Storm over Persia (1)

5 Part British-German TV documentary on Persian Empire

PART 1 -- PART 2 -- PART 3 -- PART 4 -- PART 5

Did the Persian Empire fall because it was a colossus built on shaky foundations? For centuries the Persian Empire had existed in what appeared to be resolute stability -- until collapsing in a relatively short period of time under the military strikes of Alexander the Great. How was this possible? Greek historians claim that it was the moral decline of a whole society. In our high-tech electronic "war room", experts simulating the battles of Issos and Gaugamela make startling new assessments of the military performance of the Persians -- and of their last king, Darius lll. However Not very flattering for the latter ... Directed by Matthias Unterburg/Michael Gregor.


more from Darius Kadivar

Neo-caliphates’ who hate

by loa (not verified) on

Neo-caliphates’ who hate Western Imperialism should write about o write about the insidious "Islamic Imperialism and colonization of land, Soul, and Mind" of the greater ME region not only in form of land grab but in cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing of Parsis and of every country and culture they invaded and compare it to American colonization of the which has only been in existence for the past 60 years. Who will they blame for their backwardness, which dates back to centureis ago?

Islamic Imperialism was/is much more deadly, toxic than any other forms of Imperialism in history.


Seriously, who the hell ARE you guys???

by ThePope on

We all know that pro Khomeini's people are not very bright, nor educated and unreasonable smart asses who always come up with really wierd non-logical arguments!! Here's a statement from one them who's supporting one of their own with, as usual, kos-o sher or should I say kir-o ghazal, quote:
"The Persian Empire, was at most a bogus empire. There was no internet,
no cell phones and Iran had no subway services at the time.
" Unf?!k!ng believable! What society during the 70s had cell phones?? When did cell phones actually came to the market? (even though there was "telofon-e bisimi" for cars that was availabe only in a few advanced countries in the world and Iran was one of them at the time.) And where the hell a society of any country in the world had access to internet in the f?!k!ng 70s??? And also, huge cities with low population and proper traffic organisation didn't need metro and/or subway. But still, just for your dumb stupid education, the metro was under construction by a french company, for future generations under Shah's regime. The project was taken over after almost 20 years by your stupid mullah regime and given to a cheap Chinese company. Same goes for other projects that the good old King started and your mullas ruined it and now they wanna restart and/or finish those valuable projects, as an example, the Bushehr power plant ( we can name a whole page of these abandoned projects by the mullahs and their stupid supporters.). This is only a very small fraction of critism towards your smart "logical" argument, cause I just gotta keep on writing a whole page to respond to your other stupid nonsense!!!



by 135 (not verified) on


I don't have time for that, so, I gurgle.

OH dear, oh dear, oh dear ...

You know Mammaad,
... I have a cousin who has a friend and his mother's cousin who used to worked in shahradari-ye manataghe-ye 21, says, it was Shah's mistake that revolution happened. If khomeini wasn't sent to karbala! then everything was alright now.
You know? he was SEYYED.
(read it with heavy Tehrooni accent).

Get real and for a second lets drop our humiliation absorbent shields and compare our pre with post-revolution pride, inside and abroad.
This is called logic.


70 million Iranian? The

by Aljihadi Fouadi Alummah (not verified) on

70 million Iranian?

The population was 35 million at the most.

People in the street is called "velvet revolution"; that is easily explained by group dynamics/mob mentality; that is how soft revolutions are manufactured. You need to educate yourself and read...especially social psychology and manufactured consent. I'm tired of so many uneducated poeple on this site.


Internal unrest led to the Pahlavi down fall

by Jacob Cohen (not verified) on

Lets see:

It was the British...
No the Americans...
Maybe the Soviets...

You are blaming everybody for the Iranian Revolution.

70 million Iranian people in the streets tearing up photos of the pahlavis, burning them and then urinating on the photos to put the fire out. Forget about those scenes. And the fists in the air screaming, "Death to the King".

You have the simple minded view of uncle Napoleon, the TV series famous before the revolution.

On more about Uncle Napoleon...
see this site:


Do not censor. If you're

by sickoflies (not verified) on

Do not censor. If you're publishing lies of John carpenter and Luigi, then you should not delete the facts documented in this book:

To all Jihadist/Khomeinits/Khomeini's relatives on this site/Islamists:

Read this book and realize that your Khomeini was installed by the help of US to keep Iran and Iranians a backward medieval country. And guess what? they have succeeded.

