The Zand Dynasty
During this period the Bakhtiaris had placed a nephew of Shah Suleiman on the throne in Isfahan in 1750
under the title of Shah Ismail III (1750-1753). Karim Khan (1753-1779) had him
arrested and ruled as Vaqi, or lieutenant of the kingdom. Karim Khan appears to have been a wise
and just ruler and was greatly mourned on his death in 1779. He restored Shi'ism as the state religion, and
made Shiraz his capital.
A further period of turmoil followed his death, as his brother Zuki Khan, his second son Abul
Futteh Khan, another brother Sadegh Khan and the latter's stepson 'Ali Murad
Khan violently succeeded one another. The latter, after ruling for four years as over-thrown by Sadegh
Khan's son Ja'afer Khan, who was poisoned within three years and succeeded by his son
Lotf 'Ali Khan. The latter was eventually tricked into losing Shiraz to the first of the Qajars,
Agha Mohammad Qajar in 1794. He fled the area and after a series of daring adventures
eventually set himself up as king in Kerman. Agha Mohammad gained the town by treachery, slaughtered or
blinded every adult male in the city and granted 20,000 of the women and children as slaves to his soldiers.
Even amidst all this carnage and bloodshed he failed to capture Lotf 'Ali who escaped. Lotf 'Ali was later
betrayed into the hands of Agha Mohammad who tore out his eyes and had him sent to Tehran where he was