Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 8

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Part of the campaign:

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR

Previous part:

Game: Victoria 2

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 7

Images: 107, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

On Top Of the World
It is often convenient to think of history as a collection of great people, great events and great moments. That things went from one state to another in sudden, easily identified and quantified moments in time. This, of course, ignores the often decades of gradual change and minor incidents that add up to form the world of today.

But if anyone were forced to pick a point in time where Persia made its jump from a powerful regional player to a world leader, they would pick the Tehran Conference in June 1909.

(On another note - my god that literacy! We have come a long way from a land of retarded people who couldn't use guns. Hail Persia!)
Restore the Empire!
At the conference, world leaders meet to decide the state of affairs in Persia and the greater Middle East. The details of the Persian exit from the British Common Market and the middle east is partitioned into Persian and British spheres of influence. For the first time, it is Persia who does the imperialism. The old Shah would be proud.

In these discussions, headed primarily by Ghorbani, Our Greatest Prime Minister, the matter of the decline of the Russian Empire is brought up. The democracy in Russia, fallen by now to oligarchs and plutarchs, failed to gain anything from the Tehran Conference. Instead, Ghorbani used Persia's new and greater position in the world to argue that their previous treaties with Russia were void, and that the Caucasus and parts of Central Asia were rightfully part of the Persian Empire.

The Shah smiles as the foreign delegates applaud this notion. The Age of Russia is over - the Age of Persia has begun.

But to Ghorbani, the great dream of many a generation of Persia has not yet been realized - the Russian Empire must be crushed!
Getting a little ahead of ourselves, eh?
Ghorbani also takes it a little too far and decides to throw in demands for middle eastern oil fields.

Hey, they give you an inch, you try to take a mile. The British are... less than pleased, and our relations are strained. King Edward voices his personal disapproval of our decision to no longer recognize the governments in Bahrain or Qatar. However, we don't actually care about him, because calling Edward a King is effectively an insult to all Kings who have ever lived.

What kind of monarch abides by something as draconian as a constitution? How dare the people think they own more power than the god given power of the Shah!

Right, Ghorbani?
Probably should have thought about that
The costs of importing goods in Persia skyrocket with our withdrawal from the British Common Market. The Persian industry is hit by a series of strong shockwaves as a result of these changes. There is fire and looting in the stre- wait nevermind those are just the liberals protesting about something irrelevant.
The price of power
The Shah approves Parliament's plan for a massive tax hike on the lower class. It is argued that the rich should have taxes low in order to invest more into the Persian economy, which is already suffocating as a result of our exit from the Common Market
The Shah is Never Wrong
Except when he is

The Persian economy, dependent highly upon foreign goods, collapses in a spectacular show.

Ghorbani accuses the Shah of leading Persia directly into financial ruin. The Shah points out that Ghorbani made Persia exit the market in the first place. However, as the Tehran Conference is almost universally viewed as a success in Persia, the Shah is forced to concede defeat.

Ghorbani is assured that he will be given total control over economic matters - but the Balance of Powers Act is not amended. The document begins to matter less as time passes on.
More iron!
Ghorbani puts the military research on hold as he struggles to find ways to boost the production of iron within Persia.

The Shah proceeds to look abroad for further trade deals, especially with lesser powers, in order to simultaneously expand Persia's sphere of influence and solve the crisis.

Is their iron there?
The Shah commissions an antarctic expedition in the hopes of placing the Persian flag there before any other nation on earth.
Not enough iron
Our ships made entirely out of wood fail to make it to the southern continent. It appears that we desperately need a source of iron. The crisis will only get worse as the factories receive massive government bailouts.
A Persian in need is a Persian indeed
Even with tax hikes and the burden of living independently, away from the British's warm, welcoming house, the Persian people refuse to desert.

Unlike the Russians. Who ever told you democracy was a good thing?
A Liberal Wave
The liberals, seeing public anger at the "people being taxed so the government can bailout corporate Persia and its fatpersiancats (like a fatcat, but hideous)", campaign for more laissez faire policies, which instead of having the government save the economy, has the capitalists burn it to the ground when things get tough.

