The following is an historical overview of the list of wars and conflicts involving Iran (Persia). This list is far from complete.
War is a state of armed conflict between states, governments, societies and informal paramilitary groups, such as mercenaries, insurgents and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.
Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.
Part of a series on the
|History of Iran|
| Timeline |
| Battle of Nineveh |
| Medes |
Founding of Neo-Babylonian Empire
| Fall of Assur |
| Medes |
| Battle of Eclipse |
|Medes||Kingdom of Lydia||Undecided|
| Battle of Hyrba |
|Medes||Decisive Persian victory|
| Battle of the Persian border |
| Persian Revolt |
| Conquest of Lydia |
| Conquest of Babylonia |
| Conquest of Egypt |
|Kingdom of Egypt||Victory|
| European Scythian campaign |
|Scythians in European Scythia||Expansive stalemate|
| Greco-Persian Wars |
| Greek city states |
| Peloponnesian War |
| Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) Supported by:||Delian League (led by Athens)||Victory|
| Battle of Cunaxa |
|Cyrus the Younger||Victory|
| Corinthian War |
| Athens |
| Sparta |
|Peace treaty dictated by Iran (Peace of Antalcidas)|
| Artaxerxes' II Cadusian Campaign |
|Cadusii||Defeat, but diplomatic success |
| Revolt of the Satraps |
| Battle of Pelusium (343 BC) |
| Macedon invasion of Iran |
(247 BCE–224 B)
| Seleucid–Parthian Wars |
(238 BC–129 BC)
|Parthian Empire||Seleucid Empire||Victory|
| Armenian–Parthian War |
|Parthian Empire||Kingdom of Armenia||Defeat|
| Roman–Parthian Wars |
(66 AD–217 AD)
| Parthian Empire |
Kingdom of Armenia
| Roman Republic |
| Status quo ante bellum |
| Roman-Sassanid Wars |
|Roman Empire|| Status quo ante bellum |
| Byzantine–Sassanid Wars |
|Byzantine Empire|| Status quo ante bellum |
| Ethiopian–Persian Wars |
|Kingdom of Aksum||Victory|
| First Perso-Turkic War |
| Hephthalite Empire |
| Second Perso-Turkic War |
| Western Turkic Khaganate |
| Third Perso-Turkic War |
| Western Turkic Khaganate |
| Muslim conquest of Persia |
| Battle of Manzikert |
| Byzantine–Seljuq wars |
| Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia |
|Khwarazmian dynasty||Mongol Empire||Defeat|
| Campaigns of Timur |
| Timurid Civil Wars |
|Collapse of the dynasty|
| Persian-Uzbek Wars |
| Battle of Chaldiran |
| Ottoman–Safavid War of 1523 |
| Ottoman–Safavid War of 1578 |
| Ottoman–Safavid War of 1603 |
| Mughal–Safavid War of 1622 |
| Ottoman–Safavid War of 1623 |
| Mughal–Safavid War of 1649 |
| Russo-Persian War of 1651 |
| Hotaki-Safavid War |
| Omani Invasion of Bahrain |
| Russo-Persian War of 1722 |
| Safavid-Hotaki War |
| Afsharid–Ottoman War War of 1730 |
| Nadir Shah's invasion of India |
| Afsharid–Ottoman War War of 1743 |
| Civil War between Afsharid and Qajar |
| Battle of Krtsanisi |
| Persian Expedition |
| Russo-Persian War of 1804 |
| Ottoman–Persian War of 1821 |
| Russo-Persian War of 1826 |
| Siege of Herat |
| Anglo-Persian War |
| Persian Campaign |
(1914–1918) (Part of World War I)
| Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran |
(1941) (Part of World War II)
| Iran-Azerbaijan Crisis |
| Dhofar Rebellion |
|Islamic Republic of Iran|
| Iran–Iraq War |
| Sistan and Baluchestan insurgency |
| Iran–PJAK Conflict |
| Syrian Civil War |
| Iraqi Civil War |
Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq
The history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, and Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south.
The Persian Corridor was a supply route through Iran into Soviet Azerbaijan by which British aid and American Lend-Lease supplies were transferred to the Soviet Union during World War II.
The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, also known as the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Persia, was the joint invasion of Iran in 1941 during the Second World War by the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union. The invasion lasted from 25 August to 17 September 1941 and was codenamed Operation Countenance. Its purpose was to secure Iranian oil fields and ensure Allied supply lines for the USSR, fighting against Axis forces on the Eastern Front. Though Iran was neutral, the Allies considered Reza Shah to be friendly to Germany, deposed him during the subsequent occupation and replaced him with his young son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The Cold War International History Project is part of the History and Public Policy Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Project was founded in 1991 with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and is located in Washington D.C..
Abbas Mirza was a Qajar crown prince of Persia. He developed a reputation as a military commander during the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813 and the Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828 with neighbouring Imperial Russia, as well as through the Ottoman-Persian War of 1821-1823 with the Ottoman Empire. He is furthermore noted as an early modernizer of Persia's armed forces and institutions, and for his death before his father, Fath Ali Shah. Abbas was an intelligent prince, possessed some literary taste, and is noteworthy on account of the comparative simplicity of his life.
The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate, was established as a khanate that formed the southwestern sector of the Mongol Empire, ruled by the Mongol House of Hulagu. It was founded in the 13th century and was based primarily in Iran as well as neighboring territories, such as present-day Azerbaijan and the central and eastern parts of present-day Turkey. The Ilkhanate was originally based on the campaigns of Genghis Khan in the Khwarazmian Empire in 1219–1224 and was founded by Hulagu Khan, son of Tolui and grandson of Genghis Khan. With the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. At its greatest extent, the state expanded into territories that today comprise most of Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, western Afghanistan, and the Northwestern edge of the Indian subcontinent. Later Ilkhanate rulers, beginning with Ghazan in 1295, converted to Islam.
