It is one of the landmarks of Tehran, marking the west entrance to the city, and is part of the Azadi Cultural Complex, which also includes a museum underground.
The tower is about 45 metres (148 ft) tall and is completely clad in cut marble. It was commissioned by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last shah of Iran, to mark the 2,500th year of the foundation of the Imperial State of Iran.
After winning a competition, architect Hossein Amanat was tasked to design the tower, his client being the Council of Celebrations. His ideas were based upon classical and post-classical Iranian architecture, popular influences on art in the 1960s following the White Revolution. Iran's increasing wealth sparked modernization programs and sent the art industry into a renaissance-like period.