A Truthful History





More than eleven years had passed since the signing of peace treatybetween Russia and Qizilbash State. During the period the population and army of Iranlived in tranquility. Not a single strong enemy troubled its parts and the littleinsurrections and skirmishes, which occurred (121a) in that country were settled down withthe help of small regiments. Thus [Qizilbashs] feeling themselves strengthened and morepowerful, broke their friendly ties with Russia, violated the peace treaty and started waragainst them. The causes of the war were:

First - the aid of the English: they sent guns, cannons, and otherarms to Iran annually, to strengthen the country and prevent the passage of the Russiansthrough its territory towards their estates [in India]. Abbas Mirza, Fath AliShah's eldest son and heir-at-law, had reorganized the infantry sarbaz armyand artillery in Azerbaijan under the control of an English military officer. During thesefew years a war and several battles were waged at various places against the Turkomans, Ottoman Turkey and other rivals, and victories were achieved. They thought that the fightsagainst Russia would be the same and foolishly unleashed war against them.

Second - the existence of discords between the two states on account ofthe boundaries passing through Gegharkunik and Sadarak: both sides were intransigent andbided their time to solve the problems by armed forces

Third - the rebellion risen by Ghazi Molla under the banner of Ghazavat in Daghestan, who incited encounters between the people of Daghestan and the Russian army. With this purpose the mojtaheds and mullahs wrote essays and proclamationsabout Ghazavat and Jehad in refined style inducing people to fight againstthe Russians. Aqa Seid Mojtahed, living a life of an anchorite, wrote a letter to FathAli Shah, stating that:

-The war against the Russians should be considered a Ghazavat. Idreamt, that if His Majesty starts the campaign now, He will win victory in a month.

People said as if Aqa has also told:

-I'll take the shell of the Russians' cannon and throw itback to their side.

People in those days and, especially the people of Iran believed intales like that.

Fourth - for several years Alexander Mirza, the heir of Georgian Vali lived in the Iran State, entitled " Vali of honor". Some of the[Transcaucasian] khans, for example, Mustoufi Khan of Shirvan, Mahdi-qoli Khan ofKarabagh, Oghurlu Khan Ziadoghli of Ganje and the sons of Selim Khan of Shaki had escapedfrom the powerful Russian State to Iran. [All of them] were biding their time to return totheir countries and assume their power.

According to the mentioned circumstances in 1826/1242 Fath AliShah summoned his son, the Crown prince Abbas Mirza to Tehran, had a talk with himabout (122a) the matter and gave him the task of waging a war against Russia. SoAbbas Mirza, by his father's will, returned from Tehran. Arriving in Azerbaijanhe recruited an army and made war preparations.

At that time the Russian Emperor, H. M. Alexander Pavlovich I, died andH. M. the celebrated Emperor Nicolas Pavlovich ascended the throne. This circumstancebecame one of the causes to violate the peaceful and friendly relations.

The Crown prince held counsel with his officials and experiencednoblemen on the matter. Some of his wise retainers did not approve the war against theRussians: it would not bring any good to his state. They attempted to make shah give uphis military intentions. Therefore, under the pretext of bringing money and making somepreparations [they] sent sanduqdar Heidar Ali Khan, an eloquent high-rankofficial and eminent khan.

After arriving in Tehran Heidar Ali Khan was honored withshah's reception. When talking, shah asked him about the state of the army, he said: "According to the decree of the Ka'abe of the world the Crown prince isrecruiting the troops and making war preparations. He tries whole-heartedly to fulfilshah's will (122b). But when a thankful servant of shah knows something and concealsthat, he acts like a traitor, so whenever, the World's Ka'abe allows I'llpresent Him some of my ideas".

So with shah's permission he told:

-Although nobody can afford a resistance to shah's glorious armynow and the victory will accompany all its enterprises, the breach of peace [treaty] andthe war against Russia are not desirable and useful for the state now. Russia is an oldcountry, hard in war and gentle in friendship. It harms nobody because of his faith. Thewar is especially inauspicious now, when they have given no ground for unfriendly deedsand besides their ruler has just died and a new sovereign ascended the throne. Let'skeep an eye upon his actions and behavior, then conduct accordingly, or else, if we showour enmity now, the people will consider us harsh and cruel, which contradicts to HisRoyal favor.

Fath Ali Shah at once flied into a rage and commanded his littleson named Mucheli Khan, who always stood nearby, armed with his decorated sword, to strikeoff the Heidar Ali (123a) Khan's head, because he was a traitor and hadthoughts different from shah's. A wise man has told on such an occasion: "Itsjust a suicide expressing ideas against to shah".

When Mucheli Khan was going to strike off his head, shah, a very greedyman, ordered to Heidar Ali Khan to pay ransom and save his life. So, the latterimmediately gave the hundred golden ashrafi bajaghis, which he had keptready beforehand knowing shah's nature. Afterwards, he started talking in compliancewith shah's opinion, approving all his suppositions. Shah assigned the princeAbbas Mirza to quicken the military preparations in the infantry, cavalry troops, and artillery to start the campaign against the Russians in Karabagh:

-We have lingered enough! In those days of idleness and rest we'dhave occupied the most part of Caucasian regions down to its [upper] frontiers.