News ID: 316362
Published: 1013 GMT September 17, 2021

Rais Ali Delvari, symbol of resistance against British colonialism in southern Iran

Rais Ali Delvari, symbol of resistance against British colonialism in southern Iran

Iranica Desk

Rais Ali Delvari (1882-1915) is one of the most famous Iranian fighters, known as a symbol of resistance against colonialism in southern Iran.

During World War I, he led the resistance of people of Tangestan and Bushehr, in the southern province of Bushehr, against the British forces and sacrificed his life in this way. His struggles and leadership helped the brave people of southern Iran to defeat British soldiers.

He and his companions, known as the Daliran of Tangestan (the Braves of Tangestan), aimed to defend Bushehr, Dashtestan and Tangestan, prevent foreign forces from crossing Iran’s borders, and protect the independence of our homeland.

In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Soudabeh Ma’muri, an official at Bushehr Province’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said with the beginning of the First World War in 1914, Iran declared its neutrality to the European governments involved in the war.

“But Britain, which had long-term colonial interests in the Middle East, especially in Iran, was worried about the presence of the German political and commercial envoys in Bushehr, thus it escalated its military intervention in the region,” she added.

She noted that British soldiers attacked the German Consulate in Bushehr and arrested a number of the country’s envoys. The move helped aggravate the political crisis in the region.

Ma’muri continued that British intervention in Bushehr caused local clerics to issue a fatwa on jihad against Britain. As a result, Rais Ali and a number of local brave fighters began their battle with British forces.

She said that British soldiers, who suffered several humiliating defeats, martyred Rais Ali in cooperation with a local traitor. However, his martyrdom did not end the struggles of the local people; their resistance continued until the end of First World War in 1918.

She pointed out that a large number of locals were martyred during the fight. Due to their bravery, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Rais Ali, which is on the 12th day of the Iranian month of Shahrivar (Sept. 3), has been called the National Day of Combat against British Colonialism.

Ma’muri, who is in charge of registering historical heritages of the province, said Rais Ali’s house is located in Delvar.

“The house, registered on Iran’s National Heritage List, is presently used as a museum. The materials used in the building were made of local materials including coral reef and sandalwood,” she said.

The official observed that Rais Ali and his companions fought with British soldiers in a place named Bardi Hill, situated near Delvar, which is presently known as Reshadat Hill.

It is also said that Rais Ali was martyred in another house called Mashhad-e Rais Ali, located in the Tang-e Aval neighborhood of Bushehr. Both places have been registered on Iran’s National Heritage List.

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