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Wednesday, 17-Jan-2007 16:50 Email | Share | Bookmark
Baku - Part 4

During the early reign of Fat′h Ali, Imperial Russia took control of Georgia claimed by the Persians. The war broke between Iran and Russia when Fat′h Ali Shah ordered the invasion of Georgia in 1804, under pressure from the Shia clergy, who were urging a jihad against Russia. The war began with notable victories for the Iranians, but Russia shipped in advanced weaponry and cannons that disadvantaged the brave yet technologically inferior Qajar forces, who did not have artillery to match. Russia continued with a major campaign against Iran; Iran asked for help from Britain on the grounds of a military agreement with that country (the military agreement was signed after the rise of Napoleon in France). However, Britain refused to help Persia claiming that the military agreement concerned a French attack not Russian. Iran had to ask for help from France, sending an ambassador to Napoleon and signing the Treaty of Finkenstein. However, just when the French were ready to help Iran, Napoleon made peace with Russia. At this time, John Malcolm arrived in Persia and promised support but Britain later changed its mind and asked Iran to retreat. Russian troops invaded Tabriz in 1813 and Iran was forced to sign the Golestan with Russia. Another war was waged in 1826 and ended in 1828 which ended in the Turkmanchai Treaty, which conceded many advantages to Russia

Gulistan Treaty of 1813 (also written Golestan, Gulestan, and Golistan), was a peace treaty between imperial Russia and Qajarid Persia, signed on October 24 (November 5) in a village of Gulestan in Karabakh at the end of the first Russo-Persian Wars (1804-1813). (29 Shawal 1228 on the Islamic Lunar Calendar).
The treaty was set up by Sir Gore Ouseley of Great Britain who served as the mediator, and was signed by Haji Mirza Abol Hasan Khan from the Iranian side in 11 chapters.By this treaty:

1- Persia (Iran) loses all its territories to the north of Aras River and is forced via this treaty to recognize Russia's authority over them henceforth. These lands include:
1- All the cities, towns, and villages of Dagestan.
2-All the cities, towns, and villages of Georgia, including all the villages and towns on the coast of the Black Sea,
3-Baku (now capital of Azerbaijan Republic),
14-The khanates of Talysh.

2 - Iran loses all rights to navigate the Caspian Sea, and Russia is granted exclusive rights to station its military fleet in the Caspian Sea.
3- Both countries agree on the establishment of free trade, with Russians having free access to conduct business anywhere in Iran.
4- Russia in return promises to support Abbas Mirza as heir to the Persian throne after the death of Fath Ali Shah. (which did not happen)

Some historians believe that Russia's annexation of the Transcaucasus territories delivered their population from constant Turkish invasions on Persian territories and led to peace and relative economic stability. Others think that the peoples of Transcaucases were deprived of their right for self-determination and forcefully integrated with the Russian Empire, especially the Shiite people of Caucasus who have strong cultural ties with Persia. But in fact two alien states divided spheres of influence in the Caucasus and annexed the local khanates which were independent since 1747.
Iran officially sees this and the succeeding Turkmanchai treaty as one of Iran's most humiliating treaties ever signed. The treaty is also regarded by Iranians as the main reason why Fath Ali Shah is seen as one of Iran's most incompetent rulers in memory.

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