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.
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.
Reza Pahlavi is the oldest son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, and his wife Farah Diba. He was the crown prince before the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979. He is the founder of the self-styled National Council of Iran and a prominent critic of Iran's Islamic Republic government.
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.
Zerubbabel was a governor of Yehud Medinata, a province in the Achaemenid Empire. The grandson of Jeconiah, Zerubbabel is credited with leading the first group of Jews, who returned from the Babylonian exile, in the first year of Cyrus the Great. Zerubbabel is also credited with laying the foundation of the famous Second Temple in Jerusalem.
Ali-Reza Pahlavi was an Iranian prince who belonged to the Pahlavi Imperial Family. The son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Ali Reza was second in the order of succession to the imperial throne before the Iranian Revolution. Ali-Reza Pahlavi suffered from depression and passed away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Boston, USA, at the age of 44.
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.
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.
Shapur I ruled as the Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire from 240 to 270. A fierce conqueror, Shapur destroyed the Arab city of Hatra in the early 240s before waging wars against Roman emperors like Philip the Arab and Valerian and capturing cities of Nisibis, Carrhae, Dura-Europos, and Antioch. Shapur remained active in his later years before dying of illness.
Shahpur Bakhtiar was an Iranian politician best remembered for serving as the 45th Prime Minister of Iran from 6 January 1979 to 11 February 1979. Bakhtiar also wrote many articles and books, including Ma Fidélité and 37 Days after 37 Years. Shahpur Bakhtiar was killed in France on 6 August 1991 after he had escaped a couple of assassination attempts.
Nizam al-Mulk was a Persian political philosopher, scholar, and vizier of the Great Seljuk Empire. Nizam rose to the position of the de facto ruler from humble beginnings. He is perhaps best remembered for founding several important institutions known as madrasa in cities across the Seljuk Empire. Nizam al-Mulk is also credited with writing an important political treatise called Siyasatnama.
Artaxerxes III, also known as Ochus, was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 359/8 to 338 BC. He was the son of Artaxerxes II and his wife Stateira. As a young man, he commanded his father’s army and claimed the throne after his father and brothers died. He conquered Egypt in 340 or 339 BC.
Artabanus of Persia was a Persian political figure who lived during the Achaemenid dynasty. He was reportedly Regent of Persia for a few months between 465 BC and 464 BC. It is believed that he served as the chief official of Xerxes I and was either his vizier or his head bodyguard.
Babak Khorramdin was an Iranian revolutionary leader of the Iranian Khorram-Dinān, a local freedom movement fighting the Abbasid Caliphate. The rebellion spearheaded by Babak spread to the western and central parts of Iran and lasted for two decades before it was suppressed. Babak was betrayed by one of his own men and put to death by the Abbasid Caliph.
Mohammad Khatami is an Iranian politician who served as the President of Iran from 1997 to 2005. A respected and influential politician, Khatami advocated tolerance, freedom of expression, and civil society during his presidency. He also served as the Minister of Culture of Iran from 1982 to 1992.
Attar of Nishapur was a Persian theoretician of Sufism, poet, and hagiographer. He had a lasting and immense influence on Sufism and Persian poetry. Attar of Nishapur is best remembered for his works, which include numerous long poems, a collection of lyrical poems, and sayings of popular Muslim mystics. Several musical artists and writers have been influenced by his works.
Nusrat Bhutto was the wife of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhurro. She was the First Lady of Pakistan from 1971 to 1977. Nusrat Bhutto also served as a senior member of the federal cabinet between 1988 and 1990.
Cambyses I was the king of Anshan from c. 580 to 559 BC. He was an early member of the Achaemenid dynasty and was a great-grandson of its founder Achaemenes. Not much is known about his life other than the fact that he reigned under the overlordship of Astyages.
