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12 octobre 2011 3 12 /10 /octobre /2011 09:11

Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world asPersia Both "Persia" and "Iran" are used interchangeably in cultural contexts;Sony VAIO VGN-Z41MD/B Battery

however, "Iran" is the name used officially in political contexts.

The 18th largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), Iran has a population of around 78 million.It is a country of particular geopolitical significance owing to its location in the Middle East and central Eurasia. Sony VAIO VGN-Z41WD/B Battery

Iran is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan andTurkmenistan. As Iran is a littoral state of the Caspian Sea, which is an inland sea, Kazakhstan and Russia are also Iran's direct neighbors to the north. Iran is bordered on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on the west by Iraq and on the northwest by Turkey. Sony VAIO VGN-Z45GD/B Battery

Tehran is the capital, the country's largest city and the political, cultural, commercial and industrial center of the nation. Iran is a regional power,and holds an important position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas.Sony VAIO VGN-Z45TD/B Battery

Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations.The first dynasty in Iran formed during the Elamite kingdom in 2800 BC. The Iranian Medes unified Iran into an empire in 625 BC.They were succeeded by the Iranian Achaemenid Empire, the Hellenic Seleucid Empire and two subsequent Iranian empires, the Parthians and the Sassanids, before the Muslim conquest in 651 AD.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD/B Battery

Iranian post-Islamic dynasties and empires expanded the Persian language and culture throughout the Iranian plateau. Early Iranian dynasties which re-asserted Iranian independence included the Tahirids, Saffarids,Samanids and Buyids.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD/U Battery

The blossoming of Persian literature, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, mathematics and art became major elements of Muslim civilization. Iranian identity continued despite foreign rule in the ensuing centuries and Persian culture was adopted also by the Ghaznavids, Seljuk,Ilkhanid and Timurid rulers. Sony VAIO VGN-Z46MD/B Battery

The emergence in 1501 of the Safavid dynasty, which promoted Twelver Shia Islam as the official religion of their empire, marked one of the most important turning points in Iranian and Muslim history. The Persian Constitutional Revolution established the nation's first parliament in 1906, within a constitutional monarchy.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46SD/B Battery

Iran officially became an Islamic republic on 1 April 1979, following the Iranian Revolution. 

Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC and OPEC. The political system of Iran, based on the 1979 constitution, comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader. Shia Islam is the official religion and Persian is the official language.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46TD/B Battery

Name

The name of Iran (?????) is the Modern Persian derivative from the Proto-Iranian term Ary?n?,, meaning "Land of the Aryans", first attested inZoroastrianism's Avesta tradition.The term ?r?n is found to refer to Iran in a 3rd century Sassanid inscription, and the Parthian inscription that accompanies it uses the Parthian term "ary?n" in reference to Iranians.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46TD/R Battery

However historically Iran has been referred to as Persia or similar (La Perse, Persien, Perzië, etc.) by the Western world, mainly due to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Pers?s (??????), meaning land of the Persians. In 1935 Rez? Sh?h requested that the international community should refer to the country as Iran. Sony VAIO VGN-Z47GD/X Battery

Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and in 1959 both names were to be used interchangeably. Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 the official name of the country has been the "Islamic Republic of Iran."

Geography

Iran is the eighteenth largest country in the world, with an area of 1,648,000 km2 (636,000 sq mi). Sony VAIO VGN-Z48GD/X Battery

Its area roughly equals that of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany combined, or somewhat more than the US state of Alaska. Iran lies between latitudes 24° and 40° N, and longitudes 44° and 64° E. Its borders are with Azerbaijan (611 km/380 mi (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave(179 km/111 mi )) and Armenia (35 km/22 mi) to the north-west;Sony VAIO VGN-Z48TD/X Battery

the Caspian Sea to the north; Turkmenistan (992 km/616 mi) to the north-east;Pakistan (909 km/565 mi) and Afghanistan (936 km/582 mi) to the east; Turkey (499 km/310 mi) and Iraq (1,458 km/906 mi) to the west; and finally the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south.Sony VAIO VGN-Z51WG/B Battery

