History of Iran briefly
History is a book that one has to start from the middle, especially from ancient civilizations like China, India and Iran. Think that the history of Iran is long and complex, its forms are determined by the rise and fall of the successive dynasties - with intervals of chaos and confusion - unity of their recent phase, victory of the Islamic revolution and rise of an Islamic republic in the Modern world.
Man has been living on the Iranian plateau for 15,000 years. The oldest inhabitants were nomadic hunters who gradually turned to agriculture and developed permanent settlements. Sialk, not for the south of modern Tehran, is the site of one of the world's most famous settlements. Here, some of the first stages of civilization, which have made considerable progress in architecture and graphic design, developed, the early sialkwaren with their geometrical and abstract motifs in fact "modern".
Wild wheat and barley were cultivated first in Iran and already in the 4th millennium BC. To Egypt and from there to Europe introduced. Several animals have been domesticated and great progress has been made in the use of metals, especially copper.
The greatest civilization in Iran during prehistoric times was that of Elam, the alluvial plain of the Southwest Iran, now known as Khuzestan province. Susa, the Elamite capital, is the site of literally dozens of consecutive archaeological periods that peaked in the golden period of the 13th century BC, when Elam dominated all of western Iran, as well as the Tigris Valley and most of the Persian Gulf region. In the past, and until the second half of the twentieth century when it came to telling the origin of their country, most Iranians used the side of the myth or mingled the myth with the actual story. This was a true reflection of the influence of the great literary works such as Shahnameh on the people. More than a dozen royal dynasties ruled Iran for a period of more than 2000 years, on average, according to national legends. Details of these dynasties are given in the Avesta, the sacred writing of the Zoroastrian faith, written according to Islamic sources on 12,000 pieces of cow skin. Apart from the Avesta and Shahnameh names of the legendary kings and dynasties are given in Vedas and Mahabharata, as well.
What follows is a brief sketch of the history of the ancient Persian empire, in which the present Iran has its roots. Early in the first millennium BC, significant invasions of Indo-European tribes took place. They gave themselves their names for their new homeland - they were Aryans, meaning 'of noble origin' ', and the name Iran derives from it. According to some sources, the speakers of the Iranian language can already as early as 1500 BC. Travel to this part of South-East Asia. They apparently succeeded in subjugating peoples who had already lived there and intermingled with them, but their dominance of certain areas was recorded in the derived place names of Parsua and Parsumash. The Assyrian rules were adopted in the ninth century BC. Expeditions against them, and the resources of these campaigns are evidence of the early Persians.
The Median Kingdom started with the rule of Deioces. He organized his realm into several provinces and created a strong army to stop the Assyrians. The military genius of his son and successor, Phraortes, helped the Medes defeat the Assyrians. After Phraortes, there was a short period of Scythian domination over the Medes until they were overthrown by Cyaxares, who induced Scythian kings to get so drunk that they were then easily slain. Cyaxares, the greatest king of the Medes, reorganized the army and utterly defeated the Assyrians. At his death, the Medes controlled vast territories, stretching from Anatolia in modern Turkey to the area of Tehran as well as all of southwestern Iran.
Achaemenid Empire (550-330 B.C.)
Cyrus the Great was the first important Achaemenid ruler. By the time he became king, Persia was already a large domain, but Cyrus aspired to nothing less than the conquest of the entire known world. In a campaign that lasted for less than two years, he took Elam, Media, Lydia, and several Greek cities on the Ionian coast. Having strengthened his power, Cyrus besieged and captured Babylon and released the Jews who had been held captive there, thus earning immortality in the Book of Isaiah. His territories in the east also were great and stretched as far as the Hindu Kush in present-day Afghanistan.
Hellenistic Period (323-141 B.C.)
In his world-conquering campaign, Alexander hoped for a fruitful union of the Europeans with the peoples of the Middle East. In the effort to reach this goal, Alexander married Roxana, daughter of the most powerful of the Bactrian chiefs, and commanded 80 of his top officers and 10,000 of his soldiers to marry Persian women in a mass wedding at Susa. However, his plans to consummate the union of the Greek and Iranian peoples ended when Alexander was struck with fever and died in Babylon.
Parthian Empire (247 B.C.-224 A.D.)
Under the Achaemenians, a satrapy named Parthava was annexed to the empire during Cyrus the Great's campaign south and east of the Caspian Sea. The Parthians were among the first to revolt against the Seleucids and were led by two brothers, Arsaces and Tiridates. Arsaces was proclaimed the first king, and his name became the honorific title used by all subsequent Parthian kings, who were generally known as the Arsacids.
Sasanid Empire (224-651 A.D.)
|Rock-face relief at Naqsh-e Rustam|
The last Parthian king, Artabanus V, lost the final battle to the Sasanians around 224 A.D. A legend has it that Ardashir Babakan, a vassal of Artabanus V, provoked the encounter when he founded a city called Gur, or the "Glory of Ardashir" near Firuzabad. Ardashir traced his ancestry to Sasan, a Zoroastrian priest, who gave his name to the last native dynasty in Persia before the Arab conquest. A strong central-ized government, a strict principle of dynastic legitimacy, and an official religion, which were quite contrary to the Parthian confederation and freedom of religious practices, characterized the Sasanid domain, which rapidly rose to rank among the world's largest empires.
