Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi praised Iran for having a leading dam construction industry, saying that the country ranks first in the region and third in the world in this field."At present, Iran ranks third in the world in dam construction while our dam building industry is unrivaled in the region," Rahimi told reporters on the sidelines of the 13th meeting of the directors of power and water industry. He further underlined Iran's progress in the hi-tech and power generation industry, and said, "Despite the sanctions imposed against the country in the past 33 years, Iran is presently the first electricity producer in the region and the 16th in the world." Rahimi said that there are 135 dams under construction which, once operational, will help to the development of agriculture nationwide. Iran is now viewed as a leading country in dam building. Iranian specialists now provide consultation services for the design and construction of various dams in different sizes. According to the Iranian officials, many countries including Sri Lanka, Syria, and Tajikistan as well as African states have entered either dam construction or consultation projects with Tehran.