Iranian revolutionary fighters during the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1909. At the turn of the 20th century, Iran was ruled by the Qājār dynasty. There was much activity against the perceived despotic rule of Nāṣer od-Dīn Shāh (1848-1896), for which many had lost their lives. When Nāṣer was assassinated in 1896, the crown passed to his son Moẓaffar od-Dīn Shāh. Moẓaffar was forced to issue a decree creating a constitution and an elected parliament in August 1906. The first legislative assembly, the Supreme National Assembly, was formed. Moẓaffar died in January 1907 and was succeeded by his son, Moḥammad ʿAlī Shāh, who, with the aid of Russia, attempted to rescind the constitution and abolish parliamentary government, making him very unpopular. Capitalizing on the unrest, Russia and Britain entered a pact to settle their own differences, effectively dividing Iran into two areas of influence for their respective countries. In June 1908, Moḥammad ʿAlī imprisoned the leaders of the constitutional movement, save for one who managed to escape, and placed Majlis under siege, ordering its bombardment by artillery fire. The revolutionary fighters were galvanised once again and captured many cities over the course of the next year. The best attempts of the Russians and British failed to stop the advance of the fighters. Russian troops were dispatched to contain Gilan fighters, who were moving towards Tehran, in July 1909. Ignoring Russian warnings, Gilan freedom fighters advanced towards Tehran, and met up with Bakhtiari forces near Karaj. Using the element of surprise, the forces moved through the lines of the government forces, entering the capital amid welcoming cheers of their sympathizers. By July 16, 1909, the capital was under the complete control of freedom fighters. On the morning of July 17, 1909, Moḥammad ʿAlī and several of his supporters, under armed escort of Russian soldiers, took asylum in the Russian Embassy. The National Consultative Assembly held an emergency session and deposed Moḥammad ʿAlī, naming his 13-year-old son, Ahmad Mirza his successor. On September 10th, 1909, Moḥammad ʿAlī left the Russian Embassy and went into exile in Russia.