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'File 3/8 Affairs of Sh. Khaz`als sons.' [‎179r] (357/508)

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The record is made up of 1 file (252 folios). It was created in 15 Mar 1942-17 Aug 1948. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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[32557] c 2
of the troops, if accompanied by adequate assurances, was less dangerous than
opposition) also requested the Prime Minister to confirm on behalf of his Govern
ment the special position of the Sheikh as granted by his firmans. Lord Curzon,
while agreeing that the general result of this interview was satisfactory, wished
that Reza Khan’s written undertaking to the Sheikh should be countersigned
by the Prime Minister, or, alternatively, that the latter should sign a similar
32. The Sheikh, himself, on being informed of the proposals, was far from
happy, saying that he put no faith in Persian promises, oral or written, and
that he would withdraw his objections only if the written assurance of Reza Khan
were backed by a written guarantee from His Majesty’s Minister that the number E6019/1416/
of Persian troops would be limited to 200 and not increased after their arrival 34 / 1923 .
and that they would not interfere with his recognised rights and jurisdiction.
Sir P. Loraine thereupon instructed His Majesty’s Consul at Ahwaz to explain
to the Sheikh that he could not give such assurances, that the Sheikh should
be satisfied with those given in 1914 and realise that the best guarantee of all
for him was the restoration of friendly relations between Persia and Great
Britain and that the British Foreign Secretary considered that the assurances
offered by Reza Khan were satisfactory if endorsed by the Persian Prime
Minister. To this message the Sheikh replied that, if Sir P. Loraine were
satisfied as to the bona fides of the Minister of War and felt that wider political E6156/1416/
considerations so demanded, he was prepared to give way; but if later on events 34 / 1923 .
turned out as he (the Sheikh) anticipated, he would look confidently to His
Majesty’s Government to redeem the pledge given to him in 1914 and to support
him against Persian Government encroachments.
33. Some delay, partly due to the change in government, occurred before
the Persian Government sent any assurances to the Sheikh, and in the mean
while detachments of troops had been sent to Shushtar and Bebehan. On the
7th October Reza Khan addressed a letter to Sir P. Loraine stating that these
troops had been sent with the principal object of maintaining peace and security Eii 660 /i 4 i 6 /
and that the local tribes would be supported so long as they fulfilled their duties 34 / 1923 .
and obligations to the central Government. The letter went on to say :—
“ Especially in connexion with the loyal services of his Excellency
Serdar Akdass (Sheikh of Mohammerah) and the appreciation of the
Ministry of War which his Excellency will, no doubt, win for himself in the
course of his services, with the result that his Excellency may have complete
faith and confidence in the friendly attitude and justice of the Government.
In order to leave his Excellency no grounds for anxiety, the first instructions
given to the officer commanding the departing troops were to be on his guard
to prevent people who have local quarrels with his Excellency from abusing
the arrival of the troops and turning it to their own evil advantage.”
On the same day, the Persian Prime Minister addressed a telegram to the
Sheikh in the following terms
“Although your Excellency’s services have always attracted attention
of Government which has full confidence in you, nevertheless now in order e 10269/1416/
that you may be aware of intentions of Government I hereby declare that 34 / 1923 .
Council of Ministers appreciate always your Excellency’s services. As long
as your Excellency endeavours to render services to Government latter will
have full confidence in you and will never forget your Excellency’s services.”
The only comment in the Foreign Office on learning of these two messages
was that they were both capable of various interpretations but that they were
better than nothing!
34. Sir P. Loraine now sought to effect a genuine rapprochement between
Reza Khan and the Sheikh and to endeavour to allay the latter’s fears. He
decided to visit the Sheikh and before his departure spoke to Reza Khan, who e 11731/Hie/
said that His Majesty’s Minister could give the Sheikh the most positive 34/1923
assurances of his friendship and regard and of his anxiety to establish a personal
understanding with him.
35. Sir P. Loraine visited Ahwaz on the 13th October and had a conversa
tion with the Sheikh, who expressed his anxieties as to his future position and e 11731/me/
begged that he should not be lulled into a false sense of security only to be struck 34/1923.
down when all the obstacles to the Persian unifying policy had been removed;
he could not remain in Arabistan with his prestige diminished and his authority
undermined, and would sooner lease or sell his properties and retire to some
part of the world where he could be under British protection. Sir P. Loraine, in
reply, analysed current British policy in Persia, according to which it was

About this item


This file relates to the heirs of Shaikh Khaz‘al [Khaz‘al bin Jabir bin Merdaw Āl Ka‘bī], the late Arab Shaikh of Mohommerah [Khorramshahr], and their requests for British assistance.

The first few items of correspondence concern Shaikh Khaz‘al's eldest son, Shaikh Chassib bin Khaz‘al [Shaikh Chassib bin Khaz‘al Āl Ka‘bī], who is now living in Iraq and who is reported to have requested permission from the British Embassy at Baghdad to enter Iran (most of the correspondence in this file refers to Iran as Persia), for the purpose of personally pressing his claims to property belonging to his father, which had been sequestered by the late Shah [Reza Shah Pahlavi].

The remainder of the file relates to Shaikh Chassib's brother, Shaikh Abdullah bin Khaz‘al [Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Khaz‘al Āl Ka‘bī], and his wish to return to live in Persia, apparently peacefully, which is treated with suspicion by British officials. Much of the correspondence discusses whether Shaikh Abdullah, who has taken refuge in Kuwait after an unsuccessful attempt to return to live in Persia, should be given a British pension or an allowance, in order to prevent him from attempting to return to Persia, since it is deemed unlikely that he will receive any compensation from the Persian Government for the loss of his father's property.

Also included in the file are a copy of a document from the Combined Intelligence Centre, Iraq, entitled 'The Sheikhdom of Mohammerah A Short History' and a Foreign Office report entitled 'British Relations with Khazal, Sheikh of Mohammerah'.

The principal correspondents are the following: the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. , Kuwait; the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. ; the British Consul, Khorramshahr; the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. ; the Secretary of State for India; the Foreign Office; His Majesty's Ambassador, Tehran; His Majesty's Ambassador, Baghdad; the Ruler of Kuwait, Shaikh Ahmed al Jabir As-Subah [Shaikh Aḥmad al-Jābir Āl Ṣabāḥ]; Shaikh Abdullah bin Khaz‘al.

Extent and format
1 file (252 folios)

The papers are arranged in chronological order from the front to the rear of the file. Circled serial numbers (red for received correspondence; blue/black for issued correspondence) refer to entries in the notes at the rear of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 254; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. Additional foliation sequences, one of which is written in pencil and not circled (between ff 3-131 and ff 143-224), and one of which is written in pencil and circled (between ff 1-253), have been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 3/8 Affairs of Sh. Khaz`als sons.' [‎179r] (357/508), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/178, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 July 2024]

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