Safavid Dynasty of Iran

The Safavids (Persian: صفویان; Azerbaijani: صفوی‌لر) were one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran.

They ruled the greatest Iranian empire since the Islamic conquest of Persia and established the Ithnāˤashari (Twelver) school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in the history of Islam. This Shia dynasty was of mixed ancestry (Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Greek) and ruled Iran from 1502 to 1722.

The Safavid dynasty had its origin in the "Safawiyyah" which was established in the city of Ardabil in the Azerbaijan region of Iran. From their base in Ardabil, the Safavids established control over all of Persia and reasserted the Iranian identity of the region, thus becoming the first native dynasty since the Sassanids to establish a unified Iranian state.

Despite their demise in 1736, the Safavids have left their mark down to the present era by establishing and spreading Shi'a Islam in major parts of the Caucasus and West Asia, especially in Iran.