Despite the significance of the subject of Russian land ownership and tenancies in Iran in the Qajar period, little detailed research has been done on it.1 Issawi notes that there was a considerable amount of land purchase in Astarabad, Gilan and Azerbaijan by Russian subjects, who became settled there during the second half of the nineteenth century.2 In 1864, Edward Eastwick, a member of the Tehran legation, observed that Gilan was the residence of a large number of Russian protégés.3 They were especially dominant in Rasht, where they held entire villages by right of mortgage. However, as will be shown, the picture was more complex than it appeared, and it varied from one period to another. The nature of the claims of foreigners on land also evolved over time, much depending on the impact of the central government and of foreign trade. Within this framework the present study sets out to examine broadly the ways in which land was acquired, mainly in the north of Iran, between the signing of the Treaty of Turkmanchai in 1828 and the breakdown of Iranian government central control by 1911. It will consider not only claims and ownership themselves, but also the ways in which land was acquired and by what rights, including the legal arguments deployed for and against foreign ownership in general. It is hoped that the chapter will thereby trace changes in Iran both in terms of foreign relationships and influence, and in internal development.