The idea is fairly popular, and many politicians in parliament choose to sympathize with the liberal cause so as to please their local constituencies.

It turns out, that in a land where most of your people are highly educated, they start to think. The tricks of the Shahs of old will no longer work - the absolutist ruler of the future needs to use more covert methods, like brainwashing children. Three hurrahs for education!
The Workers have... rights?
Parliament passes a bill to create state-controlled unions. Ghorbani justifies it to the Shah by arguing that it is better to appease the people and have the state silently torpedo their every move, than openly oppose their desires.

The Shah likes the way Ghorbani thinks, and signs the bill into effect. The "Occupy Tehran" movement begins to die down, as the protestors exhaust the local coffee houses' supply of lattes and the government cuts off their food stamps.
And then there was iron
Mad scientists in Persia devise a new method through which iron can be extracted from the ground, involving something about electricity. The Shah still doesn't know how the light magic works, but it seems as though this latest discovery will complete Ghorbani's task of making Persia iron self-sufficient.
The competition is strong
Despite the Russians losing out in Tehran and the consistent decline of their Empire, they are still neck and neck with Persia. Our connections, industry and overall prestige, however, make us reign suzerain.

Russia will never again crush the Persians under its iron boot, and this the Shah can swear. He's losing his head if that ever happens anyway, might as well throw in a few unkeepable promises.
Growth in the Russian industry (which is comparable to Persia's) outpaces their equivalent in Persia, as a result of the exit from the market last year. The bear will not be silenced easily.
Self sufficiency really is important
The growing Persian industry drives up demand for machine parts, causing a price spike. Shortages become evident in our economy. Ghorbani commissions more factories to be built to supply these goods. If Persia is to be great, it must be self sufficient.
Hello China my old friend
The Shah needs to turn to an old trick in order to get the economy bustling again, and begins to arrange a "joint governance" system in Port Arthur, with the Heavenly Kingdom. Some of their demands and requested level of control over the port piss the Heavenly King off, and we begin to posture to war.

Remember, even as the world fades away, its people are reduced to ashes and the Persian Empire lays in ruin - you can always make big bucks fucking over China.
In the far off land of Central Asia
It seems that the exotic and isolated peoples of Central Asia have contracted disease after coming into contact with far-off and secluded land of Persia, the civilization they have routinely conquered in the last few millenia.
Economic woes
The shortages facing our new economy have reared their ugly head as peasants and craftsmen begin to starve. This horrible, tragic lowering of labor productivity is corrected by the central government giving them handouts.

The local fascist party also kicks into gear and uses its paramilitary wing as manpower for the transport and distribution of food. The fascists sure are a kind, caring and welfare oriented bunch, the Shah supposes. Perhaps one day he'll put a fascist in charge.

Ghorbani snickers.
Look at me, ma!
In a bid to convince the rest of the world that they're both still an empire and relevant in the modern world, the Ottomans annex the inner and sandier/useless parts of the Arabian peninsula.

The Shah would invade, but the Kaiser is propping the old Empire up.
Strength through... lots of guns
Even one of the largest armies of the world mean nothing when you Sultan refuses to industrialize. It is convenient, however, for the rest of Europe to have a nation that can simultaneously keep the Balkans under control but never be strong enough to be a threat.

The armies that once marched as far north as Vienna, the heart of the Christian world, is now a babysitting service for the irritable slavs in the Balkans.
Yeah, whatever, knock yourself out
The world powers, now having accepted Persia as one of their own, don't mind when the Shah proposes his invasion of China. They're a bit too high off opium-based profits to care.

Also, its China, and they're more a bank than a country.
What do you mean you won't join?
Despite Ghorbani's insistence that the Shah fight this war on his own, he does not want a repeat of what happened at Hainan - nor does he want to meet the ultimate fate of his father. The British refuse to be pawns in our invasion any more, now that we are no longer their puppet.

