RUSSIA ii. IRANIAN-SOVIET RELATIONS – Encyclopaedia Iranica
The remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal on Monday agreed to keep working to maintain trade with Tehran despite skepticism this is. The offer by the Iranian side to set up diplomatic relations with both the treaty, remained a controversial issue within the Soviet government. In other words, those championing closer Iranian-Russian ties will to Iran's controversial nuclear program also created an impression in.
In the Caucasus, it was relatively easy to break away, since the border was porous. The Battalion soldiers had a reputation for discipline and fearlessness and were used by the Iranian government in fighting against Turcomans, Afghans, Kurds, and the Ottomans.
Information about their numbers is imprecise: For the Russian authorities, the existence of the Russian Battalion was a source of irritation, political embarrassment, and practical inconvenience, and it served as an attraction and inspiration for new deserters. InLieutenant I. Noskov brought back Russian prisoners of war. None of the parties was to demand return of deserters and fugitives, while Iran was not to allow Russian deserters serving in the Iranian military to be stationed near the Russian border.
From Tabriz, he sent a total of people, including deserters and their families. From Tehran, he brought back most of the Russian Battalion, men with their families. Samson Khan continued to serve Iranian rulers and even formed a new regiment of deserters.
After his death in the s, there was no other Russian military unit inside Iran. In the second half of the 19th century, only individual deserters escaped, but their numbers were low and counted in tens. Russian officials accused local Iranian authorities of welcoming deserters and spared no effort to return them. After establishing its domination on the western shore of the Caspian, Russia began to look towards its eastern shore.
In the ss, Russian expeditions were sent to that area to study its social, economic, and political situation. Ina Russian consulate was established in Astarabad. In the same year, a Russian fort Novo-Perovskoe Aleksandrovskoe was built on the Mangyshlak peninsula.
The international position of Russia started to shift by the middle of the 19th century. By then, Russia was falling behind Western Europe in its technical and military development. Internal weakness resulted in diplomatic failures, which were followed by the humiliating defeat in the Crimean War against the allied forces of Britain, France, Turkey, and Sardinia The Russian role in European politics was reduced, while its politics towards Central Asia and the Far East acquired more significance.
It was only there that Russia was still able to compete successfully with the Western European powers.
He offered his assistance again in the next year, according to the Russian minister in Tehran, A. Berger, but the Russian government rejected his offer.
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During the Russian military actions in Central Asia, however, Iran supported the Russian army with supplies of food and forage Kulagina and Dunaeva, pp. After the fall of Geok Tepe inmost of the Turcoman territories of Transcaspia fell under the Russian rule.
The Atrak and Marv oases were now separating Russian Central Asia from Iranian Khorasan and migrations of Yomud Turcomans between Russian and Iranian territories were causing conflicts between the two countries. Inin addition to the Convention ofa secret agreement was signed, which granted Russia the right to occupy Khorasan in case of a threat to the Transcaspian railroad. The British were alarmed and tried to interfere to prevent the Russian advance.
A Convention of defined the rest of the Russo-Iranian border and developed further regulations of water resources usage Kulagina and Dunaeva, pp. Political and strategic interests were of primary concern to both Britain and Russia, although they also had an interest in Iranian trade and, in the second half of the 19th century, on concessions and loans.
Britain was mainly concerned with preserving the formal independence and integrity of Iran in order to defend India. Russia, after depriving Iran of its Caucasian and Transcaspian territories, had further expansionist designs on northern and northeastern Iran, especially on Khorasan.
Both imperial powers were striving to exercise as much influence on the Qajar rulers as possible in order to dominate Iran and to repel their rivals there. The Qajar monarchs were unable to resist European pressure.
Formally, Iran never became a colony, mainly because of the rivalry between Russia and Britain; the balance of power between Russia and Britain was of particular importance in preserving the integrity of Iran. The tug-of-war between Russia and Britain for concessions led to the increasing economic encroachment of the two empires on Iran, hampering a balanced development of its economy. One striking example was the blocking of railroad construction in Iran.
Starting in the s, both Britain and Russia each pressured Iranian monarchs to grant it a railroad concession and to deny one to the other power. Russian opposition, augmented by British government indifference, led to the cancellation of a broad concession for industrial development granted to a British subject, Baron Julius de Reuter, in the early s Algar, pp. Later, similar Russian projects were effectively blocked by their rivals.
A strong protest movement by Iranian merchants and ulama supported by the Russians forced the shah to cancel the concession. To compensate the company, Iran had to pay a large sum of money, which the shah borrowed first from the British and later from the Russians. Indebtedness to the European powers was becoming an additional tool of Western domination Kazemzadeh,pp. At the same time, it was a tool of Russian influence.
However, lack of reliable roads and transportation development were serious impediments for trade. While competing with the British trade, Russians were establishing their mercantile dominance of northern and central Iran. Already by the midth century, Russian exports to Iran constituted between 40 to 60 percent of all Russian goods exported to Asia.
