Bushehr, city in southwestern Iran, located on the Persian Gulf in a vast plain running along the coastal region, the capital of Bushehr Province. Bushehr is a major fishing and commercial port (so called Bandar-e Bushehr). It is one of the chief ports of Iran and is at a distance of 1,218 km. from Tehran, and has a hot, humid climate.
The strategic location of city of Bushehr has been the main reason for the establishment of the port of Bushehr. During the 1st and 2nd Millennium BCE, the Peninsula of Bushehr was a thriving and flourishing seat of civilization called "Rey Shahr". Many relics have been found in this regard related to the Elamite era and the civilization of Shoush (Susa). These structures of "Rey Shahr" are said to be related to Ardeshir of Sassanid dynasty and "Rey Shahr" was formerly known by the name of Ram Ardeshir. Thereby through the passage of time came to be called Rey Shahr and thence Bushehr.
It is obvious that the Persian Gulf and consequently the province of Bushehr enjoys a remarkable situation with trade in addition to its remarkable situation regarding military affairs. For these reasons the Europeans were interested to take control of the region and the city of Bushehr. The Portugese, invaded the city of Bushehr in 1506 CE and attempted to take the place of the Egyptian and the Vinecian traders who were dominant in the region.
Old Port of Bushehr
In 1734 Nader Shah of Afsharid dynasty chose it as the site for an Iranian naval base. During the Zand era, the region was a place for political challenges between different political groups. When the Qajar dynasty replaced the Zand dynasty, they gain less control on the region of the Persian Gulf, so the British influence in the region increased gradually.
At the end of the 18th century, the British and Dutch transferred their regional commercial offices to Bushehr, and during the 19th century the town was prominent as the home of the British political agent for the Persian Gulf. The Consulate General of British governed Bushehr for 20 years. This situation had lasted till 1913, and during the long battle between the Iranian and the British troops, the Iranians lost in 1857 and the British influence expanded to include all the Persian Gulf cost. But in 1913 the Iranians won the long battle. Consecuently Britain moved its diplomatic and commercial center across the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Peninsula at the beginning of the 20th century.
A Shrimp Seller at Fisher Market in Bushehr
The city was economically depressed until the 1960s when the government initiated a major development program. In 1975 the government began building a nuclear power plant at Bushehr. This facility was only partially completed when it was bombed by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). When Germany, the initial backer of the plant, declined to complete it after the war, Iran tried to secure aid from other countries. In 1995, however, Russia signed an agreement to finish the plant.
Bushehr is one of the important ports in Persian Gulf whic has an international airport, and highways connect the city to Ahvaz to the northwest and Shiraz to the northeast. A secondary coastal road links Bushehr to Bandar-e Abbas to the southwest. The old section of central Bushehr has many examples of traditional Persian Gulf architecture from the period 1870 to 1920.
Bushehr is an export market for the farm produce of the neighboring and fertile Fars Province. Bushehr's industries include seafood canneries, food-processing plants, and engineering firms. It has a population of 205,320 (2001 estimate).