Karaj About this sound pronunciation is a city in and the capital of Karaj County, Alborz Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 1.61 million in the latest 2011 census, making it the third-largest city in Iran after Tehran, Mashhad. It is situated 20 kilometres west of Tehran, at the foothills of the Alborz mountains. The city has effectively become an extension of metropolitan Tehran. Karaj is mostly famous because of its academic and educational complexes along with tourist attractions.