DIWÂN NETWORK

Home of the Iranian Diaspora

DIWÂN NETWORK

Home of the Iranian Diaspora

Diwan Diaspora Network

Last modified: January 14, 2023
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Estimated reading time: 61 min

Overview

Mission

“Our mission is to empower the Iranian diaspora by providing digital public goods for research, policy and development programs. We strive to create an inclusive and collaborative platform for Iranian diaspora members to come together, share their knowledge, and leverage their expertise to develop effective policies and research that will positively impact their communities. By providing access to digital resources, tools, and training, we aim to support the diaspora members in fulfilling their potential and achieving their goals. We believe that through collective action and shared knowledge, we can help to build a better future for the Iranian diaspora and the communities they are a part of.”

Vision

“Our vision is to build a future for all Iranians where they can take pride in their rich history and culture and actively contribute to human civilizations. We aim to create a platform that connects Iranians to their past, present and future, allowing them to flourish in their communities. By leveraging the legacy and glory of Iranian history and culture, we aim to empower diaspora members to become active and engaged citizens who can positively impact the world around them. We believe that by harnessing the collective power of the Iranian diaspora, we can build a brighter future for all Iranians and humanity as a whole.”

Scope

The scope of Diwan is to serve the Iranian diaspora globally by providing access to digital public goods for research, policy, and development. We aim to connect Iranians living in different parts of the world and create an inclusive platform to share their knowledge, expertise and resources. Our focus is to empower Iranians in the diaspora to become active and engaged citizens who can positively impact their communities. Diwan operates across the Iranian diaspora, providing services and support to Iranians living in different countries, regardless of location. We will use digital tools and platforms to connect Iranians worldwide and provide them with access to resources, training and support. We will work closely with local communities and organizations to better understand Iranians’ specific needs and challenges in different parts of the world. Our services include but are not limited to the following:

  • Providing access to digital public goods for research and policy development
  • Offering training and resources on how to engage with local communities and policymakers
  • Facilitating connections and collaborations among Iranians in the diaspora
  • Providing a platform for Iranians to share their knowledge, expertise, and resources
  • Supporting Iranians in their professional and personal pursuits
  • Advocating for the rights and interests of Iranians in the diaspora

We will strive to be a reliable, inclusive and responsive organization that can adapt to the needs of the Iranian diaspora, wherever they may be.

Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity

“Diwan is committed to fostering an inclusive, diverse and equitable environment for all members of the Iranian diaspora. We believe everyone should have equal access to opportunities and resources, regardless of their background, identity, or circumstances. We strive to create a safe and welcoming space for all Iranians, where everyone can share their perspectives and experiences and feel valued and respected. We actively work to remove barriers and create opportunities for underrepresented people. By promoting inclusivity, diversity, and equity, we aim to build a stronger and more resilient Iranian diaspora that can positively impact the world around us.”

Accessibility

“We firmly believe that the internet should be available and accessible to anyone. We are committed to providing a network accessible to the broadest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability. Diwan aims to adhere as strictly as possible to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level. These guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with various disabilities. Complying with those guidelines helps us ensure that the website is accessible to all people: blind people, people with motor impairments, visual impairments, cognitive disabilities, and more. Diwan network utilizes various technologies meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We use an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs. Additionally, Diwan uses an AI-based application that runs in the background and optimizes its accessibility level constantly. This application remediates the website’s HTML and adapts Its functionality and behaviour for screen-readers used by blind users and keyboard functions used by individuals with motor impairments.”

Languages

Diwan is an independent organization committed to connecting and empowering the Iranian diaspora communities worldwide. We believe that by bringing together the diverse elements of the diaspora, we can create a robust network that can positively impact the world around us. Our network is built on the concept of digital public goods. Diwan provides platforms in multiple languages accessible to all members of the Iranian diaspora, regardless of their location or background. Diwan platforms are designed to accommodate each community’s unique needs and challenges and foster connections and collaborations between Iranians living in different parts of the world. Our digital public goods provide resources, tools and training to help Iranians in the diaspora fulfill their potential and achieve their goals. These resources are also aimed at assisting Iranians in to better understand and engage with their host communities and to contribute to the richness and cultural linkages between nations and civilizations. By providing a platform for Iranians to share their knowledge, expertise, and resources, Diwan supports diaspora members in becoming active and engaged citizens who can positively impact the world. We believe that by harnessing the collective power of the Iranian diaspora, we can help to build a brighter future for all Iranians and humanity as a whole.

Independence

“Diwan is a social enterprise based in Canada, operating independently of governments, corporations, ideologies, and political parties. Diwan is non-profit, non-religious, non-partisan, and non-ideological. Our organization is a neutral platform dedicated to empowering the Iranian diaspora and helping them build collective intelligence. We believe that by providing access to digital public goods, resources and training, we can help Iranians in the diaspora better understand and engage with the world around them. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and equity where all members of the Iranian diaspora can participate and contribute to the collective intelligence and growth of the community. We are proud to be a neutral and independent organization dedicated to the stewardship of the Iranian diaspora and building a better future for all.”

Security and Privacy

“Diwan takes the security and privacy of our communities very seriously, and we take all necessary measures to safeguard our members’ information from being accessed by anyone, whether government entities, corporations or any other third parties. We understand the importance of protecting our members’ personal information and data and take this responsibility very seriously. We work with leading third parties worldwide to ensure that we deliver the highest safety and security standards for our members. We use cutting-edge technology and employ strict security protocols to protect our members’ information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Our commitment to security and privacy is unwavering, and we are dedicated to providing a safe and secure environment for our members to share and grow their knowledge. We are always looking for ways to improve our security measures, and we work with experts in the field to keep up with the latest technology and best practices.”

Governance

Iran has a rich history of centralized and decentralized governance, with different forms of government emerging and evolving. In ancient Persia, the centralized governance model was implemented under the rule of the Achaemenid Empire. The king or shah held absolute power and controlled all aspects of governance, including military, economic, and political affairs. During the Islamic Golden Age, the governance model shifted towards decentralization. Under this system, the caliph or leader was seen as the community’s spiritual leader, while local leaders were given autonomy to govern their regions. This decentralized governance system was maintained during the Safavid and Qajar dynasties, with provincial governors and leaders having significant independence in decision-making and governance. In the 20th century, Iran underwent significant political changes with the rise of the Pahlavi dynasty. The Pahlavis sought to modernize and centralize the government, with the shah holding considerable power and control over the government and economy. This centralized model of governance was maintained until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Diwan, an independent network that aims to provide lifelong learning opportunities, takes inspiration from the legacy of centralized and decentralized governance in Iranian history. The organization’s governance model is based on digital democracy and collective intelligence, where the community makes decisions, and members are encouraged to contribute to their societies. This approach allows for a more decentralized and inclusive form of governance while still maintaining a level of centralization to ensure the overall goals and objectives of the organization are met.

Funding

Diwan uses participatory funding mechanisms, specifically Quadratic Funding, to sustain its activities and build digital public goods. Quadratic Funding is a decentralized funding mechanism that allows individuals and organizations to collectively fund and build digital public goods such as open-source software, research, and knowledge. It is based on concepts such as “quadratic financing,” a new way of funding public goods that leverages the power of networks and aligns the incentives of funders, builders, and users of digital public goods. Quadratic Funding creates a marketplace for digital public goods where individuals and organizations can unite to fund and build projects. A token powers the marketplace called a “quadratic token,” representing a unit of contribution to a specific task. Individuals and organizations can purchase and hold these tokens, which are then used to fund the project and align the incentives of all stakeholders. The mechanism utilizes smart contracts to automate matching funders with projects and ensure that the funds are directed to suitable projects. Smart contracts also enable the use of tokens as a form of voting and decision-making, making the process more decentralized and democratic. Quadratic Funding can help Diwan in several ways:

  1. Sustainability: By using Quadratic Funding, Diwan can create a sustainable funding mechanism that allows individuals and organizations to contribute to the organization and its activities.
  2. Community building: The marketplace and token-based mechanism of Quadratic Funding can help Diwan build a community of individuals and organizations who are invested in the organization and its activities.
  3. Transparency: Using smart contracts and token-based voting can increase transparency and accountability in the funding and decision-making process.
  4. Aligning incentives: Quadratic Funding aligns the incentives of funders, builders, and users, ensuring that the funds are directed towards the suitable projects and that all stakeholders are motivated to contribute to the success of the projects.

Diwan’s use of Quadratic Funding is a way to sustain its activities by creating a decentralized and democratic marketplace for digital public goods and aligning the incentives of all stakeholders.

Licensing

Creative Commons (CC) licenses are a set of copyright licenses that allow creators to share their work with others while maintaining control over how it is used. Diwan uses a variety of CC licenses to produce digital public goods, such as learning materials. The following are some of the most common CC licenses:

  1. CC BY: This license allows others to use, share, and adapt the work, even for commercial purposes, as long as the original creator is credited.
  2. CC BY-SA: This license is similar to CC BY but requires that any derivative works are shared under the same license.
  3. CC BY-ND: This license allows others to use, share, and adapt the work, but it prohibits the creation of derivative works.
  4. CC BY-NC: This license allows others to use, share, and adapt the work, but it prohibits commercial use.
  5. CC BY-NC-SA: This license is similar to CC BY-NC, but it also requires that any derivative works are shared under the same license.
  6. CC BY-NC-ND: This license is the most restrictive of the CC licenses, it allows others to use and share the work, but it prohibits commercial use and the creation of derivative works.

It’s important to note that CC licenses are recognized worldwide, and these licenses can help Diwan produce digital public goods that can be used, shared and adapted globally. Diwan can choose the right that best fits its goals and objectives and the intended use of digital public goods.

Open-source software licenses are legal agreements allowing individuals and organizations to use, modify, and distribute software without incurring licensing fees. Diwan may use a variety of open-source software licenses to produce digital public goods, such as learning management systems, content management systems, and other educational tools. The following are some of the most common open-source software licenses:

  1. GNU General Public License (GPL): One of the most widely used open-source licenses. It allows anyone to use, modify, and distribute the software as long as any derivative works are licensed under the GPL.
  2. MIT License: This license is permissive and allows anyone to use, modify, and distribute the software without additional restrictions.
  3. Apache License 2.0: This license is similar to the MIT license and allows anyone to use, modify, and distribute the software, but it also includes a patent license to protect contributors from patent litigation.
  4. BSD License: This license is also permissive and allows anyone to use, modify, and distribute the software without additional restrictions.
  5. GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL): This license is similar to the GPL, but it allows developers to link the software with other proprietary software without requiring the proprietary software to be licensed under the GPL.
  6. Mozilla Public License (MPL): This license is similar to the GPL, but it allows developers to distribute the software under different terms for different portions of the code.

Each of these licenses has its own significance, and it’s essential for Diwan to choose the license that best aligns with its goals and objectives and the intended use of the software. GPL and LGPL licenses are copyleft licenses, meaning that any derivative work must be released under the same license, and it’s ideal for projects that want to ensure the software remains open-source. The MIT, Apache and BSD licenses are permissive, meaning that derivative works can be closed-source, and it’s ideal for projects that want to integrate the software with proprietary software.

Name

The origins of the name Diwan can be traced back to Iranian and world culture. Diwan, also spelled Divan, is used in many cultures worldwide to refer to a council or assembly of leaders or a collection of poetry. In Persian culture, the Diwan was an important institution in the governance of the state, responsible for the administration of justice, the collection of taxes, and the management of the state’s finances. It also served as a platform for poets and literary figures to showcase their works and was considered an important center of culture and learning. In other cultures, the term Diwan has been used to refer to a council or assembly of leaders, such as the Diwan-i-Am or the Diwan-i-Khas in the Mughal Empire in India were responsible for the administration of justice and the management of the state’s finances. In Arabic culture, Diwan refers to a collection of poetry; in Turkish culture, it refers to the court of a ruler or the office of the chief minister.

The significance of the name Diwan lies in its representation of an inclusive, decentralized, and participatory approach to governance, where different stakeholders come together to make decisions and govern the state. It also represents a connection to culture and literature, serving as a platform for preserving and promoting language, poetry, and artistic expression. It symbolizes the rich cultural heritage and intellectual tradition of the societies where it is used.

The Diwan Diaspora Network takes inspiration from the legacy of the Diwan in Iranian and world culture. It aims to create a decentralized and inclusive platform for the administration of justice, cultural exchange and digital public goods that can foster social and economic development. The organization also aims to serve as a center of culture and learning for the diaspora community, where individuals and organizations can come together to share their knowledge, resources, and experiences. The name Diwan represents an inclusive, decentralized and participatory approach to governance, which is what the organization wants to achieve through its activities.

Background

Iranian diaspora refers to the Iranian people who have left Iran and settled in other countries. This includes those who left Iran for political, economic, or personal reasons and their descendants. The Iranian diaspora is a diverse community with a rich cultural heritage and a solid connection to their Iranian identity. The origins of the word “diaspora” come from the Greek word “diaspeirein” which means “to scatter” or “to disperse.” The term was initially used to describe the dispersion of the Jewish people from Israel and their subsequent settlement in other parts of the world. The term has since been applied to other groups of people who have been forced or have chosen to leave their homeland and settle in other parts of the world, such as Iranians. The Iranian diaspora has a complex history; its origins can be traced back to various historical events. Some Iranians left their homeland in ancient times due to invasions and conquests, while others left more recently due to political and economic factors, such as the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The Iranian diaspora has also grown in recent years due to Iran’s continuing political and economic instability.

Persian Empire

The first Iranians to migrate and form a diaspora can be traced back to ancient times. The Persian Empire, which existed from 550 BC to 330 BC, was one of the largest empires of its time. It controlled a vast territory that included parts of present-day Iran, Iraq, Türkiye, Egypt, and Central Asia. As the empire expanded, Persian settlers and military personnel were sent to colonize and govern these territories, forming the first Iranian diaspora communities.

Jewish Diaspora

The Jewish diaspora expanded under the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BCE) due to political and economic factors. The Achaemenid Empire was one of the first empires in world history to have a policy of allowing conquered peoples to keep their own religions and customs. As a result, many Jewish communities were established in the empire’s territories. During the reign of the Achaemenid king Cyrus the Great, Jewish exiles in Babylon were allowed to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. This event, known as the Babylonian exile, marked the beginning of the Jewish diaspora expansion under the Achaemenids. Additionally, the Achaemenid Empire relocated populations within its territories to strengthen its control and facilitate administration. This policy led to the relocation of many Jewish communities within the empire and the establishment of new Jewish communities in various regions. This helped to spread the Jewish population across the empire and to establish new trade and economic opportunities for them. The Achaemenid Empire also encouraged the settlement of Jewish communities in its territories to consolidate its control and facilitate administration. This was particularly true in the case of the Jewish community in Egypt, which was established during this period and played an essential role in the administration and economy of the region.

Persian Empire’s policy of religious tolerance and the encouragement of Jewish settlement in Babylon played a significant role in the history of the Jewish people. The Jewish community in Babylon was one of the most significant in the ancient world, and it played an essential role in developing Jewish culture, religion, and literature. The Babylonian Talmud, one of the most essential texts in Jewish literature, was written in Babylon and is a testament to the rich intellectual and cultural life of the Jewish community in Babylon during the Achaemenid period. Additionally, the Jewish community in Babylon maintained close ties with the Jewish community in Jerusalem, which played a significant role in preserving and transmitting the Jewish cultural heritage. The community also played an essential role in spreading Judaism to other parts of the Achaemenid Empire, including Egypt and Asia Minor. Another concrete example of Jewish diaspora expansion under the Achaemenid Empire is the establishment of the Jewish community in Elephantine, Egypt. Elephantine was a strategic island in the Nile river that served as a military fortress, trade center, and a hub of religious and cultural diversity. According to historical records, the Jewish community in Elephantine was established in the 6th century BCE, during the reign of the Achaemenid king Cambyses II. The community consisted of Jewish soldiers and mercenaries stationed at the fortress and their families. They built a temple to the god Yahweh, similar to the one in Jerusalem, and practiced their own distinct form of Judaism, which was heavily influenced by Egyptian culture. The Elephantine Jewish community played an essential role in the administration and economy of the region. They were involved in trade and commerce and significantly influenced the local culture and society. The community persisted for over 500 years. Its legacy can be seen in the many papyri and documents found on the island, which provide valuable insights into the history and culture of the Jewish diaspora under the Achaemenid Empire.

Egypt

The Persian Empire conquered Egypt in 525 BC and established the 27th Saite Dynasty. The Persian governor appointed by the Emperor, known as the satrap, governed Egypt as a province of the Persian Empire. Persian soldiers, administrators, and settlers were sent to Egypt to maintain control over the region and to exploit its resources. These Persian settlers and their descendants formed a diaspora community in Egypt and played an essential role in the region’s culture and society. The first Persian dynasty in Egypt was the 27th Saite Dynasty, also known as the Achaemenid dynasty of Egypt, which was established in 525 BC after the Persian Empire conquered Egypt. The conquest was led by Cambyses II, the son of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. The 27th Saite Dynasty was made up of Persian settlers and their descendants and was heavily influenced by Persian culture and customs. The Persian governors, known as satraps, were appointed by the Emperor to govern Egypt as a province of the empire. The Persian rule in Egypt was interrupted by the arrival of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, who conquered the Persian Empire and Egypt along with it.

During the Sassanid period (224-651 CE), the Persian Empire extended its influence further in Egypt, and many more Persians migrated to the country. This included scholars, poets, and artists attracted by Alexandria’s cultural and intellectual centers and other cities. They also established trade relations and brought Persian goods such as textiles, ceramics and metalware to Egypt. Under the Persian Empire, the Iranian diaspora in Egypt played a significant role in the country’s economy and culture. The Persian immigrants introduced new technologies and methods in agriculture and industry, which increased production and prosperity. They also played an essential role in the country’s administration and were appointed to high-ranking positions in the government. In addition, the Iranian diaspora in Egypt made significant contributions to the country’s culture. They introduced Persian art, literature, and philosophy to Egypt and played a crucial role in preserving and transmitting the Persian cultural heritage. The significance of the Iranian diaspora in Egypt under the Persian Empire was that it played a crucial role in developing and shaping the country’s economy and culture. Persian immigrants were welcomed and well integrated into the society, their knowledge, skills and culture enriching Egypt’s already diverse and vibrant society. Through their trade and cultural contributions, the Persian immigrants helped establish strong ties between Egypt and the Persian Empire, fostering economic and cultural exchange between the two regions.

Asia Minor

Another example of the Iranian diaspora formed during the Persian Empire is the Persian settlers in present-day Asia Minor (now Türkiye). The Persian Empire conquered Asia Minor in 546 BC and established the province of Lydia to form the Persian colony of Sardis. Sardis was an ancient city in present-day western Türkiye and an essential center of the Persian Empire. The city was conquered by the Persian Empire in 546 BC and was made the capital of the province of Lydia. During Persian rule, the city of Sardis was heavily populated by Persian soldiers, administrators, and settlers. These settlers brought their Iranian culture, language, and customs with them and formed a diaspora community in Sardis. They built new structures, such as a palace and a fortress, and made Sardis an important center of Persian culture and administration. The Persian settlers in Sardis played an important role in spreading Persian culture and language and contributed to developing the region’s culture and society. After the Persian Empire’s defeat by Alexander the Great, the city of Sardis remained an important center of culture and commerce under Hellenistic and Roman rule. The Persian diaspora in Sardis maintained their Iranian identity and culture, and the city continued to be a melting pot of different cultures and civilizations. Overall, the Persian Empire was one of the largest empires of its time. Persian settlers and military personnel were sent to colonize and govern the territories as they expanded, forming the first Iranian diaspora communities. These communities played an essential role in spreading Persian culture and language and have contributed to developing the region’s culture and society.

