Great formed the Kingdom of Persia. He and his successors formed
the powerful Persian Empire, with its capital at Persepolis.
Alexander the Great
conquered the Persian Empire. He was succeeded by the Seleucids,
and the Parthians who formed another substantial empire.
Ardashir I founded the
Sassanid dynasty. After destruction of the "White Huns" in the
5th century, Sassanid Persia revived under Khosrau I and Khosrau
Arab armies conquered Iran.
Iran became a leading centre of Islam.
Seljuk Turks conquered much of Iran.
Mongol armies led by Genghis
Khan overran Iran.
The Safavid dynasty ruled
Iran. Esfahan became one of the world's great capitals.
Afghan armies captured
Nadir Shah drove the Afghans
from Iran and plundered the Indian city of Delhi.
The Qajar dynasty was
Shah Muzaffar al-Din granted
Iran a constitutional government.
Although it remained
neutral, Iran was a battleground during World War I as some of
the warring countries sought to control the region's vast oil
Reza Khan, a former cavalry
officer, became Shah. He introduced many reforms to Iran.
British and Soviet troops
invaded Iran during World War II to protect their oil supplies.
Muhammad Reza Pahlavi became Shah.
Iran nationalized its oil
industry. Dr Muhammad Mossadegh became Prime Minister. A crisis
in British-Iranian relations followed the seizing of the assets
of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.
Mossadegh took an
uncompromising stand on the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company issue,
breaking off diplomatic relations with the UK in 1952. He was
dismissed by the Shah in 1953, and subsequently arrested.
The Shah introduced a
programme of economic and social reforms called the White
Revolution. He assumed almost complete control of the
government, and the Savak secret police ruthlessly suppressed
all government opposition.
After the Shah fled the
country, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to
found the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iraq went to war with Iran.
A cease-fire was negotiated in 1988.
Khomeini died in June and
was succeeded by Hojatolislam Ali Khamenei. Ali Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani, former Speaker of Parliament, was elected President
A total ban on all trade and
investment with Iran was announced by the United States in
response to Iran's alleged links with international terrorism
and its rumoured nuclear weapons programme.
Moderates of the
pro-Rafsanjani Servants of Construction faction gained some 70
per cent of Majlis seats in the general election.
Mohammad Khatami, a
moderate, won a decisive victory in presidential elections.
Khatami, a moderate, won a decisive victory in presidential
2009 & later!
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