Persia might be rising, but its leaders are still cowards, it seems.
The crisis is over
The adoption of new extraction and purification methods across Persia has drastically boosted our iron output, enough to satiate the demands of our economy. Furthermore, this allows for iron to be utilized in the making of steel and machinery, which helps sustain the electric gear industry.

Ghorbani is proud of his work, but the Shah maintains that further exploration of trade treaties with other nations is essential to Persian strength.
A Parliamentary Deadlock
Rising liberal and socialist influences in parliament have led to a deadlock. Ghorbani continues to lead to conservative movement, despite the revolutionary nature of some of his fascist lapdogs.

He refuses to compromise on a much needed health reform bill, ShahCare, forcing the Shah to intervene and pass it via royal decree. Whilst Ghorbani insists this is a violation of the Balance of Powers Act, everyone promptly realizes that no one knows where that document is kept.

The liberals now band to the Shah, keeping him immune from public outcry and Ghorbani's forces.
Only now is this important
With all our production of electrical goods, Ghorbani sees it fit to actually start generating electricity from sources other than Jews and Sunnis running on a wheel while chasing each other. The first coal plants begin operating.
The Princely Revolt
For several years now, the princely states in India have been in a state of war with the British Empire... mostly because they've refused to pay taxes, and that's effectively the same as war. The conditions forced upon Britain after the end of that skirmish in Europe that only killed 600K people prevented them from moving enough troops over to India to protest.

The conditions, however, end today, and Ghorbani orders a mass remilitarization program, causing Persia's position in the world to skyrocket, solidifying our dominance in every way over Russia. The world can now see what the Persians have always seen: that Russia is filled with a horrible infestation that holds it back from ever being great: Russian politicians.
Oh stop it, you
With our military now strong and capable, the Austro-Hungarians approach us with an offer of alliance. Whilst they're basically the definition of a state on the verge of death, we accept, because more friends always beats less friends.
The mighty Indian Army
Large and massive indian forces, some of them as strong as 12 men and four guns, continue to resist any kind of British attack.

It appears that the British have still yet to comprehend boats, despite owning the largest navy in the world.

This reminds the Shah that he needs to eventually get a navy, especially as he eyes to Dutch colonies, with their rubber and easily oppressed locals.
No resistance
The dutch neither have an army or allies, which historically isn't a winning formula. They do have the support of a part of France, however, which claims to be a real country.
Ready your men
The Shah commissions to construction of several new armies so as to gain a bigger dick on the international dick measuring contest that is diplomacy.

Well, that analogy would be perfect if dick measuring contests occasionally ended with participants stabbing each other to death.

Well, nevermind, it is a perfect analogy.
But daad
The British continue to resist our requests for war. The Shah does not want to waste troops to fight the Chinese. Delegates from around the world visit to see if the Shah is okay, as he's been given an all clear for a war but chosen not to do anything.

Ghorbani continues to fume as the Shah's bumbling incompetency shows.
Fuck you, your greatest enemy is the sea!
With war with China now not possible, and the Persians as pissed at the British as ever, the Shah decides to begin preparing for war with a country he can take on - the armyless Netherlands.
Taxes raised on the rich
Due to the fact that the middle class barely exists in Persia and hence is not a good source of income, the Shah keeps their taxes lower whilst hiking those on the rich. He is now the people's man, he proclaims, as he continues to demand all of the lower class' income.
Hello Sweden my old enemy
The Swedes are still allied to the British, so they're not a suitable target to gain more rubber militarily. Ghorbani sighs as he returns to plotting against the dutch.

The Shah, however, invites their ministers over for tea and offers to invest in their economy. The Swedes are grateful, but the Shah nearly suffers a stroke after seeing how they run their industry. The IKEA factory is the only real profitable one.
Brothers, unite!
News of greater Persian cooperation with Sweden and the Shah's unwillingness to go to war prompts fascists to rise up in Tehran, only to be stomped by the military force stationed there.

