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British Telegram Changes Soviet Stance

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February, 7, 1912 A.D.:
British Telegram Changes Soviet Stance

By: Mir M.Hosseini

Germany officially acknowledged Russian rights in northern Iran in the Potsdam Agreement signed on Aug, 19, 1911. However, there were some other items in the agreement that displeased Britain:
- Russia accepted not to support Britain against Germany.
- Russia supported construction of Berlin-Baghdad railway while Germans guaranteed not to connect it with Iran's railway without Russian approval.
There was a great pressure on Edward Grey who masterminded the 1907 treaty with Russia that divided Iran between two spheres of influence to revise relations with Germany as Germans had entered an international competition that posed a threat to British interests. Grey who was afraid of Germans, was left with no choice but to risk a diplomatic maneuver. He sent a telegram to British ambassador in Saint Petersburg giving the information that Britain planned to arrange a meeting at high level with Germany to revise relations addressing the fact that Russia and France had both reached agreements with Germans in Potsdam and Morocco respectively. This information was relayed to Russian authorities which forced them to revise their policies specially towards Iran where they were trying to reinstall Mohammad Ali Shah against Britain's will.
After losing Russian support, Mohammad Ali Shah accepted a yearly salary of 50,000 Tomans and leave the country forever. He left from Astarabad on Feb, 9, 1912 and never returned again.

KEY TERMS:Astara , Astarabad , Baghdad , Berlin , Britain , British , Edward Grey , France , German , Germany , Iran , Mohammad Ali Shah , Morocco , Petersburg , Potsdam , Russia , Russian , Saint Petersburg , Shah , Soviet , Toman

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