Provinces of Iran

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Provinces of Iran
استان‌های ایران
Ostânhâ-ye Irân
  • Also known as:
  • Ostân
    استان
Iran provinces.svg
CategoryUnitary state
LocationIran
Number31
Populations580,158 (Ilam Province) – 13,267,637 (Tehran)
Areas5,833 km2 (2,252 sq mi) (Alborz) – 183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi) (Kerman Province)
Government
Subdivisions
Provinces of Iran by population in 2021
Provinces of Iran by population density in 2013
Map of the Iranian provinces by Human Development Index in 2017.
Legend:
  0.800 – 1.000 (Very high)
  0.700 – 0.799 (High)
  0.600 – 0.699 (Medium)
Provinces of Iran by contribution to national GDP in 2014
Provinces of Iran by GDP per capita in 2012

Iran is subdivided into thirty-one provinces (Persian: استان ostân), each governed from a local centre, usually the largest local city, which is called the capital (Persian: مرکز, markaz) of that province. The provincial authority is headed by a governor-general (Persian: استاندار ostândâr), who is appointed by the Minister of the Interior subject to approval of the cabinet.[1]

Modern history[edit]

Iran has held its modern territory since the Treaty of Paris in 1857. From 1906 until 1950, Iran was divided into twelve provinces: Ardalan, Azerbaijan, Baluchestan, Fars, Gilan, Araq-e Ajam, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kerman, Larestan, Lorestan, and Mazandaran.[2]

In 1950, Iran was reorganized to form ten numbered provinces with subordinate governorates: Gilan; Mazandaran; East Azerbaijan; West Azerbaijan; Kermanshah; Khuzestan; Fars; Kerman; Khorasan; Isfahan.[2]

Iran has had a historical claim to Bahrain as its 14th province: Bahrain Province, until 1971 under British colonial occupation. Prior to 1957, Bahrain was placed under Fars Province.[3] During Safavid Iran, Bahrain was subordinate to Bushehr governorship and Zubarah (located in modern-day country of Qatar) was its capital city. In 1737, under Afsharid dynasty Bahrain was made subject to Fars governorship.[4] This claim was reasserted by the new theocratic Iranian leadership after 1979 with the famous 1981 coup attempt that occurred.[5]

From 1960 to 1981, the governorates were raised to provincial status one by one. Since then several new provinces have been created, most recently in 2010 when the new Alborz Province was split from Tehran Province, and before that in 2004 when the province of Khorasan was divided into three provinces.[6]

Map of the 31 provinces of Iran

Information[edit]

Iran population broken down by province

Iran's GDP contribution by province.png

Current provinces[edit]

According to Donyaye Eqtesad, between 2017 and 2019, some 11 of the 20 poorest Iranian cities were in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan. Three other markedly poor cities were located in Kerman province. [7]

