The timing of deformation in the northern Zagros Folded Belt is poorly constrained because of the lack of an accurate absolute chronology of the syntectonic sedimentary sequences. The foreland basin infill in the northern part of the Fars arc is composed of supratidal sabkha deposits (Razak Fm), medium-grained deltaic deposits (Agha Jari Fm) and coarse conglomerates of nearshore fan delta deposits at the base (Bakhtyari Fm, Bk1) and continental alluvial deposits at the top of the section (Bakhtyari Fm, Bk2). A magnetostratigraphic study was carried out in a composite section spanning about 1300 m on the northern flank of the Chahar–Makan syncline. Magnetostratigraphic correlation of the Razak Fm with chron C6n yields an age of 19.7 Ma at the base of the composite section. The transition to Agha Jari Fm is correlated with chron C5Cn, yielding an age of 16.6 Ma. The transition to the conglomerates of the Bakhtyari Fm (Bk1) correlates with the chron C5AD at approximately 14.8 Ma, which is considerably older than previously thought. The base of the Bakhtyari Fm growth strata, and thus the beginning of the deformation in northern Fars, is dated at 14–15 Ma. The topmost preserved Bakhtyari Fm (Bk1) is folded and unconformably overlain by Bakhtyari Fm (Bk2) conglomerates. This indicates that tectonic deformation in northern Zagros was already underway in the Middle Miocene.