The Afsharid dynasty was an Iranian dynasty that originated from the Afshar tribe in Iran’s north-eastern province of Khorasan, ruling Iran (Persia) in the mid-eighteenth century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the brilliant military commander Nader Shah, who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself as the Shah of Iran.
During Nader’s reign, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sasanian Empire. At its height, it controlled modern-day Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan Republic, parts of the North Caucasus (Dagestan), Afghanistan, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, and parts of Iraq, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Oman. After his death, most of his empire was divided between the Zands, Durranis, Georgians, and the Caucasian khanates, while Afsharid rule was confined to a small local state in Khorasan. Finally, the Afsharid dynasty was overthrown by Mohammad Khan Qajar in 1796, who would establish a new native Iranian empire and restore Iranian suzerainty over several of the aforementioned regions.
The dynasty was named after the Turcoman Afshar tribe from Khorasan in north-east Iran, to which Nader belonged. The Afshars had originally migrated from Turkestan to Azerbaijan (Iranian Azerbaijan) in the 13th century. In the early 17th century, Shah Abbas the Great moved many Afshars from Azerbaijan to Khorasan to defend the north-eastern borders of his state against the Uzbeks, after which the Afshars became native to those regions. Nader belonged to the Qereqlu branch of the Afshars.
- Nader Shah (1736–1747)
- Adil Shah (1747–1748)
- Ebrahim Afshar (1748)
- Shahrokh Afshar (1748–1796)