Generally, the alliance between Napoleon and Persian sovereign Fath Ali Shah Qajar (treaty of Finkenstein and Claude-Mathieu de Gardane’s mission) is considered a minor episode by Western historiography in relation to the complex context of Napoleonic diplomatic activities. However, it deserves special attention because it testifies on the one hand an important aspect of the "Middle East Politics" by the Emperor of the French, and on the other hand it shows how Persia enters inexorably into an era that drags it in the arena of international rivalry among European powers. With the Franco-Persian alliance, once again, after Egypt, Napoleon casts the limits of his political and strategic thinking far away from the borders of Europe. This article highlights the question of the true or supposed continuity of French imperial politics in Southern Asia compared to the Monarchy’s one, and the indirect implications of Finkenstein’s treaty and of Gardane’s mission: Russia definitively entered the "Great Game" of South Asia, which throughout the eighteenth century had been an exclusive theatre of Anglo-French rivalry.
Keywords: Franco-Persian alliance, Claude-Mathieu de Gardane, Finkenstein Treaty, Napoleon.