Iran has one of the oldest histories in the world, extending more than 5000 years, and throughout history, Iran has been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia. Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC, OPEC, and ECO. Iran as a major regional power occupies an important position in the world economy due to its substantial reserves of petroleum and natural gas, and has considerable regional influence in Western Asia. The name Iran is a cognate of Aryan and literally means "Land of the Aryans." (Full article...)
Rukn al-Din Abu'l-Muzaffar Berkyaruq ibn Malikshah (Persian: ابو المظفر رکن الدین برکیارق بن ملکشاه, romanized: Rukn al-Dīn Abuʿl-Moẓaffar Berkyāruq ibn Malik-Šāh; 1079/80 – 1105), better known as Berkyaruq (برکیارق), was the fifth sultan of the Seljuk Empire from 1094 to 1105.
The son and successor of Malik-Shah I (r. 1072–1092), he reigned during the opening stages of the decline and fragmentation of the empire, which marked the rise of Turkomanatabegates and principalities, which would eventually stretch from Kirman to Anatolia and Syria. His reign was marked by internal strife, mainly against other Seljuk princes. By his death in 1105, his authority had largely vanished. His infant son Malik-Shah II briefly succeeded him, until he was killed by Berkyaruq's half-brother and rival Muhammad I Tapar (r. 1105–1118). (Full article...)
During his reign, Hormizd IV had the high aristocracy and Zoroastrian priesthood slaughtered, whilst supporting the landed gentry (the dehqan). His reign was marked by constant warfare: to the west, he fought a long and indecisive war with the Byzantine Empire, which had been ongoing since the reign of his father; and to the east, the Iranian general Bahram Chobin successfully contained and defeated the Western Turkic Khaganate during the First Perso-Turkic War. It was also during Hormizd IV's reign that the Chosroid dynasty of Iberia was abolished. After negotiating with the Iberian aristocracy and winning their support, Iberia was successfully incorporated into the Sasanian Empire. (Full article...)
Musa (also spelled Mousa), also known as Thea Musa, was a ruling queen of the Parthian Empire from 2 BC to 4 AD. Originally an Italian slave-girl, she was given as a gift to the Parthian monarch Phraates IV (r. 37 BC – 2 BC) by the Roman Emperor Augustus (r. 27 BC – 14 AD). She quickly became queen and a favourite of Phraates IV, giving birth to Phraataces (Phraates V). In 2 BC, she had Phraates IV poisoned and made herself, along with Phraates V, the co-rulers of the empire. Their reign was short-lived; they were forced to flee to Rome after being deposed by the Parthian nobility, who crowned Orodes III as king.
Zeynab Begum (Persian: زینب بیگم; died 31 May 1640) was the fourth daughter of Safavid king (shah) Tahmasp I (r. 1524–1576), is considered to be one of the most influential and powerful princesses of the Safavid era. She lived during the reigns of five successive Safavid monarchs, and apart from holding diverse functions, including at the top of the empire's bureaucratic system, she was also the leading matriarch in the royal harem for many years, and acted on occasion as kingmaker. She reached the apex of her influence during the reign of King Safi (r. 1629–1642). In numerous contemporaneous sources, she was praised as a "mainstay of political moderation and wisdom in Safavid court politics". She was eventually removed from power by Safi in 1632. (Full article...)
After having been captured in battle during the Arab-Muslim conquest of Persia, Abu Lu'lu'a was brought to Medina, the then-capital of the Rashidun Caliphate, which was normally off-limits to non-Arab captives. However, as a highly skilled craftsman, Abu Lu'lu'a was exceptionally allowed entrance into the city in order to work for the caliph. His motive for killing the caliph is not entirely clear, but medieval sources generally attribute it to a tax dispute. At one point, Abu Lu'lu'a is said to have asked the caliph to lift a tax imposed upon him by his Arab master, al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba. When Umar refused to lift the tax, Abu Lu'lu'a attacked him while he was leading the congregational prayer in the mosque, stabbing him with a double-bladed dagger and leaving him mortally wounded. (Full article...)
