Many Iranians believe that we need peace, tourism, and better human rights in Western Asia and Central Asia. When it comes to Iran (Persia), we have many words to say.

Cyrus the Great (580-529 BC) was the first Achaemenid Emperor. He is the emperor and father of Western Asia and Central Asia. He is part of the national identity of Persia. He established Persia by uniting the two ancient Iranian Tribes-the Medes and the Persians. He established one of the first vast Empires in Western Asia and Central Asia. Cyrus the Great is also the father of Persian dignity and democracy. Although he was known to be a great conqueror, who at one point controlled one of the greatest Empires ever seen, he is best remembered for his tolerance and positive attitudes towards those he defeated.

Upon his victory over the Medes (a Persian tribe), he established a democratic government for his new vast kingdom, incorporating both Median and Persian scholars as civilian authorities. The conquest of Asia Minor (Turkey) was completed by him. He led his armies to the eastern borders. Hyrcania and Parthia were already part of the Median Kingdom. Further east, he conquered Drangiana, Arachosia, Margiana and Bactria. After crossing the Oxus, Cyrus the Great reached the Jaxartes, where he built stable towns in order to defend the farthest borders of his outstanding kingdom against tribes of Central Asia. The victories to the east led him again to the west and sounded the hour for going to Iraq and Egypt. This was the time when Iraq and Egypt joined the Persian Empire of Iran. This is also a reason why Iranians look at Iraq and Egypt as part of their ancient lands and heritage.

When he conquered Babylon (Iraq), the Jews welcomed him as a democratic king. In 537 BC, he allowed more than 40,000 Jews to leave Iraq and go to Israel. He is the symbol of great patience and respect towards different religious beliefs and cultural traditions of other nations. These characteristics earned him the respect of all the people over whom he ruled after victory. Cyrus the Great presented himself not as a conqueror, but a democratic leader and the legitimate successor to the Persian Empire.

Cyrus the Great did not force nations to accept him, and had the wisdom to leave unchanged the institution of each kingdom he attached to Iran. Cyrus the Great also presented the first Charter of Human Rights known to mankind, which is written on his cylinder.

Cyrus the Great is not just an emperor. He is a model for promoting peace and tolerance in Western Asia and Central Asia. His message is clear for the region. He invites the nations of the region to better economic and cultural collaborations, better education, better tourism, and better understanding. People in Iran say: “Europe is full of nations who do not like each other. But when it comes to better future, their governments go to the European Union and share mutual economic, political and cultural benefits. Why do not we have such a thing in Western Asia and Central Asia?”

The tomb of Cyrus the Great is open to the public and tourists in Pasargadae, Shiraz, Iran. We would like to invite everybody to come and visit the heritage of Cyrus the Great in Western Asia and Central Asia. He knows that our golden opportunities have gone in regional wars and misunderstandings. He invites us to join and establish a regional union for a green Renaissance. We hope one day, the nations of his empire gather around his tomb and build the first regional union to revive education, tourism, civilization and modernisation. This should be based on his democratic beliefs about the nations of the region. Many Persian people want the civilizations of these two regions are restored and introduced to the world. This can be a starting point for such a union. Our people in these two regions deserve better cultural and economic status. We believe our outstanding history is full of lessons for the future of Western Asia and Central Asia.

Cyrus the Great, the founder of human rights and democracy in Western Asia and Central Asia

Can the empire of Cyrus the Great, experience a green Renaissance again?

Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great and his wife

Cyrus the Great

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