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Title: The Waning of Empires: The British, the Ottomans and the Russians in the Caucasus and North Iran, 1917-1921
Authors: Sluglett, P. 
Keywords: Bosheviks
Brest-Litovsk Treaty
First World War
Jangali movement
Ottoman Empire
Reza Shah
Issue Date: 2014
Citation: Sluglett, P. (2014). The Waning of Empires: The British, the Ottomans and the Russians in the Caucasus and North Iran, 1917-1921. Middle East Critique 23 (2) : 189-208. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: During the First World War, Iran, although not a belligerent, was occupied at different times by Russian, British, and Ottoman troops. After a century of Anglo-Russian rivalry in Iran, an Entente between the two powers had been signed in August 1907, essentially dividing the country into a Russian sphere of influence in the north, a British sphere in the south, and a neutral sphere in the middle. As well as effectively 'betraying' the supporters of the Iranian constitution, the general effect of the Entente was to give Russia an even freer hand in Iranian politics than had previously been the case, although for a number of reasons, Britain's considerable interests in Iranian oil (APOC's oilfields were located in the 'neutral sphere') were to have a more lasting impact. The situation in the Caucasus was equally confused, especially after Russia's invasion of eastern Anatolia. After the fall of the Tsarist government in 1917, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia declared their independence from the Russian state at various times in 1918, while Bolshevik, British, German and Ottoman forces attempted to seize or consolidate territory in Iran and the Caucasus. In 1919, seeking to maintain its authority in Iran while the Bolsheviks were thought to be in no condition to interfere, Britain made an unsuccessful attempt to impose a protectorate. Two years later, with the Protectorate now in abeyance, a Soviet-Iranian Treaty was signed in Moscow on February 26, 1921 a few days after Reza Shah's seizure of power. Under its terms, the Soviet government 'forgave' the loans made to Iran by the Tsarist government, and transferred all Russian assets in Iran to the Soviet government. The paper will try to set out the main parameters of this confused and often confusing chain of events. © 2014 Editors of Middle East Critique.
Source Title: Middle East Critique
ISSN: 19436157
DOI: 10.1080/19436149.2014.905084
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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