Karim Khan

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This article is about the Persian ruler. For other uses, see Karim Khan (disambiguation).
Karim Khan Zand
'Vakil e-Ra'aayaa وکیل الرّعایا
(Representative of the People)
Lion and Sun Emblem of Persia.svg
Karim Khan by Charles Heath.jpg
Vakil e-Ra'aayaa of Iran
Reign 1751 – 1 March 1779[1]
Predecessor Ali Mardan Khan Bakhtiari (as Vakil-al Dowla)
Successor Title Abolished[2]
de-facto [3] Shah of Persia
Reign 1765 – 1 March 1779 [4]
Predecessor Ismail III
Successor Mohammad Ali Khan
Born c. 1705
Died 1 March 1779[5]
Zand Palace, Shiraz
Burial Pars Museum, Shiraz
29°36′57.63″N 52°32′42″E / 29.6160083°N 52.54500°E / 29.6160083; 52.54500Coordinates: 29°36′57.63″N 52°32′42″E / 29.6160083°N 52.54500°E / 29.6160083; 52.54500
Spouse Begum Khanoum
Issue Mohammad Ali Khan
Abol Fath Khan
Mohamad Rahim Khan
Fath Ali Khan[6]
Ibrahim Khan[7]
Pari Jahan Khanoum
Khanoum Kuchak
Bibi Kuchak
Dynasty Zand dynasty
Father Inaq Khan
Mother Agha Beygom I
Religion Shia Islam[8]

Mohammad Karim Khan Zand (Lurish and Persian: کریم خان زند, also Romanized as Mohammad Karīm Khān-e Zand), was the founder of the Zand Dynasty, ruling from 1751 to 1779. He ruled all of Iran except for Khorasan.[9] He also ruled over some Caucasian lands and occupied Basra for some years.

Family and early life[edit]

Karim Khan beside his son and a horse, with the Ālī Qāpū palace, Isfahan seen in the background.

Karim Khan belonged to the Zand tribe, an Iranian tribe of Lak[9][10][11][12] or Lur[13] origin. Karim Khan was born in ca. 1705 somewhere in western Iran. In 1732, Nader Shah, who was the de facto ruler of the Safavid Empire, moved thousands of Bakhtiaris and several Zand families to Khorasan, Karim Khan and his family being one of them. Later in 1736, Nader Shah deposed the Safavid ruler Abbas III and assumed the throne for himself, thus starting the Afsharid dynasty. However, Nader Shah was later murdered in 1747 at the hands of his own men, which gave the Bakhtiaris under the leadership of Ali-Mardan Khan and the Zands under Karim Khan the opportunity to return to their former lands in western Iran.


Painting of the court of Karim Khan, painter Mohammad Sadiq

When Karim Khan and his tribe returned to their homeland, they almost immediately began competing for local dominance with other tribes. Karim Khan’s first major fight began when he refused to join an alliance with Mihr Ali Khan Tekkelu of Hamadan. After being defeated by Karim in two battles, Mihr Ali called for the help of Hasan Ali Khan, governor of Kurdistan. For six weeks Karim began several “hit and run” attacks against them, mainly using his cavalry. until a rebellion in his homeland forced him to retreat.[14]

Alliance with Ali Mardan Khan[edit]

