Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic or Naxçivan Autonomous Republic (näkˌchĭvänˈ) [key], autonomous republic (1990 est. pop. 310,000), 2,124 sq mi (5,501 sq km), an exclave of Azerbaijan, bordered on the south by Iran and Turkey and on the north by Armenia, which separates Nakhchivan from the rest of Azerbaijan. Nakhchivan (the capital), Ordubad, and Julfa are the main cities. The lowlands are irrigated and produce cotton, tobacco, rice, winter wheat, and fruits. In the foothills grapes are grown for the wine industry, and silkworms are raised. There are salt, molybdenum, lead, and zinc deposits. The republic's industries include food processing, cotton cleaning, and the bottling of mineral water. The population consists mainly of Azeris (82%), with Russian and Armenian minorities. The republic was founded in 1924.