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When Did Iran Gain Independence?

[Summary]History of Iran Pishdadian dynasty Kayanian dynasty Economic history Military history The history of Iran, commonly also known as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran


History of Iran

Pishdadian dynasty

Kayanian dynasty

Economic history

Military history

The history of Iran, commonly also known as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, and Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south.


In the decades immediately following the conclusion of World War II, European formal empires in the Middle East began to unravel. France retreated from Syria and Lebanon in 1946 after numerous catastrophic engagements with local peoples. The British withdrew from Palestine in 1948, leaving behind the new state of Israel, which was carved out of a large portion of Palestine; from most of the rest was created Jordan. A series of treaties and agreements led to British withdrawal from Egypt and Iraq; as a result of one of these agreements, Sudan also gained independence. While the formal empires of European countries seemingly disintegrated in the 1950s, the former colonial powers, now joined by the United States, continued to maintain a presence in the region. Britain and the United States focused on controlling the production of oil. Such interests now had the added dimension of being pursued within the larger framework of geopolitical tensions created by the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Indeed, the independence process has been very complex in the Middle East. According to historian Albert Hourani, ”It would be better … to see the history of this period as that of a complex interaction: of the will of ancient and stable societies to reconstitute themselves, preserving what they had of their own while making the necessary changes in order to survive in the modern world increasingly organized on other principles, and where the centers of world power have lain for long, and still lie, outside the Middle East” (Hourani, Khoury, and Wilson 2004, p. 4).

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