The following map shows the Persian Empire at 500 B.C. It was the time that the Persians (Iranians) were trying to conquer Greece, launching two invasions during the period 500 B.C. – 450 B.C. In the first one they were defeated in Marathon, and in the second one they were defeated in Salamis. See “Greek-Persian Wars”.
Map 1 Persian Empire
During the period of the Persian Empire, the trade routes were safe, and communications were highly developed. It was a great period for the Silk Roads and trade.
About two hundred years later, the Greek King Alexander the Great, invaded Persia from Macedonia. The decisive battle during Alexander’s invasion of Persia was the Battle of Gaugamela, near today’s city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. After their defeat at Erbil the Persians were finished, and Alexander became the master of the Silk Roads. See “Battle of Gaugamela”.
Map 2 Macedonian Empire 323 B.C.
In the 21st Century the Persians (Iranians) found again their way to the Mediterranean Sea, through their influence in Syria and Iraq. This time it is not the Greeks that will try to stop them, but an unholy alliance between the Arabs and the Turks. The Arabs and the Turks have a common interest to reduce the Persian (Iranian) influence over the Silk Roads, but each one of them wants greater control over the Silk Roads for himself. That’s why I call their alliance “unholy”.
Map 3 (Arabs+Turks) VS Persians