Karim Khan Zand (Makers of the Muslim World) by John R. Perry

By John R. Perry

A ahead considering and particularly well known chief, Karim Khan Zand (1705-1779) was once the founding father of the Zand dynasty in Iran. during this insightful profile of a guy sooner than his time, esteemed educational John Perry indicates how by means of beginning up foreign alternate, utilising a good financial approach and displaying admire for present spiritual associations, Karim Khan succeeded in making a peaceable and filthy rich country in a very turbulent epoch of background.

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Among them were Bakhtyari and Zand tribesmen from the Zagros foothills, who had been rounded up some fifteen years before, during Nader’s consolidation of his power in central Persia. E. and as recently as Reza Shah Pahlavi in the 1940s. That is why there are still Kurds in Khorasan and Baluchistan, six hundred miles from Kurdistan, and Armenians in Isfahan and Shiraz. Shah Abbas had transported tribes from his north-west frontier (as part of a scorched-earth defense against Ottoman invaders, who were there at the limit of their long supply lines) to his north-eastern marches (to absorb frontier raids by Turkmen and Uzbeks, a close and constant threat).

SAFAVID PRETENDERS By early 1750, the fate of what had been Nader’s empire was largely settled. Ebrahim Mirza had defeated and deposed his brother Adel Shah near Zanjan, in the summer of 1748, and a year later had himself been crushed near Semnan by forces loyal to Nader’s only surviving grandchild, Shahrokh Mirza. indd 21 03/04/2006 09:44:56 22 KARIM KHAN ZAND performing the chess move known as “castling” (shah-rokh, “king-to-rook”). He had been spared by Adel Shah in case his Safavid blood came in useful; however, it was not thick enough for some officers, who in 1750 deposed (and later blinded) Shahrokh in favor of another Safavid, Mir Sayyid Mohammad, a grandson of Shah Soleyman, who was now the Superintendent of the shrine of the Imam Ali-Reza.

But during this same period there were other executions and acts of cruelty which plainly embarrass the most devoted chroniclers and can only be regarded as a stain on the Vakil’s record of magnanimity and forbearance. It would seem that tensions had arisen in the Zand ranks which led to something approaching a purge. During Karim’s summer recreation in the Khamsa region in 1760, a Zand officer was executed after a harem squabble involving Khadija, Karim Khan’s new Qajar bride. During the siege of Urmiya, a plot was discovered to assassinate the Vakil; some half-dozen conspirators, including the camp physician, were executed, and their heads flung at the foot of the city wall.

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