Iran Early History

Iran Early History

The early period up to the first Persian empire

Even during the Neolithic Age, people lived in what is now Iran. In the 4th millennium BC The Indo-Europeans immigrated to the area, followed by other tribes, all of whom were already farming and building small settlements. 728 to 550 BC The Medes established an empire. That was also the time of the immigration of the first Persians. The Assyrians followed.

550 BC The famous Persian king Cyrus II overthrew this empire. He belongs to the famous Achaemenid family. Cyrus established the world empire of the Persians, which is also known as the first Persian empire. It wasn’t until 331 BC. It was ended by Alexander the Great. Persia came into the hands of the Seleucids after Alexander’s death.

Another great Persian empire

This was followed by the Parthians, who held power until AD 224. They were again replaced by the Sassanids, who also belong to the Persians. Here one speaks of the second Persian empire, which however never again became as powerful as the first, which Alexander had destroyed.

Islam in Iran

In 642 the Arabs conquered the empire and spread a new religion, Islam. From 750 to 1258 the Abbasids established the Caliphate of Baghdad. The Mongols conquered large areas from 1220 onwards.

Tatars and Safavids followed. These are important because they established Shiite Islam as the state religion. This religion still determines life in Iran today. By the way, in 1598 Isfahan became the capital of the country.

European influence

The Safavids ruled until 1722, then followed by the Afghans who divided the country. The Qajars, a Turkmen tribe, reunited the country in 1794 and moved the capital to Tehran, which at that time was still a small town. At that time, Georgia, which was part of Iran, was annexed to Russia.

By the way, Iran was never a colony of Europeans. However, the influence of the Russians and English in particular grew in this region towards the end of the 19th century. The main interest was in the raw materials that were stored in Iran and above all, of course, in the oil. At this point in time, it was already clear to many Iranians that the interests of the Europeans were purely economic in nature and a first protest developed, especially among the Shiite clergy.

Iran in the 20th century

Nevertheless, since the 1920s, Iran has oriented itself more and more towards the West. Traditional clothing and, above all, the veil that women wore were banned. From 1925 Reza Shah ruled with a hard hand. This created resistance.

The Shah of Persia

When he had to abdicate in 1941, his son named Mohammad Reza Shah followed him. He was also known to many as the Shah of Persia. It was oriented towards the West and was supported by the Americans and other Western countries. They believed that the Shah would best represent their interests and, above all, would benefit the West economically.

But he ruled through his secret service to suppress any resistance. Opponents were arrested and killed. The resistance against the Shah increased especially in the 1960s. Again, the clergy were in the lead, especially a man named Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. But it was not until the end of the 1970s that there was a revolution. On April 1, 1979, Khomeini proclaimed the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Shah had meanwhile gone into exile.

Iran: an Islamic Republic

Khomeini began to shape his republic according to his ideas. Here he switched off all opponents. The revolutionary tribunals were an important instrument here. These were courts by means of which people were put in prison, tortured or even killed.

That was not what people had advocated before! But the war against Iraq (First Iraq War from 1980 to 1988) even came to the aid of the revolutionary leader Khomeini here because the Iranians had to fight an external enemy during this war. This promoted an internal union.

Velayat-e fagih

As a country located in Middle East according to agooddir, Iran is a republic in which the so-called legal scholars rule. It is said to last until the 12th Imam, an important figure in the history of Shiite Islam, returns and can take over rule. The legal scholar who ruled is called the leader of the revolution. The basis of power is the constitution. However, this is not final, because since one is waiting for the return of the 12th Imam, one speaks of a “provisional constitution”. Velayat-e fagih is the name given to the system of government in Iran.

Iran Early History

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