The Safavid Empire was one ruled by Sufi Muslims who later became Shia Muslims. They wanted to spread "Shiism by military means." They viewed the leader of the Empire with reverence, and they believed in the idea of hereditary succession. This was in accordance with Shia tradition. An important leader was killed, and his teenage son decided to avenge his father's death. This led to a series of conquests, which ended in the takeover of "Azerbaijan, Armenia and Khorasan." The teenage boy, Esma'il, became the Shah of the Empire. The Safavid Empire claimed all of what had formerly been Persia as their own. Though they conquered Persia, the Empire kept Persian language and culture. They also sought to keep a system of governmental organization by using "Persian bureaucrats with a tradition in administration and tax collecting."
Though the Safavid Empire eventually fell, Persian language and culture persisted. The Empire enabled the continuation of these. Their system of organized government was also influential for many centuries in other countries. Shia Islam spread in the region due to their support of it.