|Government type||Absolute monarchy|
|Ruling party||Shahist Faction (conservative)|
|Capital||Tehran (ID 1121)|
|Accepted cultures||Azerbaijani, Baluchi|
|Tech school||Uncivilized nation|
Persia is an Uncivilized Nation located in East-Central Asia. It borders the Ottoman Empire to the west, Russia to the north, Khiva, Afghanistan, Kalat and Makran to the east. To the north east Persia is bordered by some uncolonized regions, where Russia lies on the other side. To the south of Persia is the Persian gulf as well as the Strait of Hormuz, and to the North it borders the Caspian sea. Persia is at 30% of its westernization process.
Persia has one native Decision, namely "Establish The Dar al-Funun". This is unlocked when Persia's literacy reaches above 10% and gives a boost of research points as well as a permanent 10% increase in research points, this comes with 0.50 consciousness to all pops though.
Persia is one of the most interesting nations Victoria 2 has to offer. Despite starting as an uncivilized nation with terrible literacy, sandwiched between the British and Russian Empires, it has almost unique potential to rise to the status of Great Power, and, with enough perseverance, the coveted #1 ranking.
Persia doesn't start in a great power's sphere of influence though The Ottoman Empire, The Russian Empire and the United Kingdom start with influence on it.
The United Kingdom has a cordial opinion on Persia and 25 influence points. They have also invested £5.0K in Persia. The Ottoman Empire has a neutral opinion on Persia and 25 influence points. The Russian Empire has an friendly opinion on Persia and 45 influence points.
Persia will get a couple of alliance invitations from other central Asian nations when it starts the game, these usually include Afghanistan. Persia has no casus bellis against any other nation in the game.
The initial budget is relatively simple. Maximize out taxes on absolutely all sectors of society, and maximize education spending. Anything left-over goes towards the land national stockpile if in war or preparing for war, and on military spending otherwise. In a similar manner, the National Focus needs to set to Encourage Clergymen, starting with the most populous state (Tabriz). This will be the sole use of the National Focus for some time. When a state reaches 4% clergy, then the National Focus should be switched to generating clergy in the next most populous state.
The first long-term priority for Persia is Westernisation, and the single best way of doing this is using conquest to generate research points, because Persia is surrounded by nations ripe for the picking.
The best target to start with is Afghanistan. Persia's single unique decision, Establish The Dar al-Funun requires that Persia has a literacy rate of 10%. Afghanistan is highly populated and has a literacy rate of 17%. If Afghanistan is the very first nation Persia conquers, it will immediately send Persia's literacy rating over 10%, allowing Persia to use the Establish The Dar al-Funun decision almost straight away. It is best to wait a few months so Afghanistan have time to reclaim its cores from Bukkhara, allowing Persia to maximize gains from the first war.
When attacking Afghanistan one has to watch out for attrition, as that can take a lot of troops in Afghanistan. One will have to fight defensively, otherwise the losses will be too great. Allying Kokand, Bukkhara and Khiva might be a good idea, so they use their cannon fodder instead of yours.
After Afghanistan, Persia has a few strategic choices. Kalat and Makran are not priorities. Other than being really small, they are both primarily Baluchi cultured nations, and Baluchi is an accepted culture of Persia, meaning even if a civilized Persia conquers them, it will probably meet the accepted culture bureaucrat requirement and be able to turn them into a state rather than becoming a colony or protectorate. Kokand has too many states for use of the Conquest CB, and is best left alone for the time being.
This leaves a number of potential candidates for the next conquest - Punjab, Khiva, Bukkhara, Sindh, and the various nations of the Persian Gulf. Punjab is the hardest of these, but the most rewarding. Even after the conquest of Afghanistan, Punjab is in a stronger position than Persia, and conquest will be extremely difficult, but the reward is an immensely populous state that will fuel an easy industrialization later. Against Punjab, Sindh will be a good choice for an ally.
The third best bet is Kokand. The combination of Afghanistan, Punjab, Kokand and Sindh should give Persia enough research points to Westernise.
The other options - Khiva, Bukkhara, and Persian Gulf states like Nejd, Abu Dhabi and Oman, are also viable targets, but less valuable than the aforementioned for a number of reasons: Khiva is not particularly prosperous, Bukkhara is a useful ally, and the Persian Gulf states are not in any danger of being annexed or Sphered any time soon and can be picked off at Persia's leisure, unlike Persia's northern and eastern neighbours.
A quick Persian Westernisation can be done by the early 1840s - even 1840 itself with exceptionally good planning. Persia will most likely immediately become a Secondary Power when it westernizes. Make gunning for Medicine the priority, and you can colonize the provinces to the west of Khiva, again cutting off Russian expansionism. Be careful though: do NOT colonize the provinces north of Kokand, as Russia has cores on these and will tank relations and go to war with you to reclaim them. While you want to curb Russian expanionism, you do not want to outright provoke them at this early stage. If you miss this by Westernising later, such as in the 1850s, and Russia colonizes down to the Turkmeni state, don't worry too much - they weren't particularly valuable and just made a small extra attrition sink in the event of a future Russian war.
Persia now has to generate an industrial boom. Thankfully, a Persia containing Afghanistan has a lot of coal provinces, so switch to the Nationalist Faction and begin constructing cement factories and perhaps a few smaller fabric factories to kickstart your industry. After getting 4% clergy in all core states Using the National Focus to encourage capitalists if you have 2% clergy nation-wide can really help, although this won't be this way for long.
Khiva, Bukkhara, Kalat and Makran can all be made instantly into states after conquest, providing an easy population boost. Further expansionism should aim for Abu Dhabi, Nejd and Oman to capture provinces that will be big oil producers in the future. From here on, the game becomes much more open-ended and which priorities you go for are up to you. One can Sphere the Ottoman Empire rather than attack it - taking the whole Empire is a very long procedure and it's much more profitable just to Sphere it. Aiming for Egypt to create the Suez Canal is another useful goal.