Anglo–Iranian Agreement (1919)

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Controversial agreement giving Britain extensive economic privileges in Iran.

Signed at Tehran on 9 August 1919, the AngloIranian Agreement provided for Britain to supply, at a cost to Iran, administrative advisers, officers, munitions, and equipment for the formation of a uniform military force; to assist in the construction of railways and a revision of customs tariffs; to cooperate in the collection of war compensation from belligerent parties; and to lend Iran £2 million at 7 percent annual interest. In return, Britain obtained a monopoly in supplying administrative advisers as well as military experts and equipment, and Iran's customs' revenues were pledged to repay the loan. The agreement produced bitter controversy. The Iranian negotiators believed that it would finance administrative and military reforms, avert social revolution, and assist in maintaining order. The opposition and most foreign observers believed that the agreement would make Iran a virtual protectorate of Britain. Following the 1921 coup d'état, the new government of Seyid Ziya Tabatabaʾi and Reza Khan (the future Reza Shah Pahlavi) abrogated the agreement.

see also pahlavi, reza; tabatabaʾi, ziya.


Ramazani, Rouhollah K. The Foreign Policy of Iran, 15001941: A Developing Nation in World Affairs. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1966.

Mansoor Moaddel

Updated by Eric Hooglund