The Iranian History 1921 AD


The Coup d'état Of Reza Khan

Feb, 21, 1921 AD

Tehran Lalezar 1944The Qajar dynasty was probably one of the weakest in Iran's history. After the World War I, Russia and Britain entered a fierce power struggle in Iran. The Qajar court was corrupt and deeply under influence of foreign missionaries. The last Qajar king was only a teenager when Reza Khan who was the commander of a Kazak brigade trained by Russians marched with his troops from Qazvin to Tehran on Feb, 18, 1921. Four days later he seized key locations of the capital almost with no resistance and forced the government to resign. Ahmad Shah appointed Seyyed Ziaoddin Tabatabayi as the Prime Minister and Reza Khan started to silence opposition groups as the minister of war in Gilan and Khorasan. Four years later the Qajar dynasty was overthrown and Reza khan was put on the throne by the British; yet deposed and replaced by his son in 1941. (Updated: Feb, 18, 2008)

USSR Signs Friendship Treaty With Iran

Feb, 26, 1921 AD

Darvazeh Ghazvin Gate of Tehran 1900sAfter 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. (Updated: Sep, 6, 2008)

Ahmad Ghavam Arrested

Apr, 2, 1921 AD

Eleven times Iranian prime minister, Ahmad Qavam AKA GhavamossaltanehAhmad Ghavam, later to be known as Ghavamossaltaneh was the governor of Khorasan when he was arrested by Colonel Pesyan. At first, these two important figures in Iranian political history were close friends. But after the coup on Feb, 22, 1921, Seyyed Ziaoddin Tabatabayi became Prime Minister. But Ghavam refused to acknowledge the junta government and his arrest order was sent to Colonel Pesyan who was the Gendarmerie chief at the time. Ahmad Ghavam, his family, and friends were arrested and sent to Tehran.
But Seyyed Zia's prime ministership did not last more than 100 days and he was dismissed by Ahmad Shah on May, 25, 1921. 4 days later, on May, 29, a decree signed by Ahmad Shah was sent to Eshratabad Prison; by that order, Ahmad Ghavam became Prime Minister. This was the first of eleven times that Ghavamossaltaneh was appointed to form a cabinet of ministers.
Meanwhile the 3d Majlis which consisted mostly of rich and influential representatives, became the scene of harsh criticism against Dr. Mosaddegh, his minister of finance for proposing a tax reform bill. Mosaddegh was so stressed that he passed out during a speech in Majlis defending the tax bill. Ghavamossaltaneh reacted by submitting his resignation in protest on, Jan, 19, 1922.
Ghavamossaltaneh remains a controversial figure to date, someone who survived serving 5 kings during the most critical parts of the Iranian history. (Updated: Jun, 17, 2009)

Soviets Name Greater Khorasan as Turkestan

Apr, 11, 1921 AD

Darvazeh Shemiran 1900s: one of many gates of TehranAfter the coup of Reza Khan, the Bolsheviks abruptly drew a virtual border around the territory previously seized from Iran and called it Turkestan. This decision was made due to fear from growing nationalist sentiments towards Iran. Years later, the territory was divided again and Persian cities of Bukhara and Samarkand became part of Uzbekistan instead of Tajikistan. The city of Marv became part of Turkmenistan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, those republics announced their independence with same border lines that are still cause of some disputes. In 19th century, the Russian empire had gained great influence in the Qajar court and in a secret agreement with Britain, Iran was divided. The Jeyhoon river thus became the borderline among two major powers of the time. (Updated: Apr, 15, 2008)

British General Ironside Leaves Iran

Apr, 30, 1921 AD

Reza Khan seen as the guard at the Embassy of NetherlandsTwo months after the coup d'état that toppled the Iranian regime, the British general Ironside leaves Iran. Ironside had been chief of the British military in Iran since September, 1920. One of his tasks in Iran was to push back the Russian Kazak units that had stayed in Iran even after the Bolshevik revolution and retreating of the Russian army. Ironside had a meeting with Reza Khan on Jan, 30, three weeks before his army staged a coup. Four years later the Qajar dynasty was overthrown and Reza khan was put on the throne by the British; yet deposed and replaced by his son in 1941. (Updated: Jan, 7, 2009)

Majlis Fourth Term Begins

Jun, 21, 1921 AD

Inside Golestan PalaceAfter nearly six years, Majlis started its fourth term on June, 21, 1921. The bill requesting abolition of the 1919 treaty, signed between the Iranian Prime Minister and the British Government while Iran was under occupation, was nullified. The bill needed ratification by the parliament.
During the fourth term, Majlis passed the following bills:
-Friendship pact between Iran and the Soviet Union.
-A scholarship bill for sending 60 students abroad.
-A real estate tax and registration bill.
-Denouncement of the Anglo-Persian agreement : Issued by George Curzon in Aug, 1919, The hegemonic deal guaranteed British access to all Iranian oil fields in return for:
1. Supply of munition and equipment for a British-trained army.
2. 2 million sterling loan.
3. Revise the Customs tariff.
4. Survey and build railroads.
By the Anglo-Persian agreement Iran was tricked into granting full British control of the army, customs, transportation on top of oil reserves thus turning the country into a colony. Majlis denounced it on June 22, 1921.
The fourth Majlis term ended on June, 23, 1923 thus making the first record for a full functioning parliament term although Iran was under a dictatorship at the time. (Updated: May, 27, 2009)

