Heightened Smuggling of Weapons and Ammunition from Southern Caucasus to Northwestern Iran on the Eve of World War I

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Documents newly found in the Historical Archives of Azerbaijan Republic reveal that as early as 1912 Ottoman agents were engaged in attempts to entice the Transcaucasian Muslims against Russia and prepare them for the war, which would break out a year- and-a-half later, namely the First World War. Ottomans encouraged the smuggling of Russian weapons and ammunition to regions bordering the Southern Caucasus, especially Northwestern Iran, counting on the sympathy of the Turkophones therein against the Russians, or on their antagonism towards the presence of Russian forces in their own territories. The heightened smuggling of Russian weapons and ammunition alarmed the Russian authorities who began looking into the cases of smugglings in an attempt to prevent or minimize them. Their findings, as expressed in their correspondences, pointed towards an extensive smuggling network headed by an Iranian émigré named Karbalā͗ī who ran it with members of his own family and in collaboration with a number of Russian officials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-100
Number of pages11
JournalIran and the Caucasus
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Soli Shahvar, 2024.

Keywords

  • Iranian emigree smugglers
  • Northwestern Iran
  • Ottoman agents
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Shahsevan tribe
  • Southern Caucasus
  • Tsarist Russia
  • weapons trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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