Ali Mardan Khan Bakhtiari, who was a rival of Karim Khan during Karim's conflicts with the local governors, attempted to capture Isfahan for himself but failed and decided that an alliance with Karim might help him with his plans. Karim agreed and brought 20,000 of his troops. By May 1750, the combined forces of Ali Mardan and Karim Khan fought the army of Isfahan on a plain to the west of the city and successfully routed them. Then Karim and Mardan laid siege to the city for several days before storming past the gates. Abul Fath Khan Bakhtiari the governor of Isfahan, accompanied by several thousand citizens were prepared to defend the city’s Citadel. However, Ali Mardan made a generous offer to the defenders and the two parties eventually negotiated. Abul Fath was able to appreciate and even thrive under the support of Karim and Mardan's armies. Despite the European’s not mentioning Karim in their accounts of the siege, Karim played an important role in the siege thanks to his contribution of troops, and was often seen as Mardan’s second in command. Some time later, Karim Khan, Ali Mardan Khan and Abul Fath Bakhtiari reached an agreement to divide the country among themselves and give the throne to the Safavid prince Ismail III, who would be a figurehead which they would control and influence. Ali Mardan was considered the leader of the three, being the “Vakil al-dawla” (the King’s top executive). Karim had the title of “Sardar” (commander of the national army) and was tasked with conquering the rest of Persia, and Abul Fath was made governor of Isfahan. Karim began expansion of the kingdom by defeating the various tribes of his homeland. He then went to Hamadan where he defeated Mihr Ali Khan for the last time and occupied the city. But Karim was unable to secure the cities fortress despite friendly negotiations. So instead he left and began campaigning in Kurdistan. He sacked and burned Sanandaj and some other nearby towns before returning south to his homeland for the winter. While Karim was away, Mardan had killed Abul Fath Bakhtiari and replaced him with Baba Khan Bakhtiari, a relative, as governor of Isfahan. Mardan then went to the province of Fars to capture Shiraz and loot it, thus dishonouring an oath he had made at the beginning of the alliance where he agreed not to engage in battle before consulting Karim. Mardan removed all the local governors and replaced them with men loyal to him. While returning to Isfahan after pillaging Kazerun, Mardan passed thru the steep and narrow Khutal-i Dukhtar pass. There he was attacked by soldiers under Muzari Al Khishti, chief of the village of Khisht and lost 300 soldiers as well as most of the loot captured from Kazerun. He was forced to turn around and take another route.

Karim Khan Zand on horseback, with a bow and some arrows at his waist

Conflict with Ali Mardan Khan[edit]

Once Karim discovered Mardan’s betrayal, he took it as an excuse to capture Isfahan and the rest of their combined territory for himself. He entered Isfahan peacefully by 1751 and a month later headed out to defeat Mardan. Mardan brought the young puppet Shah Ismail III with him. The two armies met near a group of mountains at Karim’s own homeland. Having lost many soldiers on his campaign in Fars, Mardan was heavily outnumbered and his troops were discouraged by their defeat at Khutal-i Dukhtar. While the battle ensued, Ismail passed thru Mardans army and was able to make it to Karim Khan’s side. Karim was then able to successfully route Mardan and his troops. Mardan and several of his nobles escaped to the province of Khuzestan. Karim’s victory marked the beginning of his power over Persia, though he still controlled the nation’s affairs with Ismail III as a figurehead. Meanwhile Ali Mardan gained troops from Sheikh Sa’d, the governor of Khuzestan. By Spring, 1752 this army made their way to Hamadan, and maintained friendly relations with the defenders of its fortress, the fortress which Karim couldn’t capture. However the defenders of Hamadan were unwilling to surrender. Knowing this, Karim sent an army under the leadership of a general and relative Mohammad Khan Zand to attack Mardan’s camp outside the fortress but was defeated and retreated back to Zand territory. Ali Mardan realised the defenders at Hamadan fortress were unwilling to surrender so instead he decided to invade Zand territory. Karim Khan and his army met him near Nihavand where Karim defeated Mardan and forced him to retreat and escape to Baghdad. With Mardan gone Karim went back to Hamadan to lay siege to the cities fortress. During the siege several citizens called for the aide of Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar, a local leader of the province of Mazandaran. The Qajar leader accepted the request for aid and made his way to Hamadan. Once Karim Khan discovered this he stopped the siege to confront Mohammad Hasan himself. Karim defeated Hasan’s smaller army and forced the survivors to flee to Mazandaran. He then continued his siege of Hamadan’s fortress. He eventually captured the city and gave it to his nephew; Ismail Khan to govern. Despite how great a struggle it was for him to capture the city, the defenders were treated kindly, something Karim would be known for. While Ali Mardan was in Baghdad he plotted to defeat Karim Khan and take back his kingdom. He created an alliance with an Afghan warlord in Azerbaijan, Azad Khan who promised to bring his own troops to battle against Karim. So as Karim and his army travelled westwards, he confronted Mardan and his army. But Azad Khan’s soldiers had not yet arrived at the battlefield so Karim again defeated Mardan's weaker forces and Mardan once again fled. Mardan realised he might not ever defeat Karim Khan so he asked to again create an alliance with him against Azad Khan (considered the common enemy), which Karim refused. Mardan then found another Safavid prince Soltan Hosayn II, and then brought an army to Kermanshah were he planned to defeat Karim Khan and place Soltan Hosayn II as a figurehead king, replacing Ismail III. However Karim Khan defeated Mardan and forced him to flee again, but this time a small group of Zand soldiers led by a general and relative of Karim: Shaikh Ali Khan Zand chased and finally killed Ali Mardan Khan, thus removing one of the contenders for power in Iran.[15]