Majlis Denounces British Colonial Agreement

Jun, 22, 1921 AD

1920 Abadan Refinery 1300On the second day after the fourth term opening, Majlis denounced the Anglo-Persian agreement Issued by George Curzon in Aug, 1919. The hegemonic deal guaranteed British access to all Iranian oil fields (including five northern provinces formerly under the Russian sphere of influence) in return for:
1. Supply of munitions and equipment for a British-trained army.
2. 2 million sterling loan.
3. Revising the Customs tariff.
4. Survey and build railroads.
By the Anglo-Persian agreement Iran was being tricked into granting full British control of the army, customs, transportation on top of oil reserves, thus practically turning the country into a colony. In November 1918, Percy Cox was appointed ambassador to Tehran, negotiating the agreement. Such deals were usually signed by bribing the Qajar court members.
Cox was a British spy who had succeeded in creating the autonomous state of Kuwait within the Ottoman Empire by the Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913 and had established strong relationships with many Persian Gulf rulers including the Saud family in order to establish British hegemony in the region. (Updated: Jun, 27, 2009)

Wanted : Colonel Pesyan

Aug, 24, 1921 AD

Tehran: The mansion of Qajar Vezir Ghavamossaltaneh who survived through Pahlavi reign too. Ghavamossaltaneh is getting in his car. The house has turned into Abgineh Musum.Prime Minister Ghavamossaltaneh put a reward on the head of Colonel Pesyan and gave authority to several influential people such as Shokatolmolk 2 and Sardar Moazez.
Colonel Pesyan knew Ghavamossaltaneh as a corrupt person. After the coup of 1921, per order from Tehran, Colonel Pesyan arrested Ghavamossaltaneh and sent him to Tehran. This was the source of hostility between these two. But life has many faces and the coup Prime Minister, Seyyed Ziaoddin Tabatabayi had to escape and Ghavamossaltaneh took his place.
Therefore Colonel Pesyan opposed governorship of Najdossaltaneh and Semsamossaltaneh, both appointed by Ghavam.
It is not clear if Shokatolmolk 2 was trying to convince Colonel Pesyan to come to an agreement or was he trying to betray him with the aid from Semsamossaltaneh. Nevertheless, during their negotiations, Sardar Moazez attacked Bojnourd and took control of the Gendarmerie and the city. Colonel Pesyan swiftly moved with his remaining forces to nearby Ghouchan and engaged the battle. The government meanwhile had officially declared him a rebel and his comrades deserted him. He fought till the last drop his blood and was killed on the battlefield. His was decapitated and his head was sent to Tehran for reward on Oct, 1, 1921.
Ten years later, he was buried by the tomb of Nader Shah with a ceremonial burial. (Updated: Jul, 24, 2010)

Colonel Pesyan Killed

Oct, 2, 1921 AD

Darvazeh Ghazvin Gate of TehranColonel Pesyan was a patriotic officer who was against presence of foreign troops in Iran. He found the Qajar court corrupt and in the hand of foreign spies. Colonel Pesyan took control of Khorasan on April, 2, 1921 when he was appointed governor by Seyyed Ziaoddin Tabatabayi, the prime minister against Ahmad Shah's will. After Ghavamossaltaneh became prime minister, the British whose actions in Khorasan had become restricted, incited an all out war against Colonel Pesyan.
But the Colonel restrained from declaring republic or such moves that would lead to civil war. His army could take Tehran and as a national hero who was respected among Iranians for repelling Russians out of Hamedan, bodies of army sent against him refused to fight. After all some of tribal leaders in Khorasan were convinced to get rid of him silently. He was taken off guard and he was decapitated. After his head was sent to Khorasan, against Qajar will, his body saw a complete ceremonial burial and was laid to rest by the tomb of Nader Shah, the great Iranian hero. His followers gave up resistance soon after his death. (Updated: Oct, 2, 2008)

Standard Oil Deal Approved

Nov, 21, 1921 AD

Mossadegh at the junta courtThe Iranian parliament approved the bill which gave the American Standard Oil company the right to exploration of oil in north Iran in the area that included five provinces of Azerbaijan, Astarabad, Guilan, Mazandaran, and Khorasan for a period of five years. Iran's share was a net %10 of the petroleum without bearing any expenses. Details of Iran's share and supervision was to be presented to the parliament in a separate draft and Standard Oil could not transfer the rights to another company or country.
Iranians did not want to give to neither the British nor the Russians access to North Oil fields because of geopolitical reasons. This bill's first consequence was a protest note on Nov, 25 from Britain who owned the same rights in south and did not want to share vast resources with any other country. On Dec, 23, an official protest was submitted by the Soviet Plenipotentiary minister in Tehran.
Britain succeeded in convincing the US to share the rights with the Anglo-Persian company arguing that exporting oil from the south would not be possible because of the exclusive rights preserved in D'Arcy agreement, moreover using the Soviet route was out of question.
On Feb, 28, 1922, a new deal was presented to the Iranian PM indicating that Standard Oil was forming partnership with the Anglo-Persian oil company for the north petroleum. On March, 4, 1922, the Iranian PM sent a note to the American consulate in Tehran indicating that the new deal is refused because of political problems that it would create in Iran. Majlis approved another draft in correction of the previous one on June, 16, 1922, adding a 10 million dollar loan as a precondition by Standard Oil or any other American company who was interested in obtaining the rights to the north petroleum.
Despite efforts, American companies could not actually enter the Iranian petroleum sector until the coup against Mosaddegh. (Updated: Jan, 27, 2009)

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