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Iran (Persia)


1868, 20 shahis = 1 kran.
10 kran = 1 toman.
1881, 100 centimes = 1 franc.
1932, 100 diinars = 1 rial.
20 rials = 1 pahlavi.


Independent kingdom down the ages, subject in the 19th century to pressure from Russia and Britain. Absolute rule gave place to constitutional government in 1906. Iran was adopted as the official name of the country on 21 March 1935. The former Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was nationalized in 1951 and the supply of oil became an international issue. In 1979 revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini forced the Shah into exile.

Postal History
The swift courier posts of the ancient Persian Empire were praised by Herodotus. These were an improvement on an earlier Assyrian model and inspired those of the Romans.

Indian PAs were established in Persia from 1857 to 1923 at Bushire, Bandar Abbas (1867), Linga (1867), Jask (1880), Mahommera (1892), Chabbar (1913- 20), Henjam (1913), Abadan (1914), Ahwaz (1914). These used stamps of India from 1864.

Russian POs operated in 1909-18 in northern Persia, using stamps of Russia. All are rare; cancellations have been identified from Ardebil, Tabriz, Gumbad-i-Kabuz, and Maku.



As Iran.

While under British occupation had separate stamps 15 August - 16 October 1915. During this period, Bushire was considered to be part of the British Empire and the Imperial Penny rate was in use. Bushire was returned to Persia on 4 November 1915.




1919, as Russia.

Once a kingdom with a dynasty claiming descent from Solomon, Armenia has been in turn subject to Persians, Seljuks, Byzantines, Mongols, Turks and Russians. Russia extended its hold at the expense of Turkey in 1878. The Armenians proclaimed their independence on 28 May 1918, were ruthlessly attacked by the Turks, but regained independence after the Allied victory. Batum (see below) was placed under British occupation, but Kars and Ardahan were again lost to Turkish arms. National and Communist governments succeeded one another until on 2 April 1921 Communist forces entered Erivan and set up a Soviet republic.

On 12 March 1922 Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were federated, but each continued to have separate stamps until, on 1 October 1923, these were replaced by a general issue for the Transcaucasian Federation.



As Russia.

Armenian port on the Black Sea and the gateway to Transcaucasia. Turkish before 1878, it was ceded to Russia, who extended to it the Transcaucasian Railway from Baku and Tiflis.

Became an important oil pipe terminal in 1903. Was recaptured by the Turks in April 1918 and came under British occupation December 1918 - 6 July 1920. Handed to the Republic of Georgia, it was again seized by the Turks for a few days in March 1921. The Georgians retook it and surrendered it to the invading Bolsheviks. It is now part of the Georgian SSR. Pacific.

Batum seems never to have had a Turkish PO;
a PA of ROPiT was in existence from before 1862 to 1877.
Used stamps of Russia 1863-4.
Used stamps of Russian Levant (ROPiT) 1865-77.
Used stamps of Russia 1878-1918.
Separate stamps (during British occupation) 1919 - July 1920.




1919, as Russia.

A once independent princedom split between Russia and Persia. The October Revolution in Russia occasioned a new bid for independence on 27 May 1918. Soviet troops invaded on 27 April 1920 and set up a Communist regime. See also Armenia.


FIRST STAMPS 26 May 1919.


1919, as Russia.

Once a kingdom with a history similar to that of Armenia, Georgia came under the Turks and Russians in turn. On 26 May 1918 it declared independence but was occupied by the Red Army in 1921. See also Armenia.

Transcaucasian Federation

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 15 September 1923.


1923, as Russia.

Federation of the Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, established on 12 March 1922, but absorbed into the USSR on 6 July 1923.

Postal services were centralized on 1 October 1922. Used stamps of USSR from 1924.

Persia & Afghanistan to 1924
Click map for larger view

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