World Facts

The Tallest Dams in Iran

Five of the tallest dams in Iran are along the Karun River.

Iran has some several tall dams, with eleven of them ranked amongst the tallest in the world. It has 40 completed dams, with 11 more currently under construction.

Tallest Dams in Iran

Karun Dams

Five of the tallest dams in Iran, Karun-4 dam, Karun-3 dam, Shahid Abbaspour dam, upper Gotvand dam and Masjed Soleyman dam, are located along Karun River. This is owing to the fact that Karun River experiences the most seasonal flooding incidences and the highest discharge slits in the country.

The tallest dam in Iran is Karun-4 dam found in the province of Chaharmahai and Bakhtiari. The 230-meter high structure was constructed primarily to provide hydroelectricity. Its construction was completed in 2010 and it currently has an installed capacity of 1,020 megawatts.

Karun-3 dam in Khuzestan province is the second tallest dam in Iran at 205 meters. It has the same arch shape as Karun-4 dam to strengthen its foundation against the force of the reservoir waters. It was completed in 2005 and also serves majorly to generate electricity and control floods. Its installed capacity is 2,280 megawatts.

Shahid Abbaspour dam, also known as Karun-1 dam is the fourth largest in Iran at 200 meters. It is also found in Khuzestan province. It was completed in 1976 and has an installed capacity of 2,000 megawatts.

Upper Gotvand dam in Khuzestan province, ties with the Amir Kabir dam as the fifth highest dam in Iran at 180 meters high. It was completed in 2012 and has an installed capacity of 1000 megawatts.

Masjed Soleyman dam is the ninth tallest dam in Iran at 164 meters. It is also called Karun-2 dam and is found in Khuzestan province. It was opened in 2002 and has an installed capacity of 2,000 megawatts.

Other Tall Dams

Dez dam located on Dez River in Khuzestan province is the third tallest in Iran at 203 meters. It was primarily constructed for hydroelectricity. It was completed in 1963 and has an installed capacity of 520 megawatts.

Amir Kabir dam is Iran’s fifth largest with a height of 180 meters. It is found on Karaj River in Alborz province. The dam was completed in 1961 mainly to support agricultural activities.

Marun dam is the seventh highest at a height of 175 meters. It is also in Khuzestan province but located on Marun River. It was completed in 1998 and has an installed capacity of 150 megawatts.

Daryan dam is the eighth tallest dam in Iran with a height of 169 meters. It is found on Sirvan River in Kermanshah province, was completed in 2018 and mainly supplies water for irrigation

Masjed Soleyman dam is the ninth tallest dam in Iran at 164 meters. It is also called Karun-2 dam and is found in Khuzestan province. It was opened in 2002 and has an installed capacity of 2,000 megawatts.

Rudbar Lorestan dam is the tenth tallest dam in Iran at 158 meters. It is found on Rudbar River in Lorestan province. It was opened in 2016 and has an installed capacity of 450 megawatts.

Shahid Rajaee dam seals the list of Iran dams ranked amongst the tallest in the world with a height of 138 meters. It is found on Tajan River in Mazandaran province. It was opened in 1997.

Role of Dams

Iran completed of almost half of its tallest dams in the 21st century. Its dams serve a variety of purposes from supplying electricity, controlling floods, irrigation as well as cultural purposes. Ongoing construction will see the unveiling of an even taller dam called Bakhtiari dam which shall boast to be the tallest in Iran, given its current height of 325 meters, already higher than the world’s tallest dam which is 30 meters high.

The Tallest Dams in Iran

RankDamRiverProvinceHeight (m)Height (ft)
1Karun-4 DamKarun River Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari230750
2Karun-3 DamKarun RiverKhuzestan205673
3Dez DamDez RiverKhuzestan203666
4Shahid Abbaspour Dam (Karun-1 Dam)Karun RiverKhuzestan200660
5Amir Kabir DamKaraj RiverAlborz180590
6Upper Gotvand DamKarun RiverKhuzestan180590
7Marun DamMarun RiverKhuzestan175574
8Daryan DamSirvan RiverKermanshah169554
9Masjed Soleyman Dam (Karun-2 Dam)Karun RiverKhuzestan164538
10Rudbar Lorestan DamRudbar RiverLorestan158518
11Shahid Rajaee DamTajan RiverMazandaran138453

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