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Land and Resources, Rivers and Lakes

Lake Urmia, Shatt, Karun, Caspian Sea, mountainous regions

Nearly all of Iranís numerous rivers are relatively short, shallow streams unsuitable for navigation. The countryís only navigable river, the Karun, flows through the city of Ahvaz in the southwest. Most rivers rise in the mountainous regions and drain into the interior basins. Since ancient times, the regionís inhabitants have used the rivers for irrigation. Dams constructed in the 20th century on the Ab-e Dez, Karkheh, Karun, Sefid Rud, and other rivers have expanded the area under irrigation and also have provided a principal source of hydroelectricity. Three rivers form portions of Iran's international boundaries. The Aras River lies along the border with Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Atrek River borders Turkmenistan, and the Shatt al Arab is part of the border with Iraq. Iran also shares the Caspian Sea, the world's largest inland body of water, with four other countries. Several smaller saltwater lakes lie entirely within Iran; the largest is Lake Urmia in the northwest. A few small freshwater lakes exist in high mountain valleys.

Article key phrases:

Lake Urmia, Shatt, Karun, Caspian Sea, mountainous regions, Dams, irrigation, Iraq, ancient times, northwest, Armenia, Azerbaijan, century, Arab, countries, area, navigation


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