By: Mir M.Hosseini
It's a matter of debate which event really instigated the Constitutional Monarchy Movement but incapability and incompetence of Qajar kings was leading to disintegration of the country. The industrial and intellectual revolutions in Europe became a model for most Iranians who suffered centuries of oppression under Qajar tyrants supported by foreign states and zealots.
Meanwhile three incidents namely; construction of a Russian bank on a graveyard, photograph of a Belgian dancing in a cleric's outfit, and beating of merchants for rising prices of sugar triggered public discontent and some religious leaders joined the public in asking resignation of Prime Minister Einoddoleh.
Mozaffaroddin Shah was sick and was living last days of his life when he signed a decree that dismissed Einoddoleh, and called for parliament elections on July, 27 1906. This decree marked the beginning of Constitutional Monarchy in Iran.
The first Majlis assembly took place at the Golestan Palace but the next meetings convened at the historical building in Baharestan Square. A sign meaning Justice of Mozaffar was placed on the entrance which somehow disappeared with the statues of two lions guarding it after the 1979 revolution.
Iranians first practiced democracy during the Parthian Empire and had a parliament called Mehestan which had the power to appoint the Crown Prince and Vezir.
Mozaffaroddin Shah's son and successor, Mohammad Ali Shah was the first person to swear in Majlis to protect the constitution. He was the first to welsh his word. He was a Russian puppet and an upholder of autocracy that wanted to retain the throne by force of a Cossack brigade under Russian Liakhoff.
During the next ten years Russians acted as if Iran was one of their provinces; they occupied Gilan, Khorasan, and Azerbaijan. Russian consulates became governing bodies and they sometimes collected taxes.
Historical facts show that Russia and Britain caused most damages to Iran starting in 18th century; however Americans took the lead in the middle of the 20th century.