Cambridge to hold conference on Qajar Persia

Mehr News Agency, Iran
May 2 2005

TEHRAN, May 2 (MNA) -- The International Qajar Studies Association
(IQSA) will be holding a conference entitled "War and Peace in Qajar
Persia: Implications Past and Present" on July 15 and 16 at Cambridge
University.

This conference, by focusing on the historical and geopolitical
interactions between Western strategic interests and those of Iran
and the larger Persian Gulf, will offer new and critical historical
insight on the policies and strategies already in play in the region
and how they relate to current security and energy concerns.

Peter Avery will give the opening speech at Cambridge University's
Center of International Studies, and several Iranian and foreign
scholars will be presenting research papers.

"Military Changes during the Qajar Era" by Stephanie Cronin, "The
Uprising of Saroddulleh" by Mansureh Ettehadiyeh, "The Problem of Oil"
by Rokhsareh Farman-Farmayan, "Borders: Iran, Afghanistan, Russia,
and the Ottoman Empire" by Firuzeh Kashani Sabet, and "The Politics
of Napoleon in Iran" by Irene Natchkebia are some of the lectures
scheduled to be delivered during the conference.

In 1794, Agha Mohammad Khan defeated numerous rivals and brought all
of Iran under his rule, establishing the Qajar dynasty.

The Qajars were a Turkic tribe that held ancestral lands in present-day
Azerbaijan, which then was part of Iran. Agha Mohammad established
his capital at Tehran, a village near the ruins of the ancient city
of Ray (now Shahr-e Rey).

Agha Mohammad's nephew and successor, Fat'h Ali Shah, ruled from 1797
to 1834. Under Fat'h Ali Shah, Iran went to war against Russia. Iran
suffered major military defeats during the war. Under the terms of
the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813, Iran recognized Russia's annexation
of Georgia and ceded to Russia most of the north Caucasus region.

A second war with Russia in the 1820s ended even more disastrously
for Iran, which in 1828 was forced to sign the Treaty of Turkmanchai
acknowledging Russian sovereignty over the entire area north of the
Aras River (territory comprising present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan).