Famous Iranian Men

Think of Iran and the first thing that runs your mind is social unrest, militancy, religious riots and unjust laws. Well, you are not to be blamed for the country has drawn much negative publicity from round the globe. But Iran is not all about insurrection and insurgency. The land, which is home to one of the world’s oldest civilization, has been a cultural and economic centre of the Middle East. It has been home to numerous ethnic groups and also to a large number of talented men who have greatly contributed in the country cultural and economic landscape.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great.
Famous As: Founder of First Persian Empire
Birthdate: 0590 BC
Birthplace: Anshan, Iran
Died: 0530 BC

Cyrus II, or Cyrus the Great, founded the first Persian empire, the Achaemenid Empire. His kingdom extended from Western Asia to Central Asia. He advocated centralized administration, with the help of local governors. The biblical Edict of Cyrus, named after him, talks about the return of the Jews to Israel.

 2 Zoroaster

Famous As: Founder of Zoroastrianism
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, was an Iranian spiritual leader who founded the religion Zoroastrianism, which challenged the traditional religious ideas of Ancient Persia. There is no record that states the exact period of his existence with certainty. He is said to have authored the Gathas and the Yasna Haptanghaiti.

 3 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Famous As: Last Shah of Iran
Birthdate: October 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran
Died: July 27, 1980

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi served as the last king of Iran from 1941 to 1979. During his reign, Iran witnessed rapid military and industrial modernization and several social and economic reforms. During his rule, Iran also enjoyed a spike in economic growth, surpassing France, England, and the US. However, the Iranian Revolution, which was unusual in many ways, overthrew the king.

 4 Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam.
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 18, 1048
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nishapur, Khorasan, Iran
Died: December 4, 1131

Omar Khayyam was a Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, and poet. In the field of mathematics, he is best known for his work on the classification and solution of cubic equations. As an astronomer, he designed a solar calendar known as the Jalali calendar. His philosophical attitude towards life had elements of pessimism, nihilism, Epicureanism, and fatalism. 

 5 Xerxes I

Xerxes I.
Famous As: Persian King
Birthdate: 0519 BC
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 0466 AD

Xerxes I ruled the Achaemenid Empire from 486 to 465 BC as the fourth King of Kings. During his reign, Xerxes I supervised the completion of several construction projects at Persepolis and Susa. A popular ruler, his life has been adapted into several plays and films; in the 1960 movie Esther and the King, Xerxes is played by Richard Egan.

 6 Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī

Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī.
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: September 5, 0973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kath, Uzbekistan
Died: December 13, 1048

Apart from being a pioneer of Indology and geodesy, Persian scholar Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī also worked on subjects such as anthropology, math, and ethnography. It is believed he didn’t know his father. He had penned many works, such as the encyclopaedic volume The Chronology of Ancient Nations.

 7 Ali Khamenei

Ali Khamenei.
Famous As: Supreme Leader of Iran
Birthdate: July 17, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mashhad
Ali Khamenei has been serving as the supreme leader of Iran since 1989 and has previously been its president. He is one of the co-founders of the Islamic Republic Party and led his country during the Iran–Iraq War. His reign has also seen extreme treatment of journalists and protestors.
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 8 Darius the Great

Darius the Great
Famous As: King of Persia
Birthdate: 0550 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: September 30, 0487

 9 Ali Daei

Ali Daei
Famous As: Association football player, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Association football manager
Birthdate: March 21, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ardabil

 10 Rezā Shāh

Rezā Shāh.
Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: March 15, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alasht
Died: July 26, 1944

Rezā Shāh was a military colonel who founded the Pahlavi dynasty and reigned as the Shah of Iran from December 1925 to September 1941. He was also the prime minister of Iran from October 1923 to November 1925. His tenure saw the introduction of many social, economic, and political reforms, and he is regarded as the founder of modern Iran. 

 11 Mehran Karimi Nasseri

Mehran Karimi Nasseri.
Famous As: Refugee
Birthdate: 1942 AD
Birthplace: Masjed Soleiman, Iran

Mehran Karimi Nasseri is an Iranian refugee who lived in the Charles de Gaulle Airport in France from 1988 to 2006. He claimed that he was expelled from Iran and because his entry to the airport was legal, the French authorities could not drive him away as he had no country of origin. His story has inspired films and documentaries.

