Expert mobilisation, archery and Parthian fighting style brought awe into Roman armies. Legacy of conquest of Iranian treasure was the introduction of the Iranian imperial practices into the West, which was later adopted by the Roman Empire says Ramesh Ma
1207-1273 --The author of Mathnavi, the greatest mystical poet of Iran, an elevated Sufi and philosopher, Rumi, creates a master piece in poetry. In fear of Mongols, his parents migrated to Anatolia. His poetry and philosophy had a significant influence throughout the world. His rich poetry describes inner god in mankind by his mystic order found in self.
1274 --One of the famous observatories was built in Maragheh in the province of Azarbaijan by Nasir-ol-Din Tousi, following the invasion of Arabs and Mongols. He, as an astronomer and philosopher, developed the mathematical calculations showing the earth's revolution around the sun and its spherical shape and size. His work was later translated into Latin and postdated by some 200 years to that of Copernicus who is now considered to be the founder of modern astronomy and the originator of the idea of a solar-centered universe.
1213-1292 --Two of the most significant literary books written by a traveling poet, philosopher, political analyst, Sa'edi, are Bustan and Gulistan. Using meaningful poems, he exercised wide influence over the world from India, Central Asia and as far as United Nation in USA.
All human beings are in truth akin;
All in creation share one origin.
When fate allots a member pangs and pains,
No ease for other members then remains.
If, unperturbed, another's grief canst scan,
Thou are not worthy of the name of man
His poems emphasized the interdependence of all mankind regardless of nationality, race or religion. The above is UN logo for unity of mankind. He asked for the following inscription on his tomb:
"From the tomb of Sa'edi, son of Shiraz the perfume of love escapes - thou shall smell it still 1,000 years after his death."
1295 --Customarily in Iran, strangers who established governments in this land, have been converted to the Iranian traditions because of the powerful and rich culture of Iran. Ghazan Khan became the first Mongol of Il-Khanid who ruled in the name of Iran and accepted Islam. Prior to him, Greek, Arab and Turkic invaders were "Iranianized." Thanks to the Iranian scholar and prime minister Rashid-ed-Din, Ghazan started rebuilding the previous Mongol devastations. Jami' Al-Tawarikh attests to the Universal History written by Rashid-ed-Din, which is full of policies that brought about a short-lived period of peace and prosperity. During Mongols' Iranian Empire, ideas and goods were exchanged with China and India.
1320-1390 --Sense of beauty, love of humanity, philosophy and knowledge of Arabic language characterized lyrical works of Hafez, one of the greatest poets of Iran.
1339-1432 -- The Jalayirids were a Mongol descendant dynasty which ruled west of Iran and a part of Iran at Iraq border. The Jalayirid sultanate lasted about fifty years, until disrupted by Tamerlane's conquests and the revolts of the "Black sheep Turks" or Kara Koyunlu. After Tamerlane's death in 1405, there was a brief unsuccessful attempt to re-establish the Jalayirid sultanate.
1405 --Timur (Tamerlane), of the Timurid dynasty origin, goes back to a Mongolian nomadic confederation, known as Barlas, following conquest of Central Asia by Mongols. the Barlas settled in Turkistan and intermingled to a considerable degree with the local Turkic and Turkic-speaking population. The Turco-Mongol leader, conquered much of Iran and its surroundings. Although brutal, he was also a patron of arts. Samarqand, his capital, gathered artists from all over Iran. Following his death, his empire disintegrated, but his descendants ruled over various parts of Iran for almost a century.
1429 -- The credit of first calculating machine goes to Jamshid Kashani. He was a major mathematician, inventor of advanced number theory who participated in the astronomical activities at Samarqand.
1407-1508 -- Qara-Goyonloo and Aq-Goyonloo ruled in a Part of Iran.
1501-1524 --Following some nine centuries of fragmented rule by various dynasties, Shah Ismail I united all of Iran under Iranian leadership. He declared Shi'ism as the official state religion and virtually forcefully converted all of Iran and some surroundings under his control. This alone differentiated Iranians from the rest of the world practicing Islam; in particular from the Sunni Ottomans. The Safavid kings in general supported the Shi'ite clergy.
