Informations Iran Provinces

Khuzestan Province

Khuzestan Province (Persian: استان خوزستان‎, Ostān-e Khūzestān) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq's Basra Province and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahwaz and covers an area of 63,238 km². Other major cities include Behbahan, Abadan, Andimeshk, Khorramshahr, Bandar Imam, Dezful, Shushtar, Omidiyeh, Izeh, Baq-e-Malek, Mah Shahr, Susangerd, Ramhormoz, Shadegan, Susa, Masjed Soleiman, Minoo Island and Hoveizeh.
Currently, Khuzestan has 18 representatives in Iran's parliament, the Majlis, and 6 representatives in the Assembly of Experts.
Geography and climate
The province of Khuzestan can be basically divided into two regions, the rolling hills and mountainous regions north of the Ahwaz Ridge, and the plains and marsh lands to its south. The area is irrigated by the Karoun, Karkheh, Jarahi and Maroun rivers. The northern section maintains a Persian (Lur, Bakhtiari, Khuzi) majority, while the southern section had an Arabic speaking majority until the great flood of job seekers from all over Iran inundated the oil and commerce centers on the coasts of the Persian Gulf since the 1940s. Presently, Khouzestan has several minority and ethnic groups of Lors-Bakhtiyaris-ghashghayee- Arabs and Persians from periods of history that Arabs were not mentioned anywhere.


Khuzestan has great potentials for agricultural expansion, which is almost unrivaled by the country's other provinces. Large and permanent rivers flow over the entire territory contributing to the fertility of the land. Karun, Iran's most effluent river, 850 kilometers long, flows into the Persian Gulf through this province. The agricultural potential of most of these rivers, however, and particularly in their lower reaches, is hampered by the fact that their waters carry salt, the amount of which increases as the rivers flow away from the source mountains and hills. In case of the Karun, a single tributary river, Rud-i Shur ("Salty River") that flows into the Karun above Shushtar contributes most of the salt that the river carries. As such, the freshness of the Karun waters can be greatly enhanced if the Rud-i Shur could be diverted away from the Karun. The same applies to the Jarahi and Karkheh in their lower reaches. Only the Marun is exempt from this.
The climate of Khuzestan is generally hot and occasionally humid, particularly in the south, while winters are much more pleasant and dry. Summertime temperatures routinely exceed 50 degrees Celsius and in the winter it can drop below freezing, with occasional snowfall, all the way south to Ahwaz. Khuzestan province is known to master the hottest temperatures on record for a populated city anywhere in the world. Many sandstorms and duststorms are frequent with the arid and desert-style terrains.
People and culture
A bust from The National Museum of Iran of Queen Musa, wife of Phraates IV of Parthia, excavated by a French team in Khuzestan in 1939.
According to the 1996 census, the province had an estimated population of 3.7 million people, of which approximately 62.5% were in the urban centres, 36.5% were rural dwellers and the remaining 1% were non-residents. According to the most recent census taken in 2004, the province had an estimated population of 4,277,998 inhabitants.[19]
Khuzestan, unlike most other provinces in Iran, is inhabited by a number of ethnic minorities and peoples: Persians in major cities, Iranian Arabs, the Bakhtiari Lurs, Behbahanis, Mizrahi Jews, Laks, and other Lurs of the north, the Turkic-speaking Qashqai and Afshari tribes, the Khuzis of Shush (Susa), Dezful, Shushtar, Andimeshk and the inhabitants of the coastal regions of the Persian Gulf all make up the population of the province of Khuzestan. There are no official ethnic statistics released by Iran's government.
Economy
The government of Iran is spending large amounts of money in Khuzestan province. The massive Karun-3 dam, was inaugurated recently as part of a drive to boost Iran's growing energy demands.
Khuzestan is the major oil-producing region of Iran, and as such is one of the wealthiest provinces in Iran. Khuzestan ranks third among Iran's provinces in GDP.
In 2005, Iran's government announced it was planning the country's second nuclear reactor to be built in Khuzestan province. The 360 MW reactor will be a light water PWR Reactor.
Khuzestan is also home to the Arvand Free Trade Zone. It is one of six economic Free Trade Zones in Iran. and the PETZONE (Petrochemical Special Economic Zone in Mahshahr).


