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...)
The text on the Cylinder praises Cyrus, sets out his genealogy and portrays him as a king from a line of kings. The Babylonian king Nabonidus, who was defeated and deposed by Cyrus, is denounced as an impious oppressor of the people of Babylonia and his low-born origins are implicitly contrasted to Cyrus' kingly heritage. The victorious Cyrus is portrayed as having been chosen by the chief Babylonian god Marduk to restore peace and order to the Babylonians. The text states that Cyrus was welcomed by the people of Babylon as their new ruler and entered the city in peace. It appeals to Marduk to protect and help Cyrus and his son Cambyses. It extols Cyrus as a benefactor of the citizens of Babylonia who improved their lives, repatriated displaced people and restored temples and cult sanctuaries across Mesopotamia and elsewhere in the region. It concludes with a description of how Cyrus repaired the city wall of Babylon and found a similar inscription placed there by an earlier king. (Full article...)
Sixty villages (including the large settlement of Dilman, which was relocated and rebuilt as Salmas) were destroyed in the Salmas Plain and in the surrounding mountainous regions. A destructive aftershock sequence affected many villages, and in some cases, damage was inflicted on some that had escaped devastation during the mainshock. An inspection of the region was undertaken, but not until decades later, at which time substantial surface faulting and other ground effects were documented. (Full article...)
The Parthian Empire in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II (r. 124–91 BC)
The Parthians largely adopted the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian, Hellenistic, and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, though it eventually saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions. The Arsacid rulers were titled the "King of Kings", as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire; indeed, they accepted many local kings as vassals where the Achaemenids would have had centrally appointed, albeit largely autonomous, satraps. The court did appoint a small number of satraps, largely outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of central government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris (south of modern Baghdad, Iraq), although several other sites also served as capitals. (Full article...)
Pacorus I (also spelled Pakoros I; Parthian: 𐭐𐭊𐭅𐭓; died 38 BC) was a Parthian prince, who was the son and heir of Orodes II (r. 57–37 BC). The numismatist David Sellwood deduced that Pacorus ruled in c. 39 BC. It is uncertain whether Pacorus ruled alongside his father, or ruled independently. His wife was an unnamed Armenian princess, who was a sister of the Artaxiad king of Armenia, Artavasdes II (r. 55–34 BC).
Following the Parthian victory against the Romans at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, the Parthians attempted to capture Roman-held territories in Western Asia, with Pacorus acting as one of the leading commanders. Although they were initially successful, they were repelled by the Romans. Pacorus himself was defeated and killed at the Battle of Mount Gindarus by the forces of the Publius Ventidius Bassus. His death spurred a succession crisis in which Orodes II, deeply afflicted by the death of his favourite son, relinquished the throne to his other son Phraates IV (r. 37–2 BC) as his new heir. (Full article...)
He was met with considerable challenges during his reign, facing a rebellion in the east led by his brother, the Kushano-Sasanian dynast Hormizd I Kushanshah, who also assumed the title of King of Kings and possibly laid claims to the Sasanian throne. Another rebellion, led by Bahram II's cousin Hormizd of Sakastan in Sakastan, also occurred around this period. In Khuzestan, a Zoroastrian factional revolt led by a high-priest (mowbed) occurred. The Roman emperor Carus exploited the turbulent situation of Iran by launching a campaign into its holdings in Mesopotamia in 283. Bahram II, who was in the east, was unable to mount an effective coordinated defense at the time, possibly losing his capital of Ctesiphon to the Roman emperor. However, Carus died soon afterwards, reportedly being struck by lightning. As a result, the Roman army withdrew, and Mesopotamia was reclaimed by the Sasanians. By the end of his reign, Bahram II had made peace with the Roman emperor Diocletian and put an end to the disturbances in Khuzestan and the east. (Full article...)
Before ascending the throne Artaxerxes was a satrap and commander of his father's army. Artaxerxes came to power after one of his brothers was executed, another committed suicide, the last murdered and his father, Artaxerxes II died. Soon after becoming king, Artaxerxes murdered all of the royal family to secure his place as king. He started two major campaigns against Egypt. The first campaign failed, and was followed up by rebellions throughout the western part of his empire. During the second, Artaxerxes finally defeated Nectanebo II, the Pharaoh of Egypt, bringing the country back into the Persian fold after six decades. (Full article...)
Basra, located in present-day Iraq, had already been under Safavid control from 1508 to 1524, when it was lost upon Shah ("King") Ismail I's death. In the ensuing period, the Ottomans, rivals of the Safavids, managed to establish nominal rule over the city. De facto rule of Basra remained in the hands of the local Arab Al-Mughamis tribe, a branch of the Banu'l-Muntafiq. In 1596, the Ottoman governor of Basra, Ali Pasha, sold his office to a local named Afrasiyab. Over the next c. 70 years, Basra was considered a hereditary eyalet under Afrasiyab and his descendants. (Full article...)
Approximate extent of Sogdia, between the Oxus and the Jaxartes.
