Mirza Abolhassan Khan Ilchi

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Mirza Abolhassan Khan Ilchi
Mirza Abu'l Hassan Khan by Thomas Lawrence, 1810 - Fogg Art Museum - DSC02319.JPG
Iranian Ambassador to the United kingdom
In office
1809–1810
Monarch Fath-Ali Shah Qajar
Preceded by Office re-created
Succeeded by Muhsin Khan Mushir od-Dowleh
Iranian Ambassador to Russia
In office
1815–1816
Monarch Fath-Ali Shah Qajar
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Unknown
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
1823–1834
Monarch Fath-Ali Shah Qajar
Preceded by Nishat Isfahani
Succeeded by Mirza Ali Farahani
In office
1838–1845
Monarch Mohammad Shah Qajar
Preceded by Mirza Mas'ud Khan Ansari
Succeeded by Mirza Mas'ud Khan Ansari
Personal details
Born 1776
Shiraz, Iran
Died 1845
Iran
Relations Family: Qavam family
Father: Mirza Mohammad-Ali
Religion Twelver Shia Islam

Mirza Abolhassan Khan Shirazi Ilchi Kabir (Persian: میرزا ابوالحسن خان شیرازی ایلچی کبیر‎), was an Iranian statesman who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1824 to 1834, and then again from 1838 until his death in 1846.[1] He also served as the ambassador to Russia and Great Britain.

Family[edit]

Abolhassan was born in 1776 at Shiraz; he was the second son of Mirza Mohammad-Ali, a secretary of Nader Shah, and a daughter of Ebrahim Khan Kalantar, thus making him part of the influential Qavam family.

Exile and return[edit]

As a young man, Mirza Abolhassan was appointed as the governor of Shushtar. In April 1801, however, the family lost much of its power and influence during the downfall of Ebrahim, and thus all members of the family were persecuted by the Iranian government. While many were blinded or killed, some managed to flee. Mirza Abolhassan however, was captured by Iranian troops, and was exiled in his native Shiraz. Abolhassan shortly afterwards fled from Shiraz, reaching Basra, where he then took a vessel to Hyderabad in India. Luckily, he was some time later pardoned, and went back to Iran, where he served Fath-Ali Shah Qajar, and quickly rose to high offices.

Later life[edit]

Abolhassan was chosen in 1809 as ambassador to lead a diplomatic mission to London at the court of the British king George III to seek support against growing ambitions of Russia in Caucasia. His escorting officer or "mehmandar" in Great Britain was Sir Gore Ouseley, who later encouraged Abolhassan to join the Free Masons in 1810. Upon his return of that mission, Mirza Abolhassan obtained the title "Khan" and "Ilchi" (envoy).

Abolhassan was the main delegate for Iran in the Gulistan of 1813 and Turkmenchay treaties, under which Iran lost most of her Caucasian territories to Russia.

In 1818 Mirza Abolhassan Khan was sent again to London to find British support against Russia. That mission however failed, as Russia had meanwhile become an ally of the British against Napoleon I, and after the defeat of Napoleon I, France was no more a serious threat to British interests in Iran. Accordingly good relations of Great Britain with Iran had a lesser weight to those with Russia.

In 1835, Abolhassan sealed himself in the Shah-Abdol-Azim shrine as a protest to Prime Minister Ghaem Magham Farahani. Abolhassan Khan later died in 1845.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Keddie, Nikki R. (1999). Qajar Iran and the rise of Reza Khan, 1796-1925. Mazda Publishers. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-56859-084-4. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Office re-created
Iranian Ambassador to the United kingdom
1809-1810
Succeeded by
Muhsin Khan Mushir od-Dowleh
Preceded by
Office created
Iranian Ambassador to Russia
1815-1816
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Nishat Isfahani
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1823-1834
Succeeded by
Mirza Ali Farahani
Preceded by
Mirza Mas'ud Khan Ansari
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1838-1845
Succeeded by
Mirza Mas'ud Khan Ansari