By: Mir M.Hosseini
By a decree, Naseroddin Shah ordered cancellation of the Tobacco concessions on May, 14, 1892. During his third visit to Europe in 1890, Naseroddin Shah made an agreement called the Regie Concession, according to which monopoly on tobacco trade in Iran was sold to the Regie Company. The concession was considered a threat to benefits of some businessmen who traditionally had such rights in their monopoly.
Mirza Mohammad Hasan Shirazi, a prominent Shiite cleric issued a historical Fatwa that banned tobacco. The concession which was given to a foreign company was hard for people to swallow. The Fatwa was followed by a series of events that underlined a more important role for clerics in Iranian political scene. The Tobacco Uprising in Iran in 1891 was in essence similar to the Boston Tea Party event in the U.S. in 1773. After months of civil disobedience which stretched further into Qajar Royal court, Shah was somehow forced to cancel the treaty and accept to pay for the losses of the Regie company.
According to the royal decree, everyone was free to buy and sell tobacco. People were also asked to stop illogical acting illogically. Qajar kings treated people like vassals which could be bought and sold like slaves, an attitude which led to assassination of Naseroddin Shah in 1896 and Constitutional Monarchy in 1906.