Aga Mohammed Khan

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Agha Mohamad Khan, first Qajar ruler

Aga Mohammed Khan or Agha Mohammad Chan Qajar ( Persian آغا محمد خان قاجار, DMG Āġā Moḥammad Ḫān-e Qāǧār [ ɔːˈγɔː moɦæˈmːæd xɔːn ], tooآغا محمد شاه قاجار, DMG Āġā Moḥammad Šāh-e Qāǧār [ ɔːˈγɔː moɦæˈmːæd ʃɔːh ], Azerbaijani Ağa Məhəmməd şah Qacar ; born 1742 ; died June 17, 1797 ) was Shah of Persia . He was seen as energetic and clever, but also extremely cruel. Founded by him Qajar dynasty ruled Persia to 1925th


Mohammed Khan comes from a Turkmen tribe of the Qavānlū (also called Qoyunlū) from Northern Iran, who used to live in Azerbaijan . The Qavānlū were a sub-tribe of the Qajars, his father Mohammad Hasan Khan was the chief of the Qavānlū in Astarabad . During the reign of Nadir Shah , the tribe lost its power. After his death, the father Aga Mohammed Khan tried to conquer Astarabad and regain his old position of power. Nadir Shah's successor, Adil Shah , captured the four-year-old Mohammed Khan in the ensuing clashes. On the orders of Adil Shah, Mohammed Khan was castrated at the age of five or six in order to eliminate him as a future political rival.

In 1758 Mohammed Khan became chief of the Qavanlu tribe. In the succession struggles triggered by the fall of the Afsharids , the father of Mohammed Khan was defeated and killed by the Zand princes in 1759. Aga Mohammed Khan and his brother became refugees. In 1762 he was captured and taken to Tehran and later to Shiraz . He lived there as a hostage for 16 years , but escaped in 1779.

In the dispute over the successor to Karim Khan-e Zand , Aga Mohammed Khan started a rebellion and finally won the victory over his competitors. In 1788 he occupied Shiraz. For six months he besieged the city of Kerman . After taking it in 1794, he carried out a massacre of the civilian population that is unique in the history of Persia. The numerical data on the massacre are not clear, some sources speak of 7,000 male residents whose eyes were torn out. Others claim 20,000 men were blinded , 900 men were beheaded and 20,000 female residents and children were sold into slavery. The cruelty of Mohammed Khan was impressed on the collective memory of the Persians and the hatred of the founder of the Qajar dynasty is still alive today.

In the same year that Mohammed Khan conquered Kerman, he captured the last ruler of the Zand dynasty, Lotf Ali Khan , and had him tortured and cruelly killed. In the spring of 1796 he was crowned Shah (Persian Shāhanschāh ) and made Tehran the Persian capital.

In 1795 he occupied Georgia . After the Battle of Krtsanisi , he destroyed the capital Tbilisi and abducted 22,000 Georgians as slaves. He conquered the Central Asian region of Khorasan and also tortured its ruler, Shah Ruch , to death in order to blackmail his crown treasure. A Russian invasion initiated by Catherine the Great with 40,000 infantrymen, 22,000 horsemen and 100 cannons, he fought off in 1796, not least because it was interrupted by Katharina's death.

On June 17, 1797, Mohammed Khan was murdered by two servants. His successor was his nephew Baba Khan, who called himself Fath Ali Shah from then on .


  • GRG Hambly: Aqa Mohammad Khan and the establishment of the Qajar Dynasty . In: Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 50, January 1963, ISSN  0035-8789 , pp. 161-174.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Cyrus Ghani: Iran and the Rise of Reza Shah. IBTauris, 2000. pp. 1f.