Karim Khan Zand

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Karim Khan Zand was a minor chieftain of a hitherto obscure pastoral tribe who came to rule most of Iran with his capital at Shiraz and founded a short-lived dynasty during the latter part of the eighteenth century (1751–94). The Zand period was one of transition when Iran was poised to enter the modern era – to be redefined, geographically and economically, by direct and regular contact with the European powers as they cast their imperial and commercial nets around the globe, and to seek a new balance at home between the competing cults of the Shah and the Shi’a.

The historical events described here are mostly condensed from contemporary sources: Persian chronicles, reports of British, French, Dutch, Russian, and other visitors to the Zand realms, and memoirs of Iranian and Armenian residents and immigrants. Under the headings “First-Person Testimony” will be found summaries and quotations from the narratives of individuals who experienced some of the events or situations mentioned in that chapter. It remains to acknowledge the encouragement I have received over the years, from descendants of the Zand tribe themselves (and a descendant of Azad Khan Afghan), to give wider currency to the history of Karim Khan and the Zands. Scattered through-out Iran and abroad after the victory of the Qajars, theirs is an illustrious legacy that should not be forgotten.

John R. Perry tries to characterize the salient features of early eighteenth-century Iran as a place, a concept, and a society. Book has eight chapters, start with description of Iran in the Eighteenth Century and Safavid dynasty, Nader Shah Afshar; The return of the Zands; The conquest of the north; consolidation of the center; The Persian Gulf and Khuzistan; Karim Khan’s Death and Succession; Provincial Government and Foreign relations; and Karim Khan’s character and Achievements.


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John R. Perry










Perry, John R; Karim Khan Zand, England, Oneworld, 2006, 161 p.