The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 or the Convention between the United Kingdom and Russia relating to Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet. Signed on August 31, 1907, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the convention brought shaky British–Russian relations to the forefront by solidifying boundaries that identified respective control in Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet. It delineated spheres of influence in Persia, stipulated that neither country would interfere in Tibet's internal affairs, and recognized Britain's influence over Afghanistan. The agreement led to the formation of the Triple Entente.
The Qajar Empire, also referred to as Qajar Iran, officially the Sublime State of Persia, was the state ruled by the Qajar dynasty, an Iranian royal dynasty 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, and Mohammad Khan 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 Russians over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The Treaty of Gulistan was a peace treaty concluded between Imperial Russia and Persia on 24 October 1813 in the village of Gulistan as a result of the first full-scale Russo-Persian War, lasting from 1804 to 1813. The peace negotiations were precipitated by Lankaran's fall to Gen. Pyotr Kotlyarevsky on 1 January 1813.
The Treaty of Finckenstein, often spelled Finkenstein, was concluded between France and Persia in Finckenstein Palace on 4 May 1807 and formalised the Franco-Persian alliance. Napoleon I guaranteed the integrity of Persia, recognized part of Georgia and the other parts of Transcaucasia and a part of the North Caucasus (Dagestan) as Fath Ali Shah's possession, and was to make all possible efforts for restoring those territories to him. Napoleon also promised to furnish the Shah with arms, officers and workmen. France on its side required the Shah to declare war against the United Kingdom, to expel all British people from Persia, and to maintain an open way if France wanted to attack British possessions in the far east. Despite the Treaty of Finckenstein, France failed to win a diplomatic war around Persia and none of the terms of the treaty were realized. On 12 March 1809, the United Kingdom signed a treaty with Persia forcing the French out of that country.
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was an agreement between Persia (Iran) and the Russian Empire, which concluded the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). It was signed on 10 February 1828 in Torkamanchay, Iran. By the treaty, Persia ceded to Russia control of several areas in the South Caucasus: the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh Khanate. The boundary between Russian and Persia was set at the Aras River. These territories comprise modern-day Armenia, the southern parts of the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan, as well as Iğdır Province.
The Afsharid dynasty were members of an Iranian dynasty that originated from the Turkic Afshar tribe in Iran's north-eastern province of Khorasan, ruling Persia in the mid-eighteenth century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the brilliant military commander Nader Shah, who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself Shah of Iran.
In the Western world, Persia was historically the common name for Iran. On the Nowruz of 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran, the endonym of the country, in formal correspondence. Since then, in the Western World, the use of the word "Iran" has become more common. This also changed the usage of the terms for Iranian nationality, and the common adjective for citizens of Iran changed from "Persian" to "Iranian". In 1959, the government of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Reza Shah Pahlavi's son, announced that both "Persia" and "Iran" could officially be used interchangeably. However the issue is still debated today.
Relations between the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Persian Empire (Iran), officially commenced in 1521, with the Safavids in power. Past and present contact between Russia and Iran have long been complicatedly multi-faceted; often wavering between collaboration and rivalry. The two nations have a long history of geographic, economic, and socio-political interaction. Since then, mutual relations have often been turbulent, and dormant at other times. Currently Russia acts as an economic partner to Iran, a country under severe sanctions by much of the Western world.
Greater Iran is a term used to refer to the regions of the Caucasus, West Asia, Central Asia, and parts of South Asia that have significant Iranian cultural influence due to having been either long historically ruled by the various imperial dynasties of the Iranian Empire, having considerable aspects of Persian culture due to extensive contact with the various imperial dynasties of Iran, or are simply nowadays still inhabited by a significant amount of Iranian peoples who patronize their respective cultures. It roughly corresponds to the territory on the Iranian plateau and its bordering plains. The Encyclopædia Iranica uses the term Iranian Cultural Continent for this region.
With thousands of years of recorded history, and due to an unchanging geographic condition, Iran has had a long, varied, and checkered military culture and history, ranging from triumphant and unchallenged ancient military supremacy affording effective superpower status in its day, to a series of near catastrophic defeats at the hand of previously subdued and conquered peripheral nations.
The Treaty of Zuhab, also called Treaty of Qasr-e Shirin, was an accord signed between the Safavid Empire and the Ottoman Empire on May 17, 1639. The accord ended the Ottoman-Safavid War of 1623-1639 and was the last conflict in almost 150 years of intermittent wars between the two states over territorial disputes. It can roughly be seen as a confirmation of the previous Peace of Amasya from 1555.
Nader Shah Afshar was one of the most powerful Iranian rulers in the history of the nation, ruling as Shah of Iran (Persia) from 1736 to 1747 when he was assassinated during a rebellion. Because of his military genius as evidenced in his numerous campaigns throughout Middle East, Caucasus, Central and South Asia, such as the battles of Herat, Mihmandust, Murche-Khort, Kirkuk, Yeghevard, Khyber Pass, Karnal and Kars, some historians have described him as the Napoleon of Persia, Sword of Persia, or the Second Alexander. Nader Shah was an Iranian who belonged to the Turkmen Afshar tribe of Khorasan in northeastern Iran, which had supplied military power to the Safavid dynasty since the time of Shah Ismail I.
The Persian Empire refers to a series of imperial dynasties that were centred in Persia/Iran from the 6th century BC Achaemenid Empire era to the 20th century AD in the Qajar dynasty era.