Dominant Russian goods included cotton textiles, ironware, leather, furs, glassware, flower and grain, sugar, tea, and oil. Iranian exports to Iran included raw cotton, silk, rice, dried fruits, tobacco, opium. Innegotiations opened between Russia and Britain.
Russia had been weakened by the war and the revolution, while Britain was concerned about the growing power of Germany and its rising influence in the Middle East Kazemzadeh,p. In latewhile negotiations were in progress in St. It was partly directed against Russian domination of Iran. He could speak some Russian, had a Russian court physician, Dr. Though the preamble of the agreement mentioned the integrity and independence of Persia, the Iranian government was not even informed about the convention.
Southeastern Iran came under the British sphere of influence, where Russia undertook similar obligations. The area between the Russian and British spheres of interest was made neutral territory. The agreement confirmed the actual division of Iran into Russian and British spheres of interest, which had developed de facto by the end of the 19th century Andreeva,p.
Russia was strongly opposed to the Constitutional Revolution from its very beginning. Most of the revolutionary events were taking place in the Russian sphere of influence and were perceived as a threat to Russian economic interests and concessions.
Also, for the Russians, the Iranian revolution looked like a continuation of its own revolution ofin which many revolutionaries from the Caucasus participated. Opposition to him and his supporters was strong, however, in the south and in the north.
The Russians sent troops to Tabriz, Rasht, and Qazvin. In Junerevolutionaries from Gilan and Isfahan advanced towards Tehran. Soon thereafter, Colonel Liakhov and Russian officers serving in the Cossack Brigade, were fired by the Iranian government. The Russians had to put pressure on the government to keep the brigade and Dr.
Meanwhile, Russian occupation of the north continued, although the Iranian government was trying to make them withdraw. In Augustthe Majles employed an American, William Morgan Shuster, as its economic adviser to help solve the financial crisis in Iran.
Acting in accord with the Constitutionalists and quite independently from the Russians and the British, Shuster soon caused Russian hostility. He appointed anti-Russian officials in the Russian sphere of influence and otherwise threatened Russian interests in Iran. Russian officials protested, and the Russian press opened an attack on Shuster. When the ultimatum was rejected, the Russians advanced their forces from the north towards Tehran.
Resistance to the Russian occupation went on in the north. On 30 Marchafter they refused several times to leave their sanctuary, Russian troops surrounded the shrine, shelled and stormed it. At least thirty-nine Iranians were killed Kulagina, pp. Russian colonization and World War I. Russian consulates concentrated considerable power in their hands, dominated the local Iranian administration, and sometimes even collected local taxes Kazemzadeh,p.
Inspontaneous Russian colonization started in Mazandaran and Astarabad provinces. Since foreigners were not allowed to purchase property in Iran, land acquisition was made through trustworthy Iranians with the backing of Russian consuls. Starting incolonization of northern Iran became recognized as an aspect of Russian foreign policy and a complex of special measures was worked out to provide state assistance.
Officials of the migration process were dispatched to Iran, and Russian consuls and border commissars were instructed to assist with land purchases for which significant sums of money were allocated. Plans for assisting colonization included foundation of Orthodox parishes, medical services and loans to the settlers, construction of churches, schools, and post offices, and the surveying of lands.
The total number of settlers at the beginning of World War I in Astarabad and Mazandaran was most probably around 4, There were at least 15 Russian villages in northeastern Iran Andreeva and Noureai.
There were also some Russian Orthodox churches in Iran, usually founded at Russian missions. Ina permanent Russian Orthodox parish was established in Tehran at the Russian mission to replace a temporary church. In the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Russian churches were founded at Russian missions and consulates in Terhan, Tabriz, Qazvin, Rasht, and Anzali Alexandr, p. During World War I, Iran became a battleground for German, Ottoman, Russian, and British troops in spite of the fact that it had declared its neutrality when the war started.
Russian troops were stationed in Azerbaijan, Khorasan, Gilan, and Mazanderan and were battling the Ottomans in the northwest of Iran. Under the command of General Chernozubov, they defeated the Ottomans in several battles, including Sefian Kulagina, pp. The Russians occupied northern Iran and attempted to promote further Russian colonization there.
In return, the British agreed to the Russian annexation of Constantinople Kazemzadeh,p. The Iranian army tried to resist the Russian advance but failed completely. By the beginning ofIran was almost entirely occupied by the Russians and the British Kulagina, pp.Why Russia Is So Involved With The Syrian Civil War
In October, the government issued an order to withdraw Russian troops from Iran; the settlers who were willing to leave were to receive government assistance.
The Iranian government was among the first to recognize the new Soviet government. Russian troops were to be withdrawn from Iran. In Decemberbetween January and March ofmost Russian troops were evacuated, while some troops under Baratov stayed in Iran and entered British military service Kulagina, p.
Inthe new Bolshevik government terminated the Anglo-Russian Convention of and all concessions granted by Iran to the imperial government and loans provided by Russia to Iran.
They also opened negotiations with Iran, laying the foundation for relations between Iran and the Soviet Union. Hamid Algar, Religion and State in Iran Travelogues and Orientalism, London and New York, Muriel Atkin, Russia and Iran,Minneapolis, Po russkim arkhvam, Moscow, Po russkim arkhivam, Moscow, Kramers, Leiden, ; tr. Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game: Jacob Coleman Hurewitz, comp.