Ghorbani sighs - he has plenty of people willing to die for him, but none smart enough not to revolt in a city with 30 000 troops stationed.
The Master of All
After having been disbanded at Germany's whim in the Great Minor Skirmish 5 years ago, the Persian Navy begins reconstruction. Persia still uses napoleonic era ships, but the Shah doesn't feel the need to change this. It's not navies actually matter, or are important in any way.
Damn French hippies
A frenchman in one of our provinces talks about minority rights and the tyranny of the Shah. He is promptly arrested and killed, but now the locals have already begun to think. The Shah orders for them to be employed in the factories - a good few days of lead inhalation ought to put them in their place.
Ah, fuck, Germany
The electric gear industry begins to wane. Demand remains high, but the Germans have disregarded our dominance of the market and have become a major exporter, just like us.

We would end this with a sword, but the Germans have very large machine guns.
Despite the Shah's insistence that Persia attempt to subjugate Germany by outbuilding Electric Gear factories, Ghorbani takes charge and begin to expand the highly profitable Machine Parts industry. He predicts for Persia's electric gear position to collapse soon, and the economy needs a fall back.
Didn't we solve this already
Iron shortages continue to plague Persia. With Germany boosting their production in electronics, their massive industrial machine has begun consuming the worlds supply of iron. We cannot keep up on our own, the Shah insists.

The Shah instead promotes cooperation with Sweden and other states which have iron within their Empires.
Hey, beloved
The Shah is like granite, he never budges

He goes to the dutch, whom months ago he told to fuck themselves, and invests the hell into them
We... like you now, I think?
Persian diplomats are confused as they now shower the Dutch with compliments.

If you can't beat them... confuse them

As to why the Shah didn't just invade an ally-less state... well he lacks a backbone.
I luv you Sweden
Persian influence in the Swedish economy is now rising. Soon, the Shah posits, we might be able to sign a trade agreement that could solve both our iron woes and any future rubber woes,
Iran Does Not Have Weapons of Mass Destruction
Our Shah begins secret research in one of our labs, specifically the "Not Chemical Weapons Lab". It is a puzzle as to what is going on behind the scenes.

Ghorbani also places an order for an increase in the amount of Lab Kurds allowed per year.
What do you mean oppression?
Our people have begun commemorating the death of protesters at some market place.

The Shah is pleased with the enlightened populace, until he learns that they're in favor of the protesters.
Get the guns rolling
Following the slow collapse and gradual shrinking of Persia's electric gears industry, Ghorbani begins to expand our military production. Artillery is incredibly profitable.
The Swedish-Persian Trade Agreement
Persia now has large control over various sectors of the Swedish economy, meaning that we now have access to enough rubber supplies to fuel the overly large electric gears industry.

All aboard the unsustainability train! Ghorbani strong disagrees with trade agreements, until the Shah explains that its practically like Persia is colonizing Sweden. The Shah even sends over several Persian refugees to convert Swedish culture.
The Persian Foreign Minister pays a visit to the Netherlands, in order to secure greater ties and ensure that Persia gets its hands into indonesian resources.
Go away
The Pashtun National Front, who wish to establish an independent Afghan state, rise up in Kandahar.

The Shah wonders why they don't just go to Afghanistan, but then he'd realize its because they'd be in Afghanistan.
Persia wants friends everywhere!
Our foreign minister continues to explain the importance of Persia being involved in the Dutch economy, and convinces several leading Dutch economists through high-level argumentation tactics such as common bribery.
I'm sure the Egyptians don't need this anyway
Our archaeologists discover something in Egypt, and decide it would look better in Persia. The excitement of this event leads to our citizens becoming more politically consciousness.

Because really, that makes sense.
Yes, Persia here, we're looking to find the 20th century
We begin to gradually move our artillery units away from the 1830s. This modernization programme is not very popular with the Shah, who argues that Persia has been at peace for so long, and that war would basically never happen because he'd never let it happen.
Persia is hit by the collapse of the electronics bubble. There is chaos and rioting in the streets as the soaring prices of rubber and the loss of demand in electronic goods leads to factories becoming unprofitable.

Ghorbani uses the opportunity to launch a massive attack on the Shah's economic policy, despite the fact that the Shah renounced control of the economy years ago. The government bails out several factories, but also orders others to shut down, so as to ease the oversupply of electronic goods.

