Find out more about the greatest Iranians, including Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Rumi, Ali Khamenei, Cyrus the Great and Xerxes I.

It is easy to stereotype Iran with religious revolutions, militancy, extreme laws, and censorship. But that is only one side of the coin. For all the bad press it generates year on year, blame it on the stringent, strange laws of the land and even stranger lawmakers, Iran is a fairly interesting country teeming with unusual culture, talent, and people. From renowned astrologer, mathematician, and poet Omar Khayyam to celebrated theologian Jalal ad-Din Muhammed Rumi and from award-winning movie director Majid Majidi to Persian composer Mohammed Reza Lotfi, Iran has produced a wad of really gifted men and women. That is right! These Iranians have contributed to make rest of the world pro-Iran with their gargantuan contribution in diverse fields of art, literature, cinema, music, religion, dance, poetry, theologian, sportsmen, and politics. Read the biographies of famous Iranians and trail their timeline, trivia, and facts to unearth everything about their lives.
Shah of IranMohammad Reza Pahlavi
(Last Shah of Iran)

26 October 1919

Christiane AmanpourChristiane Amanpour
(Journalist)

12 January 1958

Cyrus the GreatCyrus the Great
(Founder of First Persian Empire)

0590 BC

Ali KhameneiAli Khamenei
(Supreme Leader of Iran)

17 July 1939

Xerxes IXerxes I
(Persian King)

0519 BC

ZoroasterZoroaster
(Founder of Zoroastrianism)

AvicennaAvicenna

0980 AD

Hassan RouhaniHassan Rouhani
(7th President of Iran)

12 November 1948

Mehran Karimi Nasseri Mehran Karimi Nasseri
(Refugee)

1942 AD

Mahmoud AhmadinejadMahmoud Ahmadinejad
(President of Iran)

28 October 1956

Omar KhayyamOmar Khayyam
(Mathematician)

18 May 1048

Tony ToutouniTony Toutouni
(Entrepreneurs)

1973 AD

Marjane Satrapi Marjane Satrapi
(Graphic Novelist)

22 November 1969

Akbar Hashemi RafsanjaniAkbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
(Former President of Iran)

25 August 1934

Beneil DariushBeneil Dariush
(Mixed Martial Artist)

06 May 1989

Shirin EbadiShirin Ebadi
(Human Rights Activist)

21 June 1947

Nasir al-Din al-TusiNasir al-Din al-Tusi
(Writer)

18 February 1201

Ayatollah KhomeiniAyatollah Khomeini
(Led the Famous Iranian Revolution in 1979)

22 September 1902

Shirin NeshatShirin Neshat
(Artist, Activist)

26 March 1957

Jabir Ibn HayyanJabir Ibn Hayyan
(Alchemist)

0721 AD

Abdolkarim SoroushAbdolkarim Soroush
(Thinker and Reformer)

16 December 1945

Hadi SaeiHadi Saei
(Former Taekwondo Athlete & Olympic Gold Medalist)

10 June 1976

Abū Rayḥān al-BīrūnīAbū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī
(Scholar)

05 September 0973

UldouzUldouz
(Actress)

11 November 1981

Rezā ShāhRezā Shāh
(Political figure)

15 March 1878

Ruhollah KhomeiniRuhollah Khomeini
(Former Supreme Leader of Iran)

24 September 1902

Ali DaeiAli Daei
(Association football player, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Association football manager)

21 March 1969

Sardar AzmounSardar Azmoun
(Association football player)

01 January 1995

Shohreh AghdashlooShohreh Aghdashloo
(Actress)

11 May 1952

Alireza JahanbakhshAlireza Jahanbakhsh
(Iranian footballer)

11 August 1993

Farah PahlaviFarah Pahlavi
(Shahbanu)

14 October 1938

Mohammad MosaddeghMohammad Mosaddegh
(Iranian Politician)

16 June 1882

Karim AnsarifardKarim Ansarifard
(Association football player)

03 April 1990

Reza GhoochannejhadReza Ghoochannejhad
(Association football player)

20 September 1987

Masoud ShojaeiMasoud Shojaei
(Association football player)

09 June 1984

Harun al-RashidHarun al-Rashid

17 March 0763

Nader ShahNader Shah

22 October 1688

Xerxes I of PersiaXerxes I of Persia
(King)

0519 BC

Saman GhoddosSaman Ghoddos
(Footballer)

06 September 1993

Maryam MirzakhaniMaryam Mirzakhani
(mathematician, topologist, university teacher)

03 May 1977

Mehdi TaremiMehdi Taremi
(Iranian footballer)

18 July 1992

Ehsan HajsafiEhsan Hajsafi
(Association football player)

25 February 1990

Saeid EzatolahiSaeid Ezatolahi
(Footballer)

01 October 1996

Qasem SoleimaniQasem Soleimani
(military personnel, officer)

11 March 1954

Hulagu KhanHulagu Khan
(Mongol ruler)

15 October 1218

HafezHafez

Mandana KarimiMandana Karimi
(actor, model)

29 March 1988

Antiochus IV EpiphanesAntiochus IV Epiphanes
(king)

0215 BC

Shams TabriziShams Tabrizi
(poet, philosopher, writer)

1185 AD

Artaxerxes I of PersiaArtaxerxes I of Persia
(King)

0500 BC

Abbas KiarostamiAbbas Kiarostami
(Film director, Screenwriter, Photographer, Film producer, Poet, Film editor)

22 June 1940

Mohammad KhatamiMohammad Khatami
(Philosopher, Politician, Librarian, Writer)

29 September 1943

Ismail IIsmail I
(sovereign, poet, writer)

17 July 1487

Naser al-Din Shah QajarNaser al-Din Shah Qajar

FerdowsiFerdowsi
(poet, writer)

0940 AD

Saadi ShiraziSaadi Shirazi
(poet, writer, professor)

1181 AD

Alireza HaghighiAlireza Haghighi
(Association football player)

02 May 1988

Jafar PanahiJafar Panahi
(Film director, Film producer, Film editor, Screenwriter)

11 July 1960

Ali KarimiAli Karimi
(Association football player)

08 November 1978

Mansur Al-HallajMansur Al-Hallaj
(poet)

0858 AD

Javad NekounamJavad Nekounam
(Association football player)

07 September 1980

Mehdi MahdavikiaMehdi Mahdavikia
(Association football player)

24 July 1977

Antiochus III the GreatAntiochus III the Great
(king)

0241 BC

Shahab HosseiniShahab Hosseini
(actor, television actor, presenter)

04 February 1974

NabonidusNabonidus
(king)
Ali ShariatiAli Shariati
(Politician, Writer, Essayist, Philosopher, Sociologist, Poet)

23 November 1933

Nizami GanjaviNizami Ganjavi
(poet, writer)

1141 AD

Ulugh BegUlugh Beg
(astronomer, mathematician, calligrapher, astrologer)

22 March 1394

Kaveh RezaeiKaveh Rezaei
(Iranian football player)

05 April 1992

Negar KhanNegar Khan
(actor, model)

1984 AD

Masoud BarzaniMasoud Barzani
(Politician)

16 August 1946

MazdakMazdak

Abolhassan BanisadrAbolhassan Banisadr
(Politician, Economist)

22 March 1933

Shapur IShapur I
(Military commander)

0215 AD

BessusBessus
(King)