1919 Agreement Iran

This treaty was a dark page in the history of Iran, which contained a document with Great Britain and Persia (Iran) and dealt with the drilling rights of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. It was never ratified by the Majlis. The “agreement” was awarded to the Persian government by the British Foreign Secretary, Earl Curzon, in August 1919. It guaranteed the UK`s access to Iranian oil fields (including five northern provinces that were once under Russia`s political influence). On 22 June 1921, the Anglo-Persian agreement was formally denounced by the Iranian Parliament (Majlis). In the early years of the 20th century, Iran`s weak corrupt government was unable to prevent foreign powers from exerting considerable influence over the country`s affairs. Britain invaded Iran in January 1918 on the heels of the October Russian Revolution, when the Bolsheviks withdrew their troops from Iran and renounced all tsarist privileges. In 1919, Britain was the only foreign power in Persia and was trying to formally consolidate its control with the Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919. The agreement, drafted primarily by Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, provided that Britain would lend $2,000,000 to Iran and build railways, revise tariffs and contract war compensation from third parties. S. Nicholson: Curzon: The Last Phase, 1919-1925.

A Study in Post-War Diplomacy, New York, 1939. The Anglo-Persian agreement included Great Britain and Persia and focused on the drilling rights of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The “agreement” was awarded to the Persian government by the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, in August 1919. It was never ratified by the majlis (Iranian parliament). Two letters of 9 August 1919, addressed to the Prime Minister by Sir Percy Cox, were added to the texts of the agreements. Assurances of British cooperation were sent to Persia to ensure “the revision of the contracts actually in force between the two powers, the compensation of property damage suffered by other belligerents and the correction of the border of Persia to the points where it was agreed as acceptable by the parties”. The other letter assured the Persian government that Britain “will not claim from the government of Persia the cost of alimony of British troops, who were sent to Persia because Persia wants to have the power to defend their neutrality and that, on the other hand, the Persian government will not ask the British government to compensate for the damage that could have been caused by these troops during their presence on Persian territory” (J.C. Hurewitz, The Middle East and North Africa in World Politics: A Documentary Record II, New Haven and London, 1979, p. 182-84). Hajj Hossein Aminozzarb Letter to the Prime Minister on the need to discuss with the British, In 1919, denouncing the treaty because of internal and foreign objections and public hatred of the agreement [N 4556] The new government faced many problems: the public treasury was exhausted, British troops roamed the country, armed rebels looted towns and invaded the streets, and the Bolsheviks knocked on the northern gates of the state.

On this date, England turned to Persia for an agreement of friendship and alliance (Woṯūq-al-Dawla declaration on the 6th session of the Majlis, 1926). N. S. Fatemi, “ANGLO-PERSIAN AGREEMENT OF 1919,” Encyclopedia Iranica, II/1, p. 59-61, available online from www.iranicaonline.org/articles/anglo-persian-agreement-1919 (available December 30, 2012).