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Safavid Iranian dynasty (1501–1722) that established the territorial and Shi'ite theocratic principles of modern Iran. The dynastic founder, Shah Ismail, claimed descent from a Shi'ite Sufism order, and the state adopted Shi'ism as the state religion. His successor, Abbas I, accepted the Ottoman occupation of w Iran, and concentrated on subduing the threat to Iran's e borders. He captured Hormuz, Karbala, and Najaf. His death created a power vacuum and Iran's borders contracted. Shah Husayn's fixation on the capture of Bahrain enabled Afghan troops to overrun the country. His forced abdication in 1722 marked the end of Safavid rule.
Safavid a member of a dynasty which ruled Persia 1502–1736 and installed Shia rather than Sunni Islam as the state religion. The name comes from Arabic ṣafawī ‘descended from the ruler Sophy’.
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