"Iran… the Knot of the Empire and Alliance with Satan"

The harsh defeat suffered by Mamluk Sultanate in the famous naval battle “Diu” in the beginning of year 1509 supported the Portuguese colonial military supremacy in the Indian Ocean and its arms extended on the Arab land. This result encouraged the Portuguese Viceroy in India, Afonso de Albuquerque, to fight go through a new colonial experience by establishing the foundations of a broad colonial political entity that made the Indian city of “Goa” its capital, after it subdued many kingdoms in India and major commercial cities, e.g., Hormuz, Malacca, and others, with an iron fist and the use of excessive force and brutality. Portuguese documents, through the Albuquerque letters, indicated the size and stages of the Portuguese colonial plans for the Arab East. To achieve these plans, the Portuguese leader considered the need to create a broad political alliance to include Abyssinia and Persia, with the aim of besieging the Arabian Peninsula, on the one hand, and the Arab region, on the other hand.

In order to activate that political alliance, Albuquerque sent a mission in May 1515 AD to Shah Ismail Al-Safavi and offered him an alliance therewith against Mamluk Sultanate and the organization of a joint land and sea attack on the lands of the Arab region. Shah Ismail Al-Safavi, at that time, was looking for a European colonial power to ally therewith. After he received a terrible defeat in the battle of “Galdiran”, from the Ottomans a year ago, that invitation came as a lifeline for Shah Ismail to pull him out of his miserable reality that he had become. against our Arab region. Hence, Portuguese documents revealed to us the dirty alliance that took place between the Safavid Shah and the Portuguese Crusader viceroy in India, Albuquerque, against our Arab region.

Their plan was for the Safavid Shah to occupy the Mamluk Sultan in Egypt so that Albuquerque could penetrate the Red Sea, seize Jeddah and reach Suez. The Safavi threatened to invade Aleppo and the Levant while Albuquerque was present with his military fleet in the Red Sea, which caused confusion to the Mamluk sultan. Thereafter, Shah Ismail Al-Safavi devised a malicious plan to ensnare the Mamluks and the Ottomans and worked on the departure of Sultan Al-Ghuri from Egypt to reconcile between Shah Ismail and the Ottomans. Hence, Sultan Al-Ghuri left Egypt without a real willingness to fight, as stated by the Egyptian historian Ibn Zunbil, who said that many of Al-Ghouri’s soldiers did not think that they had gone out to fight, but rather to make peace, yet matters developed until the confrontation occurred between both parties. The great defeat of the Mamluks occurred in the famous battle of Marj Dabiq in 1516. The plan of the Portuguese-Safavid alliance included that Albuquerque and the Safavids would share the Arabian Gulf with its islands, provided that Shah Ismail would seize both sides of the Arabian Gulf in exchange for allowing the Portuguese to establish Portuguese forts and trading centers on both sides thereof, and that a Portuguese naval force would accompany the Safavid campaign on Bahrain and Qatif. It was also agreed-upon that the Portuguese would cooperate in helping the Safavid Shah in putting down rebellious movements in Baluchistan and Makran. They agreed to unite in the face of the Ottoman Empire.

Perhaps one of the manifestations of appreciation enjoyed by Shah Ismail from the Portuguese commander, Albuquerque, was that he sent his envoy, Ruy Gamez, to the Shah, with a message in which he said: “I appreciate your respect for the Christians in your country, and I offer you the fleet, soldiers and weapons to use against the Turkish fortresses. If you want to attack the Arab countries or to attack Mecca, you will find me by your side in the Red Sea in front of Jeddah or in Aden or Qatif”. This was in addition to some instructions to Gomez, in which he said: “The first goal of your journey, regardless of the way and how you can accomplish it… is that you go directly to Shah Ismail. When you reach him, you will offer him the reverence and appreciation that befit a very great king”.

That message and others between them indicated to us the extent of the hidden collusion and treason that linked the Safavids with the West. Iran is still following in his footsteps to the present day. One of the Portuguese documents expressed that Albuquerque had been sent to the kings of Europe at the time urging them to provide experts to Shah Ismail the Safavid in the manufacture of cannons. He also invited and urged them to cooperate with the Shah and to rely thereon as their important ally in the region.

An example to the aspects of friendly relations between both sides is that Shah Ismail sent to Albuquerque congratulating him for the seizure of the important Hormuz Islans in the Arabian Gulf in year 1515 and asking him to conclude agreements and establish relations, alliance and friendship between them. The Shah presented him a precious gift.

In fact, that alliance was not the first nor the last, as the Safavid thought continued to permeate the mentalities of those who ruled Iran, even if the names, forms and times differed. Alliance with the foreigner and the colonialist still exists with the divergence of methods and goals. Iran has not yet escaped from the complex of Persianization and the Great Persian Empire.