|Data differs between: 70,000–90,000, 120,000 150,000, up to 200,000|
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|Tehran, Tabriz, Esfahan (New Julfa), West Azerbaijan Province, Peria, Bourvari|
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Iranian-Armenians (Armenian : իրանահայերiranahayer), also known as Persian-Armenians (Armenian : պարսկահայերparskahayer), are Iranians of Armenian ethnicity who may speak Armenian as their first language. Estimates of their number in Iran range from 70,000 to 200,000. Areas with a high concentration of them include Tabriz, Tehran, Salmas and Isfahan's Jolfa (Nor Jugha) quarter.
Armenians have lived for millennia in the territory that forms modern-day Iran. Many of the oldest Armenian churches, monasteries, and chapels are located within modern-day Iran. Iranian Armenia, which includes modern-day Armenian Republic was part of Qajar Iran up to 1828. Iran had one of the largest populations of Armenians in the world alongside neighboring Ottoman Empire until the beginning of the 20th century.
Armenians were influential and active in the modernization of Iran during the 19th and 20th centuries. After the Iranian Revolution, many Armenians emigrated to Armenian diasporic communities in North America and Western Europe. Today the Armenians are Iran's largest Christian religious minority.
Since Antiquity there has always been much interaction between ancient Armenia and Persia (Iran). The Armenian people are amongst the native ethnic groups of northwestern Iran (known as Iranian Azerbaijan), having millennia-long recorded history there while the region (or parts of it) have had made up part of historical Armenia numerous times in history. These historical Armenian regions that nowadays include Iranian Azerbaijan are Nor Shirakan, Vaspurakan, and Paytakaran. Many of the oldest Armenian chapels, monasteries and churches in the world are located within this region of Iran.
On the Behistun inscription of 515 BC, Darius the Great indirectly confirmed that Urartu and Armenia are synonymous when describing his conquests. Armenia became a satrapy of the Persian Empire for a long period of time. Regardless, relations between Armenians and Persians were cordial.
The cultural links between the Armenians and the Persians can be traced back to Zoroastrian times. Prior to the 3rd century AD, no other neighbor had as much influence on Armenian life and culture as Parthia. They shared many religious and cultural characteristics, and intermarriage among Parthian and Armenian nobility was common. For twelve more centuries, Armenia was under the direct or indirect rule of the Persians. [ citation needed ]While much influenced by Persian culture and religion, Armenia also retained its unique characteristics as a nation. Later, Armenian Christianity retained some Zoroastrian vocabulary and ritual.
In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks drove thousands of Armenians into Iranian Azerbaijan, where some were sold as slaves and others worked as artisans and merchants. After the Mongol conquest of Iran in the 13th century, many Armenian merchants and artists settled in Iran, in cities that were once part of historic Armenia such as Khoy, Salmas, Maku, Maragheh, Urmia, and especially Tabriz.
Although Armenians have a long history of interaction and settlement with Persia/Iran and within the modern-day borders of the nation, Iran's Armenian community emerged under the Safavids. In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Iran divided Armenia. From the early 16th century, both Western Armenia and Eastern Armenia fell under Iranian Safavid rule.Owing to the century-long Turco-Iranian geo-political rivalry that would last in Western Asia, significant parts of the region were frequently fought over between the two rival empires. From the mid-16th century with the Peace of Amasya, and decisively from the first half of the 17th century with the Treaty of Zuhab until the first half of the 19th century, Eastern Armenia was ruled by the successive Iranian Safavid, Afsharid and Qajar empires, while Western Armenia remained under Ottoman rule. From 1604 Abbas I of Iran implemented a scorched earth policy in the region to protect his north-western frontier against any invading Ottoman forces, a policy which involved a forced resettlement of masses of Armenians outside of their homelands.
Shah Abbas relocated an estimated 500,000 Armenians from his Armenian lands during the Ottoman-Safavid War of 1603-1618to an area of Isfahan called New Julfa, which was created to become an Armenian quarter, and to the villages surrounding Isfahan. Iran quickly recognized the Armenians' dexterity in commerce. The community became active in the cultural and economic development of Iran.
Bourvari (Armenian : Բուրւարի) is a collection of villages in Iran between the city of Khomein (Markazi Province) and Aligoodarz (Lorestān Province). It was mainly populated by Armenians who were forcibly deported to the region by Shah Abbas of the Safavid Persian Empire during the same as part of Abbas's massive scorched earth resettlement policies within the empire. The villages populated by the Armenians in Bourvari were Dehno, Khorzend, Farajabad, Bahmanabad and Sangesfid.
