Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iranian Revolution ends (1979)

Right off the bat I should note that today's post is somewhat ahistorical. February 11 is generally considered the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, and I'm not sure I agree with that. The date is not insignificant--it was on February 11, 1979, when the royal Iranian army surrendered, marking the end of organized resistance to … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iranian Revolution ends (1979)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the 1953 Iranian coup

The 1953 CIA- and MI6-backed coup that overthrew Mohammad Mosaddegh is one of the few bits of Middle Eastern history that actually gets overemphasized in the popular consciousness, mostly because relations between the US and Iran are what they are. It’s also not an easy fit in this “today in history” series because, believe it … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the 1953 Iranian coup

Today in Middle Eastern history: the 15 Khordad Movement (1963)

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled Iran on January 16, 1979, in the face of a revolution that had reached its zenith, but his fate was sealed when mass demonstrations against his rule began in late 1977. The seeds of the Iranian revolution were planted decades earlier, of course, and you can make a pretty good … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the 15 Khordad Movement (1963)

Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)

The story of the late middle/early modern Islamic world is dominated by the three so-called "Gunpowder Empires"--the Ottomans with their vast empire circling the Mediterranean; the Safavids in Iran and, at various times, parts of the Caucasus and Central Asia; and the Mughals in South Asia. They're called "gunpowder empires" because two former University of … Continue reading Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)

Today in Middle Eastern history: Iran becomes “Iran” (1935)

I know that title seems too cutesy and I apologize for that. It is both a historical oddity and a signifier of our general Orientalist indifference toward the peoples of the Middle East that the nation (kingdom, empire, whatever it was at any particular point in history) of Iran was never officially called "Iran" by … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Iran becomes “Iran” (1935)