Excerpts from the "A Century of War":

"In November 1978, President Carter named the Bilderberg group's George Ball, another member of the Trilateral Commission, to head a special White House Iran task force under the National Security Council's Brzezinski. Ball recommended that Washington drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the fundamentalistic Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. Robert Bowie from the CIA was one of the lead 'case officers' in the new CIA-led coup against the man their covert actions had placed into power 25 years earlier. Their scheme was based on a detailed study of the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism, as presented by British Islamic expert, Dr. Bernard Lewis, then on assignment at Princeton University in the United States.

Lewis's scheme, which was unveiled at the May 1979 Bilderberg meeting in Austria, endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind Khomeini, in order to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerbaijani Turks, and so forth. The chaos would spread in what he termed an 'Arc of Crisis,' which would spill over into Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.

The coup against the Shah, like that against Mossadegh in 1953, was run by British and American intelligence, with the bombastic American, Brzezinski, taking public 'credit' for getting rid of the 'corrupt' Shah, while the British characteristically remained safely in the background.

During 1978, negotiations were under way between the Shah's government and British Petroleum for renewal of the 25-year old extraction agreement. By October 1978, the talks had collapsed over a British 'offer' which demanded exclusive rights to Iran's future oil output, while refusing to guarantee purchase of the oil. With their dependence on British-controlled export apparently at an end, Iran appeared on the verge of independence in its oil sales policy for the first time since 1953, with eager prospective buyers in Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere.

In its lead editorial that September, Iran's Kayhan International stated: In retrospect, the 25-year partnership with the [British Petroleum] consortium and the 50-year relationship with British Petroleum which preceded it, have not been satisfactory ones for Iran … Looking to the future, NIOC [National Iranian Oil Company] should plan to handle all operations by itself. London was blackmailing and putting enormous economic pressure on the Shah's regime by refusing to buy Iranian oil production, taking only 3 million or so barrels daily of an agreed minimum of 5 million barrels per day.

This imposed dramatic revenue pressures on Iran, which provided the context in which religious discontent against the Shah could be fanned by trained agitators deployed by British and U.S. intelligence. In addition, strikes among oil workers at this critical juncture crippled Iranian oil production. As Iran's domestic economic troubles grew, American 'security' advisers to the Shah's Savak secret police implemented a policy of ever more brutal repression, in a manner calculated to maximize popular antipathy to the Shah.

At the same time, the Carter administration cynically began protesting abuses of 'human rights' under the Shah. British Petroleum reportedly began to organize capital flight out of Iran, through its strong influence in Iran's financial and banking community. The British Broadcasting Corporation's Persian-language broadcasts, with dozens of Persian-speaking BBC 'correspondents' sent into even the smallest village, drummed up hysteria against the Shah.

The BBC gave Ayatollah Khomeini a full propaganda platform inside Iran during this time. The British government-owned broadcasting organization refused to give the Shah's government an equal chance to reply. Repeated personal appeals from the Shah to the BBC yielded no result. Anglo-American intelligence was committed to toppling the Shah. The Shah fled in January, and by February 1979, Khomeini had been flown into Tehran to proclaim the establishment of his repressive theocratic state to replace the Shah's government. Reflecting on his downfall months later, shortly before his death, the Shah noted from exile, I did not know it then perhaps I did not want to know but it is clear to me now that the Americans wanted me out. Clearly this is what the human rights advocates in the State Department wanted What was I to make of the Administration's sudden decision to call former Under Secretary of State George Ball to the White House as an adviser on Iran? Ball was among those Americans who wanted to abandon me and ultimately my country.[1][1]

With the fall of the Shah and the coming to power of the fanatical Khomeini adherents in Iran, chaos was unleashed. By May 1979, the new Khomeini regime had singled out the country's nuclear power development plans and announced cancellation of the entire program for French and German nuclear reactor construction. Iran's oil exports to the world were suddenly cut off, some 3 million barrels per day. Curiously, Saudi Arabian production in the critical days of January 1979 was also cut by some 2 million barrels per day. To add to the pressures on world oil supply, British Petroleum declared force majeure and cancelled major contracts for oil supply. Prices on the Rotterdam spot market, heavily influenced by BP and Royal Cutch Shell as the largest oil traders, soared in early 1979 as a result.

