The Tsar’s Man in Tehran

The Soul of the East

The tragic and untimely death of Russian poet, playwright and diplomat Aleksandr Sergeevich Griboedov in 1828 Tehran was just one episode in a geopolitical duel, the Great Game, as Russia and Great Britain maneuvered for position in Central Asia throughout the 19th century. This official account from Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), authored by A.N. Itskov, tells a story of diplomacy, espionage, and murder in Persia. Translated by Mark Hackard.

For the first third of the 19th century, Russia was engaged in bloody wars with Persia (1804-1813 and 1826-1828). Consequently Russia emerged victorious, and Persia was forced to recognize Russia’s annexation of Georgia, Dagestan, Northern Azerbaijan, and also the Yerevan and Hakhichevan khanates.

In elaboration of the conditions of the Treaty of Turkmenchay, which legally formalized the results of the two wars and became the basis of relations between the two lands up to October of 1917…

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