By: Mir M.Hosseini
After several days of heroic resistance, British forces seized the Bushehr seaport which was strategically important. The city and its surroundings had been bombed for 23 days. The war had broken out after Iranians occupied the city of Herat, a key city to Afghanistan and reclaimed it on Oct, 25, 1956. The city was a part of Iran as far as the history goes. Even Afghanistan is a name given by the British colonists to Ariana. Herat was the birthplace of Shah Abbas of Safavi dynasty.
Iranians had made similar attempts to regain Herat in 1838 and 1852 also. But Naseroddin Shah was too busy in the royal harem and did not take necessary measures to modernize the country, specially the army. Therefore, with French mediation Iran signed a peace treaty in Paris waiving Iran's rights to Herat on March, 4, 1857.
After the Indian rebellion of 1857, successive British governments saw Afghanistan as a buffer state. The Russians continued to advance southward through Central Asia towards Afghanistan, and by 1865 Tashkent had been formally annexed.
Samarkand became part of the Russian Empire in 1868, and the independence of Bukhara was virtually stripped away in a peace treaty the same year. Russian control now extended as far as the northern bank of the Jeyhoon River.
Greater Iran was being divided by two imperialist states of Russia and Britain in a sophisticated scenario called the Great Game. The Grand Vezir at the court of Naseroddin Shah at the time was Mirza Aghakhan Nouri, a British spy who was later dismissed but it was too late!