The Foreign Service Journal - October 2017

46 OCTOBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL sent Griboyedov to lead the Russian negotiating teamat Tabriz, although what happened there was less a negotiation than a series of ultimatums from the victorious Russians to the defeated Per- sians. Russia demanded the cession of Yerevan and Nakhchevan provinces to Russia and reimbursement for the full cost of the war plus a substantial indemnity. The meetings ended inconclusively, and Griboyedov predicted that the Persians would accept the Russian terms only after the fall of Yerevan. By October 1827, the Russian armies had not only captured Yerevan, but had occupied Tabriz and Ardabil as Persian resistance collapsed. In February 1828 Persian and Russian envoys, including Gri- boyedov, concluded what became famous as the Treaty of Turk- manchai. Its provisions were: • Cession to Russia of territory north of the Aras River, includ- ing Yerevan and Nakhchevan. Establishment of the Talesh frontier (near Astara on the Caspian). • Payment of 20million silver rubles to Russia in reparations. Russian troops would gradually withdraw from Iranian Azerbaijan as installments were paid. • Russia to have exclusive right of trade and navigation (includ- ing maintaining a navy) on the Caspian Sea. • Persia to remain neutral in case of war between Russia and Turkey. • Free emigration of Persian citizens, Armenians in particular, who wished to settle in new Russian territory. • Russia to recognize Abbas Mirza as heir to the Qajar throne. • Russia to open consulates to protect her merchants in Persia, who were subject only to Russian law. This one-sided treaty was a humiliation that in the Iranian WIKIMEDIACOMMONS/HTTP://REPOSITORY.LIBRARY.BROWN.EDU This miniature portrait of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar (1772-1834), the second Qajar king of Persia, was painted by Ahmad in 1811. It is part of the David Collection in Copenhagen. WIKIMEIDACOMMONS/WWW.DAVIDMUS.DK mostly in Tabriz, where amonastic lifestyle did not suit the young bachelor. His main accomplishment was to escort a group of sev- eral hundred Russian deserters fromTabriz to Tiflis, where, despite reassurances, they received a less than friendly welcome. While in Tabriz he occupied himself with studying Persian, attempts at com- mercial ventures and work on his most famous composition, the verse comedy “Woe fromWit.” In 1821 he succeeded in getting himself attached to Yermolov’s staff in Tiflis, and was able to leave Tabriz. The years 1823 to 1825 found himon extended leave in St. Petersburg enjoying the capital’s literary circles and completing his play. In late 1825 he returned to Tiflis and Yermolov’s staff, but the failed “Decembrist” revolt of that year led to his arrest and forced return to St. Petersburg. By June 1826 an investigation had cleared himof complicity in the uprising. Despite the fact that a newwar had broken out between Russia and Persia, he made a leisurely return to his post on Yermolov’s staff in Tiflis, arriving there late in the year. His fortunes improved when the new czar, Nicholas I, replaced Yermolov with his deputy, Ivan Paskievich, inMarch 1827. Paski- evich was related to Griboyedov by marriage andmade the young official his close adviser onmatters related to the Persians and the peoples of the Caucasus. Paskievich combinedmilitary victories against Abbas Mirza and the weak Qajar armies with diplomatic success, thanks to strategic alliances with the autonomous Muslim rulers of the Caucasus. Negotiating Turkmanchai Following a string of Persian defeats, Abbas Mirza approached Paskievich in the summer of 1827 seeking an armistice. The latter This drawing by Hippolyte Bellangé depicts Crown Prince Abbas Mirza (1789-1833), the son of Fath-Ali Shah, reviewing his infantry. Intelligent and possessed of some literary taste, he was an early modernizer of Persia’s armed forces and institutions. Yet with Abbas Mirza as the military commander of the Persian forces, Iran lost all of its territories in the Caucasus to Russia in conformity with the 1813 Treaty of Gulistan and the 1828 Treaty of Turkmanchai, following the outcomes of the 1804–1813 and 1826–1828 wars.