Islamic Revolution

The appearance of the Muslim Arabs marked a profound turning point in the history of Iran. Above all, the beginning of the Islamic period brought the country a new cultural upswing. Islam gradually replaced Zoroastrianism; despite the introduction of the Arabic script and the adoption of numerous Arabic foreign words into Persian, the Iranians maintained the independence of their language and traditions and in turn influenced Islamic life, although Arabic remained the administrative language for centuries. Persian literature and science flourished again. The taxation of non-Muslims promoted the Islamization under the rule of the Umayyads, which was initially only accepted under duress, but it also aroused national opportunism in the broader population. A tax reform achieved equality in financial policy between Muslims and non-Muslims and brought about the emergence of an Islamic Persian civil servant class.

Under the Abbasid Caliphate (749 / 750–1258) the Iranians assumed increasingly influential positions and partly founded independent national states. The bearers of the local dynasties were mostly non-noble Iranians who were appointed by the caliphate as governors in the conquered provinces. The areas in the east, far from Baghdad, which the Abbasids had made the capital of their empire, were favored. This is how the Tahirid dynasty (821–873) came into being in Khorasan, and they extended their influence to the Indus and in the west to Raij. The Saffarids (867–901) ruled mainly in Kerman, Fars and Sistan (there much longer); under the Sunni Samanids in Transoxania (873–999) and Khorasan (864–1005) a new Persian-Islamic Renaissance spirit awoke. Samarkand became the center of Persian and Arabic literature and science for the Islamic world. The Saidite Bujids (945-1055) worked in western Iran, even occupying Baghdad and assigning the caliph the role of spiritual leader.

According to, the Shiite tendency in the population of Iran had its roots in the western part of the country. The 10th century was also marked by clashes with rulers of Turkish origin, most of whom were mercenaries and bodyguards in the service of the Iranian princes and governors. The Ghasnavids (around 977 to the end of the 12th century) replaced the rule of the Samanids, but maintained the Persian-Islamic tradition of their predecessors. Especially Mahmud of Ghazni (999-1030) drew Islamic writers and scholars to his court. The Seljuks of Turkish origin also adapted to Iranian cultural independence and became the real pioneers of Iranian culture under the Turks of Central Asia and Anatolia. For a time they united almost all of Persia under their rule and extended their sphere of influence to Syria and Palestine (1076 capture of Jerusalem). As an advocate of Sunni Islam they had in Western Iran against the ultraschiitischen Ismailis to fight back, in the Islamic East was consolidated under Alp Arslan (1063-72) and Melikschah (1072–92) the religious, political and scientific tradition. Last but not least, this credit was due to her Persian minister, Nisam al-Mulk. In Khorasan Sandschar (1118–58) received house power; the Seljuks succumbed in 1194 to the rising charism shahs who ruled almost all of Iran at the beginning of the 13th century when the Mongolian storm broke their power.

Ruler in Iran

The rulers of the Achaemenids, Sassanids, Safavids, Qajars and Pahlewi in Iran (selection)
Achaemenids (around 550-330 BC) *)
Cyrus II, d. Size 559-530 BC Chr.
Cambyses II 530-522 BC Chr.
Dareios I, d. Size 522-486 BC Chr.
Xerxes I. 486-465 BC Chr.
Artaxerxes I. 465-424 BC Chr.
Darius II 424-405 / 404 BC Chr.
Artaxerxes II. 404-359 / 358 BC Chr.
Cyrus d. J. killed 401 BC Chr.
Artaxerxes III. 359 / 358-338 BC Chr.
Dareios III. 336 / 335-330 BC Chr.
Sassanids (224-651)
Ardashir I. 224-241 / 242
Shapur I. 241 / 242-270 / 272
Hormisd I. 272/273
True on II. 276-293
Narseh 293-302
Hormisd II. 302-309
Shapur II. 309-379
Ardashir II. 379-383
Shapur III. 383-388
True on IV. 388-399
Jesdgerd I. 399-421
True on V. 421-439
Jesdgerd II. 439-457
Peros 459-484
Kawad I. 488-531
Chosrau I. 531-579
Hormisd IV. 579-590
Chosrau II. 590-628
Jesdgerd III. 631-651
Safavids (1501–1722)
Ismail I. 1501-1524
Tahmasp 1524-1576
Abbas I, d. Size 1588-1629
Safi I. 1629-1642
Abbas II. 1642-1666
Safi II (later Soleiman) 1666-1694
Hosain 1694-1722
Qajar (1794-1925)
Agha Mohammed 1794-1797
Fath Ali 1797-1834
Mohammed 1834-1848
Nasir od-Din 1848-1896
Mosaffar od-Din 1896-1907
Mohammed Ali 1907-1909
Ahmed 1909-1925
Pahlewi (1925–1979)
Resa 1925-1941
Mohammed Resa 1941-1979
*) Cyrus II and Cambyses II belonged to the Teispiden family.

Islamic Revolution

Accompanied by mass demonstrations by sympathetic sections of the population, Khomeini returned to Tehran from exile on February 1, 1979. A provisional government was the on 12.2. Subordinate to formed Revolutionary Council. Revolutionary courts, supported by popular militias, carried out a bloody “cleansing” of the country from representatives of the deposed imperial system of government in the administration, the army and the secret service. After a referendum (March 30, 1979), Khomeini proclaimed on April 1. the Islamic Republic, which received a constitution in December 1979.

The regime was supported by the Shiite clergy and militarily supported by the formation of the “Islamic Revolutionary Guard”. President A.-H. Bani Sadr failed because of the conflict with the Islamic Republican Party and was deposed by Khomeiniin June 1981. His “People’s Mojahedin”, influenced by Marxist ideas, faced brutal persecution (execution of numerous members, leadership in exile). In October 1981, the Hodjatoleslam was A. Khamenei elected president (re-elected 1985) and in November was H. Mousavi Prime Minister (confirmed in 1985 and 1988). In addition, the President of Parliament Hodjatoleslam rose A. A. H. Rafsandjani in the inner circle of Iranian leaders.

The society of Iran was reshaped in all its areas (administration, law, education and economy) in the sense of a fundamentalist understood Islam; the condemnation of everything western had a profound effect on cultural life and prompted many intellectuals to emigrate. The leadership violently took action against critics and opposition groups as well as religious and ethnic minorities as well as opposition currents. There have been thousands of executions.

In his foreign policy, Khomeini v. a. against the USA and emerged as one of the most radical opponents of the State of Israel in the Middle East conflict. With the hostage-taking of 52 members of the American embassy in Tehran (1979-81) carried out by revolutionary Islamic forces, which lasted 444 days, relations with the USA reached their lowest point.

In the dispute over the border in the Shatt al-Arab area, Iraq attacked Iran in September 1980 (1st  Gulf War). The great war efforts determined the development of Iran up to the conclusion of an armistice (August 1988). In 1989, Khomeini’s appealfor murder against the writer S. Rushdie led to the severance of diplomatic relations with Great Britain (full resumption only in 1998).

After Khomeini’s death (June 3, 1989), the Islamic Guardian Council appointed Khamenei to be the supreme spiritual leader of Iran (“Fakih”).

Islamic Revolution

About the author