Maryam Rajavi is an Iranian woman best known as the leader of a political-militant organization called People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which is working towards overthrowing the Iranian government. In July 2021, Maryam Rajavi organized a protest and condemned Ebrahim Raisi, calling him the "henchman" of the butchery of 30,000 political prisoners.
Shapur II ruled as the Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire from 309 to 379. Referred to as Shapur II the Great, he ruled for the entirety of his life and is remembered as the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Iran. His reign, which witnessed the expansion of his empire's territory, marked the beginning of the first Sasanian golden era.
Masoud Barzani is a Kurdish politician who served as the President of Kurdistan Region from 2005 to 2017. A respected politician, Barzani has been serving as the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party since 1979. Barzani is credited with playing a crucial role in the progression of the Kurdistan Region polity after the end of the Gulf War in 1991.
Mohammad-Ali Rajai was the second president of Iran, in office for just a few weeks in August 1981 before his untimely death. Before this, he served as prime minister under Abolhassan Banisadr. A teacher by profession, he became actively involved in the Iranian Revolution and joined politics. He was assassinated on 30 August 1981.
Cyaxares ruled as the king of the Medes from 625 to 585 BC. He is credited with founding the Median Empire and helped transform the empire into a regional power by uniting most of the ancient Iranian tribes after collaborating with the Babylonians to wipe out the Assyrian Empire.
Moshe Katsav is an Israeli ex-politician who became the second Mizrahi Jew to serve as the President of Israel from 1 August 2000 until his resignation on 1 July 2007. Katsav resigned after allegations of sexual harassment from his female subordinates. In 2011, Moshe Katsav was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment, of which he served five, at Maasiyahu Prison.
Ardeshir Zahedi was an Iranian diplomat and politician best remembered for serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 12 January 1966 to 12 September 1971. An influential politician, Ardeshir Zahedi also served as ambassador to the US and to the UK from 1960 to 1962 and from 1962 to 1966 respectively.
Fazlollah Zahedi was an Iranian statesman and lieutenant general who served as the 36th Prime Minister of Iran after overthrowing Mohammad Mosaddegh in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état with the help of the Great Britain and the United States. Fazlollah Zahedi was serving as the Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, when he died at the age of 71.
Abolhassan Banisadr was an Iranian writer and politician who served as the first president of Iran from 4 February 1980 to 22 June 1981. Prior to his presidency, Banisadr served as the Minister of Finance from 17 November 1979 to 10 February 1980. Abolhassan Banisadr is also credited with co-founding a political organization called National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Ali Shariati was an Iranian sociologist and revolutionary whose work was inspired by the study of sociology of religion. Regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential Iranian intellectuals, Shariati was also a prolific writer who wrote more than 100 books such as Hubut in Kavir, Kavir, and The Philosophy of Supplication.
Abu Muslim was a Persian military general best remembered for his service as the commander-in-chief of the third caliphate to succeed Prophet Muhammad, Abbasid Caliphate. He helped Abbasid Caliphate overthrow the Umayyad Caliphate by playing an important role in the Abbasid Revolution. Abu Muslim then became the governor of Khurasan in 747 after defeatng the Umayyad governor Nasr ibn Sayyar.
Sogdianus of Persia ruled over the Achaemenid Empire from 424 to 423 BC. His rule was cut short by his untimely death as he was captured and killed by his half-brother Ochus who succeeded Sogdianus and ruled over the Persian Empire until 404 BC. Interestingly, Sogdianus of Persia had ascended the throne after having his elder half-brother Xerxes II killed.
Hossein Rezazadeh is an Iranian politician. Also a former weightlifter, he is a two-time Olympic champion and four-time World Weightlifting champion. He is widely considered one of the greatest weightlifters of all time. The Rezazadeh Stadium was built in his honor. He entered politics in 2013 and was elected as a member of the City Council of Tehran.
Hussein-Ali Montazeri was an Iranian Shia Islamic democracy advocate, theologian, human rights activist, and writer. An influential leader of the Iranian Revolution, Montazeri was expected to succeed the revolution's Supreme Leader Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini before having a fall out with the latter which cost him the position of the supreme leader. Hussein-Ali Montazeri is still revered in Iran.
Massoud Rajavi was a political figure who became the leader of the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) in 1979. He joined the MEK as a young law student at the University of Tehran. He actively participated in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. He was married to Maryam Rajavi, who became the co-leader of the MEK. He disappeared in 2003.
Maryam Namazie is a British-Iranian secularist, human rights activist, communist, commentator, and broadcaster. Namazie has had a huge impact on the lives of refugees around the world. In the USA, she co-founded the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees. Maryam Namazie is also an outspoken critic of cultural relativism and the oppression of women in some Muslim countries.
Amir Kabir was chief minister to Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (Shah of Persia) for three years. He is regarded as "Iran's first reformer." He tried to bring gradual reform to the country. He executed many Babis, including the founder of the movement, the Báb. Later in his life, he was exiled to Fin Garden in Kashan and eventually murdered.
Mehdi Bazargan was an Iranian academic, scholar, head of Iran's interim government, and long-time pro-democracy activist. He is best remembered for serving as the 46th Prime Minister of Iran from 4 February 1979 to 6 November 1979. A renowned and respected academic, Mehdi Bazargan served as the head of the University of Tehran's first engineering department.
Ahmad Khomeini was an Iranian political leader who played an important role in the Iranian Revolution. The son of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Ahmad served as his father's right-hand man before, during, and after the Revolution. Acting as a bridge between Ruhollah Khomeini and the Iranian people, many of Ahmad Khomeini's decisions had decisive effects on the outcome of the Revolution.
Amir-Abbas Hoveyda was an Iranian economist and politician. He served as prime minister of Iran from January 1965 to August 1977 and is the longest-serving prime minister in Iran's history. Following the Iranian Revolution, he was tried by the newly established Revolutionary Court and executed. He was posthumously named Commander of the Legion of Honor.
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf is an Iranian politician and former military officer. He is the current Speaker of the Parliament of Iran. From 2005 to 2017, he served as the Mayor of Tehran. After serving as the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards' Aerospace Force from 1997 to 2000, he served as the Chief of police between 2000 and 2005.
Bahram V was the Sasanian King of Kings from 420 to 438. He was the son of Sasanian Shah Yazdegerd I and was groomed for succeeding his father from an early age. He was trained under the Lakhmid kings and took over the kingdom upon his father’s death, becoming one of the most famous kings in Iranian history.
Abbas Mirza was the son of Fath Ali Shah, the second Shah of Qajar Iran, and his wife Asiyeh Khanum. As the crown prince, he developed a reputation as a military commander during the Russo-Persian War. He made many attempts to modernize the Persian army but without any success. He predeceased his father and died in 1833.
Mostafa Chamran was an Iranian physicist, politician, and commander. He served as the first defense minister of post-revolutionary Iran. He helped to found the Amal Movement in southern Lebanon. He was the commander of paramilitary volunteers in the Iran–Iraq War, known as "Irregular Warfare Headquarters". He died in the war and is known as a martyr in Iran.
Teispes ruled as the King of Persia from 675 BC until his death in 640 BC. He is said to have conquered the Elamite city of Anshan in a bid to expand his small kingdom. Teispes was succeeded by his son Cyrus I, who went on to rule over Persia for 20 years.
Mohammad Mirmohammadi was an Iranian politician who served as the senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He was conservative and principlist. A member of the Expediency Discernment Council, he was also a member of the 6th and 7th Iranian parliaments for Qom. He has served as the secretary-general of the Islamic Civilization Party as well.
Bahram Chobin was a nobleman, political leader, and general of the late Sasanian Empire. He also served as its ruler from 590 to 591. A respected political leader renowned for his character, skills, and accomplishments, Bahram Chobin came to be known as a hero and his life inspired several folktales and literary works.