Lighthouses of Southern Iran

Iran has a long southern coastline on the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf and a much shorter northern coastline on the Caspian Sea. This page is for lighthouses of the southern coast, and there's another page for the Caspian coast.

The Persian Gulf (also called the Gulf of Iran or sometimes simply "The Gulf"), is a major center of shipping today, but that was not true until well into the 20th century. As a result, only a few traditional lighthouses were ever built in the area. The only century-old lighthouse in Iran is the one at right, built by Britain on Greater Tunb Island in the Gulf.

Since World War I and especially in recent years, Iran has installed many lights along its coast. Information on these lights is not easy to find. Given this lack of information and photos, contributions from travelers to the area would be very welcome.

The Persian phrase for a lighthouse is فانوس دریایی (fanoos daryayee, "marine lantern"). Navigational aids in Iran are maintained by the Ports and Maritime Organization.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

Greater Tunb Island Light
Greater Tunb Island Light, Persian Gulf
Undated photo from the archives of the Middle East Navigation Aids Service

Sistan and Baluchestan Province Lighthouses

Arabian Sea Lighthouses
Pasa Bandar (Pas Bandar)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Pasa Bandar is a small fishing port at the extreme southeastern tip of Iran, about 40 km (25 mi) from the Pakistani border. In 2013 there were reports that Iran is planning to build a naval base here. Located at the tip of the peninsula sheltering the harbor of Pasa Bandar. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7725; NGA 28526.
Beheshti (Behashti) Port (Chah Bahar, Chabahar, Chabhar)
2008. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); three white flashes every 6 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower. H. Karimi has a photo in which the tower is seen in the distance near the base of the jetty, and Bing has a satellite view. Chah Bahar is a recently-established free port in southwestern Baluchestan. Located on the east side of the harbor entrance at Chabahar. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7720.2; NGA 28533.
Kalantari
2008. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); four green flashes every 7 s. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. Upper half of the tower painted red, lower half white. A distant view is available, part of the tower is at the upper right of Hamid Karimi's photo of the quay, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the Kalantari quay at Char Bahar. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7723; NGA 28534.

Hormozgan Province Lighthouses

Lower Strait of Hormuz Lighthouses
Note: The Strait of Hormuz is the narrow connection between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The strait is shaped like an inverted U, wrapped around the sharp northward projection of Arabia's Musandam Peninsula. At its narrowest point, the strait is 39 km (24 mi) wide. The strait and the province of Hormozgan are named for the kingdom of Hormuz (Ormus), which ruled this area from the 10th to the 17th century.
Jask (Ras-e Jask) (3)
Date unknown (station established 1914). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted red. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The original light was mounted on the telegraph office; this was replaced before 1942 by a "circular white tower." Iran established a new naval base at Jask in 2008. Located on a sharp promontory on the east side of the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7713; NGA 28540.
Ras-e Kuh (Kuh-e Mubarak, Ras al-Kuh) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. NGA lists a 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, but Bing has a good satellite view of the new tower. The lighthouse resembles the Larak Island lighthouse seen below right. Ras-e Kuh is a prominent cape at the southeast entrance to the narrow portion of the Strait of Hormuz. Located on heights about 5 km (3 mi) north of the cape. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7712; NGA 28544.
Sirik (Bandar-e Sirik)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. Described only as a "beacon" in the light lists, this is probably one of two square skeletal towers seen in a Google satellite view. Located in Sirik, a small port on the east coast of the Strait of Hormuz. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7711; NGA 28548.

Bandar Abbas Area Lighthouses
Bandar Abbas Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted with red, white and blue horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a similar but shorter tower. Bandar Abbas, at the northern bend of the Strait of Hormuz, is a major seaport and the capital of Hormozgan Province. The modern port is artificial: it consists of a canal-like cut oriented precisely north and south. Located about 800 m (1/2 mi) north of the north end of the port. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7709.41; NGA 28636.
Hormozgan Terminal
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, 1 s on, 1 s off. Approx. 28 m (95 ft) skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the Hormozgan oil terminal east of Shahid Rajaee, about 15 km (9 mi) west of Bandar Abbas. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7707.5; NGA 28647.5.
Shahid Rajaee Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the east side of Shahid Rajaee. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7707; NGA 28647.
Shahid Rajaee Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. Approx. 35 m (115 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located beside highway 94, 2130 m (1.3 mi) west northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7707.1; NGA 28647.1.