From the late 18th century, Imperial Russia switched to a more aggressive geo-political stance towards its two neighbors and rivals to the south, namely Iran and the Ottoman Empire. As a result of the Treaty of Gulistan (1813), Qajar Iran was forced to irrevocably cede swaths of its territories in the Caucasus, comprising modern-day Eastern Georgia, Dagestan, and most of the Republic of Azerbaijan. By the Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828), Qajar Iran had to cede the remainder of its Caucasian territories, comprising modern-day Armenia and the remaining part of the contemporary Azerbaijan Republic.The ceding of what is modern-day Armenia (Eastern Armenia in general) in 1828 resulted in a large number of Armenians falling now under the rule of the Russians. Iranian Armenia was thus supplanted by Russian Armenia.
The Treaty of Turkmenchay further stipulated that the Tsar had the right to encourage the resettling of Armenians from Iran into the newly established Russian Armenia.This resulted in a large demographic shift; many of Iran's Armenians followed the call, while many Caucasian Muslims migrated to Iran proper.
Until the mid-fourteenth century, Armenians had constituted a majority in Eastern Armenia.At the close of the fourteenth century, after Timur's campaigns, Islam had become the dominant faith, and Armenians became a minority in Eastern Armenia. In the wake of the Russian invasion of Iran and the subsequent loss of territories, Muslims (Persians, Turkic speakers, and Kurds) constituted some 80% of the population of Iranian Armenia, whereas Christian Armenians constituted a minority of about 20%.
After the Russian administration took hold of Iranian Armenia, the ethnic make-up shifted, and thus for the first time in more than four centuries, ethnic Armenians started to form a majority once again in one part of historic Armenia.The new Russian administration encouraged the settling of ethnic Armenians from Iran proper and Ottoman Turkey. Some 35,000 Muslims out of more than 100,000 emigrated from the region, while some 57,000 Armenians from Iran proper and Turkey arrived after 1828 (see also Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829). As a result, by 1832, the number of ethnic Armenians had matched that of the Muslims. Not until after the Crimean War and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, which brought another influx of Turkish Armenians, would ethnic Armenians once again establish a solid majority in Eastern Armenia. Nevertheless, Erivan remained a Muslim-majority city up to the twentieth century. According to the traveller H. F. B. Lynch, the city was about 50% Armenian and 50% Muslim (Azerbaijanis and Persians) in the early 1890s.
With these events of the first half of the 19th century, and the end of centuries of Iranian rule over Eastern Armenia, a new era had started for the Armenians within the newly established borders of Iran. The Armenians in the recently lost territories north of the Aras river would go through a Russian-dominated period until 1991.
The Armenians played a significant role in the development of 20th-century Iran, regarding both its economical as well as its cultural configuration.They were pioneers in photography, theater, and the film industry, and also played a very pivotal role in Iranian political affairs.
The Revolution of 1905 in Russia had a major effect on northern Iran and, in 1906, Iranian liberals and revolutionaries demanded a constitution in Iran. In 1909 the revolutionaries forced the crown to give up some of its powers. Yeprem Khan, an ethnic Armenian, was an important figure of the Persian Constitutional Revolution.
Armenian Apostolic theologian Malachia Ormanian, in his 1911 book on the Armenian Church, estimated that some 83,400 Armenians lived in Persia, of whom 81,000 were followers of the Apostolic Church, while 2,400 were Armenian Catholics. The Armenian population was distributed in the following regions: 40,400 in Azerbaijan, 31,000 in and around Isfahan, 7,000 in Kurdistan and Lorestan, and 5,000 in Tehran.
During the Armenian genocide, about 50,000 Armenians fled the Ottoman Empire and took refuge in Persia. As a result of the Persian Campaign in northern Iran during World War I, the Ottomans massacred 80,000 Armenians and 30,000 fled to the Russian Empire. The community experienced a political rejuvenation with the arrival of the exiled Dashnak (ARF) leadership from Russian Armenia in mid-1921; approximately 10,000 Armenian ARF party leaders, intellectuals, fighters, and their families crossed the Aras River and took refuge in Qajar Iran.This large influx of Armenians who were affiliated with the ARF also meant that the ARF would ensure its dominance over the other traditional Armenian parties of Persia, and by extension over the entire Iranian Armenian community, which was centered around the Armenian church. Further immigrants and refugees from the Soviet Union numbering nearly 30,000 continued to increase the Armenian community until 1933. Thus by 1930 there were approximately 200,000 Armenians in Iran.
