A bakhsh (Persian: بخش, baxš) is a type of administrative division of Iran. While sometimes translated as county, it should be more accurately translated as district, similar to a township in the United States or a district of England.
In Iran, each ostan or province consists of several shahrestan or counties (Persian: شهرستان šahrestân), and each shahrestan has one or more bakhsh or districts. A bakhsh usually consists of dozens of villages with a central town or city. The official governor of a bakhsh is called a bakhshdar, which is the head of bakhshdari office.
There are usually a few cities (Persian: شهر, šahr) and dehestan (municipalities or rural agglomerations; Persian: دهستان, dehestân) in each county. Dehestans are a collection of a number of villages and their surrounding lands. One of the cities of the county is appointed as the capital of each county.
To better understand such subdivisions, the following table may be helpful: Assume that province P is divided into two counties: A and B. County A has 3 districts: Central, X, and Y. The Central district is the district that contains City M, the capital of the county. Each district might contain one or more cities or one or more Rural Agglomerations (RA). In this example, the Central district contains City M, City N, and RA T composed of the villages V1, V2, V3, and V4, in turn; district X contains City O and RA U; and district Y has no cities and one RA V. The minimal county consists of only one city as the only district, named Central. The county B in the following table is of such type, containing only one city Q.
|Province||County||District||City / RA*||Villages|
|P||A||Central||City M (c)|
|RA T||V1, V2, V3, V4|
|RA U||V5, V6|
|Y||RA V||V7, V8, V9|
- Gwillim Law (1 October 1999). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 183. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3.