The cause of the pop is due to a surge in production in Germany. Greater efficiencies in Europe mean that our factories cannot compete.
The continued fall of the Russian Empire
A crisis breaks out in the Russian baltic, after Lithuanian protestors are shot by Russian police. The French condemn the incident, and demand that Russia give in to the demands of the protestors for the liberation of Lithuania. This is despite the fact that France is a staunch ally of Russia.

The Italians, wanting to prop up their friend in Russia, opposes this notion.

In Persia, the opportunity to fuck up Russia is extremely popular, and Ghorbani gets Parliament to rally behind Persian intervention against Russia. It is the perfect excuse for war with the Great Enemy.
Realpolitik trumps all
The Shah, however, announces his support for Italy and Russia, in a move that shocks the Persian upper class. He does not answer to demands for a reason for his actions, but a few days later the British Empire comes out in support for Russia as well.

Even in independent, great and mighty Persia, we are nothing but a puppet state of Britain, it seems.
Weakness will not be stood for!
The indecisiveness of Persian foreign policy and the rampant pacifism that dominates the Shah's decisions have led more Persian citizens astray, and they begin to support the Persian Fascist Party's call for greater militarization and a stronger central state.

The Shah can see the writing on the wall - the previous Shah died because of perceived weakness. But the previous Shah was a warmonger - he lost it all because he was not cautious. The Shah insists that he is not afraid of war - but that Persia needs to be ready, before it can fight.
France backs down
French demands for Lithuanian independence are receded. France begins to reaffirm their alliance with Russia, and everyone is left wondering what the hell is up with French foreign policy.
We look to protect local ethnic minorities
In order to regain support of Parliament and the strong figures in Persian politics, the Shah organizes for a Persian Freedom Program that aims to arm and equip radical islamists in the Russian caucasus and central asia, in order to weaken the Russian state.

Really, what could go wrong.
Ah yes, the Superior Persian Build
We are invited the join the International Olympics Committee. Now the world will see the glory of our athletes! After all, its hard to beat the Superior Persian Build and the Superior Persian State-Sponsored Doping Program.
The Shah begins to throw cash at the Netherlands, single handedly building its industry up from scratch.
A Political Treatise
One of our intellectuals win the nobel prize with his book "To kill a Kurdishman", a tale that documents the horrible state of conditions in Persian Kurdistan, where the Kurds are gaining additional rights and free speech.

The Nobel Prize committee praises it to be an extremely well done sarcastic work that "manages to criticize the state institutions whilst pretending to be with them". The Shah doesn't understand big words and congratulates the author anyway.
A Persian Monopoly
The Swedish economy is booming thanks to their trade agreements with us. We continue to gain monopolies over a large section of their economy.

In particular, he encourages goods that require electric gears, so as to up global demand and prepare restore some of Persia's industry.

Persia has its greatest industrial growth yet thanks to the Shah's foreign investment, with its industrial capacity increasing by over 20% in the first half of this year.

Growing Persian influence in what used to be the British sphere of influence have caused our ties, already weakened since the Tehran Conference, to be damaged even further. Ghorbani pushes strongly for the abandonment of the British Empire
Hahaha, you think we're allies
There is a crisis brewing in Central Europe. Italian troops cross over the border and declare war for "core Italian territories" within Austro-Hungarian borders. Right, so slightly more than a crisis.

The Shah responds to such a blatant invasion of the Persian sphere of influence by... rejecting the call the arms and continuing his pacifistic stance.

Ghorbani now has made up his mind as to what needs to happen before Persia can move forward.
Eh, what is war, really?
Despite the raging war going on, the IOC decides to host the olympic games. Italy and Austria-Hungary will not be attending due to the war. The games will be hosted in Paris.
Hospital beds per 1000 people
We continue to improve our medical facilities throughout the country, promoting the training of doctors and increasing the production of life saving drugs.
The Fall of Austria-Hungary
The burdens of the Italo-Austrian War have caused the Austro-Hungarians to lose much of their international standing. Persia rises in the world, as the others fall behind us. Our military and industry are still effectively a joke for an Empire of our grandness, but we are a center of culture and literature and hence maintain global relevance.
The Tides Have Turned
The October Conference is held in Tehran. Here, discussions are held regarding the balance of powers in the world. The Italo-Austrian War has seen the British dragged in, but Persia refuses to intervene against Italy.