Arab-Islamic invasion

The Arab-Islamic invasion of Persia in the 7th century AD, also known as the Arab-Islamic conquest of Iran, marked the beginning of a new era in Persian history. The Arab armies, led by Arab general Khalid ibn al-Walid, defeated the Sassanid Empire, the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire and conquered much of the territory now Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. The Arab-Islamic invasion of Persia significantly changed the region’s political, social, and cultural landscape. During the Arab-Islamic invasion of Persia, many Iranians were forced to flee their homes and migrate to other parts of the empire or to neighbouring regions, such as Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Iraq, Syria and other countries in the Middle East. These migrations led to the formation of Iranian diaspora communities in these regions. The Arab-Islamic invasion of Persia also led to the spread of Islam in the region and the decline of the Zoroastrian religion, which was the dominant religion of Persia at the time. Many Zoroastrians were forced to convert to Islam or flee to other regions to avoid religious persecution. The Arab-Islamic invasion of Persia also led to the decline of the Persian language and culture, as Arabic became the dominant language and culture of the region. However, many Iranians managed to preserve their culture, language, and identity and passed it down to their descendants.

Central Asia

The Iranian diaspora in Central Asia was formed due to the Arab-Muslim invasion of Persia in the 7th century. As the Arab armies advanced into Persia, many Persians were forced to convert to Islam or face persecution. Those who refused to convert often fled to other regions to avoid persecution and maintain their religious and cultural identity. Central Asia, with its proximity to Persia and relatively tolerant attitude towards minorities, became a significant destination for these Persian refugees. The region was home to a diverse mix of ethnic groups, including Persians, Turkic tribes and other groups, and provided a relatively safe haven for the Persian refugees. During the Arab-Muslim invasion, many Persians fled to the neighbouring regions of Central Asia, including modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, where they established their own communities and maintained their distinct culture and identity. They also significantly influenced the region’s development, particularly in agriculture, trade, and industry. The Iranian diaspora in Central Asia also brought its own culture, art, literature, and philosophy, which significantly influenced the region’s culture and development. They also played a crucial role in preserving and transmitting the Persian cultural heritage.

Uzbekistan

Central Asia, particularly Uzbekistan, with its proximity to Persia and relatively tolerant attitude towards minorities, became a significant destination for these Persian refugees. They established themselves in various regions of the country and formed a vibrant and diverse community over time. The Iranian diaspora in Uzbekistan has played a significant role in the country’s economy, particularly in trade, industry, and agriculture. They have also contributed significantly to the country’s culture and society, preserving their own traditional customs and practices while influencing the local culture with their own customs and traditions. In later decades, the Iranian diaspora in Uzbekistan has become increasingly politically active, with many Iranians participating in political and social movements in both countries. The significance of the Iranian diaspora in Uzbekistan has been that it has played a vital role in developing and shaping the country’s social, economic and cultural fabric. One example of the Iranian diaspora in Uzbekistan is the community of Bukharan Jews. The Bukharan Jews are a community of Persian Jews who have lived in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan for centuries. They are known for their distinct culture, heavily influenced by Persian and Central Asian traditions. The Bukharan Jews are believed to have settled in the region around the time of the Arab-Muslim invasion of Persia in the 7th century when many Persian Jews were forced to flee their homes to avoid persecution. They established themselves in the Bukhara region and formed a tight-knit community. Throughout history, the Bukharan Jews played a significant role in the region’s economy, particularly in trade and industry. They were known for their textile production, metalworking and jewelry-making skills. They also contributed significantly to the local culture, preserving their own traditional customs and practices while influencing the local culture with their own customs and traditions. In recent years, the Bukharan Jews have faced significant challenges, including a decline in their population due to emigration to Israel and other countries. However, their community still persists and plays a vital role in the cultural and economic development of the region.

Turkmenistan

The Iranian diaspora in Turkmenistan is a community of Iranians who have settled in the country over the course of several centuries. The formation of the Iranian diaspora in Turkmenistan can be traced back to various historical events and factors, such as the Arab-Muslim invasion of Persia in the 7th century, the Mongol invasion of Persia in the 13th century, and economic and political factors in the 19th and 20th centuries. During the Arab-Muslim invasion of Persia, many Persians were forced to convert to Islam or face persecution. Those who refused to convert often fled to other regions to avoid persecution and maintain their religious and cultural identity. Some of these fleeing Persians migrated to Central Asia, including present-day Turkmenistan, to escape religious persecution and to find new opportunities. In the 13th century, the Mongol invasion of Persia led to the displacement of many Iranians. The invasion resulted in the destruction of cities and displaced people, many of whom sought refuge in other regions, including Central Asia. During the 19th century, many Iranians migrated to Central Asia, including Turkmenistan, in search of economic opportunities. They established themselves as merchants and traders and played a significant role in developing the region’s economy and society. In the Soviet era, many Iranians migrated to Turkmenistan as part of the Soviet government’s policy of encouraging the settlement of ethnic minorities in the region. This led to a significant increase in the number of Iranians living in Turkmenistan, and many established themselves as entrepreneurs and professionals. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Iranians in Turkmenistan chose to remain in the country and play a significant role in its economy and society. Today, the Iranian diaspora in Turkmenistan is a vibrant and diverse community that has significantly contributed to the country’s culture and economy.

Tajikistan

Iranians migrated to Tajikistan after the Arab-Muslim invasion of Persia in the 7th century as part of a larger migration process and displacement of people due to the invasion. During the Arab-Muslim invasion of Persia, many Persians were forced to convert to Islam or face persecution. Those who refused to convert often fled to other regions to avoid persecution and maintain their religious and cultural identity. Some of these fleeing Persians migrated to Central Asia, including present-day Tajikistan, to escape religious persecution and to find new opportunities. It is worth noting that the Arab-Muslim invasion of Persia led to the displacement of many Iranians from their homeland. It is not well-documented how exactly they migrated to different places. The migration process was often gradual, and it occurred over the centuries.

Indian Subcontinent

Iranians settled in various parts of the Indian subcontinent, including present-day Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. In Pakistan, Iranians settled in cities like Lahore and Multan and contributed significantly to the region’s economy and culture. In India, Iranians settled in cities like Hyderabad, Surat, and Mumbai and played a significant role in the country’s trade and commerce. They also established their own communities and maintained their distinct culture and identity. The Iranian diaspora in the Indian subcontinent also brought their own culture, art, literature, and philosophy, which significantly influenced the region’s culture and development. They also played a crucial role in preserving and transmitting the Persian cultural heritage. It’s worth noting that during the colonial era, many Iranians also migrated to British India for economic opportunities, settled in cities like Calcutta and Bombay, and established themselves as merchants and traders.

Pakistan

The Sistanis in Pakistan is a community of people descended from the Sistanis who migrated to the region due to the Arab invasion of Persia in the 7th century. Many Sistanis were forced to flee their homes to avoid persecution and maintain their religious and cultural identity. As a result, a large number of them migrated to the neighbouring regions of what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan. They settled in the Balochistan province and formed a tight-knit community known as the Sistanis. The Sistanis in Pakistan has maintained their own distinct culture and identity, which is heavily influenced by their Zoroastrian heritage. They have played a significant role in the region’s economy, particularly agriculture and trade. They have also significantly contributed to the local culture, preserving their own traditional customs and practices.

India

The Iranian diaspora community in India, known as the Parsi community, is an excellent example of an Iranian diaspora formed after the Arab-Islamic invasion of the Indian subcontinent. The Parsis are a group of Zoroastrians who fled Persia to avoid religious persecution after the Arab-Islamic invasion in the 7th century AD. They settled on the western coast of India, mainly in Mumbai and Gujarat. Over time, they established themselves as successful merchants and played an essential role in developing India’s economy and society. They have contributed significantly to Indian culture and heritage, particularly art, literature, and philanthropy. The Parsi community has played a vital role in the economic development of India. They were among the first Indian merchants to establish trade links with Europe and China and played a vital role in India’s trading and commerce growth. They also established their own businesses and industries, which generated employment and contributed to the country’s economic growth. Parsis have established schools, hospitals, and other institutions that have served the community and broader society. They played a crucial role in developing education and healthcare in India, particularly on the western coast of India, where they settled. Parsis played an essential role in preserving the Persian cultural heritage in India. They were patrons of arts and literature, and their contributions to Indian culture have been significant. They also contributed to the development of Indian theatre, music, and dance, by introducing elements of their own culture. Parsis have played a significant role in the social development of India. They have been known for their progressive attitudes and are at the forefront of many social reforms in the country. They have been active in women’s education and empowerment and have been instrumental in abolishing the caste system. There are many famous names from the Parsi community in India; here are a few examples:

  1. Jamshedji Tata: Indian businessman and philanthropist considered the father of Indian industry. He established the Tata Group, one of India’s largest conglomerates. He was responsible for establishing many industrial units, such as India’s first steel plant and the country’s first hydroelectric power plant.
  2. Sir Dorabji Tata: Indian businessman and philanthropist responsible for expanding the Tata Group and establishing many industries and institutions, including the Indian Institute of Science.
  3. Ratan Tata: Indian businessman and philanthropist considered one of India’s most prominent industrialists. He was the Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group and played a significant role in the growth and global expansion.
  4. Sir Homi Jehangir Bhabha: Indian nuclear physicist who is considered the father of India’s nuclear program. He played a crucial role in developing India’s nuclear program and establishing the Indian Atomic Energy Commission.
  5. Sir J. R. D. Tata: Indian aviator, businessman, and founder of India’s first commercial airline, Air India. He was also an influential figure in India’s industrial development and significantly contributed to the country’s economy.
  6. Dr. Homi Bhabha: Indian nuclear physicist who played a crucial role in the establishment of India’s nuclear program and the development of nuclear energy in India.

These are just a few examples of famous names from the Parsi community in India. Many more notable figures from this community have made significant contributions to various fields such as politics, business, arts, science and culture.

Africa

The Iranian diaspora in Africa is a community of Iranians who have settled in various countries across the continent over the course of several centuries. The formation of the Iranian diaspora in Africa can be traced back to the Arab-Muslim invasion of Persia in the 7th century, which led to the forced conversion of many Persians to Islam or face persecution. Those who refused to convert often fled to other regions to avoid persecution and maintain their religious and cultural identity. Iranians have settled in various African countries, including Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Africa. In Egypt, Iranians settled in cities like Cairo and established themselves as merchants and traders. They also contributed significantly to the country’s economy and culture, preserving their own traditional customs and practices while influencing the local culture with their own customs and traditions. In Sudan, Iranians settled in cities like Khartoum and established themselves as traders and merchants. They also played a key role in the country’s economic development and significantly contributed to Sudanese culture. In Ethiopia, Iranians settled in Harar and played an essential role in the city’s economy and culture. They established their own communities and maintained their distinct culture and identity. Iranians settled in Somalia and South Africa, although their numbers are relatively small compared to other countries. It’s worth noting that during the colonial era, many Iranians also migrated to Africa for economic opportunities. They settled in cities like Lagos, Durban, and Cape Town and established themselves as merchants and traders.