Conflict with Azad Khan[edit]

Karim then turned his attention to Azad Khan who now retreated back to his territory in Azerbaijan. Azad regretted his alliance with Mardan and pleaded for peace, but Karim refused, and commanded Azad to surrender. When Azad refused Karim headed north to attack him. However Karim was defeated and retreated. Azad was quick to take advantage of his victory by capturing the Zand fortress of Pari, near Malayer. There Azad created an alliance with Fath Ali Khan Afshar and gained some of his troops. Azad then continued into Zand territories. He attacked and defeated Karim at Qomesa, and soon occupied Shiraz. Soon Karim was forced to retreat to Kazerun. He lost Isfahan, Shiraz and Urmia, and it seemed as though he wasn’t far from completely losing his entire kingdom. Karim Khan was defeated at Kazerun and was forced to escape to the village of Khisht. There he was able to ally himself with the chief of the Khisht, Rustam Sultan. With Rustam Sultan’s help he defeated an army under Fath-Ali Khan Afshar and chased the survivors to Shiraz where Karim and Rustam laid siege to it. By November 1754 Karim captured the future capital city of his kingdom, Shiraz. He then spent much of his time capturing the cities and villages of the province of Fars. Meanwhile Mohammad Khan Zand and Shaikh Ali Khan Zand, two of Karim's relatives and generals, defeated Azads forces and captured the fortress of Kermanshah thus disrupting Azads communication with his generals in Urmia and Azerbaijan.[16] The Qajars of Mazandaran took advantage of the chaos in Persia and asserted their independence, and began a war with Azad Khan.[14] With Azad knowing little of the events happening at his northern territories, the Qajars defeated several of Azad Khan’s armies led by his generals. When he finally discovered what had happened there, Azad fled from Isfahan to take care of the situation. Karim then took this opportunity to capture Isfahan and was actually welcomed into the city by the citizens. After Azad’s armies were defeated in Azerbaijan, Azad retreated to Baghdad, planning a comeback, while the Qajars captured some of Azads eastern terriories for themselves.

Conflict with the Qajars[edit]

With Azad Khan’s retreat Karim focused on the Qajars in Mazandaran who had risen in power. He headed directly toward the palace of the Qajar leader, Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar, in Astarabad. Karim Khan’s army sped to Astarabad at great speeds. As Karim’s army neared Astarabad, several guards protecting the gates noticed Karim Khan and his armies and ran into the city to inform Mohammad Hasan Khan. At this time Muhammad Hasan was praying once he finished praying, he took his army to the gates of the city where the two sides immediately began fighting. Muhammad Hasan’s quick response to Karim’s invasion surprised Karim and his soldiers. Mohammad Hasan defeated most of Karim’s army and Karim Khan realising he was now at a great disadvantage, retreated and was then chased by Mohammad Hasan and his army. Karim’s soldiers passed thru a narrow pass near the lake of Hamoon. Mohammad decided to go around the pass and meet Karim at the end. Karim was shocked to find Mohammad Hasan at the end of the pass and ordered his troops to retreat. This time Mohammad Hasan chased Karim thru the pass.[17] He continued to chase Karim to his capital at Shiraz, capturing several cities and making an alliance with Fath Ali Khan Afshar along the way. During this chase Mohammad Hasan occupied Isfahan and left a garrison there in order to continue occupation of the city while he then headed south to capture Shiraz. Once Mohammad Hasan arrived he laid siege to it but failed badly and after his garrison at Isfahan was defeated by Zand loyalists, was forced to retreat back to Astarabad. On 14 February 1759 Mohammad Hasan was defeated in a battle against a Zand army led by Shaikh Ali Khan Zand, and was killed by a Kurd renegade.

