With an area of 1,648,195 square kilometers, Iran is almost three times the size of France or slightly smaller than Alaska. Iran is located between the Caspian Sea in the north and the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in South. The country was formerly known as Persia. Iran is bordered by Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and United Arab of Emirates.Government: Islamic Republic
Government: Islamic Republic
Population: 87.92 million (2021)
Official language: Persian (Farsi)
Spoken Languages: Persian, Kurdish, Azari, Balochi, Gilaki, Turkmen, Lori
Currency: IRR (Rials)
Time Zone: IRST (UTC+3:30)
Country Code: +98
Persia was a powerhouse of academic knowledge in ancient times. They were leaders in astronomy, medicine, mathematics, literature, and philosophy. Throughout the millenniums of invasions and conquests, Persians have been tough enough to live through it and repel the invaders. Even during Middle Ages Persia produced the best scholars in the world in all fields of science.
Persian history dates back to the development of Ancient Mesopotamia, the land demarcated by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The time of the rise and fall of the Persian Empire is typically divided into three periods:
ACHAEMENID (550 – 330 BC) Persian Kings, including Cyrus II, founder of Persis or Persia ruled during this period. Cyrus II was a very progressive ruler, and it is due to his practices that he was able to expand the Persian Empire exponentially during his reign. During this period there were many other great Persian Kings, including Cambyses II, son of Cyrus II, Darius I, and Xerxes. The Empire was governed from the city of Persepolis, its capital. From this center, the Empire expanded incorporating Lydia, Babylonia, and Egypt. Many crowning advancements were made during this period including the construction of a canal connecting the mighty Nile River to the Red Sea. Unfortunately, the Persian Empire surrendered to the Greeks under Alexander of Macedon, aka Alexander the Great (334 – 331 BC)
SELEUCIAN (306 BC – 150 BC) & PARTHIAN (247 BC – 224 CE) This was a quiet time for the Persian Empire as it existed mainly as a subunit under Greek rule.
SASSANIAN (224 – 651 CE) This period marked the return of Persian kings and the Sassanian Dynasty. Most notable during this period was the establishment of the Zoroastrian religion as the official religion of Ancient Persia. Its presence lasted until it was replaced with Islam in 651 during the Arab invasion.
The last of the Sassanid kings was Yazdegerd III. After the Arab invasion in 651, the country saw many changes in leadership from Arab to Turk to Mongolia etc.
570 – 632 AD: The birth and death of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.) the Arab invasion. Yazdegerd III the Sassanid Emperor was defeated by the Arabs at the battle of Nahravan. Bisotoon the capital of the Sassanian was demolished.
661 AD: Imam Ali, the Prophet Mohammad’s son-in-law and the fourth and last of the “rightly guided Caliphs”, was assassinated.
661-750: The Umayyad Caliphate emerged as the rulers of the Islamic world. Umayyads considered Islam as primarily an Arab religion and were wary of Persian culture.
750: With Persian financing and support, the Abbasids ended Umayyad rule.
750-1258: The Abbasid Caliphate relied on Persian ministers and bureaucracy for many state functions.
850: Khwarazmi, a remarkable mathematician, and astronomer wrote precise astronomical tables and the first work of Algebra.
879: Yaqub Leys was the first Persian ruler to openly revolt against the Arabs. He brought much of Persia under his control and promoted the Persian language.
940: Rudaki crystallized the new Persian language and its lyrical poetry. He was the first major poet of Persian language.
940-1020: Ferdowsi, Iran’s national poet and possibly its greatest hero completed the national Iranian epics, Shahnameh.
980-1037: Ibn Sina (Avicenna), one of the most significant scientists and philosophers of the Islamic civilization, wrote over 200 books, including the canon of the medicine, an encyclopedia summarizing all the then known medical knowledge from across the world.
1213-1292: Sa’di wrote two of the most significant Persian works, The Bustan and The Gulistan.
1320-1390: Hafez, the greatest lyrics poet of the Persian language, wrote his most famous work, The Divan. Hafez was a Sufi and his poetry is characterized by the sense of beauty, love of humanity and devotion to God.
1501-1524: Shah Ismail I united all of Persia under Iranian leadership after some nine centuries of foreign or fragmented rule. Being a Shi’ite, he declared Shi’ism as the state religion and converted virtually all of Persia and some surrounding areas under his control from Sunnism to Shi’ism.
1587-1629: The reign of Shah Abbas the Great marked the pinnacle of the Safavid dynasty. He developed a disciplined standing army and defeated the Ottomans.
1795: Although the Qajars succeeded in reuniting the country, they were generally weak and corrupt rulers.
1921: Reza Khan, an officer in the army, stages a coup. Initially, the minister of war and then the Prime Minister, in 1925 Reza Khan decided to become Shah himself.
1963-1973: Iran experienced rapid economic growth and prosperity coupled with a relatively stable political climate.
1973-1979: The oil embargo quadrupled Iran’s oil revenue to $ 20 million a year. This new wealth accelerated the Shah’s timetable to make Iran “Catch Up” with the west.
1979: Islamic Republic