Iran consists of the Iranian plateau with the exception of the coasts of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan. It is one of the world's most mountainous countries, its landscape dominated by rugged mountain ranges that separate various basins orplateaux from one another. Sony VAIO VGN-Z51XG/B Battery

The populous western part is the most mountainous, with ranges such as the Caucasus, Zagrosand Alborz Mountains; the last contains Iran's highest point, Mount Damavand at 5,610 m (18,406 ft), which is also the highest mountain on the Eurasian landmass west of the Hindu Kush.Sony VAIO VGN-Z530N/B Battery

The northern part of Iran is covered by dense rain forests called Shomal or the Jungles of Iran. The eastern part consists mostly of desert basins such as the Dasht-e Kavir, Iran's largest desert, in the north-central portion of the country, and theDasht-e Lut, in the east, as well as some salt lakes. Sony VAIO VGN-Z540EBB Battery

This is because the mountain ranges are too high for rain clouds to reach these regions. The only large plains are found along the coast of the Caspian Sea and at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, where Iran borders the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab (or the Arvand R?d) river.Sony VAIO VGN-Z540NLB Battery

Smaller, discontinuous plains are found along the remaining coast of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

Climate

Iran's climate ranges from arid or semiarid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests. Sony VAIO VGN-Z540NMB Battery

On the northern edge of the country (the Caspian coastal plain) temperatures rarely fall below freezing and the area remains humid for the rest of the year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 29 °C(84.2 °F). Annual precipitation is 680 mm (26.8 in) in the eastern part of the plain and more than 1,700 mm (66.9 in) in the western part.Sony VAIO VGN-Z550N/B Battery

To the west, settlements in the Zagros basin experience lower temperatures, severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall. The eastern and central basins are arid, with less than 200 mm (7.9 in) of rain, and have occasional deserts.Sony VAIO VGN-Z55F Battery

Average summer temperatures exceed 38 °C(100.4 °F). The coastal plains of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in southern Iran have mild winters, and very humid and hot summers. The annual precipitation ranges from 135 to 355 mm (5.3 to 14.0 in). Sony VAIO VGN-Z55TG/B Battery

Fauna

Iran's wildlife is composed of several animal species including bears, gazelles, wild pigs, wolves, jackals, panthers, Eurasian Lynx, and foxes. Domestic animals include, sheep, goats, cattle, horses, water buffalo, donkeys, and camels. The pheasant, partridge, stork, eagles and falcon are also native to Iran.Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GG/B Battery

One of the most famous members of Iranian wildlife is the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah, also known as the Iranian Cheetah, whose numbers were greatly reduced after the Iranian Revolution. Today there are ongoing efforts to increase its population and introduce it back in India . Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GG/E Battery

Iran had lost all itsAsiatic Lion and the now extinct Caspian Tigers by the earlier part of the twentieth century.

Provinces and cities

Iran is divided into thirty one provinces (ost?n), each governed by an appointed governor (????????, ost?nd?r). The provinces are divided into counties (shahrest?n), and subdivided into districts (bakhsh) and sub-districts (dehest?n).Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GGX Battery

Iran has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. From 1950 to 2002, the urban proportion of the population increased from 27% to 60%. The United Nations predicts that by 2030, 80% of the population will be urban. Most internal migrants have settled near the cities of Tehran, Isfahan, Ahvaz, and Qom. Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/B Battery

The listed populations are from the 2006/07 (1385 AP) census. Tehran, with a population of 7,705,036, is the largest city in Iran and is the capital. Tehran is home to around 11% of Iran's population. Tehran, like many big cities, suffers from severe air pollution. It is the hub of the country'scommunication and transport network.Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/E Battery

Mashhad, with a population of 2,410,800, is the second largest Iranian city and the centre of the Razavi Khorasan Province. Mashhad is one of the holiest Shia cities in the world as it is the site of the Imam Reza shrine. It is the centre of tourism in Iran, and between 15 and 20 million pilgrims go to the Imam Reza's shrine every year.Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/R Battery

Another major Iranian city is Isfahan (population 1,583,609), which is the capital of Isfahan Province. The Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city contains a wide variety of Islamic architectural sites ranging from the 11th to the 19th century. Sony VAIO VGN-Z570N/B Battery

The growth of the suburban area around the city has turned Isfahan into Iran's second most populous metropolitan area (3,430,353).

