History Today subscription

Iran

Palace of 100 Columns and Tomb of Artaxerxes III, June 2014 by Elessar2008. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

George Woodcock describes how, towards the end of the seventh century BC, the Persians first began to establish themselves as a rising power in the Middle East.

John Andrew Boyle describes how, in the early thirteenth century, the Mongol hordes devastated Turkestan and Persia, where the grandson of Genghis Khan founded a dynasty.

The early life of the “Father of History” was dominated by the clash between East and West—Persia and Greece. Russell Meiggs finds that his story of the Great War is part tragic drama, part folk-tale and part travel-book, but is informed throughout by the desire to verify and by rational curiosity.

Christopher Sykes delivers a historical backdrop to mid-20th century tension on the Persian Gulf.

Disillusionment with Iran’s secular king brought the Islamists to power in 1979. Will the population now oust the ruling theocracy, asks Baqer Moin?

Clive Foss introduces the Kharijites, a radical sect from the first century of Islam based in southern Iraq and Iran, who adopted an extreme interpretation of the Koran, ruthless tactics and opposed hereditary political leadership. After causing centuries of problems to the caliphate, they survive in a quietist form in East Africa and Oman.

Francis Robinson looks for the distinctively tolerant and worldly features of Mughal rule in India and that of the related Islamic dynasties of Iran and Central Asia.

Valerie Holman describes the little-known role played by the cartoonist Kem in assisting the British propaganda effort aimed at Iran.

Richard Cavendish describes the events leading up to the nationalisation of Iranian oil fields on May 2nd, 1951.

Juan Cole looks at the pacifist, prophetic and millenarian 'world religion' whose leader emerged from the social and political unrest of 19th-century Iran and whose followers have since been persecuted by shah and ayatollah alike.