Branch of chieftains who ruled western and southern Iran from 1751 to 1794. The founder, Karim Khan Zand, mastered all of Iran except Khurasan. The dynasty began as a Safavid restoration but soon became an independent effort to restore peace and prosperity. It rebuilt and rerouted trade through Iran, issued coins in the name of the Hidden Imam, and built a mosque in Shiraz, but never sought clerical endorsement of power. Karim Khan Zand holds an enduring reputation as the most humane Iranian ruler of the Islamic era. His descendants were overthrown by the Qajars.