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'File 3/8 Affairs of Sh. Khaz`als sons.' [‎181r] (361/508)

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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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result of a struggle with Eeza Khan, proved difhcult, and in an interview with
Colonel Peel on tne 30th September, said that if his conditions were not accepted
he would regard the British Government as having betrayed him. Further eftorts
were made by Mr. Ovey to persuade the Sheikh to adopt a reasonable attitude
and these were reinforced in a personal message which Mr. Ramsay MacDonald
sent to the Sheikh in the middle of October. This message made it clear that
His Majesty’s Government abided fully by the undertakings given to the Sheikh
in the past, but that such undertakings were conditional upon the Sheikh’s
observing his loyal obligations towards the Persian Government and that, in
the regrettable event of hostilities, the Sheikh could expect no sympathy from
His Majesty’s Government; Mr. Ramsay MacDonald expressed his confidence
that an honourable settlement could be reached through the mediation of His
Majesty’s Government, and urged the Sheikh to desist from all military prepara
tions and make his peace with the Central Government.
42. The Sheikh’s reply was to the following effect: he desired that His
Majesty’s Government should procure for him an honourable settlement, but he
could not accept the terms offered by His Majesty’s Legation because he would
lose his position in his territories and could no longer maintain peace there,
so that his friendship towards the British Government would be worthless to
them; the British were holding him back but meanwhile Reza Khan was
proceeding with his military preparations; he felt that he had already lost the
support of the British Government and suggested that he should either retire
from Khuzistan with his whole family (being granted a residence and means
of subsistence) or else that he be freed from restraint and allowed to fight Reza
Khan, which he felt confident of doing with success; in the latter case, he was
equally confident of his ability to protect British lives and property. The best
hope of a peaceful settlement now appeared to lie in arranging a meeting between
Reza Khan and the Sheikh, and, acting on instructions, Mr. Ovey approached
both with the suggestion that they should meet at some place other than Tehran
and that Sir P. Loraine should be present at the interview. After persuasion
Reza Khan agreed but stipulated that the Sheikh must first send some message
of submission and Mr. Ovey then sent a message urging the Sheikh to comply
and giving a personal assurance that such a message would be followed by an
immediate cessation of military preparations on the part of the Central Govern
ment. Matters were also helped on by the abandonment by Reza Khan of his
demand that the Sheikh should temporarily leave Persia, but the Sheikh still
made difficulties and it became clear that little could be done except play for
time until Sir P. Loraine arrived in Persia and exercised his personal influence
on both parties; and playing for time became increasingly difficult, particularly
as, contrary to promises^ given to Mr. Ovey, Reza Khan continued to move his
troops westwards of the line, Bebehan-Zaidun-Bander Dilam.
43. Early in November the Sheikh, influenced no doubt partly by His
Majesty’s Government’s clear disapproval of his rebellion and partly by doubts
as to the measure of support to be expected from the Bakhtiari and his other
supporters, had decided to make his submission to Reza Khan; he expressed his
readiness to meet the latter at Bushire provided that the meeting took place
under the auspices of Sir P. Loraine and that the latter would give him assurances
as to his safety. But Reza Khan was now becoming impatient at the delay,
probably because the approach of winter would hamper military operations.
Mr. Austen Chamberlain (who had succeeded Mr. Ramsay MacDonald at the
Foreign Office) addressed a telegram to Sir P. Loraine on the 11th November
.explaining the view of His Majesty’s Government that the Sheikh, although to
some extent provoked, had put himself in the wrong by planning rebellion and by
insisting on the conditions (ii) and (iii) (see para. 38" above); it was hoped that
Sir P. Loraine would be able to show both sides the folly of pushing matters
to an extreme; it might be necessary to speak strongly to the Sheikh because
Reza Khan could not be expected to ignore the implications of the Sheikh’s
telegrams to the Majlis and the foreign legations and to meet the Sheikh without
some preliminary expression of the latter’s regret; the Sheikh could, however, be
informed that, mindful of his loyal services during the war, His Majesty’s
Government were still doing their best to help him out of a difficult predicament.
Sir P. Loraine was informed that His Majesty’s Government did not wish to see
the Sheikh expelled or unduly humiliated, nor did they wish to prejudice their
improved relations with the Persian Government; it was not desired to fetter
Sir P. Loraine with detailed instructions, but if he could persuade the Sheikh
to make the first move towards reconciliation, it did not seem unlikely that Reza
Khan would be found ready to listen to reason.
E 8522/263/.
E 9043/263/
E 9263/263/
E 9318/263/
E 9590/263/

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.' [‎181r] (361/508), 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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