspian shore. Oil wealth has stimulated industries in food processing, cement, textiles, cotton, and fishing. Mazandaran changed hands often early in its history and was incorporated into the Persian Empire by Shah Abbas I in 1596. It was formerly known as Tabaristan.