We report the first large-scale serosurvey for West Nile virus (WNV) conducted in the equine population in Iran. Blood samples were obtained in 2008–2009 from 1054 equines collected from 260 districts located in 27 provinces. The overall seroprevalence rate for WNV neutralizing antibodies was 23·7%. Marked geographical variations were observed as province-specific seroprevalence rates ranged from 1% to 88%, the highest values being observed in the southern and western parts of the country. The presence of IgM-positive animals (n=9) indicated a recent circulation of WNV in several provinces. Logistic modelling confirmed this result with a significant effect of age on seropositivity. This study revealed extensive circulation of WNV in Iran particularly in southwestern provinces where the virus probably circulates every year.