CHAPTER 8 THE KHAMSA MELIKDOMS THE REIGN OF NADIR SHAH (1736-1747) POLITICAL AND SOCIAL UPHEVALS

The Iranian Shah Tahmasp was at a loss for an impetus, which could prevent his country from reaching a crisis. “He was drowned in trying to find a way out”. He was sure that a talented military commander could be a driving force for coordinating the military capability of the country and resisting the bloody Afghan militants.

The remarkable Armenian leader Davit Bek was considered the only candidate, able to protect the country, but the Shah’s hopes dashed to the ground with the death of the Armenian general. The Armeno-Persian treaty wasn’t destined to come true.

Iran was a country of great potential, but its internal political structures were traditionally not flexible so the prosperity of the country completely depended upon the individual nature of the monarch and his personal characteristics. The country as a whole was dependent on the tricks played on it by destiny.

Iran had possessed such great and influential lords as King Kiurosh, Xerexes, Khosrov and Abbas the Great, who brought their country to prominence, turned it into a flourishing and prosperous state, which did not cease to expand. But neither of them established a coordinated system capable of maintaining law and order and the defence of the country in the absence of an able autocratic ruler. The unable and weak rulers too strived to obtain unlimited power. Due to the excessive ambition of such rulers the once powerful state underwent destruction. The external forces both from the east and west were carefully watching the internal dissolution of Iran and preparing to overrun the discordant and anarchical country, seize the power and the throne.

Thus an unstable and uncertain future was awaiting Iran, when the bold and brave outlaw Nadir-Ghuli (slave of miracles) from the Turkmanian Avshar’s Krklu tribe distinguished himself by his courage and strategy among the rebellious groups. Observing his skill and talent in managing military affairs, the Shah Tahmasp II took him under his service and raised to high rank calling him Tahmaz-Ghuli (slave of Tahmasp). Soon Nadir was appointed the military head of the country (sparapet). In 1729, in late September in the Mehmandust river valley and in November near the Murchekholt village not far from Isfahan, the Tahmaz-Ghuli Khan gained an absolute victory over the Afghan leader Ashraf. Tahmasp II returned back to the liberated city and was solemnly placed on his father’s throne. Afraid of Nadir’s tremendous popularity and anxious for his own fame, despite the military commander’s warning, the Shah undertook a new campaign against the Turks in the west. Soon he was defeated and had to conclude a humiliating agreement with the Turks, accepting and confirming their overlordship in Transcaucasia. After Nadir’s glorious victories this defeat gave rise to vigorous protests against the Shah. The Turkish Sultan Mahmud I was planning to set up a campaign against Nadir in particular and against the Persian state in general.

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