The Iranian History 1911 AD


First Head Of Parliament Assassinated

Feb, 3, 1911 AD

Young Ahmad Shah ‎(Jan, 21, 1898 – Feb, 21 1930), the last Qajar king seen in Majlis (Parliament) He ascended the throne at the age of 13. He  was Shah of Iran (Persia) from Jul, 16, 1909, to Oct, 31, 1925.Morteza Gholi Khan commonly known as Sanioddoleh, the first Majlis Speaker was assassinated in Tehran on Feb, 3, 1911. He was born in Tehran in 1856. After finishing higher education in Germany, he returned to Iran and was appointed as the head of the Post and Customs office. He was the founder of the first yarn factory in Iran and was a pioneer in supporting construction of a railroad. He was appointed minister several times before becoming the head of the first Iranian parliament. He was married to Princess Ehteramossaltaneh, the daughter of Mozaffaroddin Shah and was a very influential figure as a nobleman in the Iranian political scene.
On Feb, 3, 1911, he was shot by two Russian nationals at the Mokhberoddoleh crossroad. Ironically enough, Sanioddoleh was the son of Mokhberoddoleh. The assassins were arrested by the police but the Iranian government was asked to handle them to the Russian embassy according to an imposed treaty signed in Saint Petersburg. At the time, both Russia and Britain had troops in Iran and the Qajar ruling was not considered a sovereign state. Both states were able to do as they wished in Iran.
The decree for the Constitutional Monarchy had been issued by Mozaffaroddin Shah on Aug, 5, 1906. Following several assemblies among groups of people including clerics, ministers, noblemen, royal family members, and foreign ambassadors, Morteza Gholi Khan Sanioddoleh was elected as the first head of the first Iranian parliament on Oct, 8, 1906 which consisted of 156 representatives. Motives for the assassination of Sanioddoleh remain unclear as the faith of the assassins remains a mystery to-date. (Updated: Feb, 15, 2009)

Morgan Shuster Comes To Iran

May, 7, 1911 AD

Morgan Shuster Atabak Palace TehranAfter the French counselor Bizot was dismissed, American Morgan Shuster arrived in Tehran on May, 12, 1911. Iran had entered the 20th century officially bankrupt and all attempts to modernize the country had failed. Shuster succeeded in reorganizing the tax office in less than eight months against the wills of Russian and British colonists who were great obstacles against progress and with a strong network of agents and spies. After obtaining a letter of authentication from Majlis on June, 13, on July, 6th, Shuster offered an experienced Persian speaking British officer to supervise a team of gendarmes for collecting taxes. On July, 24, the British officer resigned from the Imperial forces and was employed by Iranian government. Russians opposed this situation as a threat to their interests in northern Iran and issued an ultimatum on Aug, 19 to the Iranians. Americans who had gained independence from the British had a revolutionary way of thinking and followed an aggressive foreign policy. Then Shuster employed 4 American, and 35 Iranian officers together with 11,000 units to form the core of Iran's first gendarmerie.
The Russian influence was synchronized with the British and the parliament was shelled by colonel Liakhoff of Imperial Russia and Shuster was forced to resign on Dec, 27. The gendarmerie was dismissed after 6 months of its short life. After he returned home, Shuster wrote a book named "Strangling of Persia" detailing the way meddling of great powers deprived Iranians from having an appropriate state. (Updated: Sep, 4, 2008)

Russia Pops Up Puppet Shah

Jul, 17, 1911 AD

American Morgan Shuster who was employed by Iranian government to modernize tax system.A couple of years after fleeing the country, Mohammad Ali Shah landed near Astarabad on a Russian vessel on July, 17, 1911. The Russian Cossacks, with the help of some Turcoman mercenaries proceeded towards Tehran. His brother Salaroddoleh had also gathered some forces and attacked Kurdistan. After capturing Kermanshah, he proceeded to Hamedan. He then went south to Nahavand and Boroujerd to hire more tribal forces before joining Mohammad Ali Shah. However, early in September, state forces crushed Mohammad Ali Shah's army near Varamin; forcing the deposed Shah to flee to Russia again.
On Oct, 4, 1911, the Iranian government gave Morgan Shuster the authority to confiscate properties of uprising leaders. Shuster promptly seized a palace which belonged to Shoaossaltaneh, Mohammad Ali Shah's brother on Oct, 9. This action angered Russian ambassador Yukhitanov who argued that the Loan Bank of Russia pawned the property against loans given. Consequently, Russian Cossacks were sent there and repelled Iranian Gendarmerie forces. On Oct, 10, Iranian forces took back the property. Diplomatic tensions between Iran and Russia reached its peak when Shuster appointed a British named Lecoffre as tax inspector in Azerbaijan, officially rejecting Russian sphere of influence in north. Of course Shuster did not have a clue about Iran's weaknesses against Russia and somehow convinced the government to reject Russia's claims. Russia gave an ultimatum on Oct, 11 asking Iran to evacuate Shoaossaltaneh properties and apologize and threatened to cut diplomatic ties otherwise.
Samsamossaltaneh's cabinet knew well that the Russian ultimatum was a pretext for military intervention and Iran was too weak to risk such a war. Therefore, members of the cabinet submitted their resignation and as Russian troops were proceeding towards Qazvin, the new Vosooghoddoleh cabinet accepted Russia's demands. Gendarmes were pulled back and Iran submitted an official apology.
Russian army pioneers however had already landed in Bandar Anzali. In reply to British ambassador asking for their withdrawal as their demands had been accepted by Iran, Russia asked that Iran should dismiss Morgan Shuster from duty. (Updated: Aug, 20, 2009)