 12 Mohammad Mosaddegh

Mohammad Mosaddegh.
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: June 16, 1882
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: March 5, 1967
Born to an Iranian public officer, Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh had an elite education in Switzerland. His oil-nationalization act brought about an economic crisis in the country. He was known to be an eccentric person who met visitors in pajamas, from his bed, and also cried in public.

 13 Nader Shah

Nader Shah.
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: October 22, 1688
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dargaz, Persi
Died: June 19, 1747

Nader Shah reigned over Iran as the Shah of Iran from 1736 until his death in 1747. He is widely regarded as one of the most powerful rulers in the history of Iran. He has also been described as the Napoleon of Persia, thanks to his military genius, which was evident in his several campaigns.

 14 Beneil Dariush

Beneil Dariush.
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: May 6, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gol Tappeh, Hamadan, Iran

Iranian lightweight fighter Beneil Dariush moved to the U.S. at age 9. A UFC champion, he boasts of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. He has bagged several gold medals at the World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu championship, too. In 2021, he criticized UFC for not setting his matches against top-ranking contenders.

 15 Navid Negahban

Navid Negahban
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Iran

 16 Mansour Bahrami

Mansour Bahrami
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: April 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Arak, Iran

 17 Hafez

Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1315 AD
Birthplace: Shiraz, Iran
Died: 1390 AD

 18 Abdul Qadir Gilani

Abdul Qadir Gilani
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: March 17, 1078
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amol, Iran
Died: February 21, 1166

 19 Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Photographer, Film producer, Poet, Film editor
Birthdate: June 22, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tehran
Died: July 4, 2016

 20 Sardar Azmoun

Sardar Azmoun
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: January 1, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gonbad-e Qabus

 21 Asghar Farhadi

Asghar Farhadi.
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: May 7, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Khomeyni Shahr, Iran

Asghar Farhadi is an Iranian screenwriter and film director. In 2016, Farhadi became one of the few directors to receive two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film. While his film The Salesman earned him an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2016, he had previously won an Oscar for his 2011 film A Separation.

 22 Hassan-i Sabbah

Hassan-i Sabbah
Famous As: Islamic religious leader
Birthdate: 1050 AD
Birthplace: Qom, Iran
Died: June 12, 1124

 23 Shams Tabrizi

Shams Tabrizi.
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1185 AD
Birthplace: Tabriz, Iran
Died: 1248 AD

Shams Tabrizi was a Persian poet best remembered for playing an important role in the life of the popular poet and scholar, Rumi. Having served as a spiritual instructor of Rumi, Tabrizi is referenced with reverence in many of Rumi's poetic collection. An important historical figure in Iran, Tabrizi's tomb has been nominated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

 24 Al-Razi

Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: 0854 AD
Birthplace: Ray
Died: October 15, 0925

 25 Jabir Ibn Hayyan

Jabir Ibn Hayyan.
Famous As: Alchemist
Birthdate: 0721 AD
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: 0815 AD

Eighth-century alchemist and physician Jabir Ibn Hayyan has been credited with too many written works. Experts believe his vast works may not have been written by a single person. The Jabirian corpus, a collection of his works, is known for its "method of the balance" and its focus on chemistry.

 26 Arash

Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 23, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

 27 Maz Jobrani

Maz Jobrani
Famous As: Comedians
Birthdate: February 26, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

 28 Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Famous As: Former President of Iran
Birthdate: August 25, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bahreman, Iran
Died: January 8, 2017
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani had also been the speaker of the Majles, or the Islamic Consultative Assembly, and the commander-in-chief during the Iran-Iraq War. Though generally dictatorial, his governance was known for its tolerance of criticism and cultural openness, and earned him the nickname Akbar Shah.

 29 Cambyses II

Cambyses II
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0559 BC
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: June 30, 0522

 30 Al-Ghazālī

Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1058 AD
Birthplace: Ṭūs, Iran
Died: December 19, 1111

 31 Nasir al-Din al-Tusi

Nasir al-Din al-Tusi.
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 18, 1201
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: June 26, 1274

Persian polymath Nasir al-Din al-Tusi lost his jurist father in childhood and then went around as a scholar, learning subjects such as math and philosophy. He made invaluable contribution to astronomy and later served as a scientific advisor of the Mongols. One of his notable written works was Akhlaq-i Nasiri.