The modernization efforts of Reza Shah (1924–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah (1941–1979) gave the Armenians ample opportunities for advancement,and Armenians gained important positions in the arts and sciences, economy and services sectors, mainly in Tehran, Tabriz, and Isfahan that became major centers for Armenians. From 1946-1949 about 20,000 Armenians left Iran for the Soviet Union and from 1962-1982 another 25,000 Armenians followed them to Soviet Armenia. By 1979, in the dawn of the Islamic Revolution, an estimated 250,000 - 300,000 Armenians were living in Iran.
Armenian churches, schools, cultural centers, sports clubs and associations flourished and Armenians had their own senator and member of parliament, 300 churches and 500 schools and libraries served the needs of the community.
Armenian presses published numerous books, journals, periodicals, and newspapers, the prominent one being the daily "Alik".
Many Armenians served in the Iranian Armed Forces, with 89 killed in action during the Iran–Iraq War.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has praised the role of Armenians in the war, saying to the Armenian Prime Minister that "Armenian martyrs of the imposed war are like Muslims martyrs and we consider them as honors of Iran".
The fall of the Soviet Union, the common border with Armenia, and the Armeno-Iranian diplomatic and economic agreements have opened a new era for the Iranian Armenians. Iran remains one of Armenia's major trade partners, and the Iranian government has helped ease the hardships of Armenia caused by the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey. This includes important consumer products, access to air travel, and energy sources (like petroleum and electricity).
The Armenians remain the largest religious minority in Iran, and is still the largest Christian community in the country, far ahead of Assyrians.They are appointed two out of the five seats in the Iranian Parliament reserved for religious minorities (more than any other religious minority) and are the only minority with official observing status in the Guardian and Expediency Discernment Councils. Half of Iran's Armenians live in the Tehran area, most notably in its suburbs of Narmak, Majidiyeh, Nadershah, etc. A quarter live in Isfahan, and the other quarter is concentrated in Northwestern Iran or Iranian Azerbaijan.
In 387 AD when the Sasanian Empire and the Byzantine Empire split Armenia, the historically Armenian areas of Nor Shirakan, Paytakaran, and the eastern half of Vaspurakan were ceded to the Persians, these territories comprise the western and northern regions of Azerbaijan. Following the Russo-Persian War (1826–28) about 40,000 Armenians left Azerbaijan and resettled in newly established Russian Armenia.
The area retained a large Armenian population until 1914 when World War I began the Azerbaijan was invaded by the Ottomans who slaughtered much of the local Armenian population. Prior to the Ottoman invasion there were about 150,000 Armenians in Azerbaijan, and 30,000 of them were in Tabriz. About 80,000 were massacred, 30,000 fled to Russian Armenia, and the other 10,000 fled the area of the modern West Azerbaijan Province and took refuge among the Armenians of Tabriz. After the war ended in 1918 the 10,000 refugees in Tabriz returned to their villages, but many resettled in Soviet Armenia from 1947 up until the early 80s. Currently, about 4,000 Armenians remain in the countryside of East Azerbaijan and about 2,000 remain in Tabriz living in the districts of Nowbar, Bazar, and Ahrab owning 4 churches, a school and a cemetery.
This is a list of previously or currently Armenian inhabited settlements:
Traditionally, Tabriz was the main city in Iranian Azerbaijan where Armenian political life vibrated from the early modern (Safavid) era and on.After the ceding of swaths of territories to Russia in the first quarter of the 19th century, the independent position of the Tabrizi Armenians was strengthened, as they gained immunities and concessions by Abbas Mirza. The particular importance of the Tabrizi Armenians also grew with the transfer of the bishop's seat from St.Taddeus (or Qara Kelissa) near Salmas to Tabriz in 1845. Tabriz has an Arajnordaran, three Armenian Churches (St. Sargis, Shoghakat, and St. Mary), a chapel (fa), a school, Ararat Cultural Club and an Armenian cemetery (fa)(fa).
List of Armenian villages in central Iran:
The settlements of Lenjan, Alenjan and Karvan were abandoned in the 18th century.
