By: Mir M.Hosseini
Mohammad Reza Qavam also known as Qavamolmolk Shirazi was an influential nobleman opposing the Constitutional Revolution. He was a supporter of the ousted Mohammad Ali Shah and was summoned to Tehran by the Majlis. Qavamolmolk declared allegiance to Constitutional Monarchy and returned to Shiraz but he continued creating chaos with support from Sheikh Yusof, the Shiraz representative in the Parliament.
After he created obstacles for government representatives from travelling in Fars Province, opponents of Qavamolmolk staged a sit-in at the Shah Cheragh Mausoleum and called for help. When Seyyed Abdolhossein Lari came to their support with 70 musketeers, negotiations regarding a truce and restoring order took place with Qavamolmolk and parties involved. News regarding presence of guerilla forces from Lorestan in Shiraz reached Majlis on Oct, 16, 1907 reporting the number of armed forces to be 2,000 exceeding previously known 70 people. Shah supporters staged several attempts to kill Abdolhossein but they were not successful.
Shortly after the governor of Fars Nezamossaltaneh fled the province in panic towards Isfahan, Qavamolmolk adopted a more compromising tone but just when hopes of reaching a peaceful solution was expected, a man named Nematollah Boroujerdi who was a supporter of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution shot Qavamolmolk to death on March, 7, 1908. After shooting him with a pistol four times, the assassin shot himself and took his own life.
The assassination of Qavamolmolk led to more unrest and events that had a tragic effect on the history of the revolution leading to many other deaths. Supporters of the despot Qajar monarch used the occasion to wage savage attacks on civilians.
Major landowners like Qavamolmolk saw the Constitutional Revolution as an attempt to take away their privileges which was in fact true in essence because the idea was to create a system where every citizen regardless of their wealth or social stature was to be given the right to determine his/her own faith. This was taking place in an aristocracy where villages were traded with their inhabitants included.
In March 1908, Majlis appointed Zellolsoltan as the governor of Fars. Prince Masood Zellolsoltan entered Shiraz in splendid glory on May, 9, 1908. He ordered demolition of barricades and banned carrying firearms in order to restore order in the city.
The continuous struggle to limit powers of authorities have always failed in Iran mostly due to the fact that the despot usually assumes to retain his powers from God, rather than people.
Peace did not last long and on June, 23, 1908 the Majlis was bombarded by Russian Cossacks thus another era known as Minor Despotism began.