Upper Strait of Hormuz Lighthouses
Larak Island (Jazireh-ye Larak) North
2008. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 32 m (105 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 2-story (?) building. Alireza Teimoury's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. This light replaced a light on a communications tower near the center of the island. Larak Island, on the north side of the Strait of Hormuz, is an oil shipment port for Iran. Located on the northern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS IRA-006; Admiralty D7337.5; NGA 28669.
Hengam Island (Jazireh-ye Hengam)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white flash every 10 s. 5 m (17 ft) round tower with lantern, attached to a supporting structure. A photo of this curious light is available, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the south end of Hengam Island, at the northwestern entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7339; NGA 28684.
Larak Island Light
Larak Island Light, Persian Gulf, December 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Alireza Teimoury; used by permission

Persian Gulf Islands Lighthouses
Note: These small islands in the middle of the Gulf have obvious strategic importance. Until 1971 they were generally attached to Arab states now within the United Arab Emirates. After the British withdrew their influence from the region, the islands were occupied quickly by Iran. Because of their sensitive situation, they are military areas closed to casual visitation.
Greater Tunb Island (Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Bozorg)
1912. Active; focal plane 75 m (246 ft); white flash every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A historic photo is at the top of this page, another historic photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse, built by the British at a time when they dominated the Gulf, plays a small role in an ongoing international dispute. The Greater and Lesser Tunb (or Tonb) Islands are located at a strategic location in the eastern Gulf; the westbound ship channel passes to the north of the islands and the eastbound channel to the south. The islands are claimed by Iran and by the Emirate of Ras al-Khaima in the United Arab Emirates. Iranian forces occupied the islands in 1971, when British forces withdrew from the Gulf. The lighthouse was maintained by the Middle East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS) until 1974, when Iranian authorities took over its operation. The island has a fishing settlement and several Iranian military installations. Located on the highest point of the island, near the northwestern corner. Site and tower closed. ARLHS IRA-005; Admiralty D7703; NGA 28724.
Lesser Tunb Island (Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Kuchek)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. NGA describes this light only as a "white structure," and the Admiralty calls it a "white beacon." Lesser Tunb is low, so the height of the lighthouse is probably 15 m (49 ft) at least. Bing has a satellite view of a square building with a short tower at the northwestern tip of the island, and this is probably the lighthouse. Lesser Tunb is about 20 km (13 mi) west of the better-known Greater Tunb Island (previous entry). Site and tower closed. Admiralty D7704; NGA 28740.
Abu Musa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 130 m (427 ft); white flash every 8 s. No description and no photo available. A distant photo is at right, and a Bing satellite view probably shows the station complex. Like the Tunb Islands (previous two entries), Abu Musa has been occupied by Iran since 1971 but is claimed by the Emirate of Ras al-Khaima in the United Arab Emirates. Located on an island near the center of the Gulf about 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Lesser Tunb Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7706; NGA 28744.
Sirri Island (Jazireh-ye Sirri)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) pyramidal skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Sirri is about 40 km (25 mi) south of Forur and 50 km (30 mi) west of Abu Musa. Located on the east side of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7697; NGA 28776.
Forur Island (Jazireh-ye Forur)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 170 m (558 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A distant view from the sea (last thumbnail in third row) is available;, but Google's distant satellite view does not reveal the tower. Forur is about 30 km (19 mi) south of the Iranian coast west of Bandar Lengeh. Located on heights near the west side of the island. Site and tower closed. Admiralty D7695; NGA 28768.
Abu Musa Light
Abu Musa Light, Persian Gulf, February 2013
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by reza-tj
Little Forur Island (Jazireh-ye Bani Forur)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44.5 m (146 ft); white flash every 5 s. No description available, but presumably a skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of this island. Little Forur Island is a small island, about 2 km (1.25 mi) in diameter, about 15 km (9 mi) south southwest of Forur and a similar distance north northwest of Sirri. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7696; NGA 28772.
 

