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the foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period

The foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period


Iranian Contemporary History No. 60


History Hall


  The Bombardemant of Majlis, June 23rd 1908 

 Azita Laqaee

 Following a shootout between the loyal forces of Mohammad Ali Shah and the members of Anjomans (societies), Majlis (the National Consultative Assembly) was closed in 1908, within lesser than two years, wasting much of its time on trivialities. Meanwhile the rebellion of tribes and the plunder of caravans led to the trade recession.

The straight interference of the Anjomans in the administration of local governments, and the avoidance of people to pay tax confronted the country with a severe problem. Majlis newspaper in June 3rd writes: "most parts of the country including KermanShahan, Kerman, and Azerbaijan, and Khorassan are suffering from unrest. The clash between the Shah and the societies which have influence in Majlis has increased."


The attempt on the Shah's life in March 1908, and Amir Bahador's exile led the Shah to leave the palace for Baghshah in fear of his life, although the Majlis prohibited him not to leave Tehran. The armed members of the Societies entrenched themselves in Majlis and Sepahsalar mosque. Mohammad Ali Shah arrested Jalaloddowleh, Alaoddowleh, and Sardar Mansour. The telegrams of societies from Tabriz, Rasht, Qazvin and Shiraz demanded the depose of the Shah.


In June 11th, Shah asked the Majlis to exile eleven people, to execute the press law, to produce a constitution for the Societies forbidding them from interfering in the executive affairs and to prohibit the holding of arms. In its reply, the Majlis announced that some of these orders are against law. It became more and more difficult to work out a compromise agreement. Tabriz and Shiraz claimed that they would dispatch armed forces to Tehran. Mohammad Ali Shah declared martial law in Tehran. The Shah sent ultimatum to the societies to leave the environs of the place, otherwise he will bombard the Majlis. Majlis advised the Anjomens to comply, and give no excuse to the Shah to use forcible measure. The rumors were spread that Mojahedins of Qazvin and Rasht are on their way to Tehran.


In June 21st Cossacks made efforts to disarm people. Majlis threatened that if situation does not improve, they will form a high assembly.


In June 23rd Cossacks surrendered the Majlis and Sepahsalar school. The Anjomen members fired on the troops by order of Ayattollah Seyyed Abdollah Behbahani. At first Cossacks had no order for fire, but when ordered, they bombarded Zel-lol-sultan's house, the main center of Azerbaijan Anjomen. The situation changed rapidly for Mohammad Ali shah. The deputies and Anjomanies escaped and the Cossacks occupied the Majlis and the Sepahsalar mosque.


A considerable number of arrests were made including Ayattollah Tabatabaee and Ayattollah Behbahyani. But Mohammad Ali Shah provided suitable facilities for them in Baghshah. Taghizadeh and some other deputies sought refuge at the British legation and thus the first Majlis of Iran was closed.

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