Thursday, April 05, 2007

Iranian Revolution and Iran-Iraq War (1979 – 1988)

The 1979 revolution was a populist, nationalist, and to some extent Shi'a Islamist reaction against the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a secular but autocratic pro-Western ruler. The Revolution itself involved many different groups, including the Communist Tudeh Party and the secular nationalist National Front, which both had the broadest range of support among urban Iranians, to the Islamists following the line of Khomeini, whose base of support was mostly in the rural sector.

Starting in late 1977, protests began to build. By December 1978 millions of Iranians were in the streets and the country's economy was paralyzed. The Shah left the country in mid-January 1979 and two weeks later the Ayatollah Khomeini, who had emerged as the leader of the Revolution after the murder of Dr. Ali Shariati in England, returned from exile to crowds of supporters. The final collapse of the old regime came on February 11 when royal troops were defeated by guerillas and rebel troops in armed street fighting. Iran officially became an Islamic Republic on April 1st after Iranians overwhelmingly approved a national referendum declaring the country so. Khomeini and his supporters worked to implement his vision of an Islamic state with sharia, or conservative Islamic laws, and clerical rule. Iran's unique new theocratic constitution included the post of Supreme Leader for Khomeini and his successors, and other bodies of clerics to veto new laws and vet candidates for public office.

The Iranian Revolution replaced the Shah's close relationship with America and the West with a deeply antagonistic one. On November 4, 1979, Iranian students seized US embassy personnel labeling the embassy a "den of spies" and accused its personnel of being CIA agents plotting to overthrow the revolutionary government, as the CIA had done to Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. Khomeini did not stop the students from holding embassy employees hostage and instead supported the embassy takeover. Women, African Americans and one hostage diagnosed with multiple sclerosis were soon released, the remaining 52 were held for 444 days. The students demanded the handover of the shah in exchange for the hostages, and following the Shah's death in the summer of 1980, that the hostages be put on trial for espionage. Subsequently attempts by the U.S. administration to negotiate or rescue the remaining hostages through such methods as Operation Eagle Claw, were unsuccessful until January 1981 when the Algiers declaration was agreed upon. The U.S. promised (among other things) in the accord to release Iranian assets that had been frozen, but as of 2007 those assets still remain frozen.

Main article: Iran-Iraq War
Meanwhile, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein decided to take advantage of what he perceived to be disorder in the wake of the Iranian Revolution and its unpopularity with Western governments. The once-strong Iranian military had been disbanded during the revolution, and with the Shah ousted, Hussein had ambitions to position himself as the new strong man of the Middle East. He also sought to expand Iraq's access to the Persian Gulf by acquiring territories that Iraq had claimed earlier from Iran during the Shah's rule. Of chief importance to Iraq was Khuzestan which not only boasted a substantial Arab population, but rich oil fields as well. On the unilateral behalf of the United Arab Emirates, the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs became objectives as well. With these ambitions in mind, Hussein planned a full-scale assault on Iran, boasting that his forces could reach the capital within three days. On September 22, 1980 the Iraqi army invaded Iran at Khuzestan, precipitating the Iran-Iraq War known as Saddâm's Qâdisiyyah in Iraq and the Imposed War in Iran. The attack took revolutionary Iran completely by surprise.

Although Saddam Hussein's forces made several early advances, by 1982, Iranian forces managed to push the Iraqi army back into Iraq. Khomeini refused a cease-fire from Iraq, demanding huge reparation payments, an end to Saddam's rule, and that he be tried for crimes against humanity. Khomeini also sought to export his Islamic revolution westward into Iraq, especially on the majority Shi'a Arabs living in the country. The war then continued for six more years until 1988, when Khomeini, in his words, "drank the cup of poison" and accepted a truce mediated by the United Nations.

Tens of thousands of Iranian civilians and military personnel were killed when Iraq used chemical weapons in its warfare. Iraq was financially backed by Egypt, the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact states, the United States (beginning in 1983), France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and the People's Republic of China (which also sold weapons to Iran). All of these countries provided intelligence, agents for chemical weapons as well as other forms of military assistance to Saddam Hussein. Iran's principal allies during the war were Syria, Libya, and North Korea.

With more than 100,000 Iranian victims of Iraq's chemical weapons during the eight-year war, Iran is the world's second-most afflicted country by weapons of mass destruction, second only to Japan. The total Iranian casualties of the war were estimated to be anywhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000. Almost all relevant international agencies have confirmed that Saddam engaged in chemical warfare to blunt Iranian human wave attacks, while unanimously announcing that Iran never used chemical weapons during the war.

Modern Iran: From Pahlavi to Islamic Revolution (1921 – 1979)

The rise of modernization and encroachment of stronger Western powers in the late nineteenth century led to the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911. Reformers hoped the constitution would strengthen Iran against imperial Russia and Britain by centralizing and modernizing it. Ultimately the constitution became law, but its provisions were seldom followed during most of its history. In 1921, Cossack army officer Reza Khan (known as Reza Shah after assuming the throne) staged a coup against the weakened Qajar dynasty. An autocrat and supporter of modernization, Reza Shah initiated the development of modern industry, railroads, and establishment of a national education system. Reza Shah sought to balance the influence of Russia and Britain by seeking out assistance and technology from European powers traditionally not involved in Iranian affairs, but when World War II started his closeness to Germany alarmed allied powers Russia and Britain, Germany's enemies.

In summer of 1941 Britain and the USSR invaded Iran to prevent Iran from allying with the Axis powers. The Allies occupied Iran, securing a supply line to Russia, Iran's petroleum infrastructure, and forced the Shah to abdicate in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In 1951, a nationalist politician, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh rose to prominence in Iran and was elected Prime Minister. As Prime Minister, Mossadegh became enormously popular in Iran by nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later British Petroleum, BP) which controlled the country's oil reserves. In response, Britain embargoed Iranian oil and began plotting to depose Mossadegh. Members of the British Intelligence Service invited the United States to join them, convincing U.S. President Eisenhower that Mossadegh was reliant on the Tudeh (Communist) Party to stay in power. In 1953, President Eisenhower authorized Operation Ajax, and the CIA took the lead in overthrowing Mossadegh and supporting a US-friendly monarch; and for which the U.S. Government, in 2000, eventually apologized.

The CIA faced many setbacks, but the covert operation soon went into full swing, conducted from the US Embassy in Tehran under the leadership of Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. Iranians were hired to protest Mossadegh and fight pro-Mossadegh demonstrators. Anti- and pro-monarchy protestors violently clashed in the streets, leaving almost three hundred dead. The operation was successful in triggering a coup, and within days, pro-Shah tanks stormed the capital and bombarded the Prime Minister's residence. Mossadegh surrendered, and was arrested on 19 August 1953. He was tried for treason, and sentenced to three years in prison.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi returned to power greatly strengthened and his rule became increasingly autocratic in the following years. With strong support from the US and UK, the Shah further modernized Iranian industry, but simultaneously crushed all forms of political opposition with his intelligence agency, SAVAK. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became an active critic of the Shah's White Revolution and publicly denounced the government. Khomeini, who was popular in religious circles, was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in 1964, Khomeini publicly criticized the United States government. The Shah was persuaded to send him into exile by General Hassan Pakravan. Khomeini was sent first to Turkey, then to Iraq and finally to France. While in exile, he continued to denounce the Shah.


Iran, (Persian: ايران‎ , Īrān; pronunciation: [iːˈɾɒn], officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ايران‎ , transliteration: Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān), also known as Persia internationally, is the eighteenth most populated and the world's seventeenth largest country, located at the junction of the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Caucasus Mountains. Its area is approximately the size of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany combined. Iran borders Armenia, Azerbaijan (including its Nakhichevan exclave) and Turkmenistan to the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and Turkey and Iraq to the west. In addition, it borders the Persian Gulf, an important oil-producing area, and the Caspian sea. Shi'a Islam is the official state religion and Persian the official language.

Iran has one of the oldest histories in the world, extending nearly 6,000 years, and throughout history, Iran has been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia. Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC, OPEC, and ECO. Iran occupies an important position on the world economic stage due to its substantial reserves of petroleum and has considerable regional influence in Southwest Asia. Iran is also one of the few states that comprise the Cradle of Humanity. The name Iran is a cognate of Aryan and literally means "Land of the Aryans."

Monday, March 05, 2007


In former ages, the names Aryânâ and Persis were used to describe the region which is today known as the Iranian plateau. The earliest Iranian reference to the word (airya/arya/aryana etc), however, dates back to the Iranian teacher Zoroaster (est. anywhere between 1200 to 1800 BCE, according to Greek sources, as early as 6000 BCE and is attested in non-Gathic Avestan; it appears as airya, meaning noble/spiritual/elevated; as airya dainhava (Yt.8.36, 52) meaning the "land of the Aryans" and as airyana vaejah, "the original land of the Aryans."

During the Achaemenian dynasty (550-330 BCE), the Persian people called their provincial homeland Pârsa, the Old Persian name for Cyrus the Great's kingdom, which belonged to the Persian tribe of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranians and which is retained in the term "Pars" or "Fars" (from which the adjective "Farsi" is derived). It is part of the heartland of Iran and is identified in historical maps, such as Eratosthenes's, and in modern maps.

The word Ariya is also attested in the Inscriptions of Darius the Great and his son, Xerxes I. It is used both as a linguistic and an ethnic designation. Darius and Xerxes refer to these meanings in the Behistun inscription (DBiv.89), which is written in a language referred to as airyan, or more commonly as Old Persian. Both Darius and Xerxes state in inscriptions at Naqsh-i Rustam (DNa.14), Susa (DSe.13), and Persepolis (XPh.13):

“ Adam Pârsa, Pârsahyâ puça; Ariya, Ariya ciça... I am Persian, son of a Persian; an Aryan, from an Aryan lineage.

In Parthian times (248 BCE – 224 CE), Aryanam was modified to Aryan. In the early Sassanid Period (224–651 CE), it had already evolved to Middle Persian Ērān or Ērān Shahr which finally resulted in New Persian Iran or Iran Shahr. At the time of the Achaemenian empire, the Greeks called the country Persis, the Greek name for Pars (Fars), the central region where the empire was founded; this passed into Latin and became Persia, the name widely used in Western countries which causes confusion as Persia is actually Pars (Fars) province. On 21 March 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi issued a decree asking foreign delegates to use the term Iran in formal correspondence in accordance with the fact that "Persia" was a term used for a country called "Iran" in Persian. (see Iran naming dispute). The 1979 Revolution led to the current name Islamic Republic of Iran, but the nouns Persia and Iran, and the adjective Persian are still used.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Fourth Iranian Empire: Sassanian Empire (224 – 651 CE)

The end of the Parthian Empire came in 224 CE, when the empire was loosely organized and the last king was defeated by Ardashir I, one of the empire's vassals. Ardashir I then went on to create the Sassanian Empire. Soon he started reforming the country both economically and militarily.

The Sassanids established an empire roughly within the frontiers achieved by the Achaemenids, with their capital at Ctesiphon, and called their empire Erânshahr (or Iranshahr, "Dominion of the Aryans", i.e. of Iranians).

During their reign, Sassanid battles with the Roman Empire caused such pessimism in Rome that the historian Cassius Dio wrote:

"Here was a source of great fear to us. So formidable does the Sassanian king seem to our eastern legions, that some are liable to go over to him, and others are unwilling to fight at all."
The Romans suffered repeated losses particularly by Ardashir I, Shapur I, and Shapur II.

Under the Sassanids, Persia expanded relations with China, the arts, music, and architecture greatly flourished, and centers such as the School of Nisibis and Academy of Gundishapur became world renowned centers of science and scholarsahip.

After roughly six hundred years of confrontation and rivalry with the Roman Empire however, a war-exhausted Persia was defeated in the Battle of al-Qâdisiyah in 632 CE in Hilla by invaders from the Arab peninsula.

