Iran 1789 CE

The Safavid dynasty is in decline.

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What is happening in Iran in 1789CE

The Shi-ite clergy in Iran have been growing in power for some time now. Up until this period, Shi’ite religious leaders have shunned public office, regarding it as incompatible with the religious life. However, under the Safavids, the clergy have increasingly become involved in government as judges, administrators and courtiers. They have used this power to strengthen their hold on the population, at the expense of Sufis and extremists.

A Safavid governor in Afghanistan, called Mahmud, rebelled, marched on Esfahan, the Safavid capital, and murdered the Safavid Shah (1722). He was quickly driven out by a Safavid general, Nadr, who then became the real power in the land. After several more military successes, Nadr was proclaimed Shah (1736). A little while later he conducted his famous raid on India, seizing the treasury of the Mughal emperor in Delhi. Later still, he seems to have become mentally unstable, and was murdered (1747).

After his death, Iran slid quickly into chaos. This was partially brought to an end by the triumph of Karim Khan (1750-79), who ruled in the name of the powerless Safavid shah and who brought a measure of stability to the country but, after his death, chaos has again reigned.

 

 

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