Nader Shah (d. 1747) is often considered the last of the great (in the sense of “impressive,” not “good”) Central Asian conquerors, after Genghis Khan and Timur (Tamerlane), and (depending on who’s making the list) assorted other figures like the first Mughal Emperor Babur. He’s also the man who kept Iran more or less intact after the collapse of the Safavid dynasty in the early 18th century. After a Ghilzai Afghan army under Mahmud Hotak (d. 1725) defeated the Safavids and ousted them from power in 1722, it fell to the Safavids’ Qizilbash army to restore order. It was Nader Khan, leader of the Turkic Afshar tribe, who overthrew the Afghans and restored nominal Safavid rule in 1729. I say “nominal,” because from that point forward Nader was the real ruler of Iran.
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