Mohammad Hasan was succeeded by Hoseyn Qoli Khan who was a relatively inexperienced and weak leader and so Astarabad shortly fell under the control of Karim Khan, who appointed a Develu as its governor, the Develu were an enemy tribe of the Qajars so perhaps Karim hoped to weaken Qajar control by allowing their enemy to govern their most important city. While Karim personally attacked Hoseyn Qoli and his armies, Hoseyn’s brother Mohammad Khan Qajar attempted to retake Astarabad but was defeated by it’s governor and was chased to Ashraf. There he was captured and brought to Karim Khan’s court. Not long after Karim defeated Husayn Khan, and thus annexed Mazandaran. There he treated Muhammad and Husayn Qajar as guests rather than prisoners. Karim Khan also acknowledged Agha Mohammad Khan's political knowledge and used to ask for his advice on interests of the state and used to call him his "Pīrān-e Vēas", which the intelligent counselor of the legendary Iranian king Afrasiab was said to have been called.

The Qasr-e Qajar palace in Tehran, where Karim Khan lived for two years while preparing for his invasion of Azerbaijan. During his time there the palace was heavily renovated, and Tehran was expanded.

Surrender of Azad Khan and annexation of Azerbaijan[edit]

With Azad Khan having been defeated long ago, Karim headed further north to capture the rest of Azad’s territory. Karim Khan occupied Maragha and Tabriz but both of his armies there were small and unequiped so he returned them to Tehran to expand and resupply his troops. During his time in Tehran he stayed in the Qasr-e Qajar palace, which would be the foundation of the future Golestan palace.[18][19] While Karim expanded his army, Azad Khan returned from refuge in Baghdad to attempt a comeback. He sought aid from two of his allies Fath Ali Khan Afshar and Sahbaz Khan Donboli who ruled over Tabriz and Urmia. However they then turned against him and later defeated him in battle at Maragha. Again defeated Azad took refuge at the court of his ally Erekle II. On February 1763, not long after Azad defeat, Karim brought his army to Maragha and Tabriz where he defeated and killed Shahbaz, while after many defeats Fath Ali eventually surrendered but was later executed in Isfahan.[20]

With encouragement from Erekle, Azad Khan returned to Azerbaijan to surrender to Karim Khan. Karim spared Azad Khan and allowed him to join his royal court where Azad would reside for the rest of his life.[20]

Zaki Khan's rebellion[edit]

Karim Khan’s half-brother, Zaki Khan played a major role in the successful Persian victory over Azad Khan, but Karim did not show much recognition of Zaki Khan’s contribution so in revenge, Zaki seized the former Safavid capital of Isfahan for himself, and mercilessly exploited its population. When Karim Khan learned of these events, he personally marched on Isfahan. Zaki Khan fled from him to Dezful, in Khuzestan where he allied himself with local chiefs and had raised an army. But Karim was able to defeat him and so Zaki Khan eventually begged for the mercy of Karim Khan, and received it.

Ottoman Persian War[edit]

Karim Khan Zand with the Ottoman Ambassador Vehbi Effendi.

Karim Khan sent his brother Sadiq Khan Zand to invade southern Iraq[21] and after besieging Basra for a year, took the city from the Ottomans in 1776.[22] The Ottomans, unable to send troops, were dependent on the Mamluk governors to defend that region.

