Hormozgan Province (, Ostān-e Hormozgān) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the south of the country, in Iran's Region 2, facing Oman and UAE. Its area is 70697 km2, and its provincial capital is Bandar Abbas. The province has fourteen islands in the Persian Gulf and 1000 km of coastline.
The province has 13 major cities: Bandar Abbas, Bandar Lengeh, Hajiabbad, Minab, Qeshm, Sardasht, Sirik, Jask, Bastak, Bandar Khamir, Parsian, Rudan, and Abumusa. The province has 13 counties (or districts), 69 municipalities, and 2,046 villages. In 2011 a little more than 1.5 million people resided in Hormozgan Province. The counties of Hormozgan Province are Parsian County, Bastak County, Bandar Lengeh County, Abumusa County, Qeshm County, Khamir County, Bandar Abbas County, Hajjiabad County, Rudan County, Minab County, Sirik County, Bashagard County & Jask County.
Although Hormozgan is known to have been settled during the Achaemenid era when Nearchus passed through the region, recorded history of the main port of Hormozgan (Bandar‑e Hormoz) begins with Ardashir I of Persia of the Sassanid empire.
The province is said to have been particularly prosperous between 241 BC and 211 BC, but grew even further in trade and commercial significance after the arrival of the Islamic era.
Marco Polo visited the port of Bandar Abbas in 1272 and 1293. He reported widespread trading in Persian jewelry, ivory and silk of Indochina, and pearls from Bahrain in the bazaars of the port of Hormuz.
In 1497 Europeans landed in the region for the first time, headed by Vasco da Gama. In 1508 the Portuguese, led by Afonso de Albuquerque invaded the area with seven warships, under the pretext of protecting their interests from Egypt and Venice. The port of Hormuz at the time was considered strategic positioned for commercial interests in the Persian Gulf.
Ismail I who was trying to counter the Ottoman Empire to the west, was unable to save the port from the Portuguese, until Shah Abbas I was finally able to drive them out of the Persian Gulf with the aid of the British. The name of Bandar Abbas comes directly from the name of Shah Abbas I.
The British, meanwhile, were competing for influence in the region with Dutch colonialists, who invaded Qeshm Island and dispatched warships to Bandar Abbas during the final years of Shah Abbas' reign. The Persian government was unable to defend itself against this attack. However, with the souring of British and Dutch relations, military tensions grew in the region. The Dutch finally resorted to moving their base up to Kharg Island.
The Amir of Kharg, Mir Mahna, was able to defeat the Dutch forces at Kharg, leaving the British firmly in charge of the entire region. Soon Britain took control over the entire Persian Gulf via the British East India Company. The British adopted policy encouraging local autonomy throughout the Persian Gulf to in order to prevent a formidable unified force from threatening their establishments in the gulf.
The strategic importance of the Persian Gulf further increased after World War I with the discovery of oil in the region.