In 3rd Aug. 1914 when the First World War began, Iran was only an independent country superficially. Ahmad Shah Qajar who was now 18 years old and he had just held his coronation ceremony, had no power and authority of his own. About 7 thousand Russian soldiers were present in the northern provinces on various pretexts, and according to 1907 Anglo Russian agreement, they claimed special rights privileges in the north of Iran. The British ruled in the south and the orders of Iranian government were only effective in areas which were called buffer provinces. At threshold of the First World War, the Russian who were in fight with the Ottomans, brought their forces to Iran, regardless of the Iran’s protests. About late 1914, 70000 Russian soldiers occupied the western north Iran along the Ottoman frontiers. The British brought their forces from the South of the country to Khuzestan, and invaded the Ottoman territorial possessions in the Mesopotamia. Following the attack of the Ottoman forces to Iran and the battle between the Russian and the Ottoman troops, the Russians evacuated Tabriz and the city caught fire and the residents suffered heavy damages. The Russians who had retreated to Jolfa, upon the arrival of the aid forces, made a counteract and after defeating the Ottoman forces in 30th Jan. 1915, reoccupied Tabriz. Then they headed towards the west and in Spring 1915, they took Uremia back from Ottoman forces and advanced towards Lake Van.
Then the Russian forces moved towards Tehran from Qazvin, and in midway they entered Karaj. In the meanwhile many of the leading figures and dignitaries moved to Qom and instituted the Committee for National Defense. It was decided to change the capital. The meeting of the British and the Russian ministers with Ahmad Shah led him change his mind in making Isfahan the capital of the city. The outmost advance of the Russians was in Feb. 1917, because after that the outbreak of revolution in Russian and the fall of Tsarist government brought confusion among its troops in Iran.
The confusion in the army reached to its highest level and according to the peace treaty of Brest- Litovsk between the German and the Russians, the Russians undertook to evacuate Iran’s territory until the end of the spring. However, the British forces remained in Iran until 1921 coup.