The tectonic background of the region is important in one further matter. The Middle East and North Africa are areas of active tectonics in the world often disturbed by earthquakes and an understanding of plate tectonics in the region is essential in comprehending and explaining the areas affected by such problems. The zones of relatively recent mountain building, the Alpine fold areas of the Atlas in North Africa, Taurus, Elburz, and Zagros Mountains in West Asia (i.e. the Middle East), are still unstable and almost every year there is a report of a major earthquake in Turkey or in the northern part of Iran. The major fault systems of the region are also regions of instability; in addition there are some well-known ancient fault lines of stress within the plates themselves (i.e. intraplate), which occasionally cause local instability in northern Africa and Arabia.