Majd al-Dawla's reign saw the gradual shrinking of Buyid holdings in central Iran; Gurgan and Tabaristan had been lost to the Ziyarids in 997, while several of the western towns were seized by the Sallarids of Azerbaijan. There were also internal troubles, such as the revolt of the Daylamite military officer Ibn Fuladh in 1016. Following the death of Sayyida Shirin in 1028, Majd al-Dawla was faced with a revolt by his Daylamite soldiers, and thus requested the assistance of the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud (r. 998–1030) in dealing with them. Mahmud came to Ray in 1029, deposed Majd al-Dawla as ruler, and sacked the city, bringing an end to Buyid rule there. (Full article...)
Vologases IV's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm, showing him wearing a beard and a tiara on his head
Vologases IV (Parthian: 𐭅𐭋𐭂𐭔Walagash) was King of Kings of the Parthian Empire from 147 to 191. He was the son of Mithridates V (r. 129–140). Vologases spent the early years of his reign re-asserting Parthian control over the Kingdom of Characene. From 161 to 166, he waged war against the Roman Empire; although initially successful, conquering Armenia and Syria, he was eventually pushed back, briefly losing control of the Parthian capitals of Seleucia and Ctesiphon to the Romans. The Romans suffered heavy losses from a plague erupting from Seleucia in 166, forcing them to withdraw. The war ended soon afterward, with Vologases losing most of northern Mesopotamia to the Romans. He died in 191 and was succeeded by his son Vologases V. (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...)
The memoir was recorded through thousands of hours of conversation between Zahra Hosseini and Azam Hosseini, while parts of the book are autobiography by the narrator. The title, Da, means "mother" in Kurdish and Luri, and was meant to memorialize the role of Iranian mothers during the Iran–Iraq War. (Full article...)
The Iran–Iraq War followed a long-running history of territorial border disputes between the two states, as a result of which Iraq planned to retake the eastern bank of the Shatt al-Arab that it had ceded to Iran in the 1975 Algiers Agreement. Iraqi support for Arab separatists in Iran increased following the outbreak of hostilities; while claims arose suspecting that Iraq was seeking to annex Iran's Khuzestan Province, Saddam Hussein publicly stated in November 1980 that Iraq was not seeking an annexation of any Iranian territory. It is believed that Iraq had sought to establish suzerainty over Khuzestan. While the Iraqi leadership had hoped to take advantage of Iran's post-revolutionary chaos and expected a decisive victory in the face of a severely weakened Iran, the Iraqi military only made progress for three months, and by December 1980, the Iraqi invasion had stalled. As fierce fighting broke out between the two sides, the Iranian military began to gain momentum against the Iraqis and regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. After pushing Iraqi forces back to the pre-war border lines, Iran rejected United Nations Security Council Resolution 514 and launched an invasion of Iraq. The subsequent Iranian offensive within Iraqi territory lasted for five years, with Iraq taking back the initiative in mid-1988 and subsequently launching a series of major counter-offensives that ultimately led to the conclusion of the war in a stalemate. (Full article...)
The 2003 Bam earthquake struck the Kerman province of southeastern Iran at 01:56 UTC (5:26 am Iran Standard Time) on December 26. The shock had a moment magnitude of 6.6 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The earthquake was particularly destructive in Bam, with the death toll amounting to at least 34,000 people and injuring up to 200,000. The effects of the earthquake were exacerbated by the use of mud brick as the standard construction medium; many of the area's structures did not comply with earthquake regulations set in 1989.
Following the earthquake the U.S. offered direct humanitarian assistance to Iran and in return the state promised to comply with an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency which supports greater monitoring of its nuclear interests. In total a reported 44 countries sent in personnel to assist in relief operations and 60 countries offered assistance. (Full article...)
From the Achaemenid Empire of 550 BC–330 BC for most of the time a large Iranian-speaking state has ruled over areas similar to the modern boundaries of Iran, and often much wider areas, sometimes called Greater Iran, where a process of cultural Persianization left enduring results even when rulership separated. The courts of successive dynasties have generally led the style of Persian art, and court-sponsored art has left many of the most impressive survivals. (Full article...)
Although warfare between the Romans and Persians continued over seven centuries, the frontier, aside from shifts in the north, remained largely stable. A game of tug of war ensued: towns, fortifications, and provinces were continually sacked, captured, destroyed, and traded. Neither side had the logistical strength or manpower to maintain such lengthy campaigns far from their borders, and thus neither could advance too far without risking stretching its frontiers too thin. Both sides did make conquests beyond the border, but in time the balance was almost always restored. Although initially different in military tactics, the armies of both sides gradually adopted from each other and by the second half of the 6th century, they were similar and evenly matched. (Full article...)
October 26, 2005 - Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map" at "World Without Zionism" conference in Tehran, Iran, and condemns peace process. MEMRI translated Ahmadinejad's words differently: "Imam [Khomeini] said: 'This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.' This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise."
Today, one of the problems of Iran, in fact, its worst problem, is the dispersal of Iranians. People who share a common land and live within the territory of one country should not be divided into rival sects. Today's Iran is in this misery, and if this continues, God knows what a hard hand the Iranians will suffer.