South Coast Lighthouses
Bostaneh (Bustaneh, Ras-e Bostaneh)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower with lantern, gallery and central cylinder. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 5 km (3 mi) west of Bandar-e Bostaneh. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7698; NGA 28764.
Kish Island (Jazireh-ye Kish, Qeys, Kais Island) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); three white flashes every 7 s. Described by NGA as a "red and white framework tower." The tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the listed location. An earlier light was listed in 1942 with a focal plane height of 27 m (89 ft). Kish, located 19 km (12 mi) off Iran's south coast, is a popular resort and free trade zone with an international airport and luxury hotels. The indicated location of the light is west of the airport near the center of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS IRA-003; Admiralty D7692; NGA 28792.
Hendorabi Island (Jazireh-ye Hendorabi, Hendarabi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Hendorabi is an elliptical island about 8 km (5 mi) by 4 km (2.5 mi), located halfway between Kish and Lavan. Located on the central ridge of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7691; NGA 28808.
Shotur Island (Jazireh-ye Shitvar, Shidvar, Shatur)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. Described by NGA as a "white beacon," but Mohsen Kashfi's aerial photo of the island reveals (at highest magnification) a tall skeletal tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. Shotur is a small island off the eastern end of the much larger Lavan Island. The island is a nature reserve. Located at the west end of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7688; NGA 28864.
Lavan Island (Jazireh-ye Lavan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. Described by NGA as a "lattice tower." The tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the listed location. Lavan Island, located off the Iranian coast opposite Qater, is an important oil terminal. Site status unknown. ARLHS IRA-004; Admiralty D7685; NGA 28816.
Shah Allum Shoal (2?)
2008(?) (station established around 1947(?)). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 35 m (115 ft) skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available. Shah Allum Shoal is a notoriously dangerous rocky shoal in the center of the Gulf, roughly midway between Qater and Lavan Island. Sailing directions dated 2007 mention the wreckage of the former light structure, probably destroyed by collision with a ship. The shoal was marked by a lightfloat at that time. The present light was announced on international lists in early 2009. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty D7683; NGA 28876.

Bushehr Province Lighthouses

Northwestern Gulf Lighthouses
Nay Band (Ras-e Nay Band, Cape Nayband)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower with lantern, gallery and central cylinder. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The surrounding area is a national park. Located on a prominent and scenic cape south of Asalouyah in southernmost Bushehr Province. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty D7680; NGA 28880.
Kalat (Karri)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 27 m (89 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted red with one white horizontal band. A photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located at Karri village, about 90 km (58 mi) south of Bushehr. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty D7674; NGA 28900.
Farsi Island (Jazireh-ye Farsi)
Around 1947(?). Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white flash every 15 s. 23 m (75 ft) skeletal tower, painted black with a white horizontal band. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Farsi is a small island in the center of the Gulf northeast of the Saudi port of Al Jubayl. Farsi and the nearby island of al-Arabiyah were the subject of boundary negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the 1960s; the final agreement, in 1968, assigned Farsi to Iran and al-Arabiyah to Saudi Arabia. The island is occupied by Iranian military forces. Site and tower closed. ARLHS IRA-001; Admiralty D7455; NGA 29364.
Ras osh Shatt
2011. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 6 s. No description given, but presumably a skeletal tower. No photo available, and the light is too new to appear in Bing's satellite view of the listed location. The navigational purpose of this light is unclear. Located on the north side of the bay of Bushehr, about 20 km (13 mi) north of the city. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7670.5; NGA 28902.
Khark (Kharg) Island (Jazireh-ye Khark, Kharg South Beacon)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 90 m (295 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 14 m (46 ft) aluminum skeletal tower with lantern, gallery and central cylinder. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Khark (Kharg), 25 km (15 mi) off the coast north of Bushehr, is the site of a large oil terminal. On a page no longer online, the Iranian Oil Terminals Company noted that the usefulness of this light is limited by nearby gas flares and the lights of the terminal installtions. Located near the south end of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS IRA-002; Admiralty D7664.4; NGA 28916.
Kharku (Khargu) Island (Jazireh-ye Kharku) (?)
Date unknown. Probably inactive; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 16 m (52 ft) aluminum lattice tower. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. This light is no longer listed by the Admiralty, and the tower may have been removed. Kharku is an uninhabited island to the northeast of Khark (previous entry). Located at the north end of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7663; NGA 28948.
Kalat Light
Kalat Light, April 2011
Panoramio photo copyright smj_rokni; permission requested
Ganaveh (Bandar-e Ganaveh) (2) (?)
Date unknown. Inactive since 2005. 16 m (52 ft) aluminum lattice tower. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. The light was discontinued in late 2005, and the tower may have been removed. Ganaveh is a small port and beach resort about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of Khark Island. Located near the beach on the north side of the town. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7662; NGA 28952.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Northern Iran | East: Pakistan | South: United Arab Emirates | West: Kuwait

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Posted October 9, 2010. Checked and revised April 7, 2014. Lighthouses: 31. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.