Besides the world’s largest lake – the Caspian Sea – there are many other lakes in Iran. Urmia Lake in west Azerbaijan province is the largest lake of Iran, it consists of a surface area of about 5,200 km2 and possesses 102 islands. Among other lakes of Iran, Lar and Ahang in Tehran province, Hamun in Sistan province, Parishan and Maharlu in Fars province, Zarivar in Kurdistan province and Ovan in Qazvin province are the most prominent ones.
In the south, IRAN borders the waters of the Persian Gulf and the sea of Oman –connected through the Strait of Hormoz. Mangrove forests on the southern coast of IRAN, commonly called Hara forests are unique features of IRAN’s natural environment. The forests, found mainly near the island of Qeshm, make a major habitat for migratory birds in the cold season, and for reptiles’ fish, and varieties of arthropods and bivalves. Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf such as Kish, Khark, the greater and the lesser Tunb’s, Abu Musa, etc. are major recreational, and economic centers of the country.
This gulf is a waterbody covering an area of 237.473 km2 and neighboring Amman, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrein in the South and Iran in the North. The Persian Gulf is the third biggest gulf of the world after Mexico and Hudson.
The Caspian Sea in northern IRAN is the world largest lake. Sefid-rud, Atrak and Aras rivers flow into the Caspian Sea. It is the natural habitat to over 350 species of fish. The climate in the coastal areas is temperate (humid subtropical) and there is rich plant life. The Caspian Sea is a major center of producing Caviar of world-class quality.