The conference ends with Britain voiding their treaty with Persia in stunning fashion. Ghorbani's fiery rhetoric continues to dominate, and he refuses to apologize. Divides between the Shah and his Parliament begin to show.

Germany, seeing an opportunity, offers Persia protection. They seek to expand their dominance of the Middle-East, but Ghorbani knows that their old friend is in an ideal place to fight a war with.
Come back, I didn't mean it!
The Shah desperately tries to apologize to the British delegation. However, they refuse to accept. Persia has thrown off British control, and has melted away their influence in their desire to exert Persian independence. Britain wants no further part in Persia's influence, or its warmongering officials.

The Shah, risking diplomatic isolation, is forced to cave in to Parliament's proposal and accepts the alliance with Germany.

Things are changing.
To the borders!
With the sudden, damaging nature of the collapse of the Anglo-Persian alliance, Ghorbani orders Persian troops to the border with the British Raj. The Shah reluctantly agrees - there is too much at stake.

Persia now needs to defend itself, Ghorbani insists. The Shah begins to transfer some of his military and foreign policy control to Ghorbani, trusting his ultimate judgement. It is clear that the world has not run as the Shah has expected.
Nobody suspects...
Despite giving up more and more of his influence, the Shah continues to pursue strong relations with foreign countries. In particular, he begins to expand Persia's sphere of influence to the Spanish economy. Ghorbani does not stop him, but the totally independent Persian Fascist Party paints the Shah as not only no longer in charge of Persia, but a whore for the foreigners.

Think of all that foreign investment that could have gone into Persia?
Italy Marches to Victory
Despite Ottoman, British and Dutch intervention, the Italians destroy the Austro-Hungarian armies and continue to put up a fight. Nonetheless, the war is not over yet,
The stakes have risen
Seeing the bloodshed of the war, nationalists in Italy have called for the dismantlement of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Britain now reaffirms its support and ups its efforts to fend off the Italian advance. Austro-Hungary will not surrender until their defeat is certain.
The time is now
Ghorbani announces sharp increases in military spending, as war rages on in Europe. He justifies this to the increasingly aloof Shah as a necessary measure given the unstable global climate.
A tax hike
Taxes have to be risen in order to pay for the much bigger army. The Shah is now alarmed. Internationally, Russia and France see the changes in Persia, and worry about a Persian invasion of Russia.
Your allegiance is certain
Ghorbani goes on a foreign visit to Germany. He discusses the possibility of war with Russia, and potentially an interventionist Britain. As British forces are caught up in the Italo-Austrian War, there should be little resistance from them.

Germany assures Ghorbani that any war between Persia and Russia will see German support. But they too worry about the disconnect between Parliamentary and Royal opinions on the matter.
Today is the day you defend Persia! Stand agains the Men of the West!
The growing nationalist fervor in Persia increases the interest in the Persian Fascist Party.

The Shah intervenes.

He's had enough. Increasingly isolated from the process of governing Persia, he decries the war movement as destructive. Persia is not ready yet for war. Persia must stay calm. He vows to veto any movement for war.

Tensions are at an all time high, and fascist party attacks on liberals continue throughout the country. The left wing now bands behind the Shah, the right wing behind Ghorbani.

A house divided, cannot stand on its own.
The Chinese Civil War!
An already terrifying global climate continues to break down. Attempts by the Heavenly Kingdom to reform China have been met by staunch resistance, forcing the destruction of the central Chinese state in Taiping and the rise of warlords throughout the country
A Japanese Intervention
In particular, Japan, which had long maintained control over Manchuria, intervenes and secures some of the most populated areas of China, including Beijing. They restore the Qing dynasty to the throne of China, setting up an absolute monarchy puppet state.

