August 1907 Treaty

August 1907 Treaty

The beginning of the 10th century coincided with several important incidents for Iran. One was signing of August 31st 1907 treaty between England and Russia. The goal of the treaty was to elevate the conflict between the two countries and the subject was the ...

Azita Leghaei

 

The beginning of the 10th century coincided with several important incidents for Iran. One was signing of August 31st 1907 treaty between England and Russia. The goal of the treaty was to elevate the conflict between the two countries and the subject was the division of their interests in Afghanistan, Tibet and Iran. Nearly from the beginning of 1901 the English politicians tried to negotiate with the Russians in order to solve their problems. Lans Dawn proposed the dividing of Iran in a talk with Russian ambassador in October 1901. But Russia, who did not want to share its interests in Iran with England opposed to this proposal. England took measures to force Russia in to accepting the division of Iran. For example on January 30th 1902 they signed a contract with Japan according to which Japan attacked Russia on February 9th 1904 and this war resulted in Russia’s defeat and beard great consequences on Russia both in domestic and foreign aspects. Another step taken by England was signing a contract with France in order to gain another ally in Europe. Dispatch of Sir Charles Harding to Saint Petersburg was to prepare the grounds for the treaty. Russia, defeated in war with Japan and struggling with civil war, decided to solve some of its problems even temporarily in order to regain his lost power. Thus the foreign ministry was placed in the hands of Isolski who was willing to come to an agreement with England. Summoning of Ishpayer, England’s strong enemy from Tehran and dispatch of Hartwick instead was among Isolski’s steps to show his good intentions. Anyhow after years of negotiation with England and Russia the famous 1907 treaty was signed.

Iranians knew about the negotiations from 1905. Habl-al-Matin newspaper published the news regarding the England-Russia negotiations nearly in every issue. But the notable point is that no one Iran acted on serious and official opposition. Although the negotiations started before the constitution but the signing occurred during constitution. The Iranians were so caught up in internal affairs that they had no time to attend to such an important event as the 1907 contract. Interesting to know that on the same day as the treaty was signed; Mirza Asghar Khan Amin-al-Sultan was assassinated in Iran. Ein-al-Saltaneh describes the situation after the assassination and writes in his memoirs:

“After Atabik Amin-al-Sultan’s murder… cities chaotic, everywhere is disorganized, there is no order; it is such higgledy-piggledy that can’t be stated”

And they were two groups, one which apparently did not understand the depth of the disaster and another, those who remained silent although understood it. Habl-al-Matin complains of the parliament representatives in page one that: “the learned scholars know that with this condition of our negligence and unawareness signing of the treaty equals the end of monarchy and Iran’s independence… we expect the representatives to attend to their responsibilities with all the uproar and declarations; they uproar about little matters not related to them but don’t say a word in defending the country’s independence.”

Anyhow, in such circumstances, Russia and England divided Iran among themselves for the first time. The part of the treaty related to Iran consisted of an introduction and five chapters. The signing of 1907 treaty imported an irreparable blow to Iran’s independence and laid the grounds for agreements which took place between Russia and England in later years.

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