Freddie Mercury, the legendary frontman of the rock band Queen, is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers and performers of all time. But few people know that Mercury had Iranian roots, and his Parsi heritage played a significant role in his life and music. Mercury, whose birth name was Farrokh Bulsara, was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, to Parsi parents from Gujarat, India. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara were both Parsis, and they raised Mercury in the Zoroastrian faith. Growing up in a Parsi household, Mercury was exposed to the rich culture and traditions of the Parsi community, which included music, dance, and storytelling. He was also exposed to Persian culture, significantly influencing his music and stage persona. Mercury’s Parsi heritage also played a role in his flamboyant style and theatrical performances. Parsis are known for their colourful and elaborate ceremonies, which often involve music, dance, and costumes. These ceremonies heavily influenced mercury’s performances, and he often incorporated elements of Parsi culture into his shows. Mercury’s Parsi heritage also played a role in his songwriting. His lyrics often dealt with themes of love, loss, and identity, which are common in Parsi literature and culture. His song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” is considered an epic, theatrical piece that evokes the Parsi storytelling tradition through music.

Middle East
Iraq

The first Iranian migrants in Iraq were likely merchants and traders who travelled to Mesopotamia, which is the region that includes modern-day Iraq, in search of new markets and opportunities. Over time, many Iranians also migrated to Iraq for political reasons, such as fleeing persecution or seeking refuge from war and conflict. One concrete example of an Iranian diaspora formed after the Arab-Islamic invasion of Iraq is the Iranian-Iraqi community, also known as the Ahwazi Arab community. This community is made up of ethnic Arabs who are of Iranian descent and live in the southwestern part of Iran, known as Khuzestan. They were forced to flee their homes and migrate to other parts of the empire or to neighbouring regions, such as Iraq, due to the Arab-Islamic invasion of Persia in the 7th century AD. The Ahwazi Arabs have been subjected to various forms of discrimination and marginalization by the Iranian government. Many of them have been forced to migrate to Iraq, forming a diaspora community in the southern and western regions of the country. They have faced similar discrimination and marginalization in Iraq, where they have been denied fundamental rights and services. This community has struggled to maintain their culture, identity and language in the face of discrimination and marginalization. They have established their own organizations to advocate for their rights and promote their culture and heritage.

Syria

The Iranian-Syrian community is an example of the Iranian diaspora formed in Syria due to the Arab-Islamic invasion of Persia in the 7th century AD. This community comprises ethnic Tajiks who have settled mainly in Aleppo. They have established themselves as successful merchants and businessmen and significantly contributed to Syrian culture and heritage. They have also had a significant cultural and linguistic influence on the country and have played an essential role in preserving Persian culture and language in Syria. There are several examples of Iranian diaspora influence in Syria:

  1. Cultural influence: The Iranian diaspora in Syria has had a significant cultural influence on the country. Many Iranian-Syrians have brought their traditional customs, festivals, and art forms, which have been integrated into Syrian culture. For example, Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is celebrated by both Iranian-Syrians and Syrians alike.
  2. Linguistic influence: The Iranian diaspora in Syria has also had a significant linguistic influence on the country. Persian language, also known as Farsi, is widely spoken among Iranian-Syrians and has also been passed down to their descendants. Many words of Persian origin have been adopted into the Syrian dialect of Arabic.
  3. Economic influence: Iranian-Syrians have played an essential role in the economic development of Syria, particularly in the field of trade and commerce. They have established themselves as successful merchants and businessmen, and their contributions have been vital to the Syrian economy.
  4. Social and Philanthropic influence: The Iranian diaspora in Syria has also played an essential role in the social and philanthropic development of the country. Many Iranian-Syrians have been involved in various social and philanthropic activities, such as setting up schools and hospitals and contributing to the community’s welfare.
  5. Religious influence: Iranian-Syrians have also played an important role in preserving their religious heritage, particularly Zoroastrianism. They have established their own places of worship and have been able to pass down their religious traditions to their descendants.

Overall, the Arab-Islamic invasion of Persia in the 7th century AD led to the forced migration of many Iranians and the formation of diaspora communities in other parts of the empire and neighbouring regions, such as Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. These communities have maintained their Iranian identity and played an important role in spreading Persian culture and language.

Qajar Dynasty

Throughout history, there have also been instances of Iranians left their homeland for economic or political reasons. For example, during the Qajar dynasty (1794-1925), many Iranians emigrated to neighbouring countries to escape poverty and political unrest. During this period, many Iranians formed diaspora communities due to a variety of factors:

  1. Economic reasons: During the Qajar dynasty, Iran was in a state of economic decline and poverty. Many Iranians were forced to migrate to other countries for better economic opportunities. They established themselves as merchants, traders, and entrepreneurs in various countries in the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.
  2. Political reasons: The Qajar dynasty was marked by political instability, and many Iranians were forced to flee the country to avoid persecution by the government. Many political dissidents and opponents of the regime sought refuge in other countries, forming diaspora communities.
  3. Social reasons: Many Iranians were also forced to migrate due to social conditions such as religious persecution. For example, the Baha’i community, a religious minority in Iran, was persecuted during the Qajar dynasty. Many were forced to flee the country, forming diaspora communities in other countries.
  4. War and Invasion: Qajar dynasty also witnessed two major wars, the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) and the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828), both of which resulted in significant population displacement and migration.
  5. Oil boom: As the oil industry developed in Iran during the Qajar dynasty, many Iranians migrated to the oil-rich regions, particularly to the southern regions, to work in the oil industry.

Overall, the Qajar dynasty was marked by economic, political, and social instability, which led to many Iranian diaspora communities forming. Iranians migrated to other countries in search of better economic opportunities, to escape political persecution, to flee religious persecution, war and invasion and for work opportunities in the oil industry.

Arran

Arran is a historical region located in the South Caucasus and corresponds roughly to the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan. The region was the last part of the Iranian Empire during the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Iran from 1789 to 1925. It was considered one of the provinces of Iran and was known for its rich cultural and historical heritage. Arran has a significant place in Iranian history and culture; it was considered one of the most critical regions in the Iranian Empire in the 19th century. The region is home to many historical and cultural landmarks. It was also an important center of trade and industry. Arran was also home to a diverse population, including ethnic Iranians, Azeris, Armenians, and Georgians. The region played an important role in preserving and promoting Iranian culture and heritage, particularly in literature, art, and architecture. It was also known for its contributions to Iranian politics, particularly during the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911. Today, the region is known as Azerbaijan Republic, an independent country, and it is not officially considered a province of Iran any more. However, the cultural and historical ties between Iran and Azerbaijan are still strong, and many Iranians still consider Arran an important part of their cultural heritage. Here is a brief overview of the historical background of Arran and the Iranian dynasties that ruled the area:

  • The Sassanid Empire (224-651 AD): Arran was part of the Sassanid Empire, which ruled a large portion of the Iranian plateau and parts of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Mesopotamia. The Sassanids were known for their contributions to the development of Iranian art, culture, and architecture, and they played a significant role in the spread of Zoroastrianism.
  • The Arab Conquest (651-821 AD): Arran was conquered by the Arab armies during the Islamic conquest of Iran, and it became part of the Arab Caliphate. The region saw a significant change in population and culture due to the Arab conquest and the spread of Islam.
  • The Seljuk Empire (1037-1194 AD): Arran was part of the Seljuk Empire, a Sunni Muslim dynasty that ruled over a vast territory that included parts of Iran, Iraq, and Anatolia. The Seljuks were known for their contributions to Persian literature and cultural development. They played a significant role in spreading the Persian language and culture in the region.
  • The Safavid Empire (1501-1722 AD): Arran was part of the Safavid Empire, which was a Shia Muslim dynasty that ruled over a vast territory that included parts of Iran, Iraq, and Central Asia. The Safavids were known for their contributions to Persian art, culture, and architecture development. They played a significant role in the spread of Shia Islam in the region.
  • The Qajar Dynasty (1789-1925 AD): Arran was part of the Qajar Empire, a Sunni Muslim dynasty that ruled over Iran from 1789 to 1925. The Qajar dynasty was marked by wars with neighbouring countries, including the Russo-Persian Wars, which ceded large parts of Iranian territory, including Arran, to Russia.

It is worth noting that after the fall of the Qajar dynasty and the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran in 1925, the region of Arran became part of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan under the Soviet Union. Throughout its history, Arran has been an essential region in Iranian history and culture, it was known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, and it played an essential role in the preservation and promotion of Iranian culture and heritage, particularly in the fields of literature, art, and architecture.

Golestan and Turkmenchay

The Golestan Treaty and the Treaty of Turkmenchay, signed in 1813 and 1828, significantly impacted the region of Arran and resulted in the formation of Iranian diaspora communities. The Golestan Treaty, signed between the Russian Empire and Qajar Iran, ended the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813 and ceded parts of present-day Azerbaijan and Georgia, including the city of Dagestan, Shirvan, Baku, Ganja and surrounding regions, to the Russian Empire. The Treaty of Turkmenchay, signed between the Russian Empire and Qajar Iran, ended the Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828 and ceded parts of present-day Armenia, Georgia and several territories in the Caucasus, including the cities of Erivan and Nakhchivan to the Russian Empire. As a result, many Iranians, mainly ethnic Azeris, were forced to migrate from their homeland to Russian-controlled territories. They established themselves in new communities and continued to preserve and promote their culture and heritage. These treaties resulted in a significant loss of territory for Iran. Many Iranians were forced to migrate from their homeland, thus forming diaspora communities, particularly in Russian-controlled territories and neighbouring countries. These diaspora communities, which include ethnic Azeris, Kurds, and Armenians, among others, have played an essential role in the preservation and promotion of Iranian culture and heritage in the countries where they settled.

