“Dezful has compensated its debt to Islam”
Imam Khomeini (May Allah have mercy upon him)
Dezful is one of the cities of Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran, which is located along the Dez River. The city is located in the central Zagros range, and its history dates back to the Sassanian period. Dezful weather is hot and humid. Dezful city is the capital of Dezful County. The city is restricted to Andimeshk and Aligoodarz counties (Lorestan province) from the north, to Lali district of Masjed Soleiman city and Gotvand district of Shushtar city from the east, and to Shush City from the south and west.
Dezful City, the capital of Dezful County, is geographically located at 48 degrees 24 minutes east longitude, and 32 degrees 22 minutes north latitude. Its height is 140 meters above sea level.
According to the population and housing census of Iranian Statistics Center, Dezful city's population was approximately 228,507 people in 2006. It is the thirtieth most populous city in Iran, and it is placed after Mallard and before Boroujerdi in the table for the population of Iranian cities.
Name and History
Based on the book “Cities of Iran” written by Iraj Afshar, Dezful is a city that dates back to several thousand years ago in history. “Dezil” or “Dezhil” is called “Dezfil” and “Dezpil” in local terms, and its Arabic form is “Desful”. In the Sasanian period, Dezful has been built concurrently with a bridge on the Dez River in order to connect the new capital, Jundi Shapur city, to Shushtar city. Dez means castle, and probably Dezful name is derived from the same bridge.
According to Hamdullah Mostofi’s Mu'jam Albldan, Dezful Arabic name is “Dezhpol”, which consists of the two words, “Dezh” (fortress) and “pol” (bridge). Dezful is also called “desvil”, “dezfil”, “despil” and “desfil” in local dialects. One of Dezful’s names was “Andamesh”, and “Andimeshk” (former Salehabad) was derived from the same name.
Dezful is built on a hill with 210 meters height from the river, and it has profound basements. Jundi Shapur residents migrated to Dez riverside after the destruction of the city by Alvar and laid the foundation of the present city of Dezful. Dezful was remained safe from the Mongol invasions. Throughout the history of Islam, Dezful was sometimes settled and sometimes destroyed, but its real progress coincided with the building of Dez Dam by the Italians in the last 30 years. The city suffered many damages during the Iran-Iraq war, but it was rebuilt after the war.
The dialect of the people of this city is one the ancient dialects of Persian in which there are many Middle Persian roots. This dialect is very similar to the dialect Shushtari. The dialect of the people of Dezful and Ahvaz is also called Khuzi that is peculiar to these two cities and has lots of non-homogeneities with Lori and Bakhtiari dialects. However, due to the proximity of these two, we can see similarities in some words.
Dezful during the Iran-Iraq War
With the advent of Iran-Iraq War, Dezful was attacked more than 160 times by the military missiles. On 22 September 1980, Iraqi aircrafts attacked the Iranian air force bases in the first day of the war in the same manner that Israeili army air force did in the Six-Day War. Dezful Fourth Fighter Base, the so-called Vahdati Base, was one of the bases.
Then Iraqi forces repeatedly attacked Dezful with bombs and missiles. Dezful was known as “Baladossavarikh” (Missiles’ City) among Persian Gulf countries. After the war, the city was selected as the exemplar city for its resistance against the attacks. Dezful donated 2600 martyres in the imposed war.
The most important monument of Dezful is the Old Bridge that was built on the Dez River by Shapur I of the Sassanid with the help of Roman captives; that is why it is also known as the Roman Bridge. Shapur I also build a castle to protect the bridge. Now there is a neighbourhood called “Ghaleh” (castle) in the old location of this castle. Today, Sassanid and Safavid architecture works remains to be seen in the existing remaining bridge. In Pahlavi, due to the deterioration of the middle openings of the bridge, two concrete openings were established, making the bridge passable by people. This bridge is the oldest bridge in the world, and there was still traffic on it until last year, but now in order to protect the bridge, only pedestrians can cross over it.
The prehistoric sites, Sasanian Bridge (with 14 main openings and 12 sub-openings), beautiful traditional architecture texture and old buildings are considered as the oldest monuments of the city. Dezful mills, Dezfoul jameh mosque, Sabz Qaba tomb, Dezful old bazaar, Lab Khandaq mosque, Shah Abol-Ghasem tomb, Shah Roknedin monument, Mohammed Ibn Jafar Tayyr tomb, Pir Roudband tomb, Tizno house (Dezful Cultural Heritage Administration) are among the scenic and historic areas of the city. Wood products, felting, espadrille making, basket making, woodturning, wood joinery, including candlesticks, hangers and saltshakers are considered as the crafts of Dezful. Nickle silver work is one of the other industries of this area. Nickle silver works workshops are also held in Dezful city, in which tea-drinking tools, tray and chauffer are made. Etching of gold and silver and goldsmith are popular in this city.
Irrigation of agricultural lands is done through the Dez River and Dez irrigation network. 11 deep wells provide drinking water for the city of Dezful. This water is very good in terms of quality and is chlorinated during pumping. Dezful's required electricity is provided by Dez dam power plant (global network of Khuzestan).
Dezful’s export items are diverse, and these are the most important ones: wheat, barley, vegetables, citrus, flowers and plants, sugar, hides, wool, dairy products and some industrial products.
Shrines and Tombs
The prophet Ezekial (father of Daniel the prophet) tomb, Pir Roudband (grandfather of Shah Ismail Safavi) tomb, Sabz Qaba (peace be upon him) (Imam Reza's brother) tomb as well as Mohammed Ibn Jafar Tayyr (husband of Umm Kulthum, daughter of Imam Ali (peace be upon him)) tomb are amog the religious places of Dezful.
Pir Roudband (grandfather of Shah Ismail Safavi) tomb
Sabz Qaba (peace be upon him) (Imam Reza's brother) tomb
Mohammed Ibn Jafar Tayyr (husband of Umm Kulthum, daughter of Imam Ali (peace be upon him)) tomb
Higher Education Institutions
· Islamic Azad University of Dezful
· Medical University of Dezful
· Technical University of Jundi Shapur
· School of Religious Principles - Dezful Branch
· Applied-Scientific University of Dezful
· Payam Noor University of Dezful
· Shahid Rajaei Teacher Training Center (Boys)
· Khadija Kubra Teacher Training Center (Girls)