The Iranian History 1779 AD


Karim Khan Zand Dies

Mar, 1, 1779 AD

Interior of the Zand Vakil Hamam in Kerman that's being used as a teahouse nowKarim Khan Zand is known to be the best ruler in Iran since the invasion of Arabs. He was a high ranking officer in Nader Shah's army. After the assassination of Nader Shah, he supported whoever he thought of as a real heir to the throne but he never proclaimed king and only took the title "the advocate of people". He suppressed some uprisings around the country and set his capital in Shiraz. All of Iran was united under his control except Khorasan that he left to Nader's grandson, Shahrokh Afshar.
During his reign Iran entered a period of peace and tranquility after 40 years of war and some serious infrastructural work was done. There are lots of literature that portray Karim Khan as a compassionate ruler who was very concerned with the welfare of people.
During his reign, there was a power struggle going on in Baghdad between Iran and Ottomans where each side was trying to install their preferred rulers. After mistreatment of Shiite pilgrims to Karbala, Karim Khan Zand captured Basra, consequently; the Ottomans declared war on Iran in June 1776. The Turkish Sultan Abdulhamid tried to turn governors of Azerbaijan and Georgia against Iran while attacking the Iranian territory from Mosul and Baghdad. However, regional disputes among local rulers stopped him from a full scale war. Karim Khan who was a man of politics, restored ties with Britain but rejected Russian alliance against Ottomans before his death on Mar, 1, 1779, after which civil war broke out once again, and none of his descendants were able to unite the country which later fell in the hands of Qajar dynasty.
Although he reportedly had no education, some of his greatest achievements are as follows:
1. He succeeded in restoring trade security by establishing a police force in every city.
2. He created a juristic system based on "The ears of Vakil" to which every citizen could report injustice.
3. He created a safe passage in the Persian Gulf where foreign trade with Europe, specially with the UK was secured. Some export items were: silk, cotton, dried fruits and nuts, pharmaceuticals, copper, and sulphur.
4. Exports to Ottomans reached its peak in a way that people used Turkish currency in most of the northwest cities of Iran. Major export items were : tobacco, wool, rosewater, bamboo and horses.
5. Because gold was scarce, measures were taken to have less gold leave the country.
6. He fixed prices of essentials throughout the country so that the level of general welfare rose considerably. Tax rates on the other hand were kept as low as possible. (Updated: Sep, 3, 2008)

Downfall Of Zand Dynasty

Mar, 5, 1779 AD

A Portrait of Karimkhan Zand sitting with Sword and dagger adorn with jewelsKarimkhan's death actually triggered the downfall of the Zand dynasty as a strange fight for power began. Karim Khan Zand succeeded in taking back most of Iran under his realm but he never called himself king and preferred to be known as the representative of ordinary people.
Shortly after Karimkhan's death, his half brother Zaki Khan proclaimed King. One day later on March, 6, 1779. Karimkhan's other brother Sadegh Khan proclaimed himself king in Kerman. At that time Iran had two kings at the same time.
Zaki Khan was a prominent military leader in Karimkhan's army who had a great role in some of his victories. However, he revolted against Karimkhan. But he saw that he did not have much chance, and asked for forgiveness. Zaki Khan was given the duty to suppress some revolts. He succeeded in taking back the Khark Island. When Karimkhan passed away, he used the opportunity to conquer the Karimkhan Arc in Shiraz and killed 16 of Zand leaders. Zaki Khan sent an army to Kerman in order to suppress Sadegh Khan's revolt which was not successful and returned to Shiraz with heavy losses. About 100 days after his short reign, Zaki Khan was killed in his tent with a gun.
Sadegh Khan's fate was not better and he was blinded before being killed by Ali Morad Khan in 1781. (Updated: Mar, 6, 2010)

