By Adom Sabanchian The Armenian community in Iran has a long and rich history. There are the indigenous Armenians who inhabited the territory that is Iran for millennia. And there are those who migrated to Iran and settled there in different periods. A first wave arrived in the early 17th century, under Shah Abbas. There were more recent waves in the 20th century. As a result, there are cultural, educational and class differences between the Armenians of Iran. Despite this, the community enjoys a degree of homogeneity. Civil-society organizations emerged among Armenians -- including Armenian women -- much earlier than in the mainstream Muslim population: from the mid-19th century onwards. This was especially true among Armenians living in the northern region of Azerbaijan and its capital Tabriz. Because of the geographical proximity to the Russian Empire, the Armenians of Iran became influenced by the Armenians living
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