The Havoc Brought upon Iran by Anglo-Russian Friendship

  March 27, 2022   Read time 2 min
The Havoc Brought upon Iran by Anglo-Russian Friendship
By the emergency vote the Cabinet fell, according to the Constitution, and the Majlis was left alone to face the grim prospects that lay ahead.

Meanwhile thousands of Russian troops, with Cossacks and artillery, were pouring into northern Iran from Tiflis and Julfa by land and from Baku across the Caspian Sea, to the Iranian port of Enzeli, whence they took up their 220-mile march over the Elburz Mountains toward Qazvin and Tehran. By December IS, 1911, about 4,000 Russian troops had reached Qazvin. On that day the Russian Legation informed the Iranian government that if the conditions of the ultimatum were not complied with within six days, the Russian troops would start for Tehran.

Russia, however, did not have to capture Tehran in order to destroy what was left of the Constitutional government - the Majlis. By this time 12,000 Russian troops were occupying the entire northern part of Iran, the country was once again plunged into confusion and disorder, and the members of the deposed Cabinet were still striving to persuade the Majlis - perhaps by the same means that Russia had used to persuade them44 to accept the Russian demands. Russia had been assisted by the ex-Shah in destroying the First Majlis. The exCabinet served a similar purpose this time. On December 24 the ex-Cabinet executed a coup d’état against the Majlis; the deputies were expelled from the parliament building and were told that their lives would be in danger should they return. Thus, to quote from Shuster’s The Strangling of Persia, “they abolished the last vestige of Constitutional rule in Persia, and left their country at the mercy of seven oriental statesmen who had already sold out to the Russian Government. It was a sordid ending to a gallant struggle for liberty and enlightenment.”
Besides partitioning Iran into spheres of influence and destroying the Majlis, the Anglo-Russian friendship induced an unprecedented degree of outright intervention in the affairs of the country. This intervention reached its peak in the period between the end of the Constitutional government (December 24, 1911) and the outbreak of the First World W ar. During these years foreign and domestic problems became almost indistinguishable. W ith the destruction of the Majlis, Näsir al-Mulk, the Regent,80 became the principal political figure at a time when no substance remained to Iran’s “independence and integrity.” The Regent did not help the extremely difficult situation; his love of European travel kept him away from the country far too much.

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