 32 Ferdowsi

Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0940 AD
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: 1020 AD

 33 Ismail I

Ismail I
Famous As: sovereign, poet, writer
Birthdate: July 17, 1487
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ardabil
Died: May 23, 1524

 34 Harun al-Rashid

Harun al-Rashid.
Famous As: Caliph
Birthdate: March 17, 0763
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jibal
Died: March 24, 0809
Son of Abbasid caliph al-Mahdi and former Yemeni slave girl al-Khayzuran, Harun al-Rashid reigned as the fifth Abbasid caliph. Many of the Middle-Eastern folk tales, known as the Arabian Nights, have him as the main character. He ruled over a prosperous Baghdad, spelling the beginning of the Islamic Golden Age.

 35 Jian Ghomeshi

Jian Ghomeshi
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 36 Mani

Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: April 14, 0216
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ctesiphon, Iraq
Died: March 2, 0274

 37 Patrik Baboumian

Patrik Baboumian
Famous As: Strongman
Birthdate: July 1, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Abadan, Iran

 38 Qasem Soleimani

Qasem Soleimani.
Famous As: Former Commander of Quds Force
Birthdate: March 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Qanat-e Malek, Kerman, Iran
Died: January 3, 2020

Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian major general who served as the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force from 1998 to 2020. Soleimani was regarded as the second most powerful Iranian. Although he is considered a national hero in Iran, Soleimani was termed a terrorist by the US and was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2020.

 39 Saeed Hanaei

Saeed Hanaei
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: April 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mashhad, Iran
Died: April 8, 2002

 40 Ayatollah Khomeini

Ayatollah Khomeini.
Famous As: Led the Famous Iranian Revolution in 1979
Birthdate: September 22, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Khomeyn, Persia
Died: June 3, 1989
Ayatollah Khomeini, or the Imam Khomeini, became Iran’s first Supreme Leader, after leading the 1979 Iranian Revolution against Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. He founded the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also issued a “fatwa” against novelist Salman Rushdie and supported the hostage takers during the Iran hostage crisis. 

 41 Bardiya

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Pasargadae, Iran
Died: 0522 AD

 42 Ramin Karimloo

Ramin Karimloo
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 19, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

 43 Shahab Hosseini

Shahab Hosseini
Famous As: actor, television actor, presenter
Birthdate: February 4, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tehran

 44 Masoud Barzani

Masoud Barzani
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mahabad

 45 Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani.
Famous As: 7th President of Iran
Birthdate: November 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sorkheh, Semnan Province, Iran

Hassan Rouhani is an Iranian politician and the current president of Iran. Serving as the Iranian president since 3 August 2013, Rouhani was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2013. One of the most popular Iranian politicians of all time, Hassan Rouhani is credited with improving the country's diplomatic relations with other countries.

 46 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Famous As: President of Iran
Birthdate: October 28, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Aradan, Iran

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the president of Iran from 2005 tom 2013. He had also been the mayor of Tehran earlier and had also served as a leader of the conservative coalition Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, or Abadgaran. He is also part of the Islamic Society of Engineers.

 47 Muhammad of Ghor

Muhammad of Ghor
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1149 AD
Birthplace: Ghor, Afghanistan
Died: March 15, 1206

 48 The Bāb

The Bāb
Famous As: Religious Leaders
Birthdate: October 20, 1819
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shiraz, Iran
Died: July 9, 1850

 49 Nabonidus

Famous As: king
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Harran
Died: 0539 BC

 50 Antiochus III the Great

Antiochus III the Great
Famous As: king
Birthdate: 0241 BC
Birthplace: Susa
Died: 0187 BC

If you don’t believe us, then this would help clear your doubt. World leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Khamenei, Olympic Gold medallist Hadi Sedi, Abdollah Movahed, Emamali Habibi Goudarzi, Mohammad Nassiri, religious figures like The Bab, Bahau’llah, Mani, literary figures like Karim Emami, Majid M Naini, Ali Akbar Abdolrashidi, all of them belong to the Iranian soil. Check this section and update yourself with the life and deeds of famous Iranian men who did their country proud with their significant works. Their inspiring life story would definitely help you think high of Iran!