The conflict will not end any time soon. To the south, factions organize under a republican chinese movement aimed at kicking out the Japanese, referred to as Nationalist China.
Healthcare insurance for all!
ShahCare is expanded to mandate that all employers in Persia purchase insurance for their employees. It is the duty of corporations to care for the people, the Shah insists.

Despite his good motives and willingness to push for the welfare of the Persian people, rising nationalism and anger against the perceived anti-nationalist Shah continue to dominate the political landscape.
Trenches! Right, those things
The Persian military, effectively headed by Ghorbani, continues to expand and modernize. They begin to model the trench-based tactics seen in the Italo-Austrian War.

If the Shah insists Persia is not ready, Ghorbani will make it ready.
Rifle production
Ghorbani halts the purchase of rifles from antique stores and begins to modernize the Persian offensive tactics and capabilities.

Russia and France continue to condemn Persian militarization. Germany backs Persia up - but is entirely confused as to whether the Shah or Ghorbani is in charge.
Tensions dissipate
Ghorbani caves in, and offers to lower taxes and reduce military spending for the foreseeable future. This, however, earns him surprising support amongst the populace, who thank him for lowering taxes, despite the Shah being the one to push for lowered taxes all along.

It seems that the Fascist Party's support of Ghorbani will not be easy to overcome.
Peace in our time!
With Ottoman troops storming the Italian beaches and the Golden Cavalry of St George rushing forth, the Italians withdraw out of Austria-Hungary and end hostilities.

What was once a war to restore the Italian Empire, is now a desperate fight for survival
Hey, sorry about that
Ghorbani personally contacts the Austro-Hungarians, and offers to meet in private, without the Shah's knowledge. Here he renegotiates the old alliance - assuring them that should they be attacked again, the Shah cannot stop him.

The Shah is furious upon Ghorbani's return, and orders his execution, but Ghorbani quickly produces the Balance of Powers Act. Parliament, and the people, will not stand for his death.

The Shah is falling.
Ottoman advances
The Ottoman Empire, the Sick Man of Europe, still boasts a proud military. Their forces seize Rome, the capital of Italy, and Italian national unity has fragmented. One of the greatest wars seen in modern history might come to an end.
The Empire is on its knees
The British have made it clear - in return for the destruction of the Italo-Austrian War and its role in "damaging" global stability, Italy will have its empire taken from it.
Almost modern and ready
The Persian military begins to adopt machine guns. It is now capable of fighting global powers. The Shah begins to intervene against further militarization, in a desire to undercut Ghorbani's influence. The plan, however backfires. Much of Persia might be left-wing, but the nationalists are the loudest.
Join the Navy!
Ads begin appearing across Persia, in order to boost the size of the Persian army. The Persian industrial machine now begins to commit to producing large quantities of military supplies. Ghorbani's Persia is a terrifying Persia.
The Italian capitulation
2.4 million deaths, and one year later, the Italo-Austrian War ends with the collapse of global Italian influence.

Persia continues to rise as other powers around it descend in flames. The true stakes of war in this new century are made clear: those who lose, will no longer exist, and their states will be destroyed through political upheaval.

Within Italy, there is anger, and a desire for revenge.

Within Persia, nationalism continues to rise. The Fascist Party broadcasts the Italian collapse, and promises to do the same to Russia - if only the Shah didn't hold them back.
Goddamnit, liberals, nows not the time
The Persian Fascist Party somehow appeals to liberals by promising voting rights for women. This reminds everyone that they can't vote. With resentment over the Shah at an all time high, perhaps a Persia with an elected representative would do better?
All Roads Lead to Tehran
Ghorbani now pushes for the erasing of local identities, primarily through pushing Persian as the only language in education. Ethnic cleansing has never been so easy. The Shah agrees, on the principle of improving social cohesion in Persia.
The economy a'booming
The Persian economy has doubled in size in the last five years. Persia is unstoppable.

The military is strong, the economy is strong and recruitment is at an all time high. In a confusing global climate, Persia is ready for war. But it is the Shah who is not.

