Africans were also not the only ones to be enslaved in Iran. “In Iran, slavery was not based on race and didn’t focus only on Africans; Circassians and Georgians were also enslaved, and many Iranians were enslaved,” Mirzai said. Some slaves also worked alongside Iranian peasants, who were living in a state of extreme poverty, she added.
Only reason this is a surprise to many is they've been taught slavery is a nasty output of Europe, something white people did to others. Which is such an ignoring/ignorance of history that it's amazing.
“There are many people who either don’t even know there was slavery in
the Muslim world, or they think it was so different form the Americas
that it doesn’t qualify. Or, more [commonly], it’s a subject with so
much taboo associated with it that no one wants to talk about it,”
Lovejoy told Middle East Eye.
Bingo. It serves the interests of some to ignore those parts of history that are inconvenient.