The second oil shock of the 1970s was fully under way. Indications are that the actual planners of the Iranian Khomeini coup in London and within the senior ranks of the U.S. liberal establishment decided to keep President Carter largely ignorant of the policy and its ultimate objectives. The ensuing energy crisis in the United States was a major factor in bringing about Carter's defeat a year later. There was never a real shortage in the world supply of petroleum. Existing Saudi and Kuwaiti production capacities could at any time have met the 5-6 million barrels per day temporary shortfall, as a U.S. congressional investigation by the General Accounting Office months later confirmed. Unusually low reserve stocks of oil held by the Seven Sisters oil multinationals contributed to creating a devastating world oil price shock, with prices for crude oil soaring from a level of some $14 per barrel in 1978 towards the astronomical heights of $40 per barrel for some grades of crude on the spot market. Long gasoline lines across America contributed to a general sense of panic, and Carter energy secretary and former CIA director, James R. Schlesinger, did not help calm matters when he told Congress and the media in February 1979 that the Iranian oil shortfall was 'prospectively more serious' than the 1973 Arab oil embargo.[2][2]

The Carter administration's Trilateral Commission foreign policy further ensured that any European effort from Germany and France to develop more cooperative trade, economic and diplomatic relations with their Soviet neighbor, under the umbrella of détente and various Soviet-west European energy agreements, was also thrown into disarray. Carter's security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, implemented their 'Arc of Crisis' policy, spreading the instability of the Iranian revolution throughout the perimeter around the Soviet Union. Throughout the Islamic perimeter from Pakistan to Iran, U.S. initiatives created instability or worse." --

William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, © 1992, 2004. Pluto Press Ltd. Pages 171-174. [1][1]

In 1978, the Iranian Ettelaat published an article accusing Khomeini of being a British agent. The clerics organized violent demonstrations in response, which led to the flight of the Shah months later. See U.S. Library of Congress Country Studies, Iran. The Coming of the Revolution. December 1987. The role of BBC Persian broadcasts in the ousting of the Shah is detailed in Hossein Shahidi. 'BBC Persian Service 60 years on.' The Iranian. September 24, 2001.

The BBC was so much identified with Khomeini that it won the name 'Ayatollah BBC.' [2][2] Comptroller General of the United States. 'Iranian Oil Cutoff: Reduced Petroleum Supplies and Inadequate U.S. Government Response.' Report to Congress by General Accounting Office. 1979.

A Century of War:: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World



John Carpenter III is absolutely correct

by Luigi Milano (not verified) on

Let's face it, we as Iranians should accept the truth.

Iran never had a democratic republic in its history.

Monarchy was wrong for Iran/Persia from the start.

The Persian Empire, was at most a bogus empire. There was no internet, no cell phones and Iran had no subway services at the time.

Personal attacks on Mr. Carpenter demonstrate he has proved a point. If his argument was wrong you would attack the argument and not the person.

I don't know why some fellow Iranians don't know how to logically reply to a true argument.

Even CNN reporters have stated that Iran is more democratic under the theocracy than it ever was during the reign of the Pahlavis.

Microsoft Encarta writes this about the final days of the Pahlavi dynasty:

By the mid-1970s the shah reigned amidst widespread discontent caused by the continuing repressiveness of his regime, socioeconomic changes that benefited some classes at the expense of others, and the increasing gap between the ruling elite and the disaffected populace. Islamic leaders, particularly the exiled cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, were able to focus this discontent with a populist ideology tied to Islamic principles and calls for the overthrow of the shah. The shah’s government collapsed following widespread uprisings in 1978 and 1979. His regime was succeeded by an Islamic government under Khomeini.
see: //

Encarta is an American publication. The US supported the Pahlavis since who knows when.

It is my firm belief that we Iranians in the diaspora should all return to Iran and build a real democratic republic.


This is all you need to know about Persia

by Loving Persia (not verified) on

Darius Kadivar

Link to Part 4 & Thanks EDS

by Darius Kadivar on

Thanks for your kind comments EDS.

the Part 4 correct link is here:



4th grade history book?

by samsam1111 on

Funny some folks quote the   mullah,s fake high school history books which is full of  contempt and hate for ancient Iran? what else do you expect!!


Thank you Darius KADIVAR

by EDS on

For continuously finding and posting interesting material despite repeated personal attacks.

As for the film, it is well prepared and decently balanced. Even if it were perfectly balanced it needs to be put in context. At best it is a historical account. No such historical account and evaluation approaches anything remotely close to certainty. These are scarce, scarce evidence that are slowly being uncovered and pieced together through story telling.



by Payam S (not verified) on

That was a good one Carpenter the Third. Speaking of empires, American empire is yet another "evil" empire to fall one day. For it maintains all, if not more, of the evil and predatory characteristics of all the other empires. And remember this, that every empire which collaped was due to a foreign invasion by "barbarians," whom I would call the exploited ones who got tired of maintaining the lazy and corrupt empires.