Shipping
Karun river is the only navigable river in Iran. The British, up until recent decades, after the discovery by Austen Henry Layard, transported their merchandise via Karun's waterways, passing through Ahvaz all the way up to Langar near Shushtar, and then sent by road to Masjed Soleimanthe site of their first oil wells in the Naftoon oil field. Karoun is capable of the sailing of fairly large ships as far up as Shushtar.
Karkheh, Jarrahi, Arvand Rud, Handian, Shavoor, Bahmanshir (Bahman-Ardeshir), Maroon-Alaa', Dez, and many other rivers and water sources in the form of Khurs, lagoons, ponds, and marshes demonstrate the vastness of water resources in this region, and are the main reason for the variety of agricultural products developed in the area.
Agriculture
The abundance of water and fertility of soil have transformed this region into a rich and well-endowed land. The variety of agricultural products such as wheat, barley, oily seeds, rice, eucalyptus, medicinal herbs; the existence of many palm and citrus farms; having mountains suitable for raising olives, and of course sugar cane - from which Khuzestan takes its name - all show the great potential of this fertile plain. In 2005, 51,000 hectares of land were planted ith sugar cane, producing 350,000 tons of sugar. The abundance of water supplies, rivers, and dams, also have an influence on the fishery industries, which are prevalent in the area.
Industry
There are several cane sugar mills in Khuzestan province, among them Haft Tepe and Karun Agro Industry near Shushtar.
The Karun 3 and 4, and Karkheh Dam, as well as the petroleum reserves provide Iran with national sources of revenue and energy. The petrochemical and steel industries, pipe making, the power stations that feed the national electricity grid, the chemical plants, and the large refineries are some of Iran's major industrial facilities.
Oil
The province is also home to Yadavaran Field, which is a major oil field in itself and part of the disputed Al-Fakkah Field.


Attractions
Iran National Heritage Organization lists 140 sites of historical and cultural significance in Khuzestan, reflecting the fact that the province was once the seat of Iran's most ancient empire.
Some of the more popular sites of attraction include:

•    Choqa Zanbil: The seat of the Elamite Empire, this ziggurat is a magnificent five-story temple that is one of the greatest ancient monuments in the Middle-East today. The monolith, with its labyrinthine walls made of thousands of large bricks with Elamite inscription, manifest the sheer antiquity of the shrine. The temple was religiously sacred and built in the honor of Inshushinak, the protector deity of the city of Susa.
•    Shush-Daniel: Burial site of the Jewish prophet Daniel. He is said to have died in Susa on his way to Jerusalem upon the order of Darius. The grave of Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar, who rose against the oppression of the Umayyad Caliphate, is also located nearby.
•    Dezful (Dezh-pol), whose name is taken from a bridge (pol) over the Dez river having 12 spans built by the order of Shapur I. This is the same bridge that was called "Andamesh Bridge" by historians such as Istakhri who says the city of Andimeshk takes its name from this bridge. Muqaddasi called it "The City of the Bridge."
•    Shushtar, Home to the famous Shushtar Watermills and one of the oldest fortress cities in Iran, known as the "City of Forty Elders" in local dialect. In and around Shushtar, there are many displays of ancient hydraulic engineering. There are also the Band Mizan and Band Qeysar, 2000 year old dams on the Karoun river and the famous Shadervan Bridge which is over 2000 years old.The Friday Mosque of Shushtar was built by the Abbasids. The mosque, which features "Roman" arches, has 54 pillars and balconies.
•    Izeh, or Izaj, was one of the main targets of the invading Islamic army in their conquest of Persia. Kharezad Bridge, one of the strangest bridges of the world, is situated in this city and was named after Ardeshir Babakan's mother. It is built over cast pillars of lead each 104 meters high. Ibn Battuta, who visited the city in the 14th century, refers to many monasteries, caravanserais, aqueducts, schools, and fortresses in the town. The brass statue of The Parthian Man, kept at the National Museum of Iran, is from here.
•    Masjed Soleiman, another ancient town, has ancient fire altars and temples such as Sar-masjed and Bard-neshondeh. It is also the winter's resting area of the Bakhtiari tribe, and where William Knox D'Arcy dug Iran's first oil well.
•    Abadan is said to be where the tomb of Elijah, the long lived Hebrew prophet is.
•    Iwan of Hermes, and Iwan of Karkheh, two enigmatic ruins north of Susa.