1587-1629 --Pinnacle of the Safavid dynasty bloomed during reign of Shah Abbas. Disciplined standing army defeated the Ottomans. In 1598, he chose Isfahan as his capital. A strong supporter of the arts, especially architecture, he adorned Isfahan with some of the finest monuments in the world. He built a number of mosques, schools, bridges and a major bazaar. Iran craftsmen and artists excelled in creating fine silks, cloths, porcelain, metalwork, calligraphy, miniatures and carpets.
1501-1722 --Ottomans in Anatolia and Mughals in India, the two contemporary Islamic rivals relied on Iranian artisans and poets for much of their arts and literature. Persian language became the first choice in both of their courts. Texts, miniatures, court items, painting preferences were almost all written in Parsi or were influenced by Iranian culture. India also adopted Iranian cultural and administrative skills, although it was later colonized by British. An Iranian architect named Ostad Isad built Taj Mahal which is significantly influenced by Iranian designs.
1722 --During Shah Sultan Hussain a chieftain and a vassal of the Safavid from Afghanistan, Mahmoud Khan, captured Isfahan, encountering virtually no resistance, ended the Safavid dynasty.
1729-1747 â€“Nader Shah, an officer of the Safavids, expelled the Afghans and reunited the country. In 1738 the "Afshar" dynasty was born through Nader who proclaimed himself the Shah of Iran. Soon afterwards he waged a war against the Afghans (Pashtuns) and captured Kandahar. He was a brilliant military strategist who defeated the Ottomans, Russians, Indians and various local tribes. Two of the world's greatest diamond pieces, Sea of the Light (now in Iran) and Mountain of the Light (Part of British Crown Jewels) were captured by Nadir Shah in his invasion of Mughal India. Nader Shah's military machine collapsed following his assassination by his own guardsmen.
1747-1779 --Karim Khan Zand gained control of central and southern parts of Iran. He was a compassionate ruler who refused to assume the title of Shah and referred to himself as the Representative of the People. He fought extensively with a rival tribe, the Qajars.
1795 --After Karim Khan Zand's death in 1779, Aqa Mohammad Khan Qajar gradually vanquished the Zands and established the Qajar dynasty. He succeeded in reuniting the country. But he was a brutal and generally weak and corrupt ruler. The economic and military gap between Iran and the West widened considerably under their reign. England in thirst of expanding her colonialism from India to Iran; especially in light of the Industrial Revolution that was taking place in the West, she influenced Qajar rulers. Although Qajar period enjoyed a high degree of artistic excellence, producing some of Iran's finest paintings, tile-works and architectural monuments, but subsequently lost control of major part of the country and surrendered it to the strangers.
1813 - 1828 --Qajar weakness resulted in English and Russian penetration in Iranian affairs. The Qajars lost the Caucasus (present day Georgia, Armenia and part of Azerbaijan to the north of Aras River) to the Russians in two separate treaties: the Gulistan in 1813 and the Turkmanchay in 1828. As a result of the 1828 treaty, the Qajars were forced to enact the "Capitulation" law, exempting all foreign citizens from Iranian jurisdiction. This law deeply humiliated the Iranian people.
1848--Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir was the young prince Nasser-e-Din's advisor and constable. With the death of Mohammad Shah in 1848, Mirza Taqi was largely responsible for ensuring the crown prince's succession to the throne. When Nasser-e-Din succeeded to the throne, Amir Nezam was awarded the position of prime minister and the title of Amir Kabir, the Great Ruler. Amir Kabir, tried to introduce many reform initiatives but was assassinated by his corrupt enemies within the court, Âa fate shared by an earlier reform-minded prime minister of the Qajars. One of the greatest achievements of Amir Kabir was the building of Dar ol Fonoon, the first modern university in Persia and the Middle East. Dar-ol-Fonoon was established for training a new cadre of administrators and acquainting them with Western techniques. Amir Kabir ordered the school to be built on the edge of the city so that it could be expanded as needed.
