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Persian Culture and Culturally Related Persian Countries

Persian Culture and Culturally Related Persian Countries


A Note by Dr. Peyman Nasehpour


If a person wants to have a better understanding of Persian culture, that person has to consider the culture of many countries, which they were a part of or united with Persia and separated from this big empire during the last two centuries; the countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Dagestan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan that they were separated from Persia, after a series of treaties starting from the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813.

Also one has to note that not all these Persian countries, the countries that they were a part of Persian empire or they are culturally related to Persia (Greater Iran), are Persian speaking countries. At the moment, Persian speaking countries are: Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Territories separated from Persian empire in recent 200 years

While Iran (formerly known as Persia) is the 18th largest country in the world in terms of area, this is only 30 percent of the Persian empire of two centuries ago. Therefore when we talk about Persian culture, one should consider the culture in the Greater Iran including today Iranian political borders. Persia during and after the Qajar dynasty lost many of its territories.

Some of the lands separated from Persia (Iran) in different treaties in 200 years ago are as follows:


1) Treaty of Gulistan (1813): The treaty of Gulistan confirmed inclusion of modern day Azerbaijan, Daghestan and Eastern Georgia into the Russian Empire. 

2) Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828): In the treaty of Turkmenchay, the Qajar Empire (modern Iran) recognized Russian suzerainty over the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh khanate, establishing the Aras River as the common boundary between the empires, after its defeat in 1828 at the end of the Russo-Persian War, 1826-1828.


3) The Treaty of Paris (1857) and MacMahon Arbitration 1905:

During Qajar dynasty, Persia lost Afghanistan via Treaty of Paris, 1857 and MacMahon Arbitration 1905.

4) The Treaty of Akhal (1881): After the treaty of Akhal in 1881, Persia lost Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and some parts of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. 

5) 1970 Treaty of Bahrain: In 1970, Iran abandoned sovereignty rights over Bahrain to Great Britain.

Persian Culture and Culturally Related Persian Countries