From the fall of the Sassanian Dynasty to the Mongol invasion

After the Islamic conquest of Persia, Persia was annexed into the Arab Umayyad Caliphate. But the Islamization of Iran was to yield deep transformations within the cultural, scientific, and political structure of Iran's society: The blossoming of Persian literature, philosophy, medicine and art became major elements of the newly-forming Muslim civilization.

Inheriting a heritage of thousands of years of civilization, and being at the "crossroads of the major cultural highways", contributed to Persia emerging as what culminated into the "Islamic Golden Age".

Although influenced, Arabization never succeeded in Iran though, and movements such as the Shuubiyah became catalysts for Persians to regain their independence in their relations with the Arab invaders. It was a Persian, Abu Moslem, who expelled the Umayyads from Damascus and helped the Abbasid caliphs to conquer Baghdad. They frequently chose their "wazirs" (viziers) among Persians, and Persian governors acquired a certain amount of local autonomy. In 822 AD, the governor of Khorasan, Tahir, proclaimed his independence and founded a new Persian dynasty of Tahirids. Others followed in a somewhat tortuous pattern, but Persia was once again able to regain its independence.

The cultural revival of the post-Abbasid period led to a resurfacing of Persian national identity. The resulting cultural movement reached its peak during the ninth and tenth centuries. The most notable effect of the movement was the continuation of the Persian language, the language of the Persians and the official language of Iran to the present day. Ferdowsi, Iran's greatest epic poet, is regarded today as the most important figure in maintaining the Persian language.

During this period, hundreds of scholars and scientists vastly contributed to technology, science and medicine, later influencing the rise of European science during the Renaissance.

The movement continued well into the eleventh century, when Mahmud-a Ghaznavi founded a vast empire, with its capital at Isfahan and Ghazna. Their successors, the Seljuqs, asserted their domination from the Mediterranean Sea to Central Asia. These sovereigns usually named Persians as viziers and Persia became a hotbed of intense cultural activity.

The Mongol Invasion

At the beginning of the thirteenth century Genghis Khan united scattered tribes of Mongolia and started attacking the neighbouring countries. In 1218, he came down from the Altai mountains, marched through Iranian territories in Transoxiana to Khorasan, occupied mainland-Persia, then turned east through India and China. Most of the countries he conquered never really recovered from the bloodshed and destruction he wrought upon them. During this period more than half of Persias population were killed and didn´t reach pre-invasion levels until the 20th century. Holaku, one of the conqueror's grandsons, was left behind to reign over Persia. He very soon became "Persianized". Settled in Maragheh (South of Tabriz), he called Persian men of letters to his court and encouraged the sciences and arts.

But yet another conqueror, Tamerlane (Teymur-e Lang), was to be seduced by the mirage of an Empire of the Orient. In 1370, he entered into Iran. Over a period of thirty years, he conquered Iraq, Syria, Anatolia, Russia and northern parts of India; he was about to invade China when he died in 1404. He chose Samarkand as his capital and his kingdom, while administered by Turkmen, was of distinctively Persian culture.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shi'a Islam, Safavid Empire and Qajars (1501 – 1920)

Persia's first encompassing Shi'a Islamic state was established under the Safavid dynasty in 1501 by Shah Ismail I. The Safavid dynasty soon became a major power in the world and started the promotion of tourism in Iran. Under their rule Persian Architecture flowered again and saw many new monuments. The fall of the Safavid dynasty was brought about by the Afghans, who overthrew the weak Shah Sultan Hossein, in 1722. In 1736 Nader Shah expelled Afghan rebels and established the Afsharid dynasty. He invaded India in 1738 and brought many treasures back to Persia. He was assassinated in 1747. The Afshar dynasty was followed by the Persian Zand dynasty (1750–1794), founded by Karim Khan, who established his capital at Shiraz. His rule brought a period of peace and renewed prosperity.These three dynasties are considered the contemporary golden age of Iranian history. However, the country was soon again in turmoil, which lasted until the advent of Aga Muhammad Khan, the founder of Qajar dynasty. After his death Iran turned into an arena for the rising new powers of Imperial Russia and the British Empire, which wielded great political influence in Tehran under the Qajarid kings. Iran however, managed to maintain its sovereignty and was never colonized, making it unique in the region.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Middle East Geography

Middle East defines a cultural area, so it does not have precise borders. The most common and highly arbitrary definition includes: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Palestinian Territories. Iran is often the eastern border, but Afghanistan is also occasionally included because of their close relationship (ethnically and religiously) to the larger group of Iranian peoples as well as historical connections to the Middle East including being part of the various empires that have spanned the region such as those of the Persians and Arabs among others. Afghanistan, Tajikistan and western parts of Pakistan, share close cultural, linguistic, and historical ties with Iran and are also part of the Iranian plateau, whereas Iran's relationship with Arab states is based more upon religion and geographic proximity.

