eye on iran blog 88.
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Posted by Paul Molnar
When viewed in the light of history, Iran, as the ancient empire of Persia, was known as a great and lasting empire that struck a balance between and in many respects was equal to the western empires of Greece and Egypt.
Persia had a long and standing civilization whose remnants - in the form of music and poetry, people and ideas, architecture and traditions - have lasted until our very own modern day and whose Zoroastrian religion is still practiced amongst many of its people and others from around the world.
In a time when empire building was as common as grains of sand in a desert, Persia dominated the eastern world until it was struck down by the even mightier hand of the invading western Greek armies of Alexander the Great, whom the Persians had been at war with for many years. After this defeat, the Persian Empire slipped into the annals of history never again to raise its head until modern times.
In the twentieth century, Persia again came to life after the Great War of 1914-1918. With the Allied nations set to carve up the Middle East, and new countries to be established, Persia in 1932 became an independent country, which we call today The Islamic Republic of Iran. After years of foreign and mostly western influence, Iran claimed its independence in what is known as the Iranian Revolution, spearheaded by the spiritual leader of Iran, Ayahtollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and other interests.
With the ousting of the Shah in 1979, Iran set upon Islamification of its population and became isolated on the world stage as numerous sanctions were imposed on it, mostly by western countries such as the United States and its allies.
While during the past nearly three decades the climate was beginning to thaw with a reformist government in control, that changed with the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005 as president. Ahmadinejad's return to fundamentalist philosophies more common with previous Iranian governments, and his policies concerning the nuclear issue, the constant jabs at Israel's right to exist and denial of the holocaust have again raised the Iranians (Persian Empire) to a prominent place in the theater of world politics. Will the Iranian Republic once again become the formidable force it was as the great Persian Empire of days past, or will this new regime fizzle out and again become like the broken and fragmented remnant it once became at the hands of mighty western empires? The world is waiting and watching.
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