This invaded party, the Umayyad Caliphate, adopted many Persian
customs and as Islam grew it grew with that Persian influence. However, the Umayyads
tried to force the Arabic language on the people and they resisted. This led to
a unique version of Islam in Persia, one that incorporated their historic culture
with this new religion, more so than most people who converted to Islam.
In 743 the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn al-Malik died, launching the region into chaos.
This led to the takeover of the Abbasid dynasty in 750. After they took over they
moved the capital from Damascus to Baghdad, which fell in under Persian
influence. The Abbasids slowly brought the Persians back into power, replacing the
former ruling Arabs and due to them being ethnic Persians, the people were more
willing to convert to Islam under their rule. However in the 800s their power began
to wane as the Turkish people from Central Asia came in and slowly took power. Additionally,
smaller kingdoms took over power in various regions of their empire over this time,
including the Seljuk Turks. This power finally came to an end in 1258 when the Mongols took the city of Baghdad, overthrowing the Persian
The Mongols came loudly as they killed many people in the
country with their arrival. However only 50 years after their arrival, many of the
Mongol rulers began to convert to Islam and actually allowed numerous aspects of
Persian culture to thrive. After Mongol rule came the rule of the Timurid dynasty.
Timur invaded Persia in 1381 and took nearly the whole of it
and his descendants continued to rule Persian until 1452. Like the earlier Mongols,
after an initial mass murder to obtain power, Timur and his dynasty slowly adopted
many Persian customs.
In the early 1500s the Safavid Dynasty came to power over Persia
and began converting the people, who were primarily Sunni Muslim, to Shia Muslim.
The Safavid rulers, who were Azeri-Kurdish took Persia back to its former glories.
The Safavid dynasty overtook many of Persia's neighbors, greatly expanding their
borders through the 1500s and 1600s.
By the late 1600s though the Safavid rulers were losing power as neighboring people
came in and took pieces of land, including the Ottoman Turks and the
Russians. This decline ended in 1736 with the end of the Safavid Empire.
After the further takeover of some land, the bulk of the region was taken over by
the Qajar Dynasty, who ruled from 1796 to 1925.
By the late 1800s the Qajar dynasty had weakened and the people began to revolt.
This led to a constitution and an elected governmental body in 1906. Just two years
later the Qajars lost more power when oil was discovered in Iran
and the Russians and the British
showed their interest by meddling with Persia's domestic affairs. Eventually,
the Russians and Brits divided the region between themselves until 1919 when revolution
in Russia forced them to leave.
Due to this outside influence and the slow decline of the welfare of the people,
in 1925 Reza Shah Pahlavi took power in the country. Under Reza Shah the country
became more closed off as he attempted to create a strong hold on power, but also
introduced numerous changes in the social and economic realms; schools, roads, and
technology were introduced en masse. However his changes also upset the religious
conservative as women were encouraged to stop wearing the hijab and men
were told to wear western clothing.
The conservative people's anger continued to rise until World War II when the
Persians forced Reza Shah to abdicate his power.
The British preferred his son, Mohammad Reza Shah
Pahlavi, who welcomed the British who wanted the country's oil supplies. Throughout
WWII the country was friendly to Britain and hosted the Tehran Conference in 1943
between Josef Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.
After WWII relations with Britain soured when the
Persians sought to nationalize their oil industry. Despite
this, relations with Britain and other western power slowly improved throughout
the 1900s. Also during this time there were also repeated attempts to give the people
more power in the form of parliament, but political instability in the parliament
However, by the 1960s hostilities again rose, primarily in the form of religion
versus politics when people began speaking out again the shah, including Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomenini, who was arrested for his speeches.
In the 1970s Iran went to war with Iraq
over border disputes, which led to the expulsion of Iranian nationals from Iraq
and increased tensions between the two nations. However, more than tensions with
Iraq, at the end of the 1970s revolution erupted in Iran when the Islamic Revolution,
led by Khomenini took power in 1979.
Under the new Islamic Theocratic government, Khomenini became absolute ruler as
politics and religion were intertwined and the religious leaders made all final
decisions. Shortly after the Shah left Iran he was admitted to a hospital in the
United States to received cancer treatment;
it was at this time that the United States Embassy in Tehran was occupied and all
hostages were held until January 1981 when Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president.
Since this time official relations between the two countries have ceased to exist.
In 1980 Saddam Hussein of Iraq attacked Iran,
leading to war. His attack was believed to take advantage of a country in flux,
but the Iranians fought back by 1982.
In 1989 Khomeini died and he appointed Ali Khamenei the next supreme leader. Meanwhile
on the presidential side of the political spectrum, the country brought numerous
leaders to power as the 1990s and 2000s were a time of slowly growing political
stability. In 2005 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected President. He was re-elected
in 2009, which led to massive protests in Iran, however the
government clamped down and few protests have taken place since.
Today Iran remains in flux as the country boasts one of the
world's youngest populations. Much of the youth seeks political changes, but
to what degree is questionable. Meanwhile the government claims it is seeking nuclear
abilities in order to create nuclear power plants, however numerous foreign countries
question this as their true motivation. Finally, Iran has been very vocal about
destroying the state of Israel and this has led to great
tensions, as well as threats by both side, although violence in large measures has
yet to be undertaken.