By: Mir M.Hosseini
The Russian occupation forces attacked the shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad which is considered the holiest place in Iran according to Shiite Muslims. During this attack parts of the building were destroyed and plundered. Some precious objects that had great historical value were stolen from the treasury inside the shrine while many pilgrims were martyred. According to some accounts 200 people were killed. Russians had based their attack on a secret treaty with Britain in 1917 that actually divided Iran between the two empires. This incident's significance rose because Iran was in the midst of a transitional political chaos that was called the conditional monarchy movement. Mohammad Ali Shah was dismissed from power and the future Shah was too young for the coronation ceremony while the parliament was dissolved.
Russians, willing to keep the corrupt Qajar family in power, reinforced their Cossack units and staged other attacks in major cities such as Tabriz showing their support for the outsted Qajar kings.
Ironically, hungry Russian workers and soldiers staged a coup in October same year occupying government buildings and strategic points. The tsarist Russia thus became history. The Russian bombing event entered Iranian history books as it was; as a reminder for those who currently rely their existence on brotherhood of bears.