1851-1906 --Following a conspiracy played between Russians and England the corrupt Qajars lost central Asian provinces to the Russians and were forced to give up all claims on Afghanistan to the British. These two powers dominated Iran's trade and manipulated its internal politics. The Qajars and influential members of their court were bribed to sell many valuable concessions to the British, such as the oil and Tobacco Concessions.
1906 -- Qajar's deep corruption and mismanagement led to the Constitutional Revolution and the establishment of Iran's first parliament or Majles. Britons helped clergies pushing for Constitutional Revolution in order to keep Russians out of Iran's internal affairs. The constitutional aspirations for a limited monarchy were never to be fully realized. Although Iran never became an actual colony of imperial powers, in 1907 it was divided into two spheres of influence. The north was controlled by Russia and the south and the east by Britain. By the end of WW I, Iran plunged into a state of political, social and economic chaos.
1921 --Reza Khan, an officer in the Qajar army, who was called to Capital to keep law and order, following removal of some British personnel, he unexpectedly staged a coup. Initially the minister of war and then the prime minister. His plan was to establish a republic but under tremendous force by clergies and influenced high class in fear of diminished role in the new concept; in 1925 Reza Khan became the Shah himself.
1925-1941 --In 16 years Reza Shah Pahlavi turned Iran around 180 degree, from a bankrupt economy to an industrial one, because his first priority was to strengthen the authority of the central government by creating a disciplined standing army and restraining the autonomy of the local revolting chiefs. His passion to modernize, separate, break and diminish religion from governing power (secular reforms), establish an educational system that is distanced from religion, and a judicial system that is based on modern laws rather than clerical rules, all triggered both mullahs and Britons that had close relations with each other. Iran's first modern university, schools for females and bringing women into the work force exhibit his work as a great revolution toward emancipation and development. Iran's first industrialization program, dramatically improved infrastructure by establishing modern army, navy, air-force, building numerous roads, bridges, state-ownedfactories etc. could not have been achieved without Reza Shah's passion for Iran. Despite frequent bugs and annoying discussion by Mossadeghas member of Parliament, preventive and or deviating Reza Shah to a project that better suit Britons for a railroad from east to west connecting two colonies of England -Iraq&Pakistan- Iran's first Transnational railway was built by Reza Shah from North to South. In 1935, he officially requested all foreign governments to no longer refer to Iran as Persia, but as Iran. (The Iranian people themselves had always referred to their country as Iran.) Reza Shah abolished the wearing of the veil, hence liberating women, a unique gesture that no other Middle Eastern country brought forward, except for Turkey under Attaturk. Several years following the building of Rail Road, in the outbreak of WWII he chose to remain neutral, but this fell to the deaf ears of Allies who invaded Iran from north and south. This ended Reza
1941 -- Allies occupation lasted for the duration of WWII to supply Soviets with wartime materials by using Trans-Iranian Railroad. They confronted Reza Shah who was forced to abdicate in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He was promised to head for Bombay, but was taken to exile in South Africa. He died in South Africa in 1944.
1946 --Mohammad Reza Shah refused to sign separation of our Soviet occupied Azarbaijan. Under American pressure, the Soviet Union was forced to pull out of Iran's northwestern province.
1951- 1953 -- Under influence by Britons, acting member of Parliament, Mohammad Mossadegh persuaded Iran's Majles passing a law sponsored by him (soon to be prime minister) and several friends nationalized Iran's oil favored Britons although sounded revealing from British control. The British, enraged into their oil concessions, treated as only remaining foreign entitled to such concessions, although theatrically froze all of Iran's Sterling assets and took their case to the International Court of Justice. The Court ruled in Iran's favor. The British government placed a total trade embargo on Iran and enforced it with their navy, leading to the collapse of Iran's economy. Thanks to Mossadegh, an opportunity for Iran's oil sold in a competitive market between American, Soviet Union and Britons etc., monopolized for British only. Citing the threat of a communist takeover, failed sponsored plan by British Intelligence and the CIA to topple Dr. Mossadeq's
government took over by the people and national army. In the midst of the events, the young Shah, left the country. Shortly thereafter, following departure of CIA officer and release of his men to Baghdad, Dr. Mossadeq's government was overthrown by the people and army personnel and the Shah came back.
