By: Mir M.Hosseini
George Curzon masterminded the Anglo-Russian Entente. In a telegram on Feb, 3, 1900, he emphasized on British military presence in Iran and expressed anxiety over a Russian loan of 22.5 million Rubles that was given to Iran. Russians did not see any advantage in such a pact because they were already the most influential foreign power in Iran. But during the Constitutional Monarchy Movement, when Russian backed Qajar dynasty was living last days of its life, they changed their mind.
Anglo-Russian Entente was concluded on 31 August 1907 resolving the old rivalries in Persia, Tibet, and Afghanistan. With French mediation, Iran was divided into three zones: A Russian zone in north, a British zone in south and a narrow buffer zone in between. This shameful pact thus divided the region into spheres of influence of colonial powers. Russia recognized Afghanistan which was indeed a part of Iran as a protectorate of Britain. Tibet was given to China.
This accord had 5 articles concerning Persia which was signed without the participation or knowledge of the Persian government. Iran was officially informed of the Accord later, on September 16, 1907. Mohammad Ali Shah was Russia's puppet ruler in Iran and Iranians were struggling for Constitutional Monarchy at the time and the new born parliament overwhelmingly rejected this accord.
The Emir of Afghanistan refused to acknowledge the agreement and the Tibetans never acknowledged China's feudal control over their country. The Anglo-Russian Entente along with the Entente Cordiale (1904) and the Franco-Russian Alliance (1892) formed the Triple Entente between the UK, France and Russia. A century later, the situation in Russia after the collapse of the USSR is a great lesson of a bear sawing the seeds of a fox.