North Africa or the Maghreb, although often placed outside the Middle East proper, does have strong cultural and linguistic links to the region, and historically has shared many of the events that have shaped the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions including those prompted by Phoenician-colonized Carthage and Greco-Roman civilization as well as Muslim Arab-Berber and Ottoman empires. The Maghreb is sometimes included, sometimes excluded from the Middle East by the media and in informal usage, while most academics continue to identify North Africa as geographically a part of Africa, but being closely related to southwestern Asia in terms of politics, culture, religion, language, history, and genetics.

The Caucasus region (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) and Cyprus is often grouped into Southwest Asia, but are generally considered European because of historical, cultural and recently also political ties to Europe, examples are a Christian majority, Indo-European linguistic background and membership (Cyprus) or aspirations to membership (Armenia and Georgia) in mainly European organisations (NATO, OSCE and EU). Throughout their histories, Armenia as well as Georgia have been distancing themselves from surrounding Islamism. Since the beginning of 19th century, all three South Caucasian states were also strongly influenced by the dominion of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Currently they are viewed more as 'European' than Middle Eastern and generally viewed as the separate regional bloc of Caucasus.

Other countries of the Middle Eastern countries speak Indo-European (Iran for example) or have a Christian majority (Lebanon), but are still considered Middle Eastern. Turkey possesses neither of these European traits, but is partly geographically in Europe and it was the site of the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire that included large parts of Europe. Turkey is a secular and democratic country, long-time member of NATO, is currently in accession talks to join the European Union and has a Latin alphabet. Even so Turkey is considered Middle Eastern, because of its Islamic population and geography.

Central Asian countries from the former Soviet Bloc also show varying degrees of affinity and historical ties to the Middle East, but not in any uniform fashion. While the southern states of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan display many cultural, historical, and socio-political similarities to the Middle East, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have a more remote and mixed culture. These states are often viewed as Eurasian and their Soviet past has set them apart from the Middle East. In some countries, like Tajikistan there has been a movement to re-establish ties to the region based upon their kinship with Iran and Afghanistan. Like the Caucasus and Turkey, Central Asia has a strong secular and ‘western’ culture from their Soviet legacies. This may change with the renaissance and resurgence of Islamic identity that were suppressed by Soviet authorities.

The State of Israel is unique in the Middle East. Predominantly Jewish it is geographically in the Middle East, it is in continuous conflict with Islamic neighbour countries. Therefore it is often not considered "culturally" (i.e. Islamic) Middle Eastern. It has a large population of Middle Eastern descent (including Sephardic Jews, Sabras, Israeli Arabs), but is mainly founded by immigrants from Jewish Diaspora .

Some Israelis and Turks have a more European appearance rather than Middle Eastern. The original Turks were nomads from Central Asia who mixed with the European communities of Turkey's Asian side giving many a more European apperance. Some Turks also have Russian descent. Israel on the other hand was founded by Jewish immigrants from Europe, giving many Israelis a more European apperance.

Changes in meaning over time
Until World War II, it was customary to refer to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean as the Near East. The Middle East then meant the area from Mesopotamia to Burma, namely the area between the Near East and the Far East (which includes areas such as India). The sense described in this article evolved during the war, perhaps influenced by the ancient idea of the Mediterranean as the "sea in the middle".

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Third Iranian Empire: Parthian Empire (248 BCE – 224 CE)

Parthia was led by the Arsacid dynasty, who reunited and ruled over the Iranian plateau, after defeating the Greek Seleucid Empire, beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 150 BCE and 224 CE. These were the third native dynasty of ancient Iran (Persia) and lasted five centuries.

Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east, limiting Rome's expansion beyond Cappadocia (central Anatolia). By using a heavily-armed and armoured cataphract cavalry, and lightly armed but highly-mobile mounted archers, the Parthians "held their own against Rome for almost 300 years". Rome's acclaimed general Mark Antony led a disastrous campaign against the Parthians in 36BCE in which he lost 32,000 men. By the time of Roman emperor Augustus, Rome and Parthia were settling some of their differences through diplomacy. By this time, Parthia had acquired an assortment of golden eagles, the cherished standards of Rome's legions, captured from Mark Antony, and Crassus, who suffered "a disastrous defeat" at Carrhae in 53BCE.

Parthian remains display classically Greek influences in some instances and retain their oriental mode in others, a clear expression of "the cultural diversity that characterized Parthian art and life". The Parthians were innovators of many architecture designs such as that of Ctesiphon, which later on "influenced European Romanesque architecture".

Early history and the Median and Achaemenian Empires (3200 BCE – 330 BCE)

Dozens of pre-historic sites across the Iranian plateau point to the existence of ancient cultures and urban settlements, centuries before the earliest civilizations arose in nearby Mesopotamia.

The written history of Persia (Iran) begins around 3200 BCE with the Proto-Iranian civilization, followed by the Elamites. The arrival of the Aryans (Indo-Iranians) in the third and second millennium BCE and the establishing of the Median dynasty (728–550 BCE) culminated in the first Iranian Empire. The Medes are credited with the foundation of Iran as a nation and empire, the largest of its day, until Cyrus the Great established a unified empire of the Medes and Persians leading to the Achaemenian Empire (648–330 BCE), founded by Cyrus the Great.

After Cyrus's death, his son Cambyses continued his father's work of conquest, making significant gains in Egypt. A power struggle followed Cambyses' death and, despite his tenuous connection to the royal line, Darius was declared king (ruled 522-486 BCE). He was to be arguably the greatest of the ancient Persian rulers.

While Darius's first capital was at Susa, he also initiated the construction of Persepolis. He then built a canal between the Nile and the Red Sea, a forerunner of the modern Suez Canal. It is during his reign that mention is first made of the Royal Road (shown on map), a great highway stretching all the way from Susa to Sardis with posting stations at regular intervals.

Under Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great, the Persian Empire eventually became the largest and most powerful empire in human history up until that point, ruling over most of the known world. Their greatest achievement was the empire itself. The Persian Empire represented the world's first global superpower, and was based on a model of tolerance and respect for other cultures and religions.

The borders of the Persian empire stretched from the Indus and Oxus Rivers in the East to the Mediterranean Sea in the West, extending through Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and Egypt. But in 499 BCE, one of the cities along the cost of Anatolia, Miletus, ruled by a Greek tyrant named Aristagoras, staged a revolt and turned to the Athenians for aid. Until then the Persians had no plan or desire to go into Europe. Subsequently, an Athenian assault on a major Persian province culminated in the sacking and burning of the city of Sardis. It is this event that escalated into what is known as the Greco-Persian Wars, which included encounters such as the Battle of Thermopylae. In 494 BCE the Persians defeated the Greeks at the battle of Lade, and the coast of Anatolia was once again peaceful.

Alexander of Macedon known as "Arda Wiraz Namag", "the accursed Alexander" in the Zoroastrian Middle Persian work, brought an end to the Achaemenid empire, and conquered Persia in 333 BCE burning and looting many cities until his death in the Persian capital of Babylon, only to be followed by two more vast and unified Iranian empires that further shaped the pre-Islamic identity of Iran and Central Asia: the Parthian (250 BCE-226 CE) and Sassanian (226-650 CE) dynasties.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Middle East phone cards

Middle East phone cards

How to call using IP-telephony?
You buy a virtual phone card on the Internet. The virtual phone card works the same way as a real phone card, but You receive a PIN-code — not a real card.
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Immigrants, students, tourists and visitors use long-distance communication for business or personal contact most frequently