Thrust-related anticlines in the Zagros Simply Folded Belt provide excellent exposed analogue structures for fractured reservoirs located in the more external sectors of the belt. In these structures it is possible to study the fracture network attributes and understand their relationships to the folding process, thus gathering fundamental information for fracture modelling in reservoirs. In this work we analyse the mesoscopic deformation pattern of the NW–SE-trending Bangestan anticline (SW Zagros, Iran) and discuss its relationship to the kinematic evolution of the hosting structure. The deformation pattern mostly includes extensional structures and pressure solution cleavages striking parallel to the fold axial trend (i.e. longitudinal), transversal extensional structures, and N–S- and E–W-striking extensional structures (oriented oblique to the fold axis). With the aid of deep wells and a transversal reflection seismic profile, we constructed a balanced cross-section of the anticline and propose a kinematic evolution pathway constrained by the mesoscopic deformation pattern. Longitudinal and transversal deformation structures developed before and/or in the very early stages of fold growth. During this stage, the Bangestan anticline grew as a set of unconnected décollement anticlines involving the Cambrian to Pliocenic sedimentary cover. In a later stage, inherited basement faults were reactivated with a right-lateral strike-slip component and the previously developed anticlines propagated laterally up to their complete linkage and thrust breakthrough. This produced the right-lateral strike-slip reactivation of longitudinal joints and the development of N–S- and E–W-striking extensional structures, which were also frequently reworked as strike-slip faults.