Shah Surrenders to the Clergy and People: Heavy Cancellation Penalty Paid to the Regie

  November 26, 2020   Read time 1 min
Shah Surrenders to the Clergy and People: Heavy Cancellation Penalty Paid to the Regie
Union of the people of Iran against the despot and the foreign intruders under the auspices of the clergy worked. Shah surrendered and the monopoly was broken and the trade was returned to its normal state. Mirza Shirazi accepted to lift the tobacco use ban in return of a number of concessions.

The open revolt and clandestine propaganda denouncing the shah for despotism and corruption but also chastising the mojtaheds for compromise and inaction, were sufficient that both the shah and the ulama recognize the greater danger—an imminent uprising that threatened the very survival of both institutions. Immediately following the demonstration, the shah announced the complete repeal of the Regie monopoly in the domestic market and for the export of tobacco. The latter issue nevertheless remained a matter of dispute with Regie for a long time afterward. The shah also made sure that the mojtaheds who threatened mass migration to Iraq in sympathy with Ashtiyani were financially rewarded in the capital and in the provinces.Despite his initial hesitation, Mirza Hasan Shirazi consented to lifting the tobacco ban. Once the shah was assured of British support, he went along with the terms of the repeal, including payment to the Regie of a cancellation penalty. To do so, the Iranian government was forced for the first time to borrow the necessary sum from the British-controlled Imperial Bank of Persia—a half million pounds sterling ($2,500,000), with an interest rate of six percent over a forty-year period. Foreign borrowing was a road well trodden by the Egyptian khedive and the Ottoman sultan, and in both cases it led to bankruptcy. The shah and his government, perhaps the Qajar establishment as a whole, however, had a more urgent issue than bankruptcy to worry about (Source: Iran a Modern History, Abbas Amanat).