By: Mir M.Hosseini
In the midst of a turmoil that started with invasion of Hotaki warlords into Iran, Isfahan, the Safavid capital fell on Oct, 12, 1722. Meanwhile, Russians and Ottomans used the opportunity to invade Caucasia.
On August 23, 1722 the Russian army captured strategic city of Derbent. With little or no resistence, in Dec, 1722 the Russian army and navy, under major general Mikhail Matyushkin, seized Rasht, and on July, 26 1723 Russians captured Baku while Ottomans captured Hamedan on Aug, 31st.
Under these unfavorable conditions, Shah Tahmasp 2nd, the king without a capital surrendered Derbent, Baku, and the Persian provinces of Shirvan, Gilan, Mazandaran, and Astarabad to the Russians on September 12, 1723.
In this manner, Russians reached their long-time ambition to rule exclusively over all areas around the Caspian Sea. The two powerful Ottoman and Russian Empires practically divided Iran between themselves in 1724.
It was not until 1727, when Nader Gholi Khan from the Afshar tribe, a gallant Iranian warlord started his unbelievable campaign to liberate Iran from foreign invaders. Liberation of Mashhad on Nov, 29, 1727 was a key turning point in the course of the Iranian history.
Although he tried to restore Shah Tahmasp to the throne and bring back the Safavid Empire to life, it took more than a puppet king to earn back Iran's overall sovereignty.
By the time Nader Shah Afshar ascended the throne and established the Afshar Dynasty in 1736, most of Iran's lost territory had already rejoined the motherland.