Azerbaijan

Arran has undergone a transformative journey throughout history. From being a part of the Persian Empire to being ruled by Arab Caliphs, Seljuk sultans, Safavid shahs, and Qajar kings, Arran has seen the rise and fall of many dynasties, each leaving its mark on the land. The region, known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, has been shaped by the diverse population that called it home. Persians, Azeris, Armenians and Georgians lived together in harmony, each group contributing to the cultural tapestry of the land. The region was known for its literature, art, and architecture contributions. However, as the centuries passed, political boundaries shifted, and wars were fought. Arran was ceded to the Russian Empire due to the Russo-Persian Wars. It was subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan as an autonomous oblast under the jurisdiction of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the spirit of Arran remained alive. The people of Azerbaijan, inheritors of the rich culture and heritage of Arran, have worked tirelessly to preserve and promote their identity. They have built a vibrant nation, proud of its past, and determined to shape its future.

Today, as the Republic of Azerbaijan, the land has evolved and transformed, yet it still bears the echoes of its past. The ancient cities, the medieval castles, and the traditional villages all bear witness to the rich history of Arran. They remind us of the resilience of the human spirit and the ability to adapt and survive in the face of change. The people of Azerbaijan have taken the legacy of Arran and have made it their own. They have created a nation that is proud of its past and determined to shape its future. The transformation of Arran to today’s Azerbaijan is a testament to the enduring human spirit and the ability to overcome adversity and emerge stronger. The Iranian diaspora resulted from ceding parts of present-day Azerbaijan after the Golestan and Turkmenchay treaties of 1813 and 1828. Many Iranians, including merchants, artisans, scholars, and members of the nobility, migrated to different territories where they settled and established themselves in new communities. In terms of their role in art and culture, the Iranian diaspora formed in Azerbaijan after the treaties played an essential role in preserving and promoting Iranian culture and heritage in their new communities. They helped to establish institutions and libraries that helped to preserve and transmit traditional Iranian knowledge and culture. They also contributed to developing new forms of art and literature, such as Azerbaijani-Iranian poetry and Azerbaijani-Iranian music.

After the treaties, the Iranian diaspora in Azerbaijan also played an essential role in the constitutional revolution of Iran in 1906-1911. Many of the leaders of the constitutional revolution came from the diaspora communities in Azerbaijan, and the movement drew support from Iranians of all backgrounds. The constitutional revolution aimed to establish a constitutional government. It led to the adoption of a new constitution, the establishment of an elected parliament, and the introduction of new civil rights. Here are a few names that contributed to a new era in Iran’s history:

  1. Mirza Fatali Akhundov: He was an Azerbaijani playwright, teacher, and journalist, who is considered one of the most influential founders of modern Azerbaijani literature. He was also a prominent figure in Azerbaijan’s intellectual and political life, advocating for Azerbaijani society’s modernization and secularization.
  2. Mirza Alakbar Sabir: He was an Azerbaijani poet, philosopher, and political figure. He is considered one of the founders of modern Azerbaijani literature and is known for his satirical works that criticized his time’s social and political conditions.
  3. Huseyn Javid: He was an Iranian-Azerbaijani playwright and poet who was a prominent figure in Azerbaijan’s literary and cultural life. He is known for his works that dealt with social and political issues, and his plays were widely performed in Azerbaijan and other parts of the Russian Empire.
  4. Ahmad Javad: He was an Azerbaijani poet and playwright considered one of the most influential figures in the history of Azerbaijani literature. He is known for his works that dealt with social and political issues and advocated for the modernization and secularization of Azerbaijani society.
  5. Ahmad Bey Agayev: He was an Azerbaijani businessman and philanthropist. He was one of the most successful merchants and entrepreneurs of the time and made significant contributions to the development of Azerbaijani society and culture.
Armenia

The Iranian diaspora in Armenia resulted from ceding parts of present-day Armenia and other territories in the Caucasus to the Russian Empire after the Golestan and Turkmenchay treaties of 1813 and 1828, respectively. As a result, many Iranians were forced to migrate from these territories to other areas, including Jolfa, northwest Iran, where they settled and established themselves in new communities. These migrations happened in different waves; some Iranians migrated before the treaty, some after, and some were forced to leave due to the treaties. This displacement of Iranians from their homeland caused a significant loss of population, culture, and heritage. It also led to the formation of Iranian diaspora communities in the newly acquired Russian territories, including Armenia, where Iranians established themselves in new communities and continued to preserve and promote their culture and heritage. It’s worth mentioning that the Iranian diaspora in Armenia should not be mixed with the Armenian diaspora in Iran; they are different communities with different histories and backgrounds. An example of the Iranian diaspora that formed in Armenia after the Golestan and Turkmenchay treaties is the Iranian-Armenian community of Jolfa in the Nakhchivan region of Azerbaijan. This community is believed to have been established by Iranians who were forced to migrate from their homeland in the Jolfa region of Iran to parts of Julfa which is now in the Republic of Azerbaijan, after the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828. As a result, a significant number of Iranians have been displaced after treaties to the Russian-controlled territories, including parts of present-day Armenia, where they established themselves in new communities and continued to preserve and promote their culture and heritage, the most notable of which is the Iranian-Armenian community of Jolfa in the Nakhchivan region of Azerbaijan.

Jolfa

Jolfa, also known as Julfa or Ulfa, is located northwest of Iran, in the East Azerbaijan province. The Jolfa region, also known as the Julfa region, is the area surrounding the city of Jolfa and includes several towns and villages. Historically, it is located in the ancient land of Azarbaijan and was part of the Greater Azerbaijan region, including parts of present-day Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Türkiye. The Jolfa region is located on the border of Iran, Azerbaijan, and Armenia and has been divided among the three countries due to political and historical changes. The borders of the Jolfa region have changed over time, but currently, most of the Jolfa region is located in Iran and is part of the East Azerbaijan province. Another portion of the Jolfa region is located in the Republic of Azerbaijan, known as the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. It’s worth noting that the region of Jolfa has been a source of tension and dispute between Iran, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, particularly in the last century. The region has long been an area of cultural exchange and interaction between the Iranian, Azerbaijani, and Armenian peoples and has been influenced by various historical, cultural, and political factors.

Iranian-Armenians

The Iranian-Armenian community is a group of individuals of Armenian descent who live in Iran. They have formed due to historical migration patterns and have a long history in the country. The Armenian presence in Iran dates back to ancient times, but a significant Iranian-Armenian community formed in the 16th century during the Safavid dynasty. At that time, many Armenians migrated to Iran, mainly to the capital city of Isfahan, due to economic and political reasons such as the Ottoman-Safavid wars and the fall of the Kingdom of Cilicia. They were welcomed by the Safavid rulers and were given privileges such as exemption from taxes and military service. In the 19th century, after the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828, many Iranians, including Armenians, were forced to migrate from their homeland in the Jolfa region to other territories. Some of these Iranians, including Armenians, settled in a new community on the Iranian side of the border and continued to preserve and promote their Armenian culture and heritage. This migration led to another significant Iranian-Armenian community, particularly in the Isfahan and Tehran provinces.

World War I

Iran was initially neutral during World War I, but British and Russian forces eventually occupied it. The British entered Iran in 1914 and took control of the southern port city of Bandar Abbas while the Russians occupied the country’s northern regions. The two countries justified the occupation by claiming they needed to secure the supply routes to their respective colonies in India and Central Asia. The occupation significantly impacted the Iranian people, leading to economic disruption, food shortages, and inflation. Many Iranians were also conscripted into forced labour to support the war effort. As a result of these conditions, many Iranians did migrate to other countries during and after World War I. Some migrated for economic reasons, such as the famine and economic disruption caused by the war. In contrast, others migrated for political reasons as the political situation in Iran became increasingly unstable. Iranians mainly migrated to Russia but also to other neighbouring countries. Iranians mainly migrated to Russia during and after World War I due to the economic and political instability in Iran caused by the war and the subsequent occupation by British and Russian forces. Many Iranians migrated to neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Some Iranians also migrated to Europe and North America, mainly for economic and educational opportunities and to escape political persecution in Iran. The Iranian diaspora was greatly affected by these migrations. Many Iranians living abroad faced economic and social challenges as they tried to establish themselves in their new countries. Additionally, the diaspora community was also affected by the political changes in Iran, as many Iranians abroad were forced to leave their homes and businesses behind and adjust to life in a new country. The diaspora community also played a role in the political developments in Iran, as many Iranians abroad were active in political movements and organizations that sought to bring about change in their homeland.

Pahlavi Dynasty

The fall of the Qajar dynasty and the rise of Reza Shah in Iran occurred in the early 20th century and was a significant turning point in Iranian history. The Qajar dynasty, which had ruled Iran since the late 18th century, had become increasingly weak and corrupt by the early 20th century. Economic and political problems plagued the country, including poverty, corruption, and foreign intervention. Additionally, the Qajar dynasty could not deal with the challenges posed by the growing nationalism movement in Iran, which sought to modernize and Westernize the country. In 1921, a group of Iranian military officers, known as the Persian Cossack Brigade, staged a coup d’etat and removed Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last Qajar king, from power. The coup leaders then appointed Reza Khan, a former officer in the Persian Cossack Brigade, as the new Prime Minister of Iran. Reza Khan, who later took the title of Reza Shah, quickly consolidated power and established himself as the de facto ruler of Iran. He implemented a series of sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing and Westernizing the country. These included the promotion of education and the adoption of Western-style legal and administrative systems, as well as the suppression of traditional culture and customs. Reza Shah also embarked on an ambitious economic development program, including the construction of railroads, highways, and dams and the oil industry’s expansion. These efforts helped to spur economic growth and modernization in Iran. Reza Shah’s reign also marked a period of increased centralization and authoritarianism in Iran. He suppressed political opposition and censorship of the press and imposed strict control over the media and the educational system. The rise of Reza Shah and the fall of the Qajar dynasty were significant in the historical context of Iran. It marked a turning point in the country’s history, the end of centuries of dynastic rule, and the beginning of a new era of modernization and Westernization. Reza Shah’s policies helped spur economic growth and modernization in Iran but also suppressed traditional culture and customs, political repression, and authoritarianism.

