Diabetic nephropathy is both a common and a severe complication of diabetes mellitus. Iron is an essential trace element. However, excess iron is toxic, playing a role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. The present study aimed to determine the extent of the interaction between iron and type 2 diabetes in the kidney. Male rats were randomly assigned into four groups: control, iron (300-mg/kg iron dextran), diabetes (a single dose of intraperitoneal streptozotocin), and iron + diabetes group. Iron supplementation resulted in a higher liver iron content, and diabetic rats showed higher serum glucose compared with control rats, which confirmed the model as iron overload and diabetic. It was found that iron + diabetes group showed a greater degree of kidney pathological changes, a remarkable reduction in body weight, and a significant increase in relative kidney weight and iron accumulation in rat kidneys compared with iron or diabetes group. Moreover, malondialdehyde values in the kidney were higher in iron + diabetes group than in iron or diabetes group, sulfhydryl concentration and glutathione peroxidase activity were decreased by the diabetes and iron + diabetes groups, and protein oxidation and nitration levels were higher in the kidney of iron + diabetes group as compared to iron or diabetes group. However, iron supplementation did not elevate the glucose level of a diabetic further. These results suggested that iron increased the diabetic renal injury probably through increased oxidative/nitrative stress and reduced antioxidant capacity instead of promoting a rise in blood sugar levels; iron might be a potential cofactor of diabetic nephropathy, and strict control of iron would be important under diabetic state.