1914-1918 History of Iran Iran 1926-1941

Persia 1918-1926

Iran as a Pawn in the International Power Game . With the Russian Empire in the middle of a revolution, Britain temporarily established a protectorate over Persia (1919-1921), not the least in order to protect her interest in the Persian oil fields in Khuzestan.
In 1920-1921, Iran was the battlground for skirmishes between British and Soviet troops.

Administration . In 1921 Reza Pahlevi took power in a bloodless coup, assuming the position of war minister, since 1923 that of prime minister; in 1925 he had himself elected Shah.

Foreign Policy . In the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919 the Persian Delegation demanded that treaties forced upon the Persian government in 1907 were nullified, and that the Transcaspia, Merv, Khiva, the Caucasus, and Derbent regions were restored to Iran, without success. In 1920, Persia joined the League of Nations.

Territorial Integrity . In Khuzestan, Sheikh Khaz'al, under British protection, ruled rather independently. When the Russian civil war spilled over into Iran (Soviet invasion 1920), the country became battleground between British and Bolshevik forces. In this context, the Soviet Republic of Gilan (June 1920 - September 1921, full title Persian Socialist Soviet Republic) was established. In October 1924 the Persian army launched a campaign against the independent-minded Bakhtiari chiefs and against Sheikh Khazal, imposing central government control. In 1924-1925 the Turkomans of eastern Iran rebelled.

The Economy . From 1917 to 1919 northern Persia suffered famine due to drought and crop failure.
An Anglo-Iranian Agreement signed in 1919, which secured the APOC's rights to produce oil and according to which London was to extend a credit to Persia, was never ratified.
In 1925, the first domestically-owned bank, Bank Pahlavi Qoshun (now Bank Sepah) was established.

Cultural History . The Persian Calendar was introduced in 1925.

History of Iran, from Persian Outpost
Timeline of Iranian History, from Encyclopedia of the Orient
History of Banking in Iran, from Tejarat
Article Soviet Republic of Gilan, Sheikh Khazal, Irano-Russian Relations, Iran-United Kingdom Relations, Anglo-Persian Agreement, Tehran : History, from Wikipedia
Article Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919, from Encyclopedia of the Orient
Persian & Transcaspian Campaigns 1915-1920, from Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
The Anglo-American Oil Controversy in Iran 1919-1924, by Mamed Abbasov
Chronology 1919, 1924, from the League of Nations Photo Archive
The Persian Calendar, by Holger Oertel
Soltan Ahmad Shah and the Coup of 1925-1926, from Qajar Pages
U.S.-Iranian Relations 1911-1951, by Mansour Bonakdarian
DOCUMENTS Iranian Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Historical Population Statistics : Iran, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
Report on Baha'is of Iran, 1925, from H-Baha'i
George Horwill, 1921 Oil and Finance in Turkey, Persia and Mesopotamia, in : Bataille Socialiste
REFERENCE Violet Conolly, Soviet Economic Policy in the East, London : Oxford UP 1933; pp.53-76 on Persia [G]
Article : Persia, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1919 pp.1134-1145, 1924 pp.1183-1193, 1925 pp.1191-1201 [G]
Article : Persia, in : New International Year Book 1919 pp.508-510, 1920 pp.519-520, 1921 pp.543-544, 1923 pp.569-570, 1925 pp.538-539 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 28th 2002, last revised on August 25th 2007

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