In recent years, we have been observing an increasing significance of industrial heritage in international heritage studies. Developed in response to urban development needs, industrial heritage is now considered a valuable part of the city. Such an approach has resulted in the adaptive reuse of industrial heritage in the developing countries. This is, indeed, a practical solution for sustainable development of cities and the subject matter of many academic discussions. In this respect Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) seems to be a useful tool. This paper aims to study the role of HIA in adaptive reuse practice in industrial heritage sites in Iran. For that purpose, the authors have used a combined research method including historic study, analytical-description techniques and questionnaire-based interviews (with heritage managers and planners). The results indicate that HIA guidelines play a useful role in preserving the significance of historic cultural heritage and should be observed in the adaptive reuse practice in respect of the industrial heritage sites in Iran. Based on the analysed examples of successfully converted sites, this paper advocates using HIA as a useful tool in determining the potential of a given industrial heritage site for a successful reuse.