On the early morning of February 11 (January 30 according to the Julian calendar) 1829, an enormous horde of almost 100,000 Persians, armed with knives, stones
Several diplomats and 35 Cossack guards had absolutely no chance against such a
Such an insult could not pass without a response. However, it did. Due to several reasons, the Russian Empire avoided war and allowed the massacre to go unavenged.
Alexander Griboyedov was appointed as an envoy to Persia in 1828, a year before his murder. The country had recently lost a war against Russia and was obliged to pay heavy reparations, which fell on the shoulders of the common people. The national anger was waiting for a spark to ignite it
Alexander GriboyedovIvan Kramskoi/Tretyakov Gallery
One such Armenian who came to Griboyedov seeking shelter and protection posed a real threat to the Persian leadership. Jakub Markaryan Mirza, a eunuch at the Shah’s harem, who was also the main treasurer and keeper of the Shah’s
Griboyedov refused all Persian requests to return them
The Shah wanted anti-Russian protests, but not an open conflict. However, the thousands-strong crowd was already out of control. The massacre was underway.
Alexander Griboyedov personally participated in the defense of the embassy in the uneven fight with the frantic mob. The Persians stormed the door, tried to climb in through the windows, and even tried to dismantle the roof to get inside. Finally, they killed all the Cossacks, the remaining diplomats, and Jakub Markaryan Mirza
The only one to survive the Tehran massacre was embassy secretary Ivan Maltsev, who managed to hide during the attack. Among the Persians, 19 people were killed.
The diplomatic scandal between two states would definitely have led to war in any other circumstances, but not in 1829. Russia was stuck in a war of attrition against the Ottoman Empire and could not allow itself to get dragged into another one.
The Shah dispatched his grandson Khozrev Mirza to Tsar Nicholas I with a letter of apology and the huge Shah Diamond, which today is considered one of Russia’s main national treasures
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