From ancient times until 1935, the territory of modern Iran was known as Persia. The first states began to appear here as early as the 3rd millennium BC. In the 6th century BC. the mighty Achaemenid empire was formed, which occupied the whole of southwestern and western Asia. During the reign of the Achaemenids, the prophet Zarathushtra preached on the territory of Persia. He is considered the founder of the Zoroastrian religion, which became the state religion of the Achaemenid Empire. In 330 B.C. the troops of Alexander the Great burned the capital of the empire – Persepolis, which put an end to the state. After the death of Alexander the Great, Persia became part of the Seleucid Empire. In 248 BC. it was under the rule of the Parthian kingdom, and after 4 centuries – under the rule of the Sassanid dynasty.
In the 7th century Persia was conquered by the Arabs. At the same time, Islam began to spread. Gradually, local dynasties began to conquer power in certain regions of Persia, where Arab governors ruled. In 1256, the Tatar-Mongols penetrated the territory of Persia and by the end of the 14th century they conquered the entire Iranian Highlands. The rule of the Mongols lasted for several centuries. The end of their domination was put by the Safavid dynasty. Under the Safavids in Persia, Shiite Islam was adopted as the state religion. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Iran.
In the second half of the 19th century, Persia, rich in natural resources, interested Russia and Great Britain. Two powerful powers entered into concession agreements with the local Shah, under which they were given the right to dispose of the natural resources of Persia in exchange for monetary assistance. This aroused the discontent of the masses. After prolonged protests in 1906, the Constitutional Revolution took place in the country, as a result of which Persia became a constitutional monarchy. The first parliament was convened, which limited the power of the Shah. Despite this, in 1907 Persia was divided into spheres of influence between Great Britain and the Russian Empire. The northern part of the state became the zone of influence of Russia, the southern part – the zone of influence of Great Britain, the central part remained a neutral zone.
In 1921, Britain supported a coup d’état. One of the instigators of the coup – the military commander Reza Shah – later became the Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty proclaimed by him, which he named after the previous monarchical family, of which he was not a descendant. In 1935, the country was named Iran. Reza Shah established close ties with Nazi Germany, which led to dissatisfaction with Great Britain and the USSR hostile to her. In 1941, the USSR and Great Britain occupied Iran. Reza Shah abdicated, and the throne was taken by the son of the former monarch, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. The occupation of Iran continued until 1946. In the post-war years, the new Iranian government adopted an act on the nationalization of the oil industry, however, in August 1953, as a result of a military coup organized with the help of the United States.
After the coup, Iran began to attract foreign private capital for economic development, but already in the 60s of the 20th century, the Iranian Shah began to take a more independent position, which caused discontent among Western partners. Western countries began to support the opposition, and the Shiite clergy also turned out to be in opposition, which, although they wanted to overthrow the monarchy, was still against the influence of Western countries. During 1978, anti-monarchist demonstrations engulfed the entire country. In January 1979, the Shah left Iran, and on February 11, 1979, the army declared its neutrality in the political struggle. The anti-monarchist revolution, led by the leader of the Iranian clergy, Ayatollah Khomeini, was crowned with success and in February 1979 the Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed. The leading roles in the republic went to representatives of the clergy, which significantly worsened the relations of the state with the Western world. The Iranian government pursued a tough policy of anti-Americanism, and directed all its forces towards the Islamization of society. The government was also supported by radical Iranian extremists.
In 1980-1990, there was a war between Iran and Iraq for the right to possess oil reserves in Khuzestan. Most of the Arab countries, the Soviet Union, the United States and their allies took the side of Iraq. After 8 years of devastating hostilities, a ceasefire agreement was signed. In 1997, a new president was elected in Iran, who took a course towards improving relations with the West, European countries began to restore their ties with Iran, but the American leadership stood its ground: it charged Iran with sponsoring terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction, naming the country ” Axis of Evil.” Until now, Iran’s nuclear program is a “stumbling block” in the country’s relations with the United States.