The oldest written document of a treaty found so far was between the Akkadian Naram-Sin and an Elamite king about 43 centuries ago. Much of what is known about Elamite civilization comes to us from Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian records. The cities of Susa and Anshan were important links for trade and communication between Mesopotamia and the Harrapan cultures of the Indus valley.
Comprehensive Code of Rules, Reliable currency, Postal services, Freedom of religions, flourishing Art and Architecture, were among the great achievements of Achaemenians.
A major turning point in Iranian History occurred in seventh AD by the Arab conquest. New religion and script were introduced as the influence of Islam revolutionized Iranian art. Characteristics of Iranian costume emerged in new and complex forms.
Umayyad Period 661-750
In the seventh to mid-eight century non Iranian Umayyad Muslim Caliphs ruled initially form Medina (Saudi Arabia) then from Damascus Syria.
Abbasid Period 750-1040
Abbasids were another non-Iranian Dynasty after overthrow of Umayyad Dynasty and acted as the leaders of Islam, both religiously and politically. Although then authority was rejected by some, Abbasids were centered in Baghdad on the Tigrus, encouraging the development of science and philosophy as well as poetry and prose, art, and architecture.
Saljuq Period 1040-1256
The Mongols sacked Baghdad and killed the last Caliph of the line; put an end to Abbasid Caliphate.
Saljuqs were a Turkmen tribe of central Asia that Converted to Sunni Islam and migrated to Iran in eleventh century. Saljuqs were ruling from Isfahan. Their rulers titled by Baghdad Caliphate Sultans were Patrons of the Persian literature who founded many monuments and colleges to train future administrators with Sunni doctrine in accordance.
Son of Genghis Khan, Hulaqu Khan founded the Ilkhanid Dynasty after capturing Baghdad and all of Iran. The Ilkhanids reunited the region as a political and territorial entity after centuries of fragmented rule by local dynasties.
Timurid Period 1383-1501
Tamerlane the Turkic conqueror founded Timurid Dynasty with its Capital at Samarghand enriching the city and surrounding regions building many spectacular palaces and mosques. The Goharshad Mosque in Mashhad is one of the greatest examples of Timurid arts.
During fifteenth century several families and tribes, mostly of Turkic origin ruled over various parts of Iran. Among them the Safavids headed by a militant Sufi order founded by Sheikh Safi of Ardebil. Safavids conquered Tabriz and then the rest of Iran. In 1501 Ismail I proclaiming himself Shah marked the beginning of Safavid Dynasty. Ismail embraced Jafari Shia Islam as the state religion.
Shah Abbas the Safavid moved Safavids capital to Isfahan and made great contributions to education, commerce, urban development and architectural beauty of Persia. In time of Safavids the Ottomans were the biggest threat in the north western boarders and the Uzbeks were invading from north. One of the most important battles was with Afghans having them utterly defeated in a series of brilliant victories.
Nadir founded the next Dynasty. First he tried to restore the safavids but the successors showed no merit, therefore he started a new Dynasty called Afsharids, named after the Turkish tribe which he belonged.
Nadir defeated rebellions in Iranian territories and won a glorious battle against the Mughal kings of India bringing back home the fabulous Peacock throne and two precious diamonds, sea of light and mountain of light. It is displayed in collection a treasury of Nadir (Which is maintained in National Jewels of Tehran). Nadir in his last years was ruthless and harsh therefore he was assassinated by one of his own troops. Following his death, Karim Khan Zand, the ruler of southern Iran, consolidated his power and founded Shiraz as the capital in mid eighteenth century. Karim Khan entitled himself Vakilo Roaya and was advocate of the peasants for his morality and good ethics. He made urban developments in his capital, Shiraz which today can be observed in Vakil complex.
After death of Karim Khan Zand in the late eighteenth century, a leader of the Turkmen Qajar tribe, Agha Mohammad Khan reunified Iran under a new Dynasty. During the time of Qajaris western science, technology and educational methods were introduced. Many wars happen between Qajars and Russians and as a result the Kingdom of Persia lost some of its north western boarders including today’s Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Pahlavi Period 1925-1975
From 1925 Pahlavi Dynasty, the last Iranian Kingdom dynasty was founded by Reza Khan, an Iranian army officer of the last Qajar King. Reza Khan and his Son Mohammad Reza, the last King of Iran rushed into modernization and radical reforms which later caused their decline in the late 1970s.
Massive demonstrations and strikes against the court of Pahlavi with leadership of Imam Khomeini in exile and other parties succeeded the revolution in 1979 and people voted for Islamic Republic.
In early years of Islamic Republic of Iran, the country was invaded by its neighbor, Iraq which last for eight years. After Iran-Iraq war national efforts led Iranian society to industrial and commercial development to make modern contemporary Iran which welcomes you to visit.