Abolfath Khan Ascends Zand Throne

Jun, 19, 1779 AD

Pots of Flowers lined up beautifuly by a small stream inside Karimkhan Zand Arc in Shiraz 2010. Orange trees fill the garden space with a nice aroma.Following Zaki Khan's sudden death, on June 19, 1779 Abolfath Khan became the sole ruler of Persia. He was a son of Karimkhan and there seemed to be no dispute on his legitimacy. Zaki Khan was a very influential person and his death created a power vacuum which many were waiting for. In this power struggle, his death created the opportunity for local rulers to begin their rebellion.
When Ali Morad Khan, the commander of royal army left to undermine a Qajar attack in the north, the capital was defenseless. So when Sadegh Khan invaded Shiraz on Aug, 22, 1779, he faced little resistance. Sadegh Khan slew Abol Fath Khan after tearing his eyes from their sockets, and declared himself the ruler of Persia.
Ali Morad Khan did not submit to Sadegh Khan and captured Isfahan. Shortly after that, In 1781, he raided Shiraz and became the new king of Persia. He then blinded Sadegh Khan and killed his sons. Sadegh Khan, in great sorrow committed suicide.
And so the violent succession of kings of Zand continued. (Updated: Jan, 23, 2012)

Sadegh Khan Proclaims Shah

Aug, 22, 1779 AD

Karim Khan Zand Arc Castle ShirazSadegh Khan was the brother of Karim Khan but he did not have any of his brother's qualities. He staged a conspiracy with Ali Morad Khan who was appointed as the head of the Persian army and raided Shiraz and slew Abolfath Khan on Aug, 22, 1779. Thus, he became the fifth Shah of the Zand dynasty. Unfortunately, Sadegh Khan was famous for his corruption and the course of his reigning was the pinnacle of his political mischief that led to the destruction of the Zand dynasty. Two after his coup, Sadegh Khan was killed by Ali Morad Khan who declared himself the ruler of Persia. (Updated: Jan, 23, 2012)

English-Persian Glossary
  • Shahrokh Afshar : شاهرخ افشار
  • Ali Morad Khan : علي مراد خان
  • Abol Fath Khan : ابوالفتح‌خان زند
  • Abolfath Khan : ابوالفتح خان
  • Zand Dynasty : سلسله زنديه(Zandian Dynasty) زنديان Media_Files
  • Persian Gulf : خليج فارس کَنداب پارس Media_Files
  • Khark Island : جزيره خارک(جزيره خارگ) Kharg Island
  • Sadegh Khan : صادق‌خان
  • Karim Khan : کريم خان
  • Nader Shah : نادر شاه(Naderkuli, Nadergholi) نادرقلي افشار Media_Files
  • Azerbaijan : آذربايجان(Atropatene) Media_Files
  • Karimkhan : کريمخان Media_Files
  • Zaki Khan : زکي خان
  • Khorasan : خراسان(Khorassan) Media_Files
  • Karbala : کربلا کربلاي معلي Media_Files
  • Iranian : ايراني‌ اهل‌ ايران‌ ، وابسته‌به‌ ايران‌ Media_Files
  • Persian : فارسي(Farsi,Parsi) ايراني پارسي Media_Files
  • Dynasty : دودمان ال، خاندان پادشاهان، سلسله Media_Files
  • Georgia : گرجستان Media_Files
  • Isfahan : اصفهان(Esfahan, Sepahan,Esparan) اسپه دانه، اسپهان Media_Files
  • Baghdad : بغداد Media_Files
  • Britain : بريتانيا انگليس Media_Files
  • Russian : روسي Media_Files
  • Persia : ايران Media_Files
  • Kerman : کرمان(Carmania, Kermania) Media_Files
  • Shiraz : شيراز تيرازيس Media_Files
  • Sultan : سلطان(Soltan) Media_Files
  • Afshar : افشار(Avshar,Afshar Tribe) Media_Files
  • Shiite : شيعه(Shia, Shi'a) Media_Files
  • Qajar : قاجار(Ghajar) قجر Media_Files
  • Vakil : وکيل Media_Files
  • Mosul : موصل
  • Morad : مراد(Murat)
  • Basra : بصره(Al Basrah) Media_Files
  • Khan : خان Media_Files
  • Iran : ايران Media_Files
  • Shah : شاه پادشاه‌ Media_Files
  • Zand : زند Media_Files
  • UK : انگليس(United Kingdom,The Old Fox) Media_Files

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