The conquest of Media was a result of what is called the Persian Revolt.

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At its greatest extent, the Achaemenid Empire included the modern territories of Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, northeastern Greece and southern Bulgaria (Thrace), northern Greece and Macedonia (Paeonia and Ancient Macedon), Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, all significant ancient population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya, Kuwait, northern Saudi Arabia, parts of the UAE and Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and much of Central Asia, making it the first world government and the largest empire the world had yet seen.

In Greek history, the Achaemenid Empire is considered as the antagonist of the Greek city states, for the emancipation of slaves including the Jewish exiles in Babylon, building infrastructures such as road and postal systems, and the use of an official language, the Imperial Aramaic, throughout its territories.

The rise of the Safavid Dynasty in 1501 led to the establishment of Twelver Shia Islam as the official religion of Iran, marking one of the most important turning points in Iranian and Muslim history. Iran's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world.

Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislative body, the Majles. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and OPEC.

The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, but reemerged shortly after as the Parthian Empire.

Under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries.

Later conquests under Cyrus and his successors expanded the empire to include Lydia, Babylon, Egypt, parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper, as well as the lands to the west of the Indus and Oxus rivers.

539 BC was the year in which Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army at Opis, and marked the end of around four centuries of Mesopotamian domination of the region with the transition from the Neo-Babylonian Period to the Achaemenid Period.

Cyrus entered Babylon and presented himself as a traditional Mesopotamian monarch.

Subsequent Achaemenid art and iconography reflect the influence of the new political reality in Mesopotamia.

The area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region.