Russia and Britain Competed for Persia Because It Offered

Russia and Britain Competed for Persia Because It Offered

1907 treaty between the UK and Russian federation

Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907

Map of western asia, showing British and Russian areas of rule or influence.

Signed 31 August [O.S. 18 August] 1907
Location Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire

  • United Kingdom

  • Russian Empire

Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907
Англо-Русская Конвенция 1907 г.,

Anglo-Russkaya Konventsiya 1907 g.
), or
Convention between the United Kingdom and Russia relating to Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet
Конвенция между Соединенным Королевством и Россией относительно Персии, Афганистана, и Тибета

Konventsiya mezhdu Soyedinennym Korolevstvom i Rossiyey otnositel’no Persii, Afghanistana, i Tibeta
was signed on August 31, 1907, in Saint Petersburg. It concluded the longstanding rivalry in Central Asia and enabled the ii countries to outflank the Germans, who were threatening to connect Berlin to Baghdad with a new railroad that could potentially align the Ottoman Empire with Imperial Frg.

The Convention ended the long dispute over Persia. Great Britain promised to stay out of northern Persia, and Russia recognized southern Persia as part of the British sphere of influence. Russia also promised to stay out of Tibet and Afghanistan. In exchange, London extended loans and some political back up.[2]
The convention brought shaky British–Russian relations to the forefront past solidifying boundaries that identified corresponding command in Persia,[four]
Afghanistan and Tibet. It delineated spheres of influence in Persia, stipulated that neither land would interfere in Tibet’s internal affairs, and recognized Britain’s influence over Afghanistan.[half dozen]
The agreement led to the formation of the Triple Entente.[7]



During the concluding third of the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire’southward advances into Central Asia and the consolidation of Great Britain’south domination of Southern asia led to intense rivalry betwixt the 2 European powers. The alien interests centered on Afghanistan, Islamic republic of iran, and Tibet, three states that constituted buffers between the two powers. The emergence of the German language Empire equally a world ability and the defeat in 1905 of Russian federation past a nascent Asian power, the Empire of Japan, in the Russo-Japanese State of war, helped to persuade some British and Russian officials of a demand to resolve their respective differences in Asia.[8]
At that place was talk of an entente during the 1880s and 1890s, especially after United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland’southward occupation of Egypt in 1882. However, there was stiff resistance in Uk to a bargain with Russian federation.[9]
In the leadup to the convention, there were discussions on the Straits question. Foreign Government minister Sir Edward Grayness thought entente with Russian federation a expert idea. On xx October 1905, during the election, he said:[10]

…if Russian federation accepts, cordially and whole-heartedly, our intention to preserve the peaceable possession of our Asiatic possessions, then I am quite sure that in this country no government will brand it its business to thwart or obstruct Russian federation’s policy in Europe. On the reverse, it is urgently desirable that Russian federation’s position and influence be re-established in the councils of Europe.

and subsequently, writing to his ambassador to Russia Sir Arthur Nicolson:[nine]

It is not for united states of america to propose changes with regard to the treaty conditions of the Dardanelles. I think some alter in the direction desired by Russia would be admissible and we should be prepared to discuss the question if Russia introduces it.

In early 1907, Alexander Izvolsky, the Russian ambassador at Paris, raised the question and talks were carried on in London with Russian Ambassador Count Alexander Benckendorff. Little is known only the “suggestion appears to have been fabricated that Russia should have free egress from the Blackness Sea through the Straits, while other powers should have the correct to ship their vessels of war into the Straits without going into the Blackness Sea” together with some talk of “Russian federation’southward occupying the Bosphorus and England the Dardanelles, after which the Straits might be opened to other warships as well.” In the event nothing came of the discussions at the time.[nine]

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Ascent of Frg


On May xx, 1882, Germany entered into the Triple Alliance with Italian republic and Republic of austria-Republic of hungary, complementing its industrial and socio-political ascendance in the globe loonshit. Furthermore, Germany dramatically increased its military output from the early 1900s up to the outbreak of the Get-go World State of war. Under the unified High german state, Otto von Bismarck worked to increase the nation’southward global influence and reach what was then the zenith of German power. While Britain and Russia were hostile to German designs in the region, members of the Triple Brotherhood were in turn opposed to Anglo-Russian influence in Asia. Thus, military and territorial expansion was Deutschland’southward key to making itself a major player in the international arena of power. Germany’s interest in the Middle East took a secondary position, one subordinate to Germany’south principal policy toward Europe, throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While of secondary importance, information technology was a tool that was used to manipulate the Center Eastern effort to play off the Western powers against each other. Berlin peacefully fabricated inroads into the Ottoman Empire and had few colonial aspirations in the region.[11]