Two of the killings were carried out with magnetic bombs attached to the targets' cars; Darioush Rezaeinejad was shot dead, and Masoud Alimohammadi was killed in a motorcycle-bomb explosion. The Iranian government accused Israel of complicity in the killings. In 2011 and 2012, Iranian authorities arrested a number of Iranians alleged to have carried out the assassination campaign on behalf of Mossad (the Israeli intelligence service). Western intelligence services and U.S. officials reportedly confirmed the Israeli connection. (Full article...)
The first Persian invasion was a response to Athenian involvement in the Ionian Revolt, when Athens and Eretria sent a force to support the cities of Ionia in their attempt to overthrow Persian rule. The Athenians and Eretrians had succeeded in capturing and burning Sardis, but they were then forced to retreat with heavy losses. In response to this raid, Darius swore to burn down Athens and Eretria. According to Herodotus, Darius had his bow brought to him and then shot an arrow "upwards towards heaven", saying as he did so: "Zeus, that it may be granted me to take vengeance upon the Athenians!" Herodotus further writes that Darius charged one of his servants to say "Master, remember the Athenians" three times before dinner each day. (Full article...)
The rule of Ismail I is one of the most vital in the history of Iran. Before his accession in 1501, Iran, since its conquest by the Arabs eight-and-a-half centuries earlier, had not existed as a unified country under native Iranian rule, but had been controlled by a series of Arab caliphs, Turkicsultans, and Mongolkhans. Although many Iranian dynasties rose to power amidst this whole period, it was only under the Buyids that a vast part of Iran properly returned to Iranian rule (945–1055). (Full article...)
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shahanshah of Iran from 1941 to 1979, was the last ruler to hold the title of shah.
Some later historians argue that this massive celebration contributed to events that culminated in the 1979 Iranian Revolution, although others argue that the extravagance of the proceedings were exaggerated by revolutionaries motivated to discredit the Shah's regime. As a result, many accounts of the event overstate its cost and luxury. (Full article...)
Due to the increasingly significant socio-economic issues, the decentralization of the Seljuk government leading to inefficient army mobilization, and a unifying factor of religion in the provinces facilitating the swift spread of the revolt, the Seljuks were unable to quickly put down the revolt. (Full article...)
Mosaddegh had sought to audit the documents of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), a British corporation (now part of BP), in order to verify that AIOC was paying the contracted royalties to Iran, and to limit the company's control over Iranian oil reserves. Upon the AIOC's refusal to co-operate with the Iranian government, the parliament (Majlis) voted to nationalize Iran's oil industry and to expel foreign corporate representatives from the country. After this vote, Britain instigated a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil to pressure Iran economically. Initially, Britain mobilized its military to seize control of the British-built Abadan oil refinery, then the world's largest, but Prime Minister Clement Attlee (in power until 1951) opted instead to tighten the economic boycott while using Iranian agents to undermine Mosaddegh's government. Judging Mosaddegh to be unreliable and fearing a Communist takeover in Iran, UK prime minister Winston Churchill and the Eisenhower administration decided in early 1953 to overthrow Iran's government, though the preceding Truman administration had opposed a coup, fearing the precedent that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) involvement would set. British intelligence officials' conclusions and the UK government's solicitations were instrumental in initiating and planning the coup, despite the fact that the U.S. government in 1952 had been considering unilateral action (without UK support) to assist the Mosaddegh government. (Full article...)
Iran is home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 7000 BC. The south-western and western part of the Iranian plateau participated in the traditional Ancient Near East with Elam (3200–539 BC), from the Early Bronze Age, and later with various other peoples, such as the Kassites, Mannaeans, and Gutians. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel calls the Persians the "first Historical People". The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC), founded by Cyrus the Great, was the first true global superpower state and it ruled from the Balkans to North Africa and also Central Asia, spanning three continents, from their seat of power in Persis (Persepolis). It was the largest empire yet seen and the first world empire. The Achaemenid Empire was the only civilization in all of history to connect over 40% of the global population, accounting for approximately 49.4 million of the world's 112.4 million people in around 480 BC. They were succeeded by the Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian Empires, who successively governed Iran for almost 1,000 years and made Iran once again a leading power in the world. Persia's arch-rival was the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire. (Full article...)
The Persians ruled for a thousand years and did not need us Arabs even for a day. We have been ruling them for one or two centuries and cannot do without them for an hour.
— Abbasid Caliphate, in Bertold Spuler