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Iran: Water Transport
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Transportation and Telecommunications > Water Transport


Iran has 14 ports, six of which are major commercial sea-ports—four in the south, on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman (Bandar-e Khomeini, Bushehr, Bandar-e Abbas, and Chabahar), and two on the Caspian Sea (Bandar-e Anzali and Now Shahr). In 2004 some 6,450 vessels entered Iranian ports, about 60 percent of them on the Persian Gulf. More than one-third of the total traffic (2,204 vessels) came through Bandar-e Abbas. The concentration of sea transportation through this port illustrates its strategic importance and the overuse of its infrastructure. In 2004 some 53 million tons of cargo were unloaded and 30 million tons loaded at Iran’s main commercial seaports; 49 percent of the cargo loaded consisted of oil products. In 2004 Iran’s largest shipping company, state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping (IRI Shipping), had 82 ships with a total of 2,944 tons of capacity. With its three affiliates (the Iran–India Shipping Company, the Caspian Sea Shipping Company, and the Valfajr–8 Shipping Company), IRI Shipping owned a total of 107 ships, with a cargo capacity of 3,257 tons and a passenger capacity of 3,058. Some 18 shipping cooperatives and 290 private sea transport companies also were in operation in 2004.

Data as of 2008

Last Updated: January 2008

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Iran was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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