The Afsharids were members of a native Iranian dynasty of Turkic origin, specifically the Afshar tribe, from Khorasan, who ruled Persia in the 18th century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the brilliant military commander Nader Shah, who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself King of Iran. During Nader's reign, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sassanid Empire, and at its height it controlled modern day Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, most of the North Caucasus (Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, and parts of modern day Chechnya), Afghanistan, Bahrain, most of Iraq and Kuwait, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan, and parts of Turkey, North India, and Oman. After his death, most of his empire was divided between the Zands and the Durranis, and Afsharid rule was confined to a small local state in Khorasan. Finally, the Afsharid dynasty was overthrown by Mohammad Khan Qajar in 1796, who would establish a new native Persian empire and restore Persian suzerainty over many of the afore mentioned regions.
The dynasty was named after the Turkic Afshar tribe to which Nader belonged. The Afshars had migrated from Turkestan to Azerbaijan in the 13th century. In the early 17th century, Shah Abbas the Great moved many Afshars from Azerbaijan to Khorasan to defend the north-eastern borders of his state against the Uzbeks, after which the Afshars became native to those regions. Nader belonged to the Qereqlu branch of the Afshars.