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History >> Geography >> Middle East >> Iran

Iran

Timeline and History Overview

Iran Timeline

BCE CE
Brief Overview of the History of Iran

Throughout much of early history, the land known today as Iran was known as the Persian Empire. The first great dynasty in Iran was the Achaemenid which ruled from 550 to 330 BC. It was founded by Cyrus the Great. This period was followed by the conquest of Alexander the Great from Greece and the Hellenistic period. In the wake of Alexander's conquests, the Parthian dynasty ruled for nearly 500 years followed by the Sassanian dynasty until 661 AD.


Azadi Tower in Tehran

In the 7th century, the Arabs conquered Iran and introduced the people to Islam. More invasions came, first from the Turks and later from the Mongols. Starting in the early 1500s local dynasties once again took power including the Afsharid, the Zand, the Qajar, and the Pahlavi.

In 1979 the Pahlavi dynasty was overthrown by revolution. The Shah (king) fled the country and Islamic religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini became leader of the theocratic republic. Iran's government has since been guided by Islamic principles.

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