Trouble in Persia


In 1905, revolutionary activeness spread throughout Tehran, forcing the shah to accept a constitution, allow the formation of a
(parliamentary assembly), and hold elections. Major figures in the revolution had secular goals, which then created rifts in the clergy to the advantage of the monarchy. Neither the British or Russian governments canonical of the new political organization which was both liberal and unstable, preferring a stable puppet regime which allowed foreign concessions and supported their designs in the region.[12]

To facilitate their goals in Persia, the British and Russian governments discussed splitting it into three zones. The understanding stipulated that it would “allocate the northward, including Isfahan, to Russia; the south-east, specially Kerman, Sistan, and Baluchistan to Britain; and demarcate the remaining land betwixt the two powers as a “neutral zone”. The sectionalization of Persia would reinforce the control of United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland and Russian federation over their respective territorial and economical interests in the country besides as allowed for connected interference in Persia’s political system. With foreign assistance, the revolutionaries became outflanked past a combination of European and monarchist activities. The Persian government apace came to realize that an Anglo-Russian alliance posed a larger threat to Iranian sovereignty than when the 2 powers were hostile.[xiii]
Consequently, in 1907, Britain and Russian federation signed an understanding to regulate their economic and political interests.

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With respect to Iran, the agreement recognized the land’s sovereignty but as well divided it into three divide zones. The agreement designated all of northern Islamic republic of iran, which bordered Russian federation’s possessions in Transcaucasia and Fundamental Asia, as an sectional sphere of influence for Russian interests. The northern zone was defined as beginning at Qasr-east Shirin in the west, on the border with the Ottoman Empire, and running through Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd to the eastern border, where the frontiers of Afghanistan, Iran, and Russian federation intersected. A smaller zone in southeastern Iran, which bordered British India, was recognized as an exclusive sphere for Uk. The British zone extended west as far as Kerman in the south central and Bandar Abbas in the south. The surface area separating these two spheres, including part of key Iran and the entire southwest, was designated a neutral zone in which both countries and their respective individual citizens could compete for influence and commercial privileges.[14]
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For Britain and Russian federation, the understanding was important in establishing a diplomatic alignment that endured until the First World State of war. The Persian government, however, had not been consulted near the agreement but was informed after it had been signed. Although not in a position to prevent Uk and Russia from implementing the agreement, the Farsi government refused to recognize the accord’s legitimacy since it threatened the country’s national integrity. Iranian nationalists, in particular, were infuriated past Britain’s signing of the treaty, a country that they had considered every bit a beacon of democracy during the Constitutional Revolution. Subsequently, an of import legacy of the agreement was the growth of anti-British sentiments and other anti-Western attitudes as strong components of Iranian nationalism. The agreement did not eliminate all competition betwixt the two powers with respect to their policies in Islamic republic of iran, but later on 1907, broad co-functioning was fostered, specially when Anglo-Russian interests were threatened. In item, United kingdom and Russia intervened in Islamic republic of iran’s domestic politics, supporting the royalists in their struggle with the constitutionalists. The agreement lapsed in 1918, after it was renounced by the new revolutionary Soviet Russia.[17]
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Come across also


  • Dogger Bank incident
  • Entente Cordiale
  • Franco-Russian Alliance
  • The Great Game
  • Persian Campaign



  1. ^

    See text in
    British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898–1914, Volume IV, The Anglo-Russian Rapprochement 1903–vii.
    Edited by One thousand. P. Gooch and H Temperley. Her Majesty’s Stationery Role, London 1929. pp 618–621. Appendix I – Full Text of Convention between the United Kingdom and Russia relating to Persia (Iran), Afghanistan, and Tibet, Signed At St Petersburgh, August 31, 1907 (in French)

  2. ^

    Barbara Jelavich,
    St. Petersburg and Moscow: Tsarist And Soviet Foreign Policy, 1814–1974
    (1974), pp 247–49, 254–56.

