Iranian nationalism

Iranian nationalism

Iranian Nationalism is the term given to describe a political movement that has been in existence in the Iran for thousands of years to maintain Iranian identity by keeping Iranian culture and Iranian languages and oppose cultural assimilation in the long history of Iran which dates back thousands of years.


First recorded history of the Iranian nationalism dates back to the reign of Darius the Great (r. 29 September 522-October 486 BCE). In Naqsh-e Rostam inscription Darius emphasizes on his Persianhood and declares his Aryan lineage to the ancient world: :"I am Darius, the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage".Fact|date=July 2007

The second surviving account is of the greatest of the Iranian national epic poet Ferdowsi who dedicated his life to preserve the national identity, language and heritage of Iran by writing Shahnameh, a Persian national epic and masterpiece. Shahnameh introduced many national heroes who fought to keep their country standing.

Patrick Clawson writes:

:"Since the days of the Achaemenids, the Iranians had the protection of geography. But high mountains and vast emptiness of the Iranian plateau were no longer enough to shield Iran from the Russian army or British navy. Both literally, and figuratively, Iran shrank. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Azerbaijan, Armenia, much of Georgia, and Afghanistan were Iranian, but by the end of the century, all this territory had been lost as a result of European military action. Iran translated her territorial losses into a sense of both victimization and a propensity to interpret European action through the lens of conspiracy. This in turn has helped shape Iranian nationalism into the twenty first century." [Patrick Clawson. "Eternal Iran". Palgrave. 2005. Coauthored with Michael Rubin. ISBN 1-4039-6276-6 p.31-32]

Modern nationalism in Iran dates back to 1906, when an almost bloodless constitutional revolution created Iran's first parliament.
Reza Shah, helped shape Iranian nationalism by infusing it with a distinctly secular ideology, and diminishing the influence of Islam on Iran. In addition, Reza Shah sought to change the names of various towns to honor pre-Islamic Persian kings and mythological heroes, and to continue to reduce the power of the mullahs by seeking to modernize Iran. The Pahlavi dynasty thus was set irrevocably down the road towards infusing the country with a form of secular nationalism, a path that would eventually bring it into conflict with the country's clerical class. Iranian nationalism was a deciding force in the 1951 movement to nationalize Iran's oil wealth.

Nationalist parties of Iran

National Front

Nation Party



* Rastakhiz
* The Constitutionalist Party of Iran (CPI)


ee also

*Reza Shah
*Mohammad Mossadegh
*Dariush Forouhar

Further reading

*Richard W. Cottman, "Nationalism in Iran", Pittsburgh, 1979.


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