DEMIN Yu.A. Soviet Diplomacy and Its Role in Creation and Activity of the National Bloc in Iran (1922-1924)


Yuriy A. Demin

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Socio-Economic Disciplines, Irkutsk State University,

Sukhe-Batora St., 9, 664011 Irkutsk, Russian Federation

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Abstract. The article deals with the history of the National bloc in Iran that demonstrates an example of the combination of ideological and pragmatic inclinations in the Soviet foreign policy of the early 1920s. The renunciation of the “export of revolution” strategy and the transition to the support of the Iranian independence demanded the appropriate forms of work with the local political forces. B.Z. Shumyatsky, a creator of the bloc, conceived it as a social basis for the “national” government to come, which would set Iran on the path of development and independence.

However, during the first months of its existence, the National bloc confronted with a number of contradictions, which contributed to its final defeat. Shumyatsky’s striving to overthrow Qavam al-Saltaneh led to the extension of the bloc ranks in the Majles with the representatives of the various rival groups and made it an amorphous and unstable coalition. Similarly, the slogan for the struggle against “foreigners” charged against the bloc, when the cabinet of Mostoufi al-Mamalek was discredited by the opponents as the Moscow’s protйgй. At the same time, structural and ideological feebleness of the Iranian parties and the trade unions of those years hampered the bloc’s transformation into the mass and centralized political power.

The influence of war minister (later Prime Minister) Reza Khan and Moscow’s support of his centralization activity led the National bloc into the alliance with that political figure. As a result, the bloc quickly passed the way from the separate political project to the junior partner of the coalition and finally faced with the changed plans of the military dictator to leave the political stage.

Key words: Soviet diplomacy, Iran, Soviet-Iranian relationships, National bloc, B.Z. Shumyatsky.

Citation. Demin Yu.A. Soviet Diplomacy and Its Role in Creation and Activity of the National Bloc in Iran (1922-1924). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Serija 4, Istorija. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 66-76. (in Russian). DOI:

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Soviet Diplomacy and Its Role in Creation and Activity of the National Bloc in Iran (1922-1924) by Demin Yu.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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