Reza Shah’s land reform policies, implemented in the 1920s and 1930s, aimed to modernize and improve the country’s agricultural sector. The main goal of these policies was to increase agricultural productivity and create a more efficient land use system. The land reform policies included measures such as the confiscation of large estates and their redistribution to small farmers, the implementation of a land registration system, and the promotion of mechanized agriculture. These policies were aimed at addressing the problem of landlessness and land tenure insecurity in rural areas and aimed to increase economic opportunities for small farmers. However, these policies had several unintended consequences that led to the displacement and migration of many Iranians:

  1. The confiscation of large estates often resulted in the displacement of the tenants and sharecroppers who worked on those lands, many of whom were left without any livelihood.
  2. Implementing a land registration system and promoting mechanized agriculture led to the displacement of many farmers and rural communities who could not meet the new requirements or afford the new technologies. These people were forced to migrate.
  3. The land reform policies led to the concentration of land ownership in the hands of a few individuals who could take advantage of the new system at the expense of the majority of small farmers, who were displaced and migrated.

These people were forced to migrate to urban centers and neighbouring countries in search of work and a better standard of living. The migration of Iranians under Reza Shah mainly started in the 1920s and reached its peak in the 1960s as a result of the oil boom in the region. Many Iranians migrated to the Persian Gulf states for better economic opportunities.

World War II

During World War II, Iran was officially neutral. Still, it was occupied by both British and Soviet forces to secure oil supplies and protect against a potential invasion by Germany. Reza Shah, the ruler of Iran at the time, was forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Mohammad Reza Shah, due to his pro-German sympathies. The occupation of Iran and the forced change in leadership led to a power vacuum. They increased discontent among various ethnic and political groups in the country, including the Kurds and Azerbaijanis. This led to several revolts and uprisings, including the Kurdish revolt of 1945-1946 and the Azerbaijan crisis of 1946. The significance of these events is that they marked the beginning of a period of instability and political turmoil in Iran that would continue for decades. The Kurdish and Azerbaijani uprisings were among the first examples of ethnic and regional unrest in the country, which would become a recurring theme in Iranian politics. Additionally, the occupation of Iran during World War II and the subsequent power vacuum and instability contributed to a mistrust of Western powers and a sense of vulnerability among Iranians, shaping the country’s foreign policy in the coming years.

Occupation

During World War II, Iran was officially neutral, but its strategic location and oil resources made it an important target for both the Axis and Allied powers. In September 1941, the British and Soviet governments, concerned about potential German expansion into the region and the potential disruption of oil supplies, jointly invaded and occupied Iran. The invasion, known as Operation Countenance, was launched without a declaration of war and was met with little resistance from the Iranian government and military. The British forces occupied the southern and western regions of the country, including the oil-rich province of Khuzestan. In contrast, the Soviet forces occupied the northern regions, including the capital Tehran. The occupation of Iran had several significant consequences. Reza Shah, the ruler of Iran at the time, was forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Mohammad Reza Shah, due to his pro-German sympathies. This created a power vacuum and increased discontent among various ethnic and political groups in the country. Additionally, the occupation led to the seizure and control of Iran’s oil resources by the British and Soviet governments, which had significant economic and political implications for the country. The occupation of Iran during World War II was a significant event that impacted the country’s politics, economy, and society. It marked the beginning of a period of instability and political turmoil that would continue for decades. It also laid the foundation for the mistrust of Western powers and a sense of vulnerability among Iranians that would shape the country’s foreign policy in the years to come.

Gilan

The Republic of Rasht was a short-lived separatist state that existed in the northern region of Iran during the rule of Reza Shah. It was established by Mirza Kuchak Khan, an ethnic Gilaki leader, and a group of followers who rebelled against the central government of Iran, which Reza Shah then controlled. The Republic of Rasht was established in the aftermath of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911, during which the country underwent a period of political turmoil and decentralization of power. The region of Gilan, where the Republic of Rasht was established, had a history of autonomy and resistance against central authority. Mirza Kuchak Khan and his followers, known as Jangalis, declared the independence of the Republic of Rasht and set up a government with Mirza Kuchak Khan as its leader. They established a progressive and democratic government and attempted to modernize the region. The Republic of Rasht was able to resist the central government’s attempts to crush the rebellion for a while, but ultimately it was defeated by the Iranian army. The Persian Socialist Soviet Republic, also known as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Iran, was established in the province of Gilan, where the Republic of Rasht had existed a few months prior and where the Jangali movement was still active. It was led by a group of Iranian communists, including Mirza Koochak Khan’s brother, Mirza Ali Khan, and Soviet advisors. The republic lasted for about two years, from April 1920 to September 1922. The Persian Socialist Soviet Republic was an essential event in the history of Iran, as it highlighted the historical tensions and conflicts between the central government and the ethnic minority regions. It also served as a catalyst for further movements of autonomy and self-determination in the country. It also demonstrated the influence of the Soviet Union in the region and its attempt to spread communism in neighbouring countries. This event, along with the Republic of Rasht, was one of the factors that contributed to the power vacuum and increased discontent among various ethnic and political groups in the country, which led to several revolts and uprisings, including the Kurdish revolt of 1945-1946 and the Azerbaijan crisis of 1946.

Kurdistan

The Kurdish revolt of 1945-1946, also known as the Mahabad Republic, was a Kurdish nationalist movement in Iran during Reza Shah’s rule. The revolt was sparked by several factors, including the power vacuum created by the occupation of Iran during World War II and the subsequently forced abdication of Reza Shah, as well as growing Kurdish nationalism sentiment and the repression of Kurdish culture and autonomy by the Iranian government. The revolt was led by Qazi Muhammad, a Kurdish leader, and was centred in the city of Mahabad in the northwestern province of Kurdistan. The Kurdish rebels declared the establishment of the Mahabad Republic, a short-lived independent Kurdish state, and set up a government with Qazi Muhammad as its president. Under the newly installed Mohammad Reza Shah, the Iranian government responded to the revolt with a military crackdown, ultimately leading to the Mahabad Republic’s collapse in December 1946. Qazi Muhammad and other leaders were arrested and executed by the Iranian government. The Kurdish revolt of 1945-1946 was the first significant Kurdish nationalist movement in Iran and served as a catalyst for further Kurdish resistance and autonomy movements in the following decades. It also marked the beginning of a period of ethnic and regional unrest in Iran, as other ethnic and minority groups, such as the Azerbaijanis, also began to demand greater autonomy and self-determination. The Kurdish revolt of 1945-1946 was a significant event highlighting the historical tensions and conflicts between the Iranian state and the Kurdish minority. It continues to have a lasting impact on Kurdish-Iranian relations.

Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijan crisis of 1946 was a political and military crisis that occurred in Iran’s Azerbaijan province during the rule of Reza Shah. The crisis was sparked by several factors, including the power vacuum created by the occupation of Iran during World War II and the subsequently forced abdication of Reza Shah, as well as growing Azerbaijani nationalism sentiment and the repression of Azerbaijani culture and autonomy by the Iranian government. The crisis was led by a group of Azerbaijani nationalists, led by Ja’far Pishevari, who established the Azerbaijan Democratic Party and declared the independence of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The separatists established a provisional government and a Soviet-backed separatist state in the province. Under the newly installed Mohammad Reza Shah, the Iranian government responded to the crisis with a military crackdown, ultimately leading to the collapse of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in December 1946. The Azerbaijan crisis of 1946 was the first significant Azerbaijani nationalist movement in Iran and served as a catalyst for further Azerbaijani resistance and autonomy movements in the following decades. It also marked the beginning of ethnic and regional unrest in Iran. Other ethnic and minority groups, such as the Kurds, also began to demand greater autonomy and self-determination. The Azerbaijan crisis of 1946 was a significant event that highlighted the historical tensions and conflicts between the Iranian state and the Azerbaijani minority. It continues to have a lasting impact on Azerbaijani-Iranian relations. The crisis also had an impact on the Soviet Union as it showed their lack of control over the separatist movements in their neighbouring countries despite the support they gave.

Balochistan

The Balochistan Uprising of 1940-1941 refers to the series of revolts and uprisings in the Balochistan province of Iran during the rule of Reza Shah. These protests were largely driven by a sense of economic and political marginalization, as well as cultural repression of the Baloch people by the central government. One of the most notable protests was the Balochistan Uprising of 1940-1941, led by Mir Ahmed Yar Khan, the Khan of Kalat. Several factors, including economic grievances, political repression, and a lack of autonomy and self-rule for the Baloch people, sparked this rebellion. The Iranian government, under Reza Shah, responded to the rebellion with a military crackdown, ultimately leading to the rebels’ defeat and the capture of Mir Ahmed Yar Khan. The rebellion was also called the “Khanate of Kalat’s Independence Movement,” as it was led by the Khan of Kalat and aimed to establish an independent state. These uprisings and rebellions in Balochistan and the Kurdish and Azerbaijani movements were among the first examples of ethnic and regional unrest in Iran, becoming a recurring theme in Iranian politics. The Balochistan protests under Reza Shah were significant events that highlighted the historical tensions and conflicts between the Iranian state and the Baloch minority. It continues to have a lasting impact on Baloch-Iranian relations. It is also important to note that the repressions and policies of centralization implemented by Reza Shah during his reign were essential factors that contributed to the discontent of the ethnic minorities and their desire for autonomy and self-determination.

Soviet Union

During the 1920s and 1930s, many Iranians fled to the Soviet Union as political refugees. The Iranian diaspora in the Soviet Union was primarily a result of Iran’s political and social conditions during the early 20th century. The Soviet Union, as a socialist state, represented an attractive destination for Iranian political refugees and activists who opposed the Pahlavi dynasty, which was in power in Iran during that time. During the 1920s and 1930s, many Iranians fled to the Soviet Union as political refugees due to the suppression of political opposition and the suppression of traditional culture and customs under Reza Shah’s rule. Many of these Iranians were members of the Tudeh Party, a communist political party in Iran. The Tudeh Party was banned in Iran, and its members were persecuted. Many of them found refuge in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. During the second Pahlavi dynasty, many Iranians were also attracted to the Soviet Union for economic and educational opportunities, which were not available in Iran at the time. The Soviet Union was seen as a land of opportunity for Iranians seeking to improve their lives and escape poverty and oppression. Iranians who migrated to the Soviet Union during this time period were diverse groups of people, including political refugees, students, intellectuals, and workers. They established communities and formed organizations within the Soviet Union, preserving their cultural heritage and often playing a role in the cultural and political life of the country. The Iranian diaspora in the Soviet Union played an essential role in the cultural, political and social life of the Iranian diaspora. It affected the relations between Iran and Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many Iranians who had settled in the Soviet Union returned to Iran or emigrated to other countries. One concrete example of the Iranian diaspora in the Soviet Union is the Iranian community in Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan. This community was formed in the 1920s and 1930s when many Iranians fled to the Soviet Union as political refugees due to the suppression of political opposition and the suppression of traditional culture and customs under Reza Shah’s rule. Many of these Iranians were members of the Tudeh party and other leftist political organizations. They found refuge in Ashgabat, a major center of the Soviet oil industry, which had a growing population at the time. Iranians in Ashgabat established their own community and cultural organizations, such as Persian-language schools and clubs, which helped them preserve their cultural heritage and identity. They also played an essential role in Ashgabat’s economic and cultural development, particularly in education, science, and arts.