Arab Conquest and the Early Iranian Islamic Dynasties (636 - c. 1100)
The Muslim Arabs who toppled the Sasanid Empire were insprred by a new religion Islam. Although the Koran, the holy b k f h religion, considered people equal regardless their race and social status, the conquerors, especially the Umayyads (the Muslim rulers who succeeded the Prophet Mohammad), tended to stress the primacy of Arabs. Despite this, the Iranians rapidly integrated into the new Islamic community.
Ghaznavid Dynasty (962-1186)
The Ghaznavid dynasty was of Turkish origin. It was founded by Saboktekin, a former Turkish slave who was recognized by the Samanids as governor of Ghazna (modern Ghazni, in Afghanistan). As the Samanid dynasty weakened, Saboktekjn consolidated his position and expanded his domains as far as the Indian border. His son Mahmud continued the expansionist policy, and during his reign, Ghaznavid power reached its zenith. Mahmud created an empire that stretched from the Oxus to the Indian Ocean.
Mongol Rulers of Iran (1219-1353)
Mongol occupation was disastrous to Iran. Numerous cities were razed, and a large number of people (particularly males) were killed. The Kharazrn-Shahs could not oppose the Mongol hordes led by Genghis Khan. The last Kharazrn-Shahs' prince, al-o Din, tried to restore the empire but failed to unite the Iranian regions, although by that time Genghis Khan, who had withdrawn to Mongolia, was dead.
Timurid and Turkman Rulers (1389-1508)
|The tomb of Timur c.1910|
Tamerlane (Timur), who claimed descent from Genghis Khan's family, was the next ruler to achieve the status of emperor. He did not have the huge forces of earlier Mongol leaders, so his conquests were slower than those of Genghis Khan or Hulagu Khan. Ironically, this ruthless warrior and appalling killer was a great patron of arts and initiated a true civilization with a center in Samarqand. Timur was famed for his great interest in unorthodox religious beliefs, among them Sufism, which developed considerably in his time.
Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736)
While the Turkrnan dynasties ruled in Azerbaijan, Sheikh Heydar headed a movement that had begun in the late 13th century as a Sufi order under his ancestor, Sheikh Safi al-Din of Ardabil, who claimed descent from the Seventh Shiite Imam, Musa al-Kazem. By the end of the 15th century, this Sufi order was turned into a militant movement with numerous followers, mainly from the Turkman tribesmen of Anatolia.
Afsharid and Zand Dynasties (1736-1779)
After a disastrous but brief Afghan occupation, the country was united under the power of Tahmasb Qoli, a chief of the Afshar tribe. He expelled the Afghans in the name of surviving Safavid members, but soon dethroned them and was himself crowned as Nader Shah. He chose Mashhad as his capital.
Qajar Dynasty (1794-1925)
|Mohammad Khan Qajar|
After Karim Khan's death, Agha Mohammad Qajar, who was brought up at the Zand court, gathered a large force of his Qajar tribesmen and embarked upon a war of conquest. He defeated the last Zand ruler and in the same year took Mashhad, which was at the time the residence of the last Afsharid king. In this way, he made himself master of the country and founder of the Qajar dynasty.
Under his successors Faith Ali Shah (1798-1834), Mohammad shah (1834-48), Nasser od-Din Shah (1848-96), Muzaffar od-Din Shah (1896-1907), Mohammad Ali shah (1907-09) and Ahmad shah (1909-25), the whole context of Iranian history changes, we emerge from the middle Ages into recent times, in which the interest of Iran lay not in her own civilization or splendor or mystery, but in her possibilities as a field for expansion among rival great powers- or rather , to be more precise, as a field in which expansion of one great power should be limited by a rival power, and it was precisely this rivalry, rather than any inherent strength in the Qajar monarchy, which together with a nation- wide resistance enabled Iran to preserve her endangered independence.
|Mohammed Reza Pahlav|
In 1921, Reza khan, an army officer, led a state coup and established a Shah military dictatorship and ended the Qajar dynasty. In 1941, two months after the German invasion of Russia, British and Russian troops occupied Iran. On 16 September Reza shah took leave of his son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. American troops later followed Iran to handle the delivery of war supplies to Russian fronts.
At the Tehran conference in 1943, the Tehran Declaration signed by the United States, Great Britain and Russia guaranteed the independence and territorial integrity of Iran. But the Russians, dissatisfied with the refusal of the Iranian government to grant oil concessions, formed a revolt in the north that led to the formation of marionette governments led by the People's Republic of Azarbaijan and the Kurdish People's Republic (December 1945) under the leadership of Russian controlled party leaders.
When the Russian troops remained in Iran after the end of a war treaty (January 1946), which also allowed the presence of American and British troops, Iran protested against the United Nations. The Russians finally withdrew (May 1946), after receiving a pledge from oil concessions from Iran, subject to Parliament's approval.
The Russian-established governments in the north, lacking popular support, were deposed by Iranian troops late in 1946, and the Parliament subsequently rejected the oil concessions. In 1951, the National Front Movement, headed by Premier Musaddiq, a militant nationalist, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Although a British blockade led to the virtual collapse of oil industry and serious internal economic problems, Musaddiq continued its nationalization policies.