The other settlements depopulated in the middle of the 20th century due to emigration to New Julfa, Teheran or Soviet Armenia (in 1945 and later in 1967). Currently only 1 village (Zarneh) in Peria is totally, and 4 other villages (Upper Khoygan, Gharghan, Nemagerd and Sangbaran) in Peria and 1 village (Upper Chanakhchi) in Gharaghan are partially settled by Armenians.
Other than these settlements there is an Armenian village near Gorgan (Qoroq) which is settled by Armenians recently moved from Soviet territory.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(February 2015)
In addition to having their own churches and clubs, Armenians of Iran are one of the few linguistic minorities in Iran with their own schools.
The Armenian language used in Iran holds a unique position in the usage of Armenian in the world, as most Armenians in the Diaspora use Western Armenian. However, Iranian Armenians speak an Eastern Armenian dialect that is very close to that used in Armenia, Georgia, and Russia. Iranian Armenians speak this dialect due in part to the fact that in 1604 much of the Armenian population in the Lake Van area, which used the eastern dialect, was displaced and sent to Isfahan by Shah Abbas. This also allowed for an older version to be preserved which uses classical Armenian orthography known as "Mashtotsian orthography" and spelling, whereas almost all other Eastern Armenian users (especially in the former Soviet Union) have adopted the reformed Armenian orthography which was applied in Soviet Armenia in the 1920s and continues in the present Republic of Armenia. This makes the Armenian language used in Iran and in the Armenian-Iranian media and publications unique, applying elements of both major Armenian language branches (pronunciation, grammar and language structure of Eastern Armenian and the spelling system of Western Armenian).
Abbas the Great or Abbas I of Persia was the 5th Safavid Shah (king) of Iran, and is generally considered as one of the greatest rulers of Iranian history and the Safavid dynasty. He was the third son of Shah Mohammad Khodabanda.
Tahmasp I was an influential Shah of Iran, who ruled the longest reign of any member of the Safavid dynasty. He was the son and successor of Ismail I.
Azerbaijan or Azarbaijan, also known as Iranian Azerbaijan, is a historical region in northwestern Iran that borders Iraq, Turkey, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was an agreement between Qajar Iran and the Russian Empire, which concluded the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). It was second of the series of treaties signed between Qajar Iran and Imperial Russia that forced Persia to cede or recognize Russian influence over the territories that formerly were part of Iran.
The Russo-Persian Wars or Russo-Iranian Wars were a series of conflicts between 1651 and 1828, concerning Persia (Iran) and the Russian Empire. Russia and Persia fought these wars over disputed governance of territories and countries in the Caucasus. The main territories disputed were Aran, Georgia and Armenia, as well as much of Dagestan – generally referred to as Transcaucasia – and considered part of the Safavid Iran prior to the Russo-Persian Wars. Over the course of the five Russo-Persian Wars, the governance of these regions transferred between the two empires. Between the Second and Third Russo-Persian Wars, there was an interbellum period in which a number of treaties were drawn up between the Russian and the Persian Empires, as well as between both parties and the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman interest in these territories further complicated the wars, with both sides forming alliances with the Ottoman Empire at different points throughout the wars. Following the Treaty of Turkmenchay, which concluded the Fifth Russo-Persian War, Persia ceded much of its Transcaucasian territory to the Russian Empire.
New Julfa is the Armenian quarter of Isfahan, Iran, located along the south bank of the Zayande River.
Russian Armenia is the period of Armenian history under Russian rule from 1828, when Eastern Armenia became part of the Russian Empire following Qajar Iran's loss in the Russo-Persian War (1826–1828) and the subsequent ceding of its territories that included Eastern Armenia per the out coming Treaty of Turkmenchay of 1828.
The Nakhichevan Khanate was a khanate that was established in Afsharid Persia in 1747.
The Erivan Khanate, also known as Chokhur-e Sa'd, was a khanate that was established in Afsharid Iran in the 18th century. It covered an area of roughly 19,500 km2, and corresponded to most of present-day central Armenia, the Iğdır Province and the Kars Province's Kağızman district in present-day Turkey and the Sharur and Sadarak districts of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of present-day Azerbaijan.
George A. Bournoutian is an Iranian-American professor, historian, and author of Armenian descent. He is a retired Professor of History and the author of over 30 books, particularly focusing on Armenian history, Iran and the Caucasus. He has taught Iranian history at UCLA, and Armenian history at Columbia University, Tufts University, New York University, Rutgers University, the University of Connecticut, Ramapo College, and Glendale Community College and Russian and Soviet history at Iona College Bournoutian is one of the 40 editors of the Encyclopaedia Iranica as well.