Türkiye

During the 1920s and 1930s, many Iranian students, intellectuals and political refugees moved to Türkiye due to the political and social conditions in Iran at the time. They formed communities in major cities like Istanbul and Ankara and established cultural and educational organizations to preserve their heritage and identity. Some were members of the Tudeh party and other leftist political organizations and found refuge in Türkiye. In the 1950s, many Iranian Kurds migrated to Türkiye due to political repression and economic hardship in Iran. They settled in the eastern regions of Türkiye and established communities, which helped preserve their cultural heritage and identity. In the 1940s and 1950s, many Iranian merchants and traders migrated to Türkiye to take advantage of the economic opportunities in the country. They established businesses and trade networks in major cities like Istanbul and Ankara, which helped to strengthen economic ties between Iran and Türkiye. During the 1950s and 1960s, many Iranian artists and intellectuals moved to Türkiye due to the political and cultural climate in Iran at the time. They formed creative communities in Istanbul and other major cities, which helped to enrich the cultural and intellectual life of Türkiye. The Iranian diaspora in Türkiye during 1920-1960 played a significant role in preserving and promoting Iranian culture and heritage, strengthening economic ties between the two countries, enriching Türkiye’s cultural and intellectual life and providing a refuge for Iranian political dissidents and refugees.

Iraq

After the fall of the Qajar dynasty and the rise of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran, many Iranian politicians, intellectuals, and members of ethnic and religious minorities moved to Iraq due to political repression and persecution in Iran. They formed communities in major cities like Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, which helped preserve their heritage and identity. In the 1950s, many Iranian Kurds migrated to Iraq due to political repression and economic hardship in Iran. They settled in the Northern regions of Iraq and established communities, which helped preserve their cultural heritage and identity. During the 1950s and 1960s, many Iranian artists and intellectuals moved to Iraq due to the political and cultural climate in Iran at the time. They formed creative communities in Baghdad and other major cities, which helped to enrich the cultural and intellectual life of Iraq. The forced migration of ethnic Kurds from Iran to Iraq, which started in the 1930s, was part of a government campaign to assimilate ethnic minorities into the dominant Persian culture. The Kurds, an ethnic group primarily found in the mountainous border regions of Iran, Iraq, Türkiye, and Syria, have their own distinct culture and language. The forced migration campaign was intended to disperse the Kurdish population and break up their cultural and economic ties. Thousands of Kurds were forced to leave their homes in Iran and migrate to Iraq, facing significant challenges in adapting to a new environment and rebuilding their lives.

Pakistan

Economic and political factors mainly drove the Iranian diaspora in Pakistan from 1920 to 1960. Many Iranians migrated to Pakistan for better economic opportunities and to escape poverty and unemployment in Iran. Additionally, Iran’s period between 1920 and 1960 was marked by political instability, with several coups and revolutions. This led many Iranians, particularly those who were politically active or opposed the government, to seek refuge in Pakistan. During this period, Pakistan, which had just gained independence from British colonial rule, was experiencing a period of rapid economic growth and modernization. This, combined with the relatively stable political situation, made Pakistan an attractive destination for Iranians looking for a better life. Additionally, the Iranian-Pakistani border region has a long history of cultural and economic exchange, and many Iranians have long-standing ties to communities in Pakistan. This made it easier for Iranians to migrate to Pakistan, as they often had family and social networks to support them in their new home. Most Iranians in Pakistan during this period were from the urban and educated class. They mainly settled in major cities such as Karachi, Lahore, and especially Quetta, which has a relatively sizeable Iranian ex-pat community. Many of these Iranian immigrants were involved in trade and commerce, significantly contributing to Pakistan’s cultural and intellectual life. Overall, the Iranian diaspora in Pakistan during this period was a significant but relatively small-scale migration driven by economic, political, and cultural factors.

Europe and North America

During the period between 1920 and 1960, there were several waves of Iranian migration to Europe and North America. One of the main reasons for Iranian migration during this time was the political instability in Iran, which was characterized by a series of coups, revolutions, and wars. Many Iranians left the country to escape the violence and uncertainty. Another reason for Iranian migration was economic opportunity. Many Iranians saw the potential for better job prospects and higher wages in Europe and North America. The first wave of Iranian migration to Europe and North America occurred in the 1920s and 1930s and was primarily composed of students and intellectuals. These Iranians were attracted to the educational and cultural opportunities available in the West, and many went on to become prominent members of their adopted communities. The second wave of Iranian migration occurred after World War II and was driven by economic factors. Many Iranians left the country searching for better job prospects and higher wages in Europe and North America. The third wave of Iranian migration occurred during the 1950s and 1960s and was again driven by political instability in Iran. This wave of migration was primarily composed of middle-class Iranians who feared the rise of the Pahlavi dynasty and the government’s increasing authoritarianism.

Bahrain

In the 1950s and 1960s, many Iranians migrated to Bahrain for better economic opportunities. The oil boom in Bahrain, and the development of the country’s oil and gas industry, attracted many Iranians to the island, particularly professionals and skilled workers. The Persian influence on Bahrain can be traced back to ancient times when various Persian empires, such as the Achaemenids, the Parthians, and the Sassanids, ruled the area. During the Islamic period, Bahrain came under the control of various Arab dynasties, but in the 16th century, it was ruled by the Persian Safavid Empire. The Safavids, based in Iran, established a strong presence in the region, including in Bahrain. They appointed governors to rule over Bahrain, and the island became a center for trade, commerce, and culture. Under the Safavids, Bahrain’s economy flourished, and the island became an important center for pearl diving and trade in the Persian Gulf. After the fall of the Safavid Empire in the 18th century, Bahrain came under the control of various other Iranian dynasties, such as the Qajars. The Qajars continued to appoint governors to rule over Bahrain, but their influence in the region was limited. In the 19th century, Bahrain came under the control of the British Empire, and it became a British protectorate in 1861, ending the Iranian dynasty’s rule over Bahrain. Despite this, Iran has maintained a solid cultural and historical influence on Bahrain, and the two countries share many cultural and linguistic similarities.

United Arab Emirates

The Iranian diaspora in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) formed between 1920 and 1960 primarily due to economic opportunities in the region. The discovery of oil in the UAE in the late 1950s and early 1960s brought significant economic growth to the region and attracted many Iranian expatriates. Before the discovery of oil, the economy of the UAE was primarily based on fishing, pearling, and trade. Iranian merchants and traders had settled in the region as early as the 19th century and established trading companies and businesses in cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. These early Iranian settlers were mainly from the southern Iranian provinces of Bushehr, Khuzestan, Fars, and Hormozgan. In the 1920s and 1930s, the UAE saw a significant increase in trade and commerce, particularly in textiles and gold. This increase in trade attracted more Iranians to the region, who established businesses and trading companies in the UAE. During the 1940s and 1950s, the UAE saw a significant increase in infrastructure development, further attracting Iranians to the region. The construction of ports, airports, and roads improved the region’s connectivity and provided new opportunities for trade and commerce. The discovery of oil in the UAE in the late 1950s and early 1960s brought a significant economic boom to the region. The oil industry attracted large numbers of Iranian expatriates who came to the UAE in search of employment opportunities in the oil industry and the construction and service sectors. Emirati Persians refers to citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who are of Persian descent. These individuals have at least one parent of Persian heritage and were born and raised in the UAE. They grew up in the UAE and were raised with its culture and customs. They have a dual identity, where they identify with Emirati and Persian cultures. Over time, many of these individuals and their descendants have become permanent residents and citizens of the UAE. Emirati Persians are well-integrated into the UAE society and culture; they participate in the country’s economic, cultural and social life; many are involved in business, trade and industry, others in the service sector, and others in the government. They have contributed to the UAE’s development and to its society’s diversity. Emirati Persians are also known for their strong sense of identity and attachment to their Persian heritage. They maintain strong cultural and social ties to Iran and often participate in cultural events and festivals celebrating Persian culture.

Kuwait

The Iranian diaspora in Kuwait comprises Iranians who have emigrated to Kuwait primarily for economic reasons. Historically, many Iranians moved to Kuwait during the 20th century, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s, when Kuwait was experiencing rapid economic growth and development. This was also a time of political instability in Iran, with the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 and the subsequent Iranian Revolution leading to further waves of Iranian migration to Kuwait. Many Iranians in Kuwait have established themselves as successful businesspeople and professionals and have played an essential role in the country’s economic development. However, in 1990, Kuwait did expel around 400,000 Iranians and other foreign nationals after Iraq’s invasion.

Qatar

The Iranian diaspora in Qatar formed gradually between 1920 and 1960 due to several factors. Firstly, Qatar, a British protectorate, had a relatively stable political and economic environment compared to other countries in the region. This stability, along with the discovery of oil reserves in the 1930s, attracted Iranians in search of work and economic opportunities. Secondly, Qatar’s strategic location on the Arabian Peninsula made it an important hub for trade and commerce, particularly for merchants from the Iranian province of Bushehr. These merchants came to Qatar to establish trade connections, and many decided to settle in the country. Additionally, the discovery of oil in Qatar and the subsequent development of the oil industry created more job opportunities, which attracted Iranians looking for work in the field. Finally, the population of Qatar was relatively small at the time, and the Qatari government actively encouraged Iranians and other foreigners to settle in the country to help boost the population and develop the economy. Therefore, economic and political stability, trade, job opportunities, and government policies attracted Iranians to Qatar and formed the Iranian diaspora between 1920 and 1960.

