Persia is ostensibly a neutral and independent nation, but in practice its independence is highly circumscribed. Russia occupies much of the country’s north, supposedly to protect the interests of Persia’s Christian minorities. Meanwhile British commercial interests have so much privileged access to the rest of the country that Persia is like an associate part of the British Empire.
This situation chafes with the Ahmed Shah Qajar, the Persian king. He is receptive to German agents who have arrived in the country and who are encouraging him to throw in his lot with Berlin. These intrigues worry the Allies. The British fear for their investments but also the effects on India were Muslim Persia to ally with Germany. The Russians fear the effects on their own Muslim subjects and worry about the Persians joining with Turkey to invade the Russia’s territories in the Caucasus.
This uncertain situation cannot be allowed to continue. In Teheran, the British and Russian ambassadors demand that the Ahmed Shah ceases his dealings with the German agents. Their demand is not quite an ultimatum, but to make clear that they mean business a Russian army in the north of the country begins to make its way towards Teheran.
Ahmed Shah Jafar (Wikipedia)
map (AYDeezy on DeviantArt)