Shah Wanted, Dead Or Alive

Jul, 29, 1911 AD

Russian Cossacks greet the imperial Qajar coach Iran 1910Mohammad Ali Shah of Qajar dynasty had to flee the country after the Constitutional Monarchy Movement succeeded in capturing Tehran. He first sought refuge at the Russian embassy and then fled to Europe. He then put together an army with the help of Russians and entered the Iranian territory to regain his lost crown.
Meanwhile, the parliament announced 100,000 Tomans reward for his head, dead or alive. This was a very considerable amount at the time. He was able to take most parts of northern Iran under control and sent an army of Turcoman fighters headed by Arshadoddoleh towards Tehran that proceeded quickly and stationed in Varamin. Arshadoddoleh sent a letter to his wife Akhtaroddoleh in Tehran saying that he'd meet her soon. The Constitutional Movement forces confronted him and took his army under siege. Arshadoddoleh was captured alive and executed on an interesting date: Sep, 11, 1911. This marked the end of Mohammad Ali Shah's campaign and his forces collapsed one by one.
Born in 1872, Mohammad Ali Shah became king after his father Mozaffaroddin Shah died in 1907. Because of his objection to Constitutional Monarchy, his reign lasted for less than two years and he died in exile at the age of 53. (Updated: Feb, 17, 2009)

Nobel Brothers Rasht Pipeline

Sep, 20, 1911 AD

A Caravan is passing the Qajar era Rasht Tehran Road. Built in Jan, 1899, it connected Pir-Bazar to Qazvin and Tehran. The journey took 72-80 hours, a week in bad weather conditions for that many teahouses (Khahvekhaneh) were available for travellers.During the second term of the young Iranian Parliament (Majlis) a bill was approved which granted rights to an oil pipeline to Nobel Brothers on Sep, 20, 1911. This pipeline connected Rasht to Bijar Khaleh, a small port by the Caspian Sea.
The Petroleum Production Company Nobel Brothers, Limited, also known as Branobel (short form of Nobel Brothers), was an oil company set up by Ludvig Nobel and Baron Peter von Bilderling, in Baku, Azerbaijan, originally set as a distillery in 1876.
The Nobel Brothers had rented a store in Pirsara and the 2.15 Farsang (approx. 13.5 km) pipeline from Bijar Khaleh was to carry their products to their target market in Rasht. According to this agreement, the permission had a time limit of 15 years. Branobel was also granted the rights to rent its pipeline to other local merchants to transport oil that was carried to the harbor by ship.
This was the second official petroleum-related contract after the infamous D'Arcy agreement.
On April 28, 1920, the Bolsheviks seized power in Baku and Branobel's oil business in Azerbaijan was nationalized. In May 1920, the Nobel family sold almost half of Branobel's shares in its possession to Standard Oil of New Jersey.
During the Majlis session #241 on Jan, 21, 1926, extension of the Nobel Brothers agreement was discussed. However, the new contractor was a Swedish company. (Updated: Aug, 22, 2012)

Second Russian Ultimatum

Nov, 28, 1911 AD

Garden palace Maku, West Azerbaijan was built during Mozaffaroddin Shah's reign in the middle of a gardenRussia gave its first ultimatum to Iran on Nov, 11, 1911 which resulted in resignation of the government. However, Iran's backing up from confiscation of Shoaossaltaneh's properties and an official apology did not satisfy Tzarist Russia. On Nov, 28, 1911 a second ultimatum was given to Iran by which Russia demanded:
- Deportation of Morgan Shuster and Lecoffre.
- Assurance not to employ foreign nationals without Russia and Britain's consent.
- Payment of ransom for Russia's deployment of troops.
A 48 hour deadline was set for Iran to presen the note to the parliament which naturally rejected Russian demands.
When Russian troops in Anzali proceeded towards Qazvin, the cabinet presented its resignation which was rejected by Nayebossaltaneh due to the fact that nobody else dared accept the duty, moreover it would have given Russians the opportunity to bring back their puppet king Mohammad Ali Shah to power.
Britain opposed Russia for the first time since the 1907 agreement, luckily due to high risk in its interests in southern oil fields. This leaded to negotiations in Paris that softened Russia's tone which agreed to suffice with deportation of Morgan Shuster and drop other demands. However, Majlis did not step back when Russians captured Qazvin on Dec, 15, and gave Iran another six days to act. The government was left with no choice but to take the parliament under siege and declare its dissolution.
Morgan Shuster left Iran on Jan, 11, 1912.
Russian troops remained in Iran and continued atrocities in northern provinces. On Dec, 31, 1911, Seghatoleslam, a senior cleric and his followers were hanged. Tabriz was set on fire and many civilians were killed. (Updated: Aug, 21, 2009)

English-Persian Glossary

Latest Additions to Iranian History Chronicle: