Dating an iranian
Their founder and first ruler, Shah Ismail, tried to unify the conglomeration of loosely united tribes scattered through the land by their conversion to Shi'ism as the state religion.
During this era theologians laid the basis of Shi'ite theology as it is currently practiced in Iran; also, since then, Shi'ism has been a badge of Persian identity in the Islamic world.
By the end of the eighteenth century, a Turkish tribe called the Qajars ruled the area now known as Iran.
The Qajars governed Iran until the 1920s when Reza Shah (1878-1944) took over the government and established the Pahlavi monarchy.
Alexander the Great swept through the area in the fourth century on his way to India, followed by Arab invaders in the seventh, who spread the teachings of Muhammad.
By the eleventh century, the religion of Islam dominated the plateau and the advanced Persian sciences, literature, and learning had seduced the leaders of more than one invading army, including Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century and Tamerlane in the fourteenth.
Since that time, the country has struggled to work out the details of its dedication to the teachings of the prophet Muhammad in everyday life and in specific government policies while fighting an expensive border war with Iraq and seeing several million of its wealthiest and most highly educated citizenry emigrate to the West.
Most of the population (98 percent) is Muslim, and fully 93 percent are members of the Shi'i sect.
Iran became an even more significant player on the political scene worldwide as oil began to dominate the postwar world market—Iran possesses as much as ten percent of the world's oil reserves.
It was through its oil contacts that Iran gradually became Westernized, a process consciously accelerated during the "white revolution" of 1962-1963, when various reforms were enacted (including giving women the right to vote and to hold public office) and opposition—increasingly centered in the religious community—was suppressed.
Prior to 1979, Iran was ruled by a constitutional monarchy; however, it was in name only, not in practice.
Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi changed the country's name from Persia to Iran in 1935 under a directive of Iran's representative abroad who believed that the province under which Persia was named (Pars) was only a single part of the entire country, while the birthplace of the Aryan race was Iran.