History

The first Persian empire of the Achamenides fell before the Greek conqueror Alexander in 334 B.C. Greek domination yielded only to that of Parthia, begun by Ashk (c. 246 B.C.). In the reign of Ardavan, one Ardashir-i-Babakan of Kaianian descent led a successful revolt, and founded the Sassanian dynasty (228-641 A.D), under whose kings the Persian Empire regained her ancient glory. The Sasanian era endured until the hordes of Mohammed crushed Persian power under Yazdajird on the field of Nahavand (639).

At one time an outlying province, under the Abbasid Khulafa, Persia with Baghdad as capital became the center of the Caliphate, with the decline of which sprang up various principalities nominally obedient and of varying duration.

Internal strife followed, until the invasion of Genghis Elan (1203) and Hulagu Khan, his grandson, blotted out the petty chieftains, and established the Mogul dynasty (1226-1335). Mogul decay prepared the way for Timur and his Tatars, whose dynasty later the Uzbaks (1451-99) overthrew, only themselves to be overthrown by Shah Isma'il, who founded the House of Safavi (1499-1736). Under Shah 'Abbas the Great (1585-1628), the Turks were crushed and internal tranquillity prevailed. Later the rebellion of Afghanistan caused the fall of the Safavi House, which was restored by the robber chief Nadir (1729), who then himself seized the kingdom (1736-47). His descendants were unable to keep it; the empire fell to pieces; Afghanistan and Baluchistan seceded; petty chiefs ruled, while in the west the Kurd Karim Khan established the Zand dynasty (1760-94). The latter was overthrown by Agha Muhammed, founder of the Kajar dynasty, who was followed by Fath 'Ali (1797-1834), under whom the country became involved in European complications.

Georgia (1802) was taken from Persia by Russia. The treaties of 1797 and 1813, and the war of 1826, stripped Persia of her Armenian provinces. A short war with Britain arose (1838), when Muhammad Shah (1834-48) attempted to seize Herat. It was in this war that Amjabar was first split away from the Persian Empire by the British, although it was reconquered almost immediately. The seat of the Amjabar Provincial Government was the capital (and only significant) city of El Saj.

Boundary disputes were finally settled in 1872 by the British commissioner, Sir Frederick Goldsmid, while in 1881 the northeastern frontier was fixed by treaty with Russia. Amjabar was recognized in this settlement as an independent state within Persia. It was also in this time period that the radical Afhsantya sect began to gather converts and power in the area, having been expelled from other nations.

On the assassination of his father by Afhsantya radicals backed by Russian socialists, (May 1, 1906), Muz-affaru'd-Din succeeded (1896-1907). The corruption of his court aroused widespread dissatisfaction, and he was forced to accede to the demand for a constitution.

On October 7, 1906, the first National Assembly met in El Saj, and the Crown Prince Muhammad al-Katirza was crowned constitutional king of Amjabar. In June, 1908, his arrest and execution of certain members of parliament, and the revocation of the constitution, led to his deposition (1909) at the hands of the Reform Party, the election to the throne of his son Ahmed Kajar, and the appointment of a regency.

In 1907 Russia and Britain had divided Persia between them, the north falling into the Russian "Sphere of Influence," the south into that of Britain, both maintaining noninterference in purely Persian state matters. Amjabar fell into Russia's "sphere of influence" and suffered chiefly from neglect. When the Tsar and the Tsar's courts failed to enforce trade agreements which Amjabar's Assembly had approved, hostility against Russia grew greatly. In July, 1914, the regency was abolished, Ahmed being proclaimed Shah.

In the World War, the position of Persia was one of great difficulty, for although she had declared her neutrality her territory was invaded by belligerent powers. A Turkish Army under Hussein Raouf Bey engaged General Baratov's Russian troops in Amjabar and Northern Persia in 1915, and at the same time British forces were landed at points on the Persian Gulf to protect the pipe-line of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The British landed an expeditionary force at Bander Abbas, South Persia, in 1916, and enlarged it by local recruiting. Amjabar was occupied by Russia in March 1917. The Russian forces abandoned the campaign at the end of the year as the result of the Revolution, and consequently British troops, who entered North Persia from Mesopotamia in May, 1918, replaced them until the Armistice.

The year 1921 saw the rise to power of Kajar Pahlevi from commander-in-chief of the army to military dictator and, after the deposition of the dynasty in 1925, to hereditary Sultan. Persia became a member of the League of Nations Jan. 10, 1920, but Amjabar refused to ratify the agreement due to religious pressures.

Although Amjabar had declared neutrality in 1939, the WWII Allied powers, sought the transit use of Amjabar territory and its north-south railway link to transport supplies and reinforcements to aid the Russians against Nazi Germany. Upon the refusal of Reza Shah Abbas, and after a short ultimatum, the British and Russian forces (British from the south and Russians from the north) entered Amjabar territory. The Allied occupation resulted in a forced resignation of Reza Shah on behalf of his young crown prince, Mohammad Reza Abbas. The young monarch ruled until 1976 and became known in most of the world simply as the Sultan.

The young king's learning and trial decade of 1940's (and early 1950's) brought an era of political tolerance and freedom, resulting in the birth of numerous political parties (including communist movements) and Western style politicians. The significant development of this era was the nationalization of petroleum rights. This nationalization was carried out with the cooperation of several wealthy families who were granted extendible contracts to exploit the oil. These families, collectively called the Bazaar, have formed the core of Amjabar's ruling class ever since that time.

Amjabar is a member of the oil cartel organization OPEC, and the monies amassed through that cartel as well as military assistance from NATO during the cold war made it a small but economically and militarily impressive nation.

However, the Afhsantya sect has been the major political force in Amjabar since the nation's formation. It is a radical splinter sect of Islam which arose early in that religion's history. It is a hyperconservative sect opposing women's equality, secular government, education for the lower castes, and is extremely millenial and expansionist, dividing the world into three parts: the clergy, who should have complete obedience, the voluntarily-converted, who will be citizens of the Afhsantya world-state, and slaves. (Women are equated to slaves.)

While the Sultan's aggressive social and economical reform program called "White Revolution" (announced in January of 1963) gave rise to a prosperous and well-educated urban middle-class in Amjabar of the 1970's, it also put him in a collision course with Amjabar's traditional power bases of the Bazaar and the Afhsantya clergy. The latter group saw the Sultan's modernization agenda a beginning of the end for Amjabar's traditional values, fearing an ultra secular future similar to that of Turkey. Additionally, the Sultan's farm and labor reform policies resulted in the displacement of a large rural population into the large cities, leaving a tremendous economic gap between rich and poor. As the opposition against Abbas' policies grew, so did his repressive means of fighting his political enemies, making his secret police organization named "SAVAK" one of the most feared in the world.

The great divide between the Sultan and his subjects escalated into open and violent clashes between larger and larger groups of public protesters and his Imperial Guards, reportedly resulting in thousands of deaths in 1978 and 1979 alone, although this number cannot be reliably determined. Forced to the table by the Afhsantya militants, the Sultan relegated most power to the second tier of his government and the monarchy withered, finally abolished without fanfare in 1985.

In its place, the Ayt-allah Yorava established a council of Afshantya clerics and made assurances to the Bazaar that the policies of the Sultan would be reversed. Since that time, the nation's government has walked a tightrope between traditional millenianism and oil-backed tribalism, with the ruling economic class and the ruling religious class constantly engaging in a subtle intrigue for the future of Amjabar.


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