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DavidV

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The Safavid Dynasty unified Persia and converted it to Shia Islam, arguably laying the foundations for modern Iran. However, by the mid-18th century, having failed to capitalise on Ottoman defeat at Vienna in terms of altering the balance of power in the Islamic world, the Safavid empire was in decline and slid into warlordism, plus the Afghan Hotaki dynasty succeeding in taking much of what is now Iran for a while (the Durrani dynasty replaced them). The Afsharids succeeded in reuniting Persia and under Nader Shah, took the empire to its greatest extent since its conversion to Islam. It crumbled within a decade, and the rival Zand Dynasty of Karim Khan Zand (a line descending from Ali Murad Khan, I believe, still survives today), which initially ruled as a sort of regent on behalf of the greatly weakened Safavids.

The Afsharids maintained their stronghold in Khorosan, in the east of the country, under Shahrokh (or Shahrukh). It is from him that the surviving line of Afsharids descend:
http://www.geni.com/family-tree/index/6000000012871597364
http://www.geni.com/family-tree/index/6000000012871595368
http://afsharnaderi.info/default.aspx?pageID=14

So not only are there the Pahlavi and Qajar dynasties, but descendants of the Afsharid dynasty and possibly the Zand and Safavid dynasties, still surviving today although the latter two I have not been able to establish. Is Iran unique in having more than one existing royal house which could plausibly claim the throne?
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