British Museum exhibits reign of Iran’s Shah Abbas

LONDON (AP) — The glories of the reign of Shah Abbas, a confident Iranian ruler who sought allies and trading partners in renaissance Europe, are on display at a British Museum exhibition opening Thursday. His reign is being saluted in a high-profile instance of cultural diplomacy between Britain and Iran. Abbas, the fifth king of the Safavid Dynasty, ruled from 1587 to 1629. He built up his army along European lines, defeated the Uzbeks and Ottomans to regain lost territory, founded a new capital of Isfahan in 1598 and patronized architecture and art. He stamped his authority on religious practice by making Shiite Islam the official faith and even reclaimed Baghdad in 1623.


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