Theodore Aronovich Rothstein (1871-1953) was a leading Russian revolutionary, journalist, diplomat, politician and academician.
After leaving Russia in 1890 for political reasons, Rothstein settled in Britain. He worked as a journalist for several British, Russian, and German publications. In 1895, he joined the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and became one of the main figures of the left wing of the party. Rothstein later became a leading figure in the formation of the Communist Party of Great Britain. He also joined the Russian Social Democratic and Labour Party as a British member in 1901 and became a close comrade of Lenin.
After the 1917 Revolution in Russia, Rothstein was invited to Moscow in 1920. A year later he was appointed as the first Soviet official diplomatic representative in Persia. He returned to Moscow eighteen month later. The British government stopped Rothstein from returning to his family in the UK and warned members of his family not to join him abroad. Rothstein remained in Russia for the rest of his life, and held several governmental and academic positions.
Rothstein played an important role in early years of Reza Khan’s power after the 1921 coup. He was involved in negotiating with the Janagli Movement. In a book based on the memoirs of ‘Reza Basir-al-Dawlah Heravi’, (Do sal ravabet-e mahramaneh Ahmad Shah va sefarat-e Showravi dar Tehran), I revealed for the first time the secret alliance between Ahmad Shah and Rothstein against Reza Khan & the British Embassy coalition in Tehran. Over the last two years I also uncovered more documents, pertaining to several decades of secret investigations and monitoring of Rothstein and his family by the British Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, both in Britain and in Persia. In addition to that, different unpublished public and private papers on Rothstein in Iran and the UK have provided additional information about this important personality, whose activities in Persia I intend to examine.