The Treaty of Akhal was a treaty signed by Iran and Imperial Russia on 21 September 1881. The treaty marked Persia's official recognition of Khwarazm's annexation by the Russian Empire. Although Persia had won a clear victory in the last Ottoman–Persian War (1821–23) over their Ottoman arch rivals, it had been considerably weakened by years of ineffective rulers, the defeat against Russia in 1813 and 1828 in which they lost all of the Caucasus, and with the increasing occupation by Great Britain of Egypt, during the years of 1873 to 1881, and on top of that the decaying Ottoman Empire, Imperial Russia stepped up its campaign to wrest full control over Central Asia. See The Great Game. Hence forces led by Generals Mikhail Skobelev, Ivan Lazarev, and Konstantin Kaufman spearheaded the campaign, with Persia unable to react. The immobilized Naser al-Din Shah Qajar sent foreign secretary Mirza Sa'eed Khan Mo'tamen ol-Mulk to meet Ivan Zinoviev and sign a treaty in Tehran.
By virtue of this treaty, Persia would henceforth cease any claim to all parts of Turkestan and Transoxiana, setting the Atrek River as the new boundary. Hence Merv, Sarakhs, Eshgh Abad, and the surrounding areas were transferred to Russian control under the command of General Alexander Komarov in 1884.