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Iran and Gulf conflict

             • Iran was called Persia before 1935. The Aryans, who began an earlier agricultural civilization, came from the upper part of Iran during the second millennium BC. They were an Indo-European group related to the Aryans of India.
             • In 549 BC Cyrus the Great United the Medes and Persians in the large Persian Empire. However, Alexander the Great conquered Persia in 333 BC.
             • The Persians regained their independence during the next century under the Parthians.
             • Arabs appeared in the 7th century bringing Islam which replaced the Zoroastrian faith.
             • By the 9th century the Persians became well aware of Islam. This flourished for many centuries the arts, sciences, medical and mathematical expertise.
             • The Turks and Mongols conquered Persia from the 11th century to 1502.
             • After 1502 Persia gained independence. Iran's art and culture is still greatly influenced by more than a dozen cultures that previously invaded Persia.
             • "Iranians have a very strong sense of class structure."(Library of Congress) They are divided into three classes; upper, middle and lower. However, after the revolution it was the wealthy, middle and lower. Yet in reality, the class structure is more than three classes.
             • In 1941 Reza Khan was abdicated as Shah and then succeeded by his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Under his rule, Iran went under economic and social change, but political opposition was strictly prohibited.
             • Conservative Muslim protests promoted violence in 1978 so a military government was appointed to deal with the uprising oil workers. Prime minister Bakhtiar,Shahpur was appointed by the Shah to head a regency council in his absence. This system ran smoothly until the Shah left Iran in 1979.
             • Then the famous "Iran revolution" emerged and was marked by revolts among the ethnic minorities as well as a continuing struggle between Westernized intellectuals, liberals and clerical forces.

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