Loyalties Mesopotamia, volume 1
Arnold T. Wilson
(See map I)
'Tout comprendre rend très indulgent'. Madame de Stall, Corinne, BR. XVIII, CH. v
When in July 1914 Reuter's Agency, harbinger of coming doom, spread the news of the crime of Sarajevo, the political horizon in the Middle East was less clouded than at any time during the previous five years.
In Persia the young Shah, Sultan Ahmad, whose coronation took place on 2 r st July, was reigning as a constitutional monarch in a country so long inured to civil disorder as to be little affected by its continuance. 'The rich', as the Persian saying goes, 'occupied themselves with their riches and the poor with their poverty.' Yet there were indications of a real improvement in the state of public order, and the Viceroy of India, when opening the Legislative Assembly in March, had publicly testified to the good work that was being done by the Persian gendarmerie under Swedish officers. The harvest had been good, the opium crop promised well, and there was, in addition, every prospect that within a few years very substantial profit would acrue to the country from the operations of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which was already exporting oil at the rate of over a quarter of a million tons per annum.