1962-1963 -- Major Land Reform, workers right, women's right to vote and other initiatives were introduced by Shah during his White Revolution. Shah's reform triggered clergies and feudal landowners. In a series of public speeches, Ayatollah Khomeini attacked these reforms. He was arrested and then sent to exile.
1963-1973 Following Reza Shah's revolutionary modernization of Iran, his son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi brought a rapid economic growth and prosperity coupled with a relatively stable political climate into Iran, a situation that was never experienced before. Iran's infrastructure, public health and educational institutions were expanded. Massive projects of highways, railroad, underground train projects, roads, bridges, water and sewage projects, factories, schools, universities and hospitals were built. Iran's military strength grew and its international prestige was enhanced.
1973-1979 --The oil embargo by Arabs during Arab-Israel conflict quadrupled Iran's oil revenue. Iran under the guidance of Mohammad Reza Shah, became master of OPEC. Oil Producing Countries' wealth augmented thanks to Shah's guidance. Shah's timetable to make Iran to catch up with the West, alarmed Europeans and Oil companies.
The Shah's determination to modernize Iran virtually in a shortest possible time at any cost, led to a global shock. Certain leftists in collaboration with outside organizations infiltrated key positions, masses influenced, inflation irrupted, corruption emerged, economic bottlenecks, massive urbanization, rising expectations and increasing preventive pressure on the government from outside,.
In addition to the social, economic and political problems started to emerge by the end of 1978; paid opponents, of all political affiliations, united behind Ayatollah Khomeini who was chosen by Oil giants following British introduction. People's incompetence, coarse decision, ignorance of patriotism, listening to outside destructive stories broadcast by foreign radios caused the overthrow of Shah in 1979.Later, they called this chaos "Islamic Revolution" which was conspired and played by all parties funded and guided from outside. Shah vigorously fought cancer and died in Egypt a year later. After 2,500 years of monarchy, despite forceful suggestion of clergy to change Reza Shah's decision, clerics changed Iran's government to a theocratic republic; hence, the Islamic fundamentalism.It seems that with the death of Shah, and with the help of Khomeini, the modern history of Iran at its most powerful era died.Many politicians have tried to sort out the debris left behind by our so called "Revolution"; each has his/her own explanation that we may quote. The prominent cause for the oscillation of our glory, is that we easily become confused, forsake our leaders and give comfort to our enemies without giving it a second thought.Some of these wreckers are still at work and some have disappeared in the dustbin of history. There is no issue in Iran that cannot be resolved. Our country is in need of a change, not politically but in its people's inner self. To survive in this stormy ocean we should revert to our ancient values, and look forward and distinguish the destructive waves that are wrecking our ship from the drops of clear water which we need to survive. Success is in unity. Let us put our disagreements aside and fall into a single direction. To accuse each other will not bring us any closer, nor will it help us to find the truth. The truth is that we should, as a nation, accept responsibility. We should understand that there is no one to blame for what has happened to us except ourselves. It did not happen to Iran but to ourselves.We could have done plenty to prevent the so called "friend of Iran" from storming our culture, land and mind.Scattered resources around the world cannot take a single step to help us to regain our national identity and success. It is our unified attempt, regardless of what kind of personal believes set us apart, that can certainly help us to reach our ultimate goal as a "nation". The nations that have succeeded and have changed their negative image into a positive one, have used a positive and constructive campaign. They have found out that the "image of a nation" is all that is needed in international community. They have used their resources to take advantage of the greatest power in the world today "The Media".We should not sit back and allow the world to tarnish our image. Silence means acceptance. Some of us have chosen to distance ourselves for fear of consequences. You may say that nobody cares about the image but him/herself. If so, those possessing this type of mentality should try to change their attitude and think constructively in unison on nothing but our "Land"
What are the things that make us proud of being an Iranian? Says Ramesh Manghirmalani