Karabakh is a geographic region in present-day southwestern Azerbaijan and eastern Armenia, extending from the highlands of the Lesser Caucasus down to the lowlands between the rivers Kura and Aras.
The khanates of the Caucasus, or Azerbaijani khanates or Persian khanates, or Iranian khanates, were various provinces and principalities established by Persia (Iran) on their territories in the Caucasus from the late Safavid to the Qajar dynasty. The Khanates were mostly ruled by Khans of Turkic (Azerbaijani) origin and were vassals and subjects of the Iranian shah (King). Persia permanently lost a part of these khanates to Russia as a result of the Russo-Persian Wars in the course of the 19th century, while the others were absorbed into Persia.
The majority of the population of Iran consists of Iranic peoples. The largest groups in this category include Persians and Kurds, with smaller communities including Gilakis, Mazandaranis, Lurs, Tats, Talysh, and Baloch.
Western Azerbaijan is an irredentist political concept that is used in the Republic of Azerbaijan mostly to refer to the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Azerbaijani statements claim that the territory of the modern Armenian republic were lands that once belonged to Azerbaijanis. Its claims are primarily hinged over the contention that the current Armenian territory was under the rule of various Turkic tribes, empires and khanates from the Late Middle Ages until the Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828) signed after the Russo-Persian War of 1826–1828. The concept has received official sanction by the government of Azerbaijan, and has been used by its current president, Ilham Aliyev, who has repeatedly stated that the territory of Armenia is a part of "ancient Turk and Azerbaijani land."
Iranian Armenia (1502–1828) refers to the period of Eastern Armenia during the early-modern and late-modern era when it was part of the Iranian empire. Armenians have a history of being divided since the time of the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Empire, in the early 5th century. While the two sides of Armenia were sometimes reunited, this became a permanent aspect of the Armenian people. Following the Arab and Seljuk conquests of Armenia, the western portion, which was initially part of Byzantium, became eventually part of the Ottoman Empire, otherwise known as Ottoman Armenia, while the eastern portion became and was kept part of the Iranian Safavid Empire, Afsharid Empire and Qajar Empire, until it became part of the Russian Empire in the course of the 19th century, following the Treaty of Turkmenchay of 1828.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Tabriz, capital of East Azerbaijan Province in Iran.
Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia, also referred to as the Safavid Empire, was one of the greatest Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often considered the beginning of modern Iranian history, as well as one of the gunpowder empires. The Safavid shahs established the Twelver school of Shia Islam as the official religion of the empire, marking one of the most important turning points in Muslim history.
Qajar Iran, also referred to as Qajar Persia, the Qajar Empire, officially the Sublime State of Persia and also known then as the Guarded Domains of Persia, was an Iranian empire ruled by the Qajar dynasty, which was of Turkic origin, specifically from the Qajar tribe, from 1789 to 1925. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease, putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty. He was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects. In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas to the Russian Empire over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Regardless of its territorial losses, Qajar Iran maintained its political independence and reinvented the Iranian notion of kingship.
The 50,000 Circassians from Russia in Iran are an ethnic minority in Iran. Circassians in Iran differ somewhat from other Circassians in diaspora in that most in the former stem from the Safavid and Qajar era, although a number migrated as muhajirs in the late 19th century as well. The Circassians in Iran were very influential during periods in the last few centuries. The vast majority of them have assimilated to Persian language, and no sizeable number speaks their native Circassian languages anymore. Once a very large minority in Iran, nowadays due to being heavily assimilated over the course of time and the lack of censuses based on ethnicity, population estimates vary significantly. They are, after the Georgians, the largest Caucasus-derived group in the nation.
The Erivan Province, also known as Chokhur-e Sa'd, was a velayat (province) of the Safavid Empire, centered on the territory of the present-day Armenia. Erivan (Yerevan) was the provincial capital and the seat of the Safavid governors.
Iran, which borders Armenia to the south, is home to an estimated 70,000-90,000 ethnic Armenians...
Հայերի թիվը հասնում է մոտ 120.000-ի։
...the presence of a substantial Armenian community in Iran numbering 150,000.
Today, the Armenian community in Iran numbers around 200,000...
There were an estimated 300,000 Armenians in the country at the time of the Revolution in 1979.
Armenians numbered an estimated 250,000 in 1979 (...)
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