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Iran History Briefly

Iran's history, known as Persia, is intricately connected with the broader region of Greater Iran, encompassing an area from Anatolia to the Indus River and the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf. With origins dating back to 4000 BC, Iran boasts one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world. The Medes unified Iran in 625 BC, laying the foundation for the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great, which became the largest empire of its time.

Why Achaemenian Empire

- The greatest Empire in Iran's history.
- The vastness of the Empire from India to Europe
-  Greatest territorial extent.
- 230 years of stable rule in Iran.
- Construction of the most beautiful historical stone buildings in Iran.
- The most regular government system.

Subsequent empires like the Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian Empires ruled Iran for nearly a millennium, solidifying its position as a global power. Throughout its history, Iran faced invasions by various empires like the Romans, Arabs, Turks, and Mongols, yet it continuously reaffirmed its national identity. The Muslim conquest in the 7th century marked a significant turning point, leading to the Islamization of Iran and the decline of Zoroastrianism.
In 1501, the Safavid Dynasty reunified Iran as an independent state, establishing Shia Islam as the official religion.

Why Safavid Dynasty

- The First Shiite dynasty in Iran.
- The first independent Iranian government after the Arab domination.
- Special attention to art and architecture in Safavid rule.
- Construction of the most beautiful wooden Palaces in Iran

This country remained a monarchy until the 1979 Islamic Revolution, transforming the country into an Islamic republic. Despite enduring numerous challenges, Iran has managed to preserve and evolve its distinct political and cultural identity over the centuries.

The cultural and historical significance of Iran extends beyond its past imperial. Iran has been a cradle of civilization, contributing to art, science, and philosophy throughout the ages. Isfahan and Shiraz Cities are renowned for their artistic and architectural heritage, reflecting Iran’s rich cultural tapestry.

Today, Iran plays a significant role in the Middle East and the world stage, drawing on its historical legacy and cultural heritage as it navigates the complexities of the modern era. The legacy of Ancient Persia, the Achaemenid Empire, the Safavid Dynasty, and other pivotal moments in Iran’s history continue to shape the nation’s identity and its place in the world.

Iran History Briefly

Iran Timeline


    2700 - The Elamite civilization emerged in western Iran.
    1500 - The Anshanite dynasties began to rule over Elam.
    1100 - The Elamite empire reaches the peak of its power.
    678 - The Medes of northern Iran rise to power with the fall of the Assyrian Empire and form the Median Empire.
    550 - Cyrus the Great and the Achaemenid Empire conquered much of the region forming the Persian Empire.
    330 - Alexander the Great led the Greeks to victory over the Persians.
    312 - The Seleucid Empire was formed by one of Alexander's generals. It ruled much of the region until overthrown by the Roman Empire.
    140 - The Parthian Empire takes control and rules Iran and the surrounding region.


    224 - The Sassanid Empire was founded by Ardashir I. It will rule for over 400 years and is the last of the Iranian Empires.
    421 - Bahram V becomes king. He would later become the subject of many tales and legends.
    661 - The Arabs invaded Iran and conquered the Sassanid Empire. They bring the Islamic religion and Islamic rule to the region.
    819 - The Samanid Empire rules the region. Islam is still the state religion, but the Persian culture is revived.
    977 - The Ghaznavid dynasty takes over much of the region.
   1037 - The rise of the Seljuq Empire was founded by Tughril Beg.
  1220 - The Mongols invade Iran after Mongol emissaries are killed. They destroyed many cities, killed much of the population, and caused devastation across Iran.
  1350 - The Black Death hits Iran killing around 30% of the population.
  1381 - Timur invades and conquers Iran.
  1502 - The Safavid Empire was established by Shah Ismail.
  1587 - Shah Abbas I the Great becomes king of the Safavid Empire. The empire reached its peak under his rule becoming a major world power.
  1639 - The Safavid Empire agreed to a peace agreement with the Ottoman Empire called the Treaty of Zuhab.
  In the 1650s - Iran began to lose territories to European countries such as Great Britain, Russia, and France.
   1736 - A weakened Safavid Empire is overthrown by Nadir Shah.
   1796 - The Qajar dynasty was established after a civil war.
   1813 - The Russians defeated the Persians in the Russo-Persian War.
   1870 - A great famine kills over a million people in Persia.
   1905 - The Persian Constitutional Revolution occurs. A parliamentary government is created. The parliament is called the Majlis.
   1908 - Oil is discovered.
   1914 - World War I begins. Iran remains neutral but is occupied by various forces including Great Britain, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire.
   1919 - After World War I, Great Britain tried unsuccessfully to establish a protectorate in Iran.
   1921 - Reza Khan captures Tehran and seizes power. He was made prime minister in 1923 and Shah of Iran in 1925. He brings modernization to Iran but is resented by devout Muslims.
   1935 - The official name for the country is changed to Iran from Persia.
   1939 - World War II begins. Iran remains neutral but is friendly towards the Axis powers.
   1941 - The Soviet Union and British forces invaded Iran in order to ensure an oil supply for the Allies.
   1941 - A new Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, is put into power.
   1951 - The Iranian parliament nationalizes the oil industry.
   1979 - The Shah is forced into exile and Islamic leader Ayatollah Khomeini takes over. The Islamic Republic of Iran is declared.
   1980 - The Shah dies of cancer.
   1980 - The Iran-Iraq war begins.
   1988 - A ceasefire is agreed to with Iraq.
   2005 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes president.
   2014 - Hassan Rohani becomes president.