The Ottomans, under Sulayman Agha,[23] were able to retake Basra from Sadiq Khan’s army, following Karim Khan's death.[24]

Rest of his Reign[edit]

During the rest of Karim Khans reign he was to devoted organizing his kingdom and improving Iran’s economy. His fair policies on taxation, his effective diplomacy, and his ability to provide internal calm had not only made him popular amongst the people but also created an era of peace and prosperity for Iran. Karim Khan helped bring rise to the agricultural sector and introduced European methods of weaving to Iran’s famous carpet and rug industry. He also promoted deals international trade by allowing British and Dutch trading posts along the Persian gulf.[25]

Foreign Relations[edit]

Relations with the Dutch and conflict with Mir Mahanna[edit]

Karim had allowed the Dutch trading rights at Bandar Rig and Kharg. Mir Nasir, governor of Bandar Rig, allowed the Dutch to create trading posts there so long as they paid rent to him. The Dutch did not pay the rent and this annoyed Mir Nasir’s son, Mir Mahanna. Mahanna demanded the Dutch pay this rent and in response to his father’s inability to enforce the rent, he killed his father and took control of Bandar Rig for himself. Once Karim heard of this, he refused to allow Mahanna any de-facto power over Bandar Rig and so sent an army to deal with him. Karim’s army arrested Mahanna and imprisoned him in Shiraz but sent him free one year later.[26][27] Mahanna again seized full control over Bandar Rig. Karim Khan arrested him again in 1758 but he was bailed out by an influential relative. In 1765 Karim brought an army to Bandar Rig demanding Mahanna to pay tribute. Mahanna refused and ran off to Khargu, a small island near Kharg, leaving Karim’s army on the shore. Mir Mahanna caused much trouble in the Persian gulf. He had captured several Dutch ships and used them to ruin the trading positions of the Dutch, and capture any trading vessels that passed thru territory which he considered his. Eventually the Dutch made an agreement with Mahanna but not before long they got themselves involved in a conflict between Mahanna and the Sheikh of Bushehr. After a successful coup the now well known pirate and “terror” of the Persian gulf, Mir Mahanna captured a fortress of the Dutch East India Company, and virtually gained control over all of Bahrain. This brought the Dutch to abandon all trading efforts in the Persian gulf,[26] thus ruining relation between the Dutch and the Persians.

Relations with the British[edit]

After a failed campaign to defeat Mahanna by Zaki Khan,[26] Karim himself stepped in. With aide from the British, promising them trading rights in the Persian gulf, he attacked Mahanna and his fortress at Kharg, but were defeated. In 1769 Karim Khan and a powerful army defeated Mahanna and forced him to flee to basra where he was executed. Karim then allowed the British to have a trading post in southern Iran.[27]

During Karim’s campaign’s in the Persian Gulf, a British emissary wished to meet with Karim Khan but Karim refused to allow any meeting to occur.[28] When his Viziers asked why, he responded

If he has business with the Shah of Iran, I am not the Shah, merely his viceroy; the Shah is Ismail III, who resides in the fortress of Abada. Take the envoy there and let him conduct his business; I have no business with him.

— [28]


Karim then asked his Viziers what they believed the Emissary’s mission was. They believed that the king of England was genuinely interested in creating friendly relations with the ruler of Persia and wished to import cloth, clothing and sundry from Europe and India. Karim Khan laughed at this and stated

I understand their objective-they want to play us for fools and take the possessions of Iran by trickery, just as they had seized India by deceit and fraud

— [28]



Karim Khan later died in 1 March 1779, having been ill for six months, most likely due to tuberculosis.[9] He was buried three days later in the "Nazar Garden", now known as the Pars Museum.

Following Karim Khan's death, civil war broke out once more, and none of his descendants were able to rule the country as effectively as he had. During the chaos, Agha Mohammad Khan was able to assert his independence in Mazandaran. After a decade of civil war, Agha Mohammad Khan was able to defeat the last of Karim’s descendants, Lotf Ali Khan, and thus became the sole ruler of Iran.


