This paper introduces innovative criteria for evaluating earthquake intensity in Iran and surrounding countries. Two characteristics of the region make it necessary to develop such criteria: 1) the special properties of buildings and other structures in the region; and 2) the cultural and environmental characteristics of Iran and its neighbors. The proposed criteria are compatible with the international intensity scale in that there are 12 different descriptions for 12 intensity levels ranging from very weak (level I) to strongly destructive (level XII).

The criteria are based mainly on observed earthquake effects, including damage to buildings, other structures, and furniture, and changes in environmental conditions including cracks in the Earth's surface, changes in water flow, and so forth.

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