Tabriz was for a long period the emporium for the trade of Persia on the west, but since the opening of the railway through the Caucasus and greater facilities for transport on the Caspian, much of its trade with Russia has been diverted to Astara and Resht, while the insecurity on the Tabriz-Trebizond route since 1878 has diverted much commerce to the Bagdad road.
The French Revolution and the insecurity of the political situation, however, exercised a depressing and retarding effect.
Since 1890 the Turkomans who impeded trade by their perpetual raids have been kept more in check, and with the decrease of insecurity the commercial activity of Astarabad has increased considerably.
The indignation of the Christians increased, a state of insecurity prevailed, and the Moslem peasants refused to return to their homes.
The attempt made by the British Euphrates expedition in 1841 to connect Aleppo with the sea by steamer through the nearest point on the Euphrates, Meskine, failed owing to the obstructed state of the stream and the insecurity of the riparian districts.