A Documentary Record, 2 vols. Idem, Russia and Britain in Persia, A Study in Imperialism, New Haven, Laurence Kelly, Diplomacy and Murder in Tehran: Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia: A Record and a StudyLondon, Idem, Russko-iranskaya torgovlia v e gody XIX veka: After the fall of Shah Sultan Husayn brought the Safavid dynasty to an end inthe greatest threats facing Persia were Russian and Ottoman ambitions for territorial expansion in the Caspian region and north-western Persia specifically.
During the Safavid period, Russian and Persian power was relatively evenly balanced. He made the city of Astrakhan his base for his hostilities against Persia, created a shipyard, and attacked the weakened Safavids in the Russo-Persian Warcapturing many of its territories in the Caucasus and northern mainland Iran for several years.
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After several minor years of political chaos in Persia following the abolishment of the Safavids, a new mighty Persian empire was born under the military genius of fortune, Nader Shah. Fearing a costly war which would most likely be lost against Nader and also being flanked by the Turks in the west, the Russians were forced to give back all territories and retreat from the entire Caucasus and northern mainland Iran as according to the Treaty of Resht and Treaty of Ganja during the reign of Anna of Russia.
The term of the treaty also included the first fact of close Russo-Iranian collaboration against a common enemy, in this case the Ottoman Turks. After the effective and firm rule of Agha Mohammad Khanwho stabilized the nation, and re-established Iranian traditional suzerainty in the Caucasus the Qajarid government was quickly absorbed with managing domestic turmoil, while rival colonial powers rapidly sought a stable foothold in the region. While the PortugueseBritishand Dutch competed for the south and southeast of Persia in the Persian Gulfthe Russian Empire largely was left unchallenged in the north as it plunged southward to establish dominance in Persia's northern territories, nowadays DagestanGeorgiaArmenia and Azerbaijan.
Plagued with internal politics, the Qajarid government found itself incapable of rising to the challenge of facing its northern threat from Russia.
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A weakened and bankrupted royal court, under Fath Ali Shahwas forced to sign the notorious and unfavourable Treaty of Gulistan following the outcome of the Russo-Persian war of —13irrevocably ceding what is modern-day DagestanGeorgiaand large parts of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was the outcome of the Russo-Persian War of —28which resulted in the loss of modern-day Armenia and the remainder of the Azerbaijan Republic, and granted Russia several highly beneficial capitulatory rights, after efforts and initial success by Abbas Mirza failed to ultimately secure Persia's northern front.
The famous Russian intellectual, ambassador to Persia, and Alexander Pushkin 's best friend, Alexander Griboyedovwas killed along with hundreds of Cossacks by angry mobs in Tehran during these uprisings. Alexander II of Russia and Naser al-Din Shah Qajar in Saint Petersburg, By the end of the 19th century, the Russian Empire's dominance became so pronounced that TabrizQazvinand a host of other cities were occupied by Russia, and the central government in Tehran was left with no power to even select its own ministers without the approval of the Anglo-Russian consulates.
Morgan Shusterfor example, had to resign under tremendous British and Russian pressure on the royal court. Shuster's book "The Strangling of Persia"  is a recount of the details of these events, a harsh criticism of Britain and Imperial Russia. By this time, northern Iran was officially a sphere of influence of Imperial Russia.
During the same time, many Russians settled in northern Iran. In the same period, on proposal of the shah and in mutual interest of Russia, the Russians founded the Persian Cossack Brigadewhich and who would prove to be pivotal and crucial in the next few decades to come in Iranian history, as well as in regard to Irano-Russian relations. The Persian Cossacks were organized along Russian lines and were controlled by Russian officers. The Russians also organized a banking institution in Iran, which they established in The British were given the southeastern region and control of the Persian Gulfand the territory between the two regions was classified as neutral territory.
Liakhovled to a surge in widespread anti-Russian sentiments across the nation. One result of the public outcry against the ubiquitous presence of Imperial Russia in Persia was the Constitutionalist movement of Gilanwhich followed up the Persian Constitutional Revolution. The rebellion in Gilan, headed by Mirza Kuchak Khan led to an eventual confrontation between the Iranian rebels and the Russian army, but was disrupted with the October Revolution in As a result of the October Revolution thousands of Russians fled the country for the Bolsheviks including many to Persia.
Many of these refugees settled in northern Persia creating their own communities of which many of their descendants still linger across the country. Russian involvement however continued on with the establishment of the short-lived Persian Socialist Soviet Republic insupported by Azeri and Caucasian Bolshevik leaders. After the fall of this republic, in latepolitical and economic relations were renewed. In the s, trade between the Soviet Union and Persia reached again important levels.
The Bolsheviks returned all the territory back to Iran, and Iran once more had secured navigation rights on the Caspian Sea. In a revealing cable sent on July 6, by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unionthe local Soviet commander in northern Azerbaijan was instructed as such: