By: Mir M.Hosseini
After the Bolshevik revolution, changes began in Soviet Union's foreign policy and USSR under Lenin signed a friendship treaty with Iran wavering some of the imperial Russia's claims and erasing Iran's debt. The treaty which was signed in Moscow on Feb, 26, 1921, had 26 articles. Article 2 stated, the Soviet government clearly rejected the criminal policy of Tsarist Russia which not only violated the sovereignty of the states of Asia, but also led to organized violence of European predators against the living body of the peoples of the East. The treaty reaffirmed permanence of frontiers and renounced interference in each other's domestic affairs. The Russo-Iranian treaty also prohibited either sides from permitting formation of groups on the territory of one state that would engage in activity against the other state.
Russia gave up all roads, railways, ports and barges in Iran and explicitly cancelled the treaty of Turkmenchai. Iran pledged not to transfer concessions formerly given to Russia to a third party. The regime of capitulation was also abolished. Although the treaty seemed to be in Iran's favor, article 6 had a sinister clause giving the Soviets right to introduce troops on to Iran's territory in case of necessity for self defense. Years later, in 1941 the Russians chose to interpret this article as the right to unlimited military intervention.
It's been noted that Lenin had to choose between continued support of the Soviet Republic of Guilan and normalization of relations with Britain and Iran. The Soviet regime was nearing economic collapse and needed to open trade routes. Therefore the second alternative was chosen.
A similar treaty was made with Afghanistan to counter the British influence in the region. Iran, in turn had accepted not to enter any treaty with Soviet enemies. However, Iran's signing of the CENTO treaty in 1955 angered the USSR. Iran withdrew from CENTO in 1979 and unilaterally cancelled the 1921 treaty.