The fourth major city of Iran is Tabriz (population 1,378,935), the capital of the East Azerbaijan Province. It is also the second industrial city of Iran after Tehran. Sony VAIO VGN-Z57G Battery

Tabriz had been the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s and one of its former capitals and residence of the crown prince under the Qajar dynasty. The city has proven extremely influential in the country’s recent history.

The fifth major city is Karaj (population 1,377,450), located in Alborz Province and situated 20 km west of Tehran, at the foot of the Alborz mountains; however, the city is increasingly becoming an extension of metropolitan Tehran.Sony VAIO VGN-Z57GG/X Battery

The sixth major Iranian city is Shiraz (population 1,214,808); it is the capital of Fars Province. The Elamite civilization to the west greatly influenced the area, which soon came to be known as Persis. The ancient Persians were present in the region from about the 9th century BC, and became rulers of a large empire under the Achaemenid dynasty in the 6th century BC. Sony VAIO VGN-Z57GGX Battery

The ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae, two of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire, are located in or near Shiraz. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire and is situated 70 km northeast of modern Shiraz. UNESCO declared the citadel of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.Sony VAIO VGN-Z57TG/X Battery

The earliest archaeological artifacts in Iran were found in the Kashafrud and Ganj Par sites that date back to the Lower Paleolithic era. Mousterian Stone tools made by Neanderthal man have also been found.There are more cultural remains of Neanderthal man dating back to the Middle Paleolithic period, Sony VAIO VGN-Z58GG/X Battery

which have been found mainly in the Zagros region and less frequently in central Iran at sites such as Shanidar, Kobeh, Kunji, Bisetun, Tamtama, Warwasi, Palegawra, and Yafteh Cave.Discovery of human skeletons in the Huto cave and the adjacent Kamarband cave near the town ofBehshahr in the Mazandaran Province, Sony VAIO VGN-Z58GGX Battery

south of the Caspian Sea in Iran, suggest human habitation of the area as early as 75,000 years ago.However, recent studies in the valleys of Shuresh, around the earlier mentioned caves, led to the discovery of 400,000 year old stone tools.Evidence for Upper Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic periods are known mainly from the Zagros region in the caves of Kermanshah and Khorramabad.Sony VAIO VGN-Z590NJB Battery

Early agricultural communities such as Chogha Bonut in 8000 BC,Susa (now a city still existing since 7000 BC) and Chogha Mish dating back to 6800 BC.started to form in the western Iran. Dozens of pre-historic sites across the Iranian plateau point to the existence of ancient cultures and urban settlements in the 4th millennium BC,centuries before the earliest civilizations arose in nearby Mesopotamia.Sony VAIO VGN-Z590UAB Battery

Early history (3200 BC – 625 BC)

Elam was part of the early urbanization during the Chalcolithic. The emergence of written records from around 3000 BC also parallels Mesopotamian history. In the Old Elamite period (Middle Bronze Age), from around 2800 BC, Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B Battery

Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Elamite kingdom continued its existence until the emergence of Median andAchaemenid Empires.Sony VAIO VGN-Z59G Battery

Proto-Iranians first emerged following the separation of Indo-Iranians, and are traced to the Andronovo culture. Proto-Iranian tribes arrived in the Iranian plateau in the third and second millennium BC, probably in more than one wave of emigration, and settled as nomads.Sony VAIO VGN-Z620D Battery

Further separation of Proto-Iranians into "Eastern" and "Western" groups occurred due to migration. By the first millennium BC, Medes, Persians, Bactriansand Parthians populated the western part, while Cimmerians, Sarmatians and Alans populated the steppes north of the Black Sea.Sony VAIO VGN-Z620N/B Battery

Other tribes began to settle on the eastern edge, as far as on the mountainous frontier of the north-western Indian subcontinent and into the area which is nowBalochistan. Others, such as the Scythian tribes, spread as far west as the Balkans and as far east as Xinjiang.Sony VAIO VGN-Z650N/B Battery

Avestan is an eastern Old Iranian languagethat was used to compose the sacred hymns and canon of the Zoroastrian Gathas in c. 1000 BC.

Pre-Islamic statehood (625 BC – 651 AD)

The Medes are credited with the unification of Iran as a nation and empire (625 –559  BC), the largest of its day,Sony VAIO VGN-Z670N/B Battery

until Cyrus the Great established a unified empire of the Medes and Persians leading to the Achaemenid Empire (559–330  BC), and further unification between peoples and cultures. After Cyrus' death, his son Cambyses II continued his father's work of conquest, making significant gains in Egypt.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690CTO Battery

Following a power struggle after Cambyses' death, Darius the Great was declared king (ruled 522–486 BC). Under Cyrus and Darius, the Persian Empire eventually became the largest and most powerful empire in human history up until that point. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690NAX Battery

The borders of the Persian empire stretched from the Indusand Oxus Rivers in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, extending through Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and Egypt.

In 499 BC, Athens lent support to a revolt in Miletus which resulted in the sacking of Sardis. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PAB Battery

This led to an Achaemenid campaign against Greece known as the Greco-Persian Wars which continued through the first half of the 5th century BC. During the Greco-Persian Wars Persia made some major advances and razed Athens in 480 BC, but after a string of Greek victories the Persians were forced to withdraw. Fighting ended with the peace of Callias in 449 BC.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PCB Battery

The rules and ethics emanating from Zoroaster's teachings were strictly followed by the Achaemenids who introduced and adopted policies based on human rights, equality and banning of slavery.Zoroastrianism spread unimposed during the time of the Achaemenids and through contacts with the exiled Jewish people in Babylon freed by Cyrus, Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PDB Battery

Zoroastrian concepts further propagated and influenced theAbrahamic religions. The Golden Age of Athens marked by Aristotle, Plato and Socrates also came about during the Achaemenid period while their contacts with Persia and the Near East abounded. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PEB Battery

The peace, tranquility, security and prosperity that were afforded to the people of theNear East and Southeast Europe proved to be a rare historical occurrence, an unparalleled period where commerce prospered and the standard of living for all people of the region improved.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PFB Battery

In 334 BC, Alexander the Great invaded the Achaemenid Empire, defeating the last Achaemenid Emperor Darius III at the Battle of Issus in 333 BC. He left the annexed territory in 328–327. In each of the former Achaemenid territories he installed his own officers as caretakers,Sony VAIO VGN-Z690YAD Battery

which led to friction and ultimately to the partitioning of the former empire after Alexander's death, and the subsequent formation of the Seleucid Empire.

The Parthian Empire (238 BC–226 AD), led by the Arsacid Dynasty, was the third Iranian kingdom to dominate the Iranian plateau,Sony VAIO VGN-Z691Y/B Battery

after defeating the Greek Seleucid Empire, beginning in the late 3rd century BC, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca. 150 BC and 224 AD. This was the third native dynasty of ancient Iran and lasted five centuries. After the conquests of Media, Assyria, Babylonia and Elam, the Parthians had to organize their empire.Sony VAIO VGN-Z691Y/X Battery

The former elites of these countries were Greek, and the new rulers had to adapt to their customs if they wanted their rule to last. As a result, the cities retained their ancient rights and civil administrations remained more or less undisturbed.

Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east, limiting Rome's expansion beyond Cappadocia (central Anatolia).Sony VAIO VGN-Z698Y/X Battery

By using a heavily armed and armoured cataphract cavalry, and lightly armed but highly mobile mounted archers, the Parthians "held their own against Rome for almost 300 years". Rome's acclaimed general Mark Antony led a disastrous campaign against the Parthians in 36 BC, in which he lost 32,000 men. Sony VAIO VGN-Z699JAB Battery

By the time of Roman emperor Augustus, Rome and Parthia were settling some of their differences through diplomacy. By this time, Parthia had acquired an assortment of golden eagles, the cherishedstandards of Rome's legions, captured from Mark Antony, and Crassus, who was defeated by General Surena in the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC.Sony VAIO VGN-Z70B Battery

The end of the Parthian Empire came in 224 AD, when the empire was loosely organized and the last king was defeated by Ardashir I, one of the empire's vassals. Ardashir I then went on to create the Sassanid Empire. Soon he started reforming the country both economically and militarily. Sony VAIO VGN-Z71JB Battery

The Sassanids established an empire roughly within the frontiers achieved by the Achaemenids, referring to it as Erânshahror Iranshahr, "Dominion of the Iranians", (i.e. of Iranians), with their capital at Ctesiphon.Unlike the diadochic Seleucids and the succeeding Arsacids,Sony VAIO VGN-Z73FB Battery

who used a vassalary system, the Sassanids—like the Achaemenids—had a system of governors (MP: shahrab) personally appointed by the Emperor and directed by the central government. The Romans suffered repeated losses particularly by Ardashir I, Shapur I, and Shapur II.Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DKX Battery

During their reign, Sassanid battles with the Roman Empire caused such pessimism in Rome that the historian Cassius Dio wrote:

Here was a source of great fear to us. So formidable does the Sassanid king seem to our eastern legions, that some are liable to go over to him, and others are unwilling to fight at all.Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DMR Battery

In 632 raiders from the Arab peninsula began attacking the Sassanid Empire. Iran was defeated in the Battle of al-Q?disiyyah, paving way for the Muslim conquest of Persia.

During the Parthian and later Sassanid eras, trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the great civilizations of China,Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DND Battery

Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Indian subcontinent, and Rome, and helped to lay the foundations for the modern world. Parthian remains display classical Greek influences in some instances and retain their oriental mode in others, a clear expression of the cultural diversity that characterized Parthian art and life.Sony VAIO VGN-Z820DB Battery

The Parthians were innovators of many architecture designs such as that of Ctesiphon, which later influenced European Romanesque architecture.Under the Sassanids, Iran expanded relations with China. Arts, music, and architecture greatly flourished, and centers such as the School of Nisibis and Academy of Gundishapur became world renowned centers of science and scholarship.Sony VAIO VGN-Z820G/B Battery

Middle Ages (652–1501)

After the Muslim conquest of Persia, most of the urban lands of the Sassanid Empire, with the exception of Caspian provinces and Transoxiana, came under Islamic rule.Many provinces in Iran defended themselves against the Arab invaders, although none in the end were able to repulse the invaders. Sony VAIO VGN-Z890GLX Battery

However, when the Arabs had subdued the country, many of the cities rose in rebellion, killing Arab governors, although reinforcement by Arab armies succeeded in putting down the rebellions.

However, the Iranians' conversion to Islam was a complex process and is generally considered to have been gradual; Sony VAIO VGN-Z890GMR Battery

the notion of force has largely been discredited, although occasional acts of violence did take place, with Zoroastrian scriptures being burned and Zoroastrian priests being executed.

By the 9th century, Islam became a dominant religion in Persia and the conversion of Iranians to Islam brought profound changes to their life and culture.Sony VAIO VGN-Z898H/X Battery

However, in some regions, such as the Fars province, Zoroastrianism remained strong up to the 9th century, although Sufissuch as Abu Eshaq Kazeruni, the founder of Kazeruni Sufi order, brought mass conversion of Zoroastrians to Islam in the 10th century.Sony VAIO VGN-Z90FS Battery

During the Abbasid caliphate decline, independent and semi-independent native Iranian dynasties arose in different parts of Persia including the Tahirids, Saffarids, Samanids, Afrighids, Ghurids, Sallarids, Justanids, Shaddadids and Buyids. Socially, the Arabs abolished the previous social class system of Sassanians while later, Sony VAIO VGN-Z90NS Battery

especially under the Ummayyads, another form of discrimination and exclusion against non-Arabs evolved. In reaction to these, Abu Moslem, an Iranian general, expelled the Umayyads from Damascus and helped the Abbasid caliphs to conquer Baghdad.Sony VAIO VGN-Z90PS Battery

The Abbasid caliphs frequently chose their Iranians as their "wazirs" (viziers), and Iranian governors acquired a certain amount of local autonomy. Thus in 822, the governor of Khorasan, Tahir, proclaimed his independence and founded a new Persian dynasty of Tahirids.Sony VAIO VGN-Z90S Battery

And by the Samanid era, Iran's efforts to regain its independence had been well solidified.

Attempts at Arabization thus never succeeded in Iran, and movements such as the Shu'ubiyya became catalysts for Iranians to regain their independence in their relations with the Arab invaders.Sony VAIO VGN-Z90US Battery

Other notable major revolts, some by Iranian Muslims and others by practitioners of old Iranian religions against Arab rule were led by Al-Muqanna, Sunpadh, Khurramites, Babak Khorramdin, Maziar,Mardavij, Ustadh Sis and Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari.

The cultural revival of the post-Abbasid period led to a resurfacing of Iranian national identity. Sony VAIO VGN-Z91DS Battery

The resulting cultural movement reached its peak during the 9th and 10th centuries. The most notable effect of the movement was the continuation of the Persian language, the official language of Iran to the present day. Ferdowsi, Iran's greatest epic poet, is regarded today as the most important figure in maintaining the Persian language.Sony VAIO VGN-Z91JS Battery

After an interval of silence Iran re-emerged as a separate, different and distinctive element within Islam.

In 1218, the eastern Khwarazmid provinces of Transoxiana and Khorasan suffered a devastating invasion by Genghis Khan . Sony VAIO VGN-Z91PS Battery

During this period more than half of Iran's population was killed, turning the streets of Persian cities such as Nishapur into "rivers of blood", as the severed heads of men, women, and children were "neatly stacked into carefully constructed pyramids around which the carcasses of the city's dogs and cats were placed". Sony VAIO VGN-Z91YS Battery

According to Steven R. Ward, "Overall, the Mongol violence and depredations killed up to three-fourths of the population of the Iranian plateau, possibly 10 to 15 million people. Some historians have estimated that Iran's population did not again reach its pre-Mongol levels until the mid-20th century."Sony VAIO VGN-Z92DS Battery

In a letter to King Louis IX of France, Holaku, one of the Genghis Khan's grandsons, took sole responsibility for 200,000 deaths in his raids of Iran and the Caliphate. He was followed by yet another conqueror, Tamerlane, who established his capital in Samarkand.Sony VAIO VGN-Z92JS Battery

The waves of devastation prevented many cities such asNishapur from reaching their pre-invasion population levels until the 20th century, eight centuries later.

In 1387, Tamerlane avenged a revolt in Isfahan by massacring 70,000 people. Sony VAIO VGN-Z92PS Battery

But both Hulagu, Tamerlane, and their successors soon came to adopt the ways and customs of that which they had conquered, choosing to surround themselves with a culture that was distinctively Persian. The mid-14th-centuryBlack Death killed about 30% of the country's population.Sony VAIO VGN-Z92YS Battery

Iran was gradually Islamized after the collapse of the Sassanid Empire; however, it was not Arabized. Iranian culture re-emerged with a separate and distinctive character and made an immense contribution to the Islamic civilization. When Islam came through Iran, what developed was an Iranian Islam or Persian Islam rather than the original Arab Islam, Sony VAIO VGN-Z93FS Battery

and this new Islam is sometimes referred to by scholars as Islam-i Ajam (Persian Islam).

