By: Mir M.Hosseini
Iran and Britain agreed on the terms of a contract that connected India to Europe by Telegraph lines. Drown into royal corruption, Iran had become totally dependent on Europe in terms of modern technology. Paul Reuter, a British Jew of German descent was the first person to make an agreement to develop Telegraph lines with Naseroddin Shah in 1888. By that time, Telegraph links had been established between Britain and the European continent through the English Channel. The project was delayed several times until Reuters death in 1899 which forced Iranians to look for an alternative.
The British had already taken control of most of Iran's key financial institutions. The infamous D'Arcy agreement had been signed only a year before that gave exclusive rights to Iranian petroleum reserves for 60 years in return for £10,000. In 1989, Reuters had also obtained a 60 year banking right from Naseroddin Shah; a concession from the government of Persia, the right to issue money notes as well as to act as the state bank in Iran. Originally known as The British Bank of the Middle East, The Imperial bank of Persia was established in 1889 with a royal charter from Queen Victoria, very unusual for an overseas bank at the time.
Regarded as a deplorable example of the corrupt Qajar selling their country, the Reuter Concession was promoted as an attempt by the government to promote economic growth. Iran had Joined the International Telegraph Union in 1869. The actual aim of the Concession was to build railways, but Iran did not get railways or access to modern industries until 1930s.