Iranian provinces along with additional information and statistics
Province Capital Population (2016)[8] Area (km2) Population density (/km2) Counties Notes Map
Alborz Karaj 2,712,400 5,833 465.01 4 Until 23 June 2010, Alborz was part of Tehran province. IranAlborz-SVG.svg
Ardabil Ardabil 1,270,420 17,800 71.37 9 Until 1993, Ardabil was part of East Azerbaijan province.[9] IranArdabil-SVG.svg
Azerbaijan, East Tabriz 3,909,652 45,650 85.64 19 IranEastAzerbaijan-SVG.svg
Azerbaijan, West Urmia 3,265,219 37,437 87.22 14 During the Pahlavi Dynasty Urmia was known as Rezaiyeh.[10] IranWestAzerbaijan-SVG.svg
Bushehr Bushehr 1,163,400 22,743 51.15 9 Originally part of Fars province. Until 1977, the province was known as Khalij-e Fars (Persian Gulf).[2] IranBushehr-SVG.svg
Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Shahrekord 947,763 16,332 58.03 6 Until 1973 was part of Isfahan province.[11] IranChaharMahaalBakhtiari-SVG.svg
Fars Shiraz 4,851,274 122,608 39.57 23 IranFars-SVG.svg
Gilan Rasht 2,530,696 14,042 180.22 16 IranGilan-SVG.svg
Golestan Gorgan 1,868,819 20,195 92.53 11 On the 31 May 1997, the shahrestans of Aliabad, Gonbad-e-kavus, Gorgan, Kordkuy, Minudasht, and Torkaman were separated from Mazandaran province to form Golestan province. Gorgan was called Esteraba or Astarabad until 1937.[2] IranGolestan-SVG.svg
Hamadan Hamadan 1,738,234 19,368 90.78 8 Originally part of Kermanshah province.[2] IranHamadan-SVG.svg
Hormozgan Bandar Abbas 1,776,415 70,669 25.14 11 Originally part of Kerman province.[2] Until 1977, the province was known as Banader va Jazayer-e Bahr-e Oman (Ports and Islands of the Sea of Oman).[2] IranHormozgan-SVG.svg
Ilam Ilam 580,158 20,133 28.82 7 Originally part of Kermanshah province.[2] IranIlam-SVG.svg
Isfahan Isfahan 5,120,850 107,029 47.85 21 In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2] IranEsfahan-SVG.svg
Kerman Kerman 3,164,718 183,285 17.27 14 IranKerman-SVG.svg
Kermanshah Kermanshah 1,952,434 24,998 78.10 13 Between 1950 and 1979, both Kermanshah province and city were known as Kermanshahan and between 1979 and 1995 were known as Bakhtaran.[2] IranKermanshah-SVG.svg
Khorasan, North Bojnourd 863,092 28,434 30.35 6 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[6] IranNorthKhorasan-SVG.svg
Khorasan, Razavi Mashhad 6,434,501 118,884 54.12 29 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[6] IranRazaviKhorasan-SVG.svg
Khorasan, South Birjand 768,898 151,913 5.06 8 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[6] IranSouthKhorasan-SVG.svg
Khuzestan Ahvaz 4,710,509 64,055 73.54 18 IranKhuzestan-SVG.svg
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Yasuj 713,052 15,504 45.99 5 Originally part of Khuzestan province. Until 1990, the province was known as Bovir Ahmadi and Kohkiluyeh.[2] IranKohkiluyehBuyerAhmad-SVG.svg
Kurdistan Sanandaj 1,603,011 29,137 55.02 9 Originally part of Gilan province.[2] IranKurdistan-SVG.svg
Lorestan Khorramabad 1,760,649 28,294 62.23 9 Originally part of Khuzestan province.[2] IranLorestan-SVG.svg
Markazi Arak 1,429,475 29,130 49.07 10 Originally part of Mazandaran province.[2] In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2] IranMarkazi-SVG.svg
Mazandaran Sari 3,283,582 23,701 138.54 15 IranMazandaran-SVG.svg
Qazvin Qazvin 1,273,761 15,549 81.92 5 On 31 December 1996, the shahrestans of Qazvin and Takestan were separated from Zanjan province to form the province of Qazvin.[2] IranQazvin.svg
Qom Qom 1,292,283 11,526 112.12 1 Until 1995, Qom was a shahrestan of Tehran province.[2] IranQom.svg
Semnan Semnan 702,360 97,491 7.20 4 Originally part of Mazandaran province.[2] In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2] IranSemnan-SVG.svg
Sistan and Baluchestan Zahedan 2,775,014 180,726 15.35 8 Until 1986, the province was known as Baluchestan and Sistan.[2] IranSistanBaluchistan-SVG.svg
Tehran Tehran 13,267,637 18,814 705.20 13 Until 1986, Tehran was part of Markazi province. IranTehran-SVG.svg
Yazd Yazd 1,138,533 76,469 14.89 10 Originally part of Isfahan province.[11] In 1986, part of Kerman province was transferred to Yazd province. In 2002, Tabas shahrestan (area: 55,344 km2) was transferred from Khorasan province to Yazd.[2] Location of Yazd province in Iran.svg
Zanjan Zanjan 1,057,461 21,773 48.57 7 Originally part of Gilan province. In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2] IranZanjan-SVG.svg
Iran (Total) Tehran 79,926,270 1,628,554 km2 (628,788 sq mi) 49.078 342 Iran location map.svg

Provinces' Abbreviations[edit]

Table below shows the provinces' abbreviation, which can be used in postal addresses and academic affiliations for the sake of simplicity.

Province Abbreviation Method
Alborz AL First two letters
Ardabil AR First two letters
Azerbaijan, East AS First two words
Azerbaijan, West AQ First two words
Bushehr BU First two letters
Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari CH First two letters
Fars FA First two letters
Gilan GI First two letters
Golestan GO First two letters
Hamadan HA First two letters
Hormozgan HO First two letters
Ilam IL First two letters
Isfahan IS First two letters
Kerman KE First two letters
Kermanshah KS First two words
Khorasan, North XS First two words
Khorasan, Razavi XR First two words
Khorasan, South XJ First two words
Khuzestan XU First two letters
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad KB First two words
Kurdistan KU First two letters
Lorestan LO First two letters
Markazi MR First and third letter
Mazandaran MZ First and third letter
Qazvin QA First two letters
Qom QO First two letters
Semnan SE First two letters
Sistan and Baluchestan SB First two words
Tehran TE First two letters
Yazd YA First two letters
Zanjan ZA First two letters

Historical provinces[edit]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ IRNA, Online Edition. "Paris for further cultural cooperation with Iran". Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Gwillim Law, Statoids website. "Provinces of Iran". Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2006.
  3. ^ Ebrahimi, Mansoureh; Rad Goudarzi, Masoumeh; Yusoff, Kamaruzaman (2018), The Dynamics of Iranian Borders: Issues of Contention, Springer, p. 106, ISBN 9783319898360
  4. ^ Mojtahed-Zadeh, Pirouz (2013). Security and Territoriality in the Persian Gulf: A Maritime Political Geography. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-0700710980.
  5. ^ "Former IRGC General Close To Supreme Leader Khamenei: 'Bahrain Is A Province Of Iran That Should Be Annexed To [It]'". MEMRI. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d Online edition, Al-Jazeera Satellite Network. "Iran breaks up largest province". Archived from the original on 20 May 2006. Retrieved 30 April 2006.
  7. ^ Monday, 23 Aug 2021 11:30 (23 August 2021). "Iran Enters A New Economic Era Marked By Poverty | Iran International". Iranintl.com. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  8. ^ "National census 2016". amar.org.ir. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.[]
  9. ^ Chamber Society, Iranian. "Ardabil Province". Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  10. ^ "Urmia". Archived from the original on 8 September 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  11. ^ a b Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Ostandarie. "Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Province". Retrieved 23 July 2008.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Official provincial websites