To this day, Karim Khan has a reputation as one of the most just and able rulers in Iranian history. A wealth of tales and anecdotes portray Karim Khan as a compassionate ruler, genuinely concerned with the welfare of his subjects. In the words of John Malcolm, "The happy reign of this excellent prince, as contrasted with those who preceded and followed him, affords the historian of Persia that kind of mixed pleasure and repose, which a traveler enjoys on arriving in a beautiful and fertile valley during an arduous journey over barren and rugged wastes. It is pleasing to recount the actions of a chief who, though born of an inferior rank, obtained power without crime, and who exercised it with a moderation that, for the times in which he lived, was as singular as his humanity and justice."[29]

In art[edit]

Karim Khan is the main character of a melodrama composed by the Italian musician Nicolò Gabrielli di Quercita. The work, entitled L'assedio di Sciraz (The siege of Shiraz) was first performed at La Scala theatre in Milan during Carnival 1840.



Bodaq Khan
Agha Beygom I
Inaq Khan
Allah Morad Khan
Agha Beygom II
Zaki Khan
Karim Khan
Sadiq Khan
Koda Morad Khan
Ali Murad Khan
Akbar Khan
Abol Fath Khan
Mohammad Ali Khan
Jafa Khan
Sayed Murad Khan
Rustam Khan
Lotf Ali Khan


