by George A. Bournoutian
2014, Mazda Publishers
Following the murder of Griboedov, the Envoy and Minister Plenipotentiary of Russia and the massacre of the entire Russian Legation, save one, by an angry mob, on February 11, 1829, in Tehran, the government of Iran dispatched a mission with an official apology from the Shah to Tsar Nicholas I. The mission, headed by Khosrow Mirza, the 16-year-old seventh son of Crown Prince `Abbas Mirza, left Iran in early May and returned on February 27, 1830, after successfully accomplishing its task. The young Prince had not only charmed the Tsar, the royal family and the nobility, but had also managed to cancel the ninth payment of the indemnity amounting to half a million tomans or two million rubles and had obtained a five-year grace period for the payment of the tenth, or last part. His skillful diplomacy had saved Iran from Russian retaliation, had strengthened Russo-Iranian ties, and had reduced the British influence in his land.
The present study, utilizing Persian and Russian contemporary sources, is a detailed daily account of the long journey and experiences of the Iranian delegation in Armenia and Georgia, its stay in the various Russian cities such as Vladikavkaz, Piatigorsk, Stavropol, Voronezh, Tula, Moscow, and especially its long stay in St. Petersburg. It should serve as a primary source on Russo-Iranian relations in the fist trimester of the 19th century.
The study is composed of an introduction, the account of the journey in three parts, eight unique maps, an appendix, a bibliography and index.
George A. Bournoutian is Professor of East European and Middle Eastern Studies at Iona College, New York. He has taught Iranian history at UCLA and Armenian History at Columbia University, New York University, University of Connecticut, Tufts University, Rutgers University, Ramapo College, and Glendale Community College. He is the author of 30 books, including The Khanate of Erevan Under Qajar Rule and From Tabriz to St. Petersburg: Iran’s Mission of Apology to Russia in 1829. His translations of primary sources such as The Chronicle of Abraham of Crete; Abraham of Erevan’s History of the Wars: 1721-1738 and documents such as Armenians and Russia, A Documentary Record, 1626-1796, Russia and the Armenians of Transcaucasia, A Documentary Record, 1797-1889, and A History of Qarabagh have received laudatory reviews in TLS, BSOAS and other important publications. Professor Bournoutian is a member of the Society for Iranian Studies and a member of the Society for Armenian Studies. He is also a frequent contributor to encyclopedias, various scholarly journals, and collections. His work has been cited in major publications and he is considered a world authority on the history of the South Caucasus in the Modem Period (1400-1900). Professor Bournoutian was born in Isfahan and grew up in Iran. He received his High school diploma from the well-known Andisheh (Don Bosco) institution in Tehran. His B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. are from UCLA. He is fluent in Armenian, Persian, Russian, and Polish and has a reading command of French. His A Concise History of the Armenian People is considered the best source in English and has been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Armenian, Russian and Japanese.