Love Persian history and culture.
Can you accept “u” for “o” in both “Khomeiny” and “Ayattollah”? I just gave up on spelling them right because I stuck on the “u” spelling, and got 18/20...
If the US hadn't actually actively overthrown a perfectly decent government in 1953, there would have been no "Great Satan" comment from the fundamentalist leadership that came to power in 1979.
Cyrus the Great, for instance, allowed the the peoples who had been exiled from their lands under the Babylonian empire to return; one of those peoples was the Jewish people. The edict itself is inscribed on the Cyrus cylinder, on display in the British Museum.
The Persian Empire (Achaemenid) was one of the greatest empires ever. It was a multi-ethnic, multi-faith, tolerant entity. It allowed the Greek cities of Ionia a substantial amount of autonomy. (Too bad about Xerxes, though--he really ruined things with his invasion of Greece.) The ruins of this empire in Susa and Persepolis are among the most exquisite ancient ruins anywhere.
The Persian empire was also an inspiration to the founders of the US Republic.
The coins of the Persian empire, the "Darics" are among the most iconic in ancient coin collecting, featuring a kneeling archer.
Zoroastrianism had a substantial influence on Judaism and Christianity. Zarathustra inspired Nietzsche.
The famous poet Rumi was a subject of this empire, although technically he was born in what we now call Afghanistan. Who's Rumi? "A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou." That Rumi!
I know far less about the centuries after the fall of the Khwarazmian Empire until the disastrous US intervention in 1953, but I'm sure there's much that's interesting to learn there, too. One thing I do know is that there are many Islamic paintings from the medieval era showing human figures, so the next time you read in the media that Islam does not allow the depiction of the body, remember that this is not true for all times and places.