Oman

The Iranian diaspora in Oman has a long history that dates back to the pre-modern era when Oman and Iran had a close relationship due to their shared history and cultural ties. However, during the 20th century, the Iranian diaspora in Oman grew significantly due to several factors. The economy was one of the main reasons for the growth of the Iranian diaspora in Oman during the 20th century. Oman, like Qatar, has a relatively stable economy and a developing oil industry which attracted Iranians in search of work and economic opportunities. Additionally, Oman’s strategic location on the Arabian Peninsula made it an important hub for trade and commerce, particularly for merchants from the Iranian province of Bushehr. Political factors also played a role in the growth of the Iranian diaspora in Oman. During the 1950s and 1960s, Oman faced a rebellion in the country’s interior, and the government welcomed Iranians and other foreigners to help boost the population and develop the economy. Another factor contributing to the growth of the Iranian diaspora in Oman is the cultural and social ties between Oman and Iran. These ties have traditionally been strong, and many Iranians have relatives or friends in Oman, making settling in the country easier. Overall, the Iranian diaspora in Oman is formed by economic, political, and cultural factors. Today, the Iranian community in Oman is relatively small but still plays an important role in the country’s economy, especially in the business sector.

Movements

Each major political party and movement that emerged in Iran from 1920 to 1970 affected the Iranian diaspora differently and provided different opportunities and challenges for Iranians living abroad. Some examples of how each party or movement affected the diaspora include:

  1. The Constitutionalists: Many Iranians in the diaspora supported the Constitutionalist movement, providing financial and logistical support to the revolutionaries in Iran. The Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911 also allowed many Iranians in the diaspora to return to Iran and participate in the formation of the new constitutional government.
  2. The Nationalists: The Nationalist movement, led by figures such as Mohammad Mossadegh, had a strong following among Iranians in the diaspora, particularly in Europe and North America. They were active in organizing rallies, publishing newspapers and magazines, and providing financial and logistical support to political groups in Iran. The Nationalist policies also had a negative effect on the diaspora as many Iranians abroad were forced to leave their homes and businesses behind after the 1953 coup.
  3. The Tudeh Party: The Party had a significant following among Iranians in the diaspora, particularly in the Soviet Union. Many Iranians living abroad actively promoted the party’s ideas and supported its activities in Iran. The party was banned in Iran after the 1953 coup, and many members were arrested or exiled, which also affected the diaspora community.
  4. The Islamic Movement: The Islamic movement in Iran significantly impacted the Iranian diaspora. Many Iranians in the diaspora actively supported the movement, providing financial and logistical support to the political groups and leaders in Iran. Iran’s political changes also significantly affected the diaspora community, leading to mass migration and political repression. It also played an essential role in shaping the political developments in Iran.
  5. The National Front: The National Front, like the Nationalists, had a strong following among Iranians in the diaspora, and they were active in promoting the party’s ideas and supporting its activities in Iran. The National Front also had a negative effect on the diaspora, as many Iranians abroad were forced to leave their homes and businesses behind after the 1953 coup.

These are some examples of how the major political parties and movements that emerged in Iran from 1920 to 1970 affected the Iranian diaspora. It should be noted that the impact of these parties and movements on the diaspora was complex and multifaceted, and various factors, such as economic, social and political conditions in the host countries and Iran, influenced it. One of the movements’ primary roots was the country’s economic and social inequality, which was perceived as a result of the Pahlavi dynasty’s policies. The regime’s focus on modernization and westernization led to a growing gap between the rich and the poor. Many Iranians felt they were not benefiting from the country’s economic growth. Another root was the political repression and human rights abuses committed by the Pahlavi regime. The regime’s secret police, SAVAK, was known for its brutal tactics, and many Iranians felt they were living under a dictatorship. The religious establishment also played a significant role in revolutionary movements. The regime’s secular policies and close relationship with Western countries were seen as threatening traditional Islamic values, and many Iranians felt their religion was under attack. The Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, exiled in Iraq, became the symbol and leader of the opposition against the Pahlavi dynasty. The Iranian diaspora also played a significant role in the revolution. Many Iranians living abroad were actively involved in supporting the opposition movements, and they played a crucial role in raising awareness about the situation in Iran and providing financial and logistical support to the political groups and leaders.

Pahlavi II

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as the Shah of Iran, was the last monarch of Iran before the Iranian Revolution of 1979. During his reign, which lasted from 1941 to 1979, he made several contributions to Iran, both positive and negative. One of the most significant contributions that the Shah made to Iran was his modernization program, which aimed to modernize and industrialize the country. This program led to the construction of new infrastructure, such as roads, airports, and hospitals, and the development of new industries, such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, and textiles. Additionally, the Shah invested heavily in education and healthcare, leading to increased literacy rates and decreased infant mortality. The Shah also significantly contributed to Iran’s cultural and artistic life by establishing numerous museums and cultural centers and promoting Iranian art and culture. He also supported the development of Iranian cinema and theatre, which led to a flowering of Iranian culture. However, these contributions were also accompanied by adverse effects, such as displacement, poverty, inequality, political repression and human rights abuse.

Iranian diaspora and migration between 1940 to 1979 was a significant phenomenon shaped by a complex set of political, economic, and social factors. The period was marked by significant changes in Iran, including the rise of nationalist and Islamist movements, the imposition of a pro-Western monarchy, and the growing influence of foreign powers. These factors led to the migration of many Iranians, both within the country and abroad, and the formation of a large and politically active diaspora community. The major players in this period were political parties and organizations such as the Tudeh Party, the National Front, and the Iranian diaspora communities, who played a significant role in shaping Iran’s political and social developments. The Iranian diaspora communities played a significant role in the westernization of Iran during this period. Many Iranians living abroad were exposed to Western culture and ideas, and they brought these ideas and values back to Iran when they returned. Additionally, the diaspora communities also played a role in the spread of Western popular culture in Iran, as they imported Western films, music, and literature into the country.

Khomeini

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became involved in the Islamic movement in Iran in the early 1960s. He was a prominent religious leader and a vocal critic of the Pahlavi dynasty’s policies, particularly its secularization and modernization efforts and its close relationship with Western countries. In 1963, Khomeini delivered a series of speeches in which he condemned the regime for its policies, and he was arrested and exiled for his criticisms. He was exiled first to Türkiye and then to Iraq, where he continued to lead the opposition against the Pahlavi dynasty. During his exile, Khomeini continued to give speeches, write books and issue statements. He further developed his ideology of velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the Islamic jurist), which was the basis of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He continued to be a vocal critic of the Pahlavi dynasty’s policies and its close relationship with Western countries. Khomeini’s opposition to the Pahlavi regime, his ideas of the Islamic Republic, and his charismatic personality made him a popular figure among Iranians, including the diaspora. His exile and speeches helped him to spread his ideas and to build a significant following among Iranians both in Iran and abroad. In 1979, the Iranian Revolution led to the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with Khomeini as the Supreme Leader. He returned to Iran.

Bakhtiar

Shapour Bakhtiar was an Iranian statesman and political figure who served as the last Prime Minister of Iran under the Pahlavi dynasty. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi appointed him as Prime Minister in the regime’s last days to establish a democratic government and gain support from the opposition movements. Bakhtiar was born in 1914 in Shahrekord in, Iran and received his education in France. He was a member of the National Front, a political organization established in Iran in 1949 to promote democracy and national independence. He was also a close advisor to Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, who was deposed in a CIA-backed coup in 1953. Shah chose Bakhtiar as his Prime Minister for several reasons. Firstly, Bakhtiar was seen as a moderate who could gain the support of the opposition movements and help stabilize the country’s situation. Secondly, Bakhtiar had a good reputation among the Iranian people, who saw him as a nationalist and a democrat. Thirdly, Bakhtiar was also seen as a relatively independent figure who could distance himself from the policies of the Pahlavi dynasty, which was deeply unpopular among the Iranian people. Bakhtiar formed a provisional government on January 4, 1979, after the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty. His government was composed of diverse political figures, including representatives from the National Front, the Tudeh Party, and other opposition movements. The government’s main goal was to establish a democratic government and to hold free and fair elections. Bakhtiar also announced several political and economic reforms, such as the release of political prisoners, the abolition of censorship, and the nationalization of key industries. However, Bakhtiar’s government faced significant challenges from the beginning. The revolutionary forces led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had returned to Iran from exile, rejected Bakhtiar’s government and called for its overthrow. The Bakhtiar government was also unable to control the security situation in the country, and it was faced with widespread strikes and protests.

Bakhtiar’s government was eventually forced to resign by the revolutionary forces, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was established in April 1979. Bakhtiar was arrested and put under house arrest, and later, he went into exile in France, where he lived until his assassination in 1991.

1979 Revolution

The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was a popular and religious uprising that led to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the establishment of an Islamic republic in Iran. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the revolution, a Shia cleric exiled by Shah’s regime. The revolution was sparked by several factors, including widespread poverty, political repression, corruption under Shah’s regime, and increasing discontent with the country’s dependence on foreign powers. The revolution was also fueled by religious and ideological factors, as Khomeini and his supporters sought to establish an Islamic state independent of Western influence. The revolution successfully overthrew the Shah but also led to several changes in Iranian society that caused many Iranians to migrate. One of the most significant changes was the establishment of an Islamic Republic, which led to the implementation of strict Islamic laws and regulations that many Iranians found oppressive. Additionally, the revolution led to economic instability and political turmoil, which caused many Iranians to leave the country in search of better opportunities elsewhere. The revolution also led to a rise in political repression and human rights violations, which caused many Iranians to flee the country to escape persecution. Additionally, the revolution increased religious and ethnic tensions, which caused many Iranians to migrate to escape persecution or discrimination. Overall, the Iranian Revolution of 1979 led to many Iranians migrating, both within the country and abroad, as they sought to escape the changes and instability that the revolution brought about. One of the most significant human rights abuses committed by the Iranian government was the mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s. Thousands of Iranians were arrested and executed for their political beliefs, with many facing show trials before being sentenced to death. Most of those executed were left-wing opposition members and members of ethnic and religious minorities.

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