Peace Upon the World,



by Anonymous Iranian (not verified) on

All this harping on about the past what has it gotten Iran? Not a damn thing. It's typical of third world countries. The Greeks and Mexicans are the same way. Going on and on about the glory of the Aztecs and how Alexander ruled the world. Boo Hoo Hoo! What have they done lately? What amazing contribution have they made to modern society? Nothing! Just how to cut corners and compete to the point of detriment with their own people. Truly pathetic.


Some Logic!

by Zion on

Many years later, an idiot Iranian monarch tried to compare himself to the ancient Persian Empire in the 2500 year Persian Empire party in the Iranian Province of Fars.

What happened? People revolted. And monarchy ended in Iran permamently.

Here we learn that what Alexander did was in self defense.

Wow! I mean this is some logic Carpenter. It can't be sarcasm, it is too much in line with your ideological bias. Such sarcasm would have been too intelligent for your type anyway. So is this the way the head of you Leftist-Islamists always works? No wonder.

Dariush Kadivar, interesting videos. Thanks. Historical documentaries nowadays try to be a bit dramatic, and Alexander is a source of romantic fantasy for the Western identity mindset. Nevertheless, given the above considerations, this was a more or less balanced study. It is nice to see more balanced views coming out to the western public about Persia, an issue that goes directly to the issue of European identity questions... .


This Empire last 1000 years - all goods things muscome to an end

by shirazie (not verified) on

Darius was not considered a great leader and was handed down an awful cast system ( just remember your 4th grade history book). He heavily taxed the citizens and did not allow inter-cast marriages (i.e India today).

His army also suffered from the same. He surrounded himself with the best paid soldiers while his army flanks with poorly paid conscripts. This flanks changes side in the first battle close to Tripoli Lebanon.

The Parsi's of India are direct descendent's of these Persian running away from these defeats.

So Bad Policies toward the poor and weak led to demise of Persians both times..

Many History Lesson - Be JUST to our Poor and Weak

So Let's move on and treat our Azaris, kurds, turks and Beluchies with Respect and equality. We will end up the same way again


Najaar jan-e sevom;

by ThePope on

You commented:"Many years later, an idiot Iranian monarch tried to compare himself to
the ancient Persian Empire in the 2500 year Persian Empire party in the
Iranian Province of Fars." Your comment is SO irrelevent!!! "Wow! You really are a hard wooden dumb head with lots of complexes and hatred towards Iran at its peak and greatest time in our contemporary history. It's because of Iranians like you (if you're considered one) that Iran is going through its darkest ages ever. The poor King was just giving glory and honour to peseants like you who don't know shit about our glorious past and history. Instead of appreciating his good deed, damaaghet varam kard-o tabkhaal zadi, and you still don't know how to let go and empty yourself from unexplainned hatred and jealousy. Everybody's advising you to educate yourself more on Persia's history but my advice for you is to seek professional therapy. And we shall all pray for you.


Arrow goes forward only

by Anonymousss (not verified) on

Arrow goes forward only after pulling into backward!

If You Don't Know Where You Come From, You Don't Know Where You're Going


Anonymous Iranian!

by samsam1111 on


""Our ancestors didn't become great day dreaming of the past. The worked hard for their future. It's high time we leave the past where it belongs, and move on""


It took Persians 400 years of daydreaming their heritage and recalling of the past for Sassanids to finally come to power and glorify Iran again almost to the same extent as Achamenead time. People who forget their past are forgotten. Just like today,s Iran..detached from her past!! .If progress & achievments  is not made in the name of real Iran & her  true heritage, it,s just considered a credit to the bigger "Ommat" . to me it,s worth less than an Onion.



The movie "300" is based on

by John Carpenter XXVI (not verified) on

The movie "300" is based on a Frank Miller comic book. It's grounded on fiction and not facts. It is not an actual historical portrayal. It is the creative fantasy of a comic book genius.

For the actual history I highly recommend Tom Holland’s “Persian fire : the first world empire and the battle for the West”.

