French King Louis XIV Sends Delegation to Shah Abbas II Court in Isfahan

French King Louis XIV Sends Delegation to Shah Abbas II Court in Isfahan ... 15/05/1665 History

Keywords:#Bandar_Abbas, #Beg, #Dutch, #East_India_Company,, #Europe, #European, #France, #French, #India, #Iran, #Isfahan, #Jean_Chardin, #Jean-Baptiste_Tavernier, #Louis_XIV, #Middle_Ages, #Montesquieu, #Ottoman, #Ottoman_Empire, #Paris, #Persia, #Persian, #Pierre, #Portuguese, #Safavid, #Safavid_Empire, #September, #Shah, #Shah_Abbas, #Versailles

Iran has generally enjoyed a friendly relationship with France since the Middle Ages. The travels of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier are particularly well known to Safavid Persia.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Persia tried to obtain support among European nations against the expansionism of the Portuguese and the neighbouring Ottoman Empire. Since France was tied into an Ottoman alliance, however, the Persian embassy to Europe of 1599–1602 and the Persian embassy to Europe of 1609–1615 avoided France. A Capuchin mission was however established in Ispahan under Pacifique de Provins in 1627.
Trade contacts however existed, and the French trader Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605–1689) is known to have been as far as Ispahan circa 1632.
Shah Abbas II

* * * Relations took an official turn under Louis XIV and Colbert, when Colbert founded the French East India Company in 1664, and subsequently asked Lalain and Laboulaye to go to Ispahan to promote French interests in Persia. The Shah welcomed them as he was delighted to be given an opportunity to counterbalance English and Dutch influence in his country. He provided a three-year exemption from customs duties, and gave France the same privileges as other countries. Further, a trading post was given to France in Bandar Abbas.
Another French trader Jean Chardin (1643–1715) visited Persia and received the patronage of the Safavid monarch Shah Abbas II and his son Shah Suleiman I. Chardin returned to France in 1670. The following year, he published an account of Le Couronnement de Soleïmaan (English translation: The Coronation of Shah Soleiman). He again visited Persia between 1673 and 1680.
Numerous trade contacts continued to occur between Persia (modern Iran) and France. In 1705, Louis XIV dispatched an Ambassador Extraordinary in the person of Jean-Baptiste Fabre, accompanied by a party including Jacques Rousseau, uncle of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and a woman named Marie Petit, who owned a gaming house, probably also a brother, in Paris. Fabre died in Persia, but negotiations were taken over by Pierre-Victor Michel, leading to a largely ineffective signed in September 1708. Prior to that he had to sideline Marie Petit who, "in the name of the Princesses of France", tried to persuade the shah to recognize her as France's sole legitimate representative.
Wishing to reinforce exchanges, the Shah sent an embassy in 1715, led by Mohammad Reza Beg, the Persian embassy to Louis XIV. The embassy visited king Louis XIV and obtained a new treaty of alliance signed in Versailles on 13 August 1715. Contact was then interrupted with the fall of the Safavid Empire in 1722 and the subsequent troubles, until the end of the century.
Impressed by the Persian visits, the French author Montesquieu wrote a fictional account about Persia, the Lettres persanes, in 1721.
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