It was this Persian Islam and Sufism which was brought to new areas and new peoples such as the Turks of Central Asia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Indian subcontinent.Sony VAIO VGN-Z93GS Battery

Among the major Iranian Muslims who cultivated Sufism and helped the spread of Islam through Sufism, one can mention Habib Ajami, Hallaj, Hasan Basri, Junayd Baghdadi, Bayazid Bastami, Maruf Karkhi, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Moinuddin Chishti, Jalaluddin Rumi, Najmuddin Kubra, and Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari. Sony VAIO VGN-Z93HS Battery

Note should also be made of Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi school of thought which is followed by most Muslims today.

Arabic writer Ibn Khaldun has remarked that the sedentary culture which was necessary for the development of civilization was rooted in the Persian empire.Sony VAIO VGN-Z93VS Battery

One of the main developments after the advent of Islam in Iran was the rise of the New Persian language as an important Indo-European language. The New Persian language was an evolution of Middle Persian, which in turn was derived from Old Persian.Sony A1258274A Battery

New Persian absorbed a considerable amount of Arabic vocabulary during this era, although the Arabic vocabulary that was Persianized often took a different meaning than the Arabic origin. In terms of contribution to the Arabic language, Iranians like Sibawayhi pioneered writing books of grammar of the Arabic language.Sony VGP-BPL10 Battery

Culturally, Iranians preserved their language, while they used Arabic for scientific and philosophical discourses;this enabled them to reach a worldwide audience for the first time.After the 10th century, Persian, written in the modified Perso-Arabic script alongside Arabic,Sony VGP-BPS10 Battery

was used for scientific, philosophical, historical, mathematical, musical, and medical works, as important Iranian writers such as Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Avicenna, Qotb al-Din Shirazi, Gurgani, Nasir Khusraw, Biruni,Abd al-Qadir Maraghi made contributions to Persian scientific writing.Sony VGP-BPS10/S Battery

During this era, Iranians continued on a much larger scale the cultural and scientific enterprises set up by the Sassanids. The blossoming Persian literature,philosophy, medicine, and art became major elements in the forming Muslim civilization. Sony VGP-BPS10A/B Battery

The Islamic Golden Age, which is characterized by developments in science, owed to a large extent its importance to vital contributions made by Iranians. The Islamic Golden Age reached its peak in the 10th and 11th centuries, during which Persia was the main theatre of scientific activity.Sony VGP-BPS10B Battery

The Persian influence of this period relied heavily upon the achievements of the Sassanids, and the weight of this influence has led the Muslim world to accept Islamic civilization as the Perso-Islamic civilization.

Even in the development of Arabic scientific prose itself, which differs in style from that of the Quran, Persian scholars such as Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa? had a major role.Sony VGP-BPS10A Battery

Indeed, the class of clerks and civil administrators that was responsible for the cultivation of the sciences in the early Islamic centuries consisted mostly of Persians. The contributions of Iranians to the Arabic language are however not limited to scientific prose but are also found in Arabic poetry. Sony VGP-BPS11 Battery

The contributions by Iranians are characterised as "the lively and graceful fancy, elegance of diction, depth and tenderness of feeling, and a rich store of ideas".

Iranian philosophy after the Islamic conquest is characterized by different interactions with Old Iranian philosophy, with Ancient Greek philosophy, and with the development of Islamic philosophy.Sony VGP-BPL11 Battery

Illuminationism and transcendent theosophy are regarded as two of the main philosophical traditions of this era in Persia. These movements continued well into the 11th century, during which theNizamiyya University was founded, and hundreds of Iranian scholars and scientists contributed greatly to technology, science, and medicine, later influencing the rise of European sciences during theRenaissance. Sony VGP-BPL12 Battery

Early modern era (1501–1921)

Iran's first encompassing Shia Islamic state was established under the Safavid dynasty (1501–1722) by Shah Ismail I. The Safavid dynasty soon became a major political power and promoted the flow of bilateral state contacts. The Safavid peak was during the rule of Shah Abbas The Great.Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery

The Safavid dynasty frequently warred with the Ottoman Empire, Uzbek tribes and the Portuguese Empire.