  3. ^

    Ewen W. Edwards, “The Far Eastern Agreements of 1907.”
    Periodical of Modern History
    26.4 (1954): 340–355. Online

  4. ^

    British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898–1914, Book IV, The Anglo-Russian Rapprochement 1903-7. Edited by G.P. Gooch and H Temperley. Her Majesty’s Jotter Function, London 1929. p618-621. Appendix 4 – Revised Typhoon of Understanding Apropos Persia, Sent to Sir A. Nicholson by Sir Edward Grey on June half dozen, 1907

  5. ^

    Yale Law Schoolhouse: “Agreement apropos Persia” (in English language)

  6. ^

    The Major International Treaties of the Twentieth Century, Book i. Edited by J.A.South. Grenville and B. Wasserstein. Routledge London 2001. p45. Conventions between Russia and the United Kingdom relating to Persia, Transitional islamic state of afghanistan, and Tibet, St Petersburgh, August 31, 1907
  7. ^



    Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Anglo-Russian Entente

  8. ^

    Professor of History Jennifer Siegel; Siegel, Jennifer L. Siegel; Jennifer Siegel (6 September 2002).
    Endgame: Britain, Russian federation and the Concluding Struggle for Central Asia. I.B.Tauris. p. 177. ISBN978-i-85043-371-2.

  9. ^




    Langer 1929, p. 68.

  10. ^

    Langer 1929, p. 67.

  11. ^

    Erich Eyck,
    Bismarck and the German Empire
    (1963) pp 261–297. online.

  12. ^

    Morgan Shuster. “The Strangling of Persia: A Story of European Affairs and Oriental Intrigue”. p. 283.

  13. ^

    Beryl J. Williams, “The Strategic Background to the Anglo-Russian Entente of Baronial 1907.”
    Historical Journal
    9#iii (1966): 360–73. online.

  14. ^

    Kazemzadeh, Firuz.
    Russia and Britain in Persia, 1864–1914: A Study in Imperialism.
    New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1968.[
    page needed

  15. ^

    Siegel, Jennifer.
    Endgame: United kingdom, Russia, and the Final Struggle for Central Asia.
    London and New York: Tauris, 2002.[
    page needed

  16. ^

    White, John Albert.
    Transition to Global Rivalry: Brotherhood Diplomacy and the Quadruple Entente, 1895–1907.
    Cambridge, U.1000., and New York: Cambridge University Printing, 1995.

  17. ^

    Kazemzadeh, Firuz.
    Russia and Britain in Persia, 1864–1914: A Study in Imperialism.
    New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1968.[
    folio needed

  18. ^

    Siegel, Jennifer.
    Endgame: Britain, Russian federation, and the Final Struggle for Central Asia.
    London and New York: Tauris, 2002.[
    page needed

  19. ^

    White, John Albert.
    Transition to Global Rivalry: Alliance Diplomacy and the Quadruple Entente, 1895–1907.
    Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge Academy Printing, 1995.[
    folio needed

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Further reading


  • “The Recent Anglo-Russian Convention”
    The American Journal of International Law
    (1907) pp 979–984 online
  • Abrahamiam, Ervand,
    A History of Modern Iran
    (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • Adelson, Roger,
    London and the Invention of the Middle East: Money, Ability, and War, 1902–1922
    (St. Edmundsbury Printing, 1995)
  • Churchill, Platt Rogers.
    The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907
  • Habberton, William.
    Anglo-Russian Relations Apropos Afghanistan, 1837–1907
    (U. of Illinois, 1937).
  • Klein, Ira (1971), “The Anglo-Russian Convention and the Trouble of Fundamental Asia, 1907–1914”,
    Journal of British Studies,
    (i): 126–147, doi:ten.1086/385621, JSTOR 175041

  • Langer, William 50. (1929). “Russia, the Straits Question, and the European Powers, 1904–8”.
    The English language Historical Review.
    (173): 59–85. doi:x.1093/ehr/XLIV.CLXXIII.59. JSTOR 552495.

  • Mahajan, Sneh.
    British strange policy 1874–1914: The role of India
    (Routledge, 2003).[
    ISBN missing
  • Palmer, A. W. “The Anglo-Russian Entente”
    History Today
    (Nov 1957) 7#xi pp 748–754.
  • Sicker, Martin.
    The Bear and the Lion: Soviet Imperialism and Islamic republic of iran
    (Praeger Publishers, 1988).
  • Siegel, Jennifer,
    Endgame: Great britain, Russia and the Final Struggle for Key Asia
    (New York: I.B. Tauris, 2002)
  • Soroka, Marina.
    Britain, Russian federation and the Road to the First World War: The Fateful Diplomatic mission of Count Aleksandr Benckendorff (1903–16)
    (Routledge, 2016).
  • Tomaszewski, Fiona K.
    A Cracking Russia: Russia and the Triple Entente
    (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002)
  • Williams, Beryl J. “The Strategic Background to the Anglo-Russian Entente of Baronial 1907.”
    Historical Journal
    9#3 (1966): 360–73. online.

External links


  • Brigham Immature University library website. The Anglo-Russian Entente

Russia and Britain Competed for Persia Because It Offered