There is but one solution.
Victory in the olympics!
With the end of the Italo-Austrian War, an uneasy Olympic games takes place in Berlin. Persian athletes do the country proud. But, at the end of it all, it is clear that there is little to no friendship between nations.
We aim the artillery... at nothing
Persia perfects the art of inaccurately and haphazardly firing artillery to confuse the fuck out of the enemy. Persian tactics are very much special
Russia is at its weakest! We can do this!
The Russian central state begins to weaken as communists and nationalists take hold in the outskirts of the Empire. The international committee convenes in Berlin once again to decide the fate of the Empire
Georgia must be freed!
At the Congress of Berlin, Ghorbani proposes a liberation of Georgia and greater autonomy to states located on the fringe of the Russian Empire, so as to ensure its strength and to prevent destabilizing forces from taking hold.

Germany backs us
The lines are drawn
It is now clear where every nation lies, Ghorbani insists. Germany is our friend - all else are enemies.

The time for war is now!

The Shah, however, pulls back on Ghorbani's claims, and tries to negotiate with the opposing bloc. The confusing signals from Persia now worry the Germans
Germany Gives Up
Unsure about how much Persia is willing to commit to war, the German Empire agrees to drop its claims.

Ghorbani is furious. This was Persia's chance. This was the war to end the Russian Empire. This was the necessary war. This was the war dreamed about by all Shahs since the rise of the Qajars. There was no time for pacifism, for indecisiveness, for fear. Persia needed a leader who could stand. Persia needed a backbone
The Fascist Revolution
The Fascists take arms across the nation upon hearing of the conclusion of the congress. Ghorbani begins to orchestrate attacks, in secret, on government facilities. The Shah must be overthrown.
The Revolution is Crushed
By June, the May Revolution as its called comes to an end. Despite Ghorbani's best attempts to sabotage the process, the Persian military cleans up the fascists. The Fascist Party is greatly weakened, and its paramilitary is disbanded.

The Shah orders an official investigation into who is the head of the Persian Fascist Party. Ghorbani has done well in hiding his influence, however. In order to get to a safe place, he arranges a state visit to France to discuss diplomacy in the new world order.
The Russian Empire cannot hold forever
The Shah is content with a policy of supporting rebels. He argues that, eventually, the Empire would fall. That, eventually, Russia would have to cave in. That way, there would be no need for war, or large scale devastation of Persia.

Ghorbani continues to hide his disappointment. In France, he discusses a proposition with the French intelligence agencies. With his fascist dealings having failed - he has one last trump card, one final solution to Persia's balance of powers.
A Moment in Time
He tells them of the Shah's support of rebels within Russia's borders - he tells them of how the rest of Persia hates Germany, and that the Shah is the only one keeping the alliance going strong. He tells them of how the Shah is a risk to France and Russia, and a risk to the Persian people.

He argues, instead, that it is time for a change in power. That the British-led system of a Parliament that isn't a true Parliament cannot be sustained, and puts the world in constant peril due to the nature of the power struggle.

He proposes, instead, that the French help change things and install the Prime Minister as the suzerain power in Persia. In return. Ghorbani promises an end of hostilities with Russia and a re-alignment against the Ottoman Empire, the historical enemy of Persia, Germany, who backs the Ottomans, and the British.

Stability must be preserved in Persia, Ghorbani insists. There is only one solution, and the rewards for France and Russia would be great - Germany would be diplomatically isolated, its back against the wall.

The French agree, and together with the Russians, begin collaborating on one grand plot. Ghorbani returns to Persia.
The Shah is Dead
History can often be seen as a a collection of moments. This, of course, ignores the decades of gradual change to lead up to these moments.

But, if you were to pick one moment that marked a turning point in Persia, you'd pick the fateful events of the 10th of March.

A French spy raises his gun, and fires. The Shah drops dead, and Ghorbani smiles.

Persia is his.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 9

Images: 99, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Check out another AAR:

Game: Victoria 2

A New China (Guangdong AAR) Part 1: The Opium War (1836-1839)

Images: 11, author: johnr754, published: 2017-03-20, edited: 1970-01-01