The Safavids moved their capital from Tabriz to Qazvin and then to Isfahan, where their patronage for the arts propelled Iran into one of its most aesthetically productive eras. Sony VGP-BPL13 Battery

Under their rule, the state became highly centralized, the first attempts to modernize the military were made, and even a distinct style of architecture developed. In 1722 Pashtun rebels headed by the Hotakis of Kandahar defeated Sultan Husayn and ended the Safavid dynasty, but in 1735, Nader Shah successfully drove out the Pashtuns from Isfahan and established the Afsharid Dynasty.Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

He then staged an incursion into India in 1738, securing the Peacock Throne, Koh-i-Noor, and Darya-ye Noor among other royal treasures. His rule did not last long, however, as he was assassinated in 1747. The Mashhad based Afshar Dynasty was succeeded by the Zand dynasty in 1750, founded by Karim Khan,Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

who established his capital at Shiraz. His rule brought a period of relative peace and renewed prosperity.

The Zand dynasty lasted three generations, until Aga Muhammad Khan executed Lotf Ali Khan, and founded his new capital in Tehran, marking the dawn of the Qajar dynasty in 1794. Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

The Qajar chancellor Amir Kabir established Iran's first modern college system, among other modernizing reforms. Iran suffered several wars with Imperial Russia during the Qajar era, resulting in Iran losing almost half of its territories to Imperial Russia and the British Empire, via the treaties of Gulistan,Turkmenchay and Akhal.Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

The Great Persian Famine of 1870–1871 is believed to have caused the death of 2 million persons.

In spite of The Great Game Iran managed to maintain her sovereignty and was never colonized, unlike neighbouring states in the region. Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

Repeated foreign intervention and a corrupt and weakened Qajar rule led to various protests and constitutionalization efforts which eventually resulted in the establishment of the nation's first parliament in 1906. This was followed by the Jangal movement of Gilan which lead to the short-lived Gilan Republic.Sony VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

Pahlavi dynasty (1921–1979)

In 1925, Reza Khan overthrew the weakening Qajar dynasty and became Shah. Rez? Sh?h initiated industrialization,railroad construction, and the establishment of a national education system. Rez? Sh?h sought to balance Russian and British influence, but when World War II started, his nascent ties to Germany alarmed Britain and Russia. Sony VGP-BPS13AS Battery

In 1941, Britain and the USSR invaded Iran to use Iranian railroad capacity during World War II. The Shah was forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

In 1951, after the assassination of prime minister Ali Razmara, Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh was elected prime minister by a parliamentary vote which was then ratified by the Shah.

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As prime minister, Mosaddegh became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized Iran's petroleum industry and oil reserves. In response, the British government, headed by Winston Churchill, embargoed Iranian oil and successfully enlisted the United States to join in a plot to depose the democraticallyelected government of Mosaddegh. Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

In 1953 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized Operation Ajax. The operation was successful, and Mosaddegh was arrested on 19 August 1953. The coup was the first time the US had openly overthrown an elected, civilian government.

After Operation Ajax, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's rule became increasingly autocratic. Sony VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

With American support, the Shah was able to rapidly modernize Iranian infrastructure, but he simultaneously crushed all forms of political opposition with his intelligence agency,SAVAK. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became an active critic of the Shah's White Revolution and publicly denounced the government.Sony VGP-BPS13Q Battery

Khomeini was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in 1964 Khomeini publicly criticized the United States government. The Shah was persuaded to send him into exile by General Hassan Pakravan. Khomeini was sent first to Turkey, then to Iraq and finally to France. While in exile, he continued to denounce the Shah.Sony VGP-BPS13S Battery

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