  1. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica article: Karim Khan (makes no mention of May 1 as a possible date of death)
  2. ^ From Encyclopedia Iranica's Zand dynasty Article: None of Karim Khan’s five successors formally adopted his title of ‘deputy’ (wakil), nor did they take that of ‘shah.’ The first three of them ruled nominally for one of Karim Khan’s sons, and the last two are referred to in Persian sources by a conventional imperial epithet or simply as ‘khan,’ but often as ‘the king’ by European observers
  3. ^ Despite never officially holding the title of Shah (king), he became the sole and undisputed head of state over iran after Ismail iii died
  4. ^ Soon after Nāder’s assassination in 1160/1747, Karim Khan led his people home. In alliance with ʿAli-Mardān Khan Baḵtiāri, he captured Isfahan in 1163/1750 and installed a Safavid puppet ruler, Shah Esmāʿil III (r. 1750-65, d. 1773). The next year, Karim Khan defeated a bid by ʿAli-Mardān Khan for sole power, and adopted his rival’s title of wakil-al-dowla (‘deputy of the state,’ or regent). After defeating three other contestants for power, he pacified most of western and central Persia from the Caspian littoral and Azerbaijan to Kerman and Lār (Ḡaffāri, pp. 42-199), and ruled at Shiraz from 1179/1765 until his death in 1193/1779.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica article: Karim Khan (makes no mention of May 1 as a possible date of death)
  6. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica article: AKBAR KHAN ZAND
  7. ^ http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/asian-and-african/2014/06/some-portraits-of-the-zand-rulers-of-iran-1751-1794.html
  8. ^ Dabashi, Hamid (2011). Shi'ism: A Religion of Protest. Harvard University Press. pp. 164–165. ISBN 0-674-04945-4. 
  9. ^ a b c Perry 2011, pp. 561–564.
  10. ^ A fourth pretender was Karim Khan, son of Aymak of the Zand, a section of Lak tribe, Sir Percy Molesworth Sykes, A History of Persi, Macmillan and co., limited, 1930, p. 277.
  11. ^ One of the contenders for power was Karim Khan Zand, a member of the Lak tribe near Shiraz, William Marsden, Stephen Album, Marsden's Numismata orientalia illustrata, Attic Books, 1977, ISBN 978-0-915018-16-1, p. 158.
  12. ^ Karim Khan, the founder of the Zand dynasty of Persia that succeeded the Afsharids, was himself born to a family of these Lak deportees (of the Zand tribe), Mehrdad R. Izady, The Kurds: A Concise Handbook, Taylor & Francis, 1992, ISBN 978-0-8448-1727-9, p. 12.
  13. ^ Muhammad Karim Khan, of the Zand clan of the Lur tribe, suc- ceeded in imposing his authority on parts of the defunct Safavid empire, David Yeroushalmi, The Jews of Iran in The Nineteenth Century: Aspects of History, Community, and Culture, BRILL, 2009, ISBN 978-90-04-15288-5, p. xxxix.
  14. ^ a b https://books.google.ca/books?id=H20Xt157iYUC&pg=PA117&dq=rustam+khan+zand&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwitiqq64LPJAhXIpB4KHZJBCvwQ6AEIIjAB#v=snippet&q=karim%20khan%20zand&f=false
  15. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica article: Karim Khan
  16. ^ Text from Encyclopedia Iranica article : Karim Khan Zand:The Zand khans Moḥammad and Šayḵ--ʿAli had meanwhile taken the Kermānšāh fortress and were interrupting Āzād Khan’s communications with Urmia.
  17. ^ Persian text from Persian miniature about the battle: IO_Islamic_3442_097v (British Library)
  18. ^ (q.v.; Nāmi, p. 96; Ḏokāʾ, pp. 18, 42).
  19. ^ text from Encyclopedia Iranica article Karim Khan Zand: " Karim Khan spent two winters in Tehran, where he completed a massacre of the Afghans remaining in Māzandarān (already begun by the Qajar governor of Sāri), appointed new governors (some from the rival Davallu) over the former Qajar territories, and built a fortified residence which was the nucleus of the future Golestān palace
  20. ^ a b text from Encyclopedia Iranica article Karim Khan Zand: " In the summer of 1760 Āzād returned from refuge in Baghdad in an attempt to regain control of Azerbaijan, but his former allies, Fatḥ-ʿAli and Šahbāz Khan Donboli of Tabriz, turned on him and defeated him at Marāga. Karim Khan then advanced into Azerbaijan, successively defeating the Afšār and Donboli forces and taking Tabriz and Urmia in February 1763. Āzād Khan, who had taken refuge with his old ally, the Georgian monarch Erekle (Heraclius), surrendered to Karim Khan and lived thereafter in honorable retirement at Shiraz. Fatḥ-ʿAli Khan Afšār, who had also surrendered, was executed the following year at Isfahan, as Karim Khan returned to Shiraz with a Qajar wife (Ḵadija Bigom, sister of Moḥammd-Ḥasan Khan), "
  21. ^ Dina Rizk Khoury, State and Provincial Society in the Ottoman Empire: Mosul, 1540-1834, (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 47.
  22. ^ Dina Rizk Khoury, State and Provincial Society in the Ottoman Empire: Mosul, 1540-1834, 44.
  23. ^ 'Abd al-Hamid I, M. Cavid Baysun, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. I, ed. H.A.R. Gibb, J.H. Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal and J. Schacht, (Brill, 1986), 62.
  24. ^ Dionisius A. Agius, In the Wake of the Dhow: The Arabian Gulf and Oman, (Ithaca Press, 2010), 15.
  25. ^ http://iranologie.com/the-history-page/the-zand-dynasty/
  26. ^ a b c https://books.google.ca/books?id=hQfrAQAAQBAJ&pg=PT56&lpg=PT56&dq=Mir+Mahanna&source=bl&ots=fdsTTGt0-Y&sig=5C2m9lwkznRBdExIWNY3qQ0XMzw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjl3s7l-73JAhXHKx4KHcmhDpsQ6AEIHzAB#v=onepage&q=Mir%20Mahanna&f=false
  27. ^ a b https://books.google.ca/books?id=lMkUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&dq=Mir+Mahanna&source=bl&ots=usCJClNd4z&sig=1Oat22B_YIc_J9JgANvulU08N2s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQ7ezi-73JAhVJHR4KHfQfDbwQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=Mir%20Mahanna&f=false
  28. ^ a b c d e https://books.google.ca/books?id=hQfrAQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=karim+khan&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ0Y6ew7vJAhVB0h4KHT40AP4Q6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=karim%20khan&f=false
  29. ^ (John Malcolm, The History of Persia, 1829)


Karim Khan
Born: 1705 Died: 1779
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Nader Shah
Shah of Persia
Succeeded by
Mohammad Ali Khan