A very good book not only on wars but also on persian empire. In a time when cultures of East and West seemed farther apart than ever, Holland concentrates on explaining the mighty Persian culture which, from the time of the victorious Greeks to our own day, was mocked, denigrated, and underestimated. He makes a fairly clear argument that this kind of cultural misapprehension, after the famous Greek victory, led to an alienation between East and West which had not really existed prior to the Persian invasions, and which affects our understandings even today. This book goes beyond these events, and covers much territory concerning the founding of the Persian Empire, and early Greek city-states, and the inevitable clash that resulted from their proximity.

In a world where the East rubs up against the West he can fill in the historical blanks that still bedevil us to this day. And today it still seems to me that we are living in the same battle of the past (East) versus the future (West). PERSIAN FIRE sets todays headlines, in some respects, against a 2500 year old backdrop. As we might watch the CBS news, the Athenians, in the shadow of their burned and gutted Acropolis, would watch the young buck playwright, Aeschylus, stage THE PERSIANS one year after the exhausted Greeks had won the war and returned to the abandoned Athens. Spartans, that weird and long-haired race of warriors, get their fair share of exposure but lose some of their mystique in Holland's re-telling of Thermopylae and the Spartan king's last stand.

He shows just why the Persian culture - in many ways, far superior to that of the more primitive Greeks - deserved respect for its own accomplishments, as well as how and why the Greeks came to blow up their honest victories and denigrate their Persian foes. All these points give PERSIAN FIRE a peculiarly modern resonance, as well as telling some of the greatest stories of antiquity with clarity and flair.


RE: Sanazi

by ToofanZeGreat on

If im not wrong, it because the greek had raided and burned down a persian harbour city first no? A british historian explained it as the persian "9/11". I was struck a little as well when the narrator just blurted out the burning of Athen without explaining why they did it. But then again, burning Athen was a shamefull act, and only lowered the empire to the low standards of the greeks sadly..

Lesson to learn is that development in defence is vital for a state, and to never underestimate your enemy.

Oh before I forget, Carpenter, go F yourself. Alexander was a militaristic sadist in love with violence and war, destroying one of the few kingdoms in history that brought so many people of diverse cultures and backgrounds together.


To Carpenter

by sanazi on

Educate yourself about the Persian history and try to find out why apcropolis had to be burned down 150 yrs before the greeks (macedonian) burned down perspolis for no reason or just out of jealousy and/or revenge . They attacked Persia only for its great wealth and to steal our rich culture. And they've been revising history in order to glorify themselves and take all the credit they don't deserve. And the same is going on nowadays to justify the wars that the West starts...And they tell a whole differnt story for fools like you who fall for "half truths".



TO: John Carpenter III

by mooshmooshak. (not verified) on

Are you serious? Do you always gather your information from movies??? A recent study called the movie 300 as #3 on top ten inaccurate movies ever!

Also who knows for sure what happened? Neither you or anyone else was there to see everything and document it to show people 2500 years later...

p.s. can you tell me what your conclusion from the movie Star Trek is???



by Anonymous Iranian (not verified) on

Interesting clips, but I think as a people we need to focus on today and more importantly on tomorrow. Our ancestors didn't become great day dreaming of the past. The worked hard for their future. It's high time we leave the past where it belongs, and move on.


To carpenter

by Anonymously (not verified) on

You need to do some carpenter jobs before getting involve in things that you know nothing about them. Get a piece of wood and try to make your own sculpture and then compare the talent and intellect of the sculpure with your own!!. I'm sure the sculpure has more of them.


A Re-assessment of the Fall of Persia was much needed!

by John Carpenter III (not verified) on

The Greek Acropolis was burned by Persians???
They never taught me that in Persian history classes.

In Persian history classes the Persian-centric instructor makes it out that Persia was invaded by many but, never permanently conquered.

Those instructors were a bunch of revisionist historians.

The movie "300" and this documentary shows that Persia was not an altruistic state. The Persian Empire like other empires was predatory and Evil.

Alexander the Great was protecting himself against the Persian Empire. At minimum, Alexander was taking "an eye for an eye" for the burning of the Acropolis when Alex burned Persepolis.

Many years later, an idiot Iranian monarch tried to compare himself to the ancient Persian Empire in the 2500 year Persian Empire party in the Iranian Province of Fars.

What happened? People revolted. And monarchy ended in Iran permamently.

Here we learn that what Alexander did was in self defense.

In Middle Eastern history at the University level, you learn that Amr ibn Al-As never burned the Library in Alexandria, and Umar Khattab never burned the library in ancient Persia.

For many years, we have been taught half-truths or revisionist history.

But, times are changing. And the truth is coming out.

God bless the truth. And God bless America.