The most important islands of the Persian Gulf on the Iranian side are: Minoo, Kharg, Sheikh Saas, Sheikh Sho’ayb, Hendurabi, Kish, Farur, Sirri, Abu Mussa, the Greater and Lesser Tunb Qeshm, Hengam, Larak, Farsi, Hormuz, Lavan, The notable ports on the Persian Gulf coast are: Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar Iman Khomeini, Mahshahr, Deilam, Gonaveh, Rig, Bushehr, Bandar Lengeh, Bandar Abbas.
The Iranian shore is mountainous, and there are often cliffs, elsewhere a narrow coastal plain with beaches, intertidal flats, and small estuaries borders the gulf. The coastal plain widens north of Bushehr on the eastern shore of the gulf and passes into the broad deltaic plain of the Tigris, Euphrates and Karun rivers. It is noticeably asymmetrical in profile, with the deepest water occurring along the Iranian coast and a broad shallow area, which is usually less than 120 feet deep, along the Arabian coast.
There are some ephemeral streams on the Iranian coast south of Bushehr, but virtually no fresh water flows into the gulf on its south-west side. Large quantities of fine dust are, however, blown into the sea by predominant north-west winds from the desert areas of the surrounding lands. The deeper parts of the Persian Gulf adjacent to the Iranian coast and the are around the Tigris-Euphrates Delta are mainly floored with grey-green muds rich in calcium carbonate.
The Persian Gulf has a notoriously bad climate. Temperatures are high, though winters may be quite cool at the north-western extremities. The sparse rainfall occurs mainly as sharp down pours between November and April and is heavier in the north-east. Humidity is high. The little cloud cover is more prevalent in winter than in summer. Thunderstorms and fog are rare, but dust storms and haze occur frequently in summer.
Until the discovery of oil in Iran in 1908, the Persian Gulf area was important mainly for fishing, pearling, the building of dhows, sailcloth making, camel breeding, reed mat making, date cultivating, and the production of other minor products, such as red ochre from the islands in the south. Today these traditional industries have declined, and the economy of the region is dominated by the production of oil.
The Persian Gulf and the surrounding countries produce approximately 31 per cent of the world’s total oil production and have 63 per cent of the world’s proven reserves. The Persian Gulf area will probably remain and important source of world oil for a long period.
Other Lakes: Along the frontier between Iran and Afghanistan there are several marshy lakes which expand and contract according to the season of the year. The largest of these, the Seestan (Hamun-Sabari), in the north of the Seestan &Y Baluchistan province, is alive with wild fowl.
Real fresh water lakes are exceedingly rare in Iran. There probably are no more than 10 lakes in the whole country, most of them brackish and small in size. The largest are: Lake Urmiya (area: 3,900-6,000 sq. km. depending on season) in Western Azerbaijan, Namak (1,806 sq. km.) in the Central province, Bakhtegan (750 sq. km.) in Fars province, Tasht (442 sq. km.) in fars province, Moharloo (208 sq. km.) in Fars province, Howz Soltan (106.5 sq. km.) in Central province.