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'File 29/6 British Relations with Khazal, Sheikh of Khorramshahr' [‎4r] (7/28)

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The record is made up of 1 file (14 folios). It was created in 26 Nov 1946. It was written in English. 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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do nothing for him, we must not object to his applying elsewhere; (hints of the
establishment of relations with other Powers, were, as has been seen, part of his
stock bargaining assets).
11. As regards the proposed loan, neither His Majesty’s Government nor
the Government of India w T ere at first anxious themselves to make an advance
to the Sheikh, who, however, showed his hand by obtaining a loan of £1,000
from the German firm, Wonckhaus and Company. Details of the subsequent
discussions need not here be given, but eventually it was arranged that His
Majesty’s Government should advance a sum of £10,000, the amount actually
being furnished by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, who, by an agreement signed
with the Sheikh on the 16th July, 1909, secured the lease of valuable sites on
Abadan island and elsewhere. It may be mentioned also that two months earlier
assurances had been obtained from the Sheikh regarding prior British rights in
irrigation projects on the Karun and other rivers in his territories.
12. The request of the Sheikh for advice as to the action he should take
vis-a-vis of the Royalists and Nationalists was met by the recommendation not
to involve himself in Persian party politics. As regards the Sheikh’s desire for
further assurances, 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. had several conversations with the
Sheikh, to whom he eventually addressed a letter on the 16th May, 1909 (the
text of which is reproduced as document No. 4 in the Annex)! The new assurances
were in the following words :—
I was further permitted to inform you that whatever change might
j* take place in the form of government in Persia, the British Government
were prepared to give you the same support against any encroachment on
your rights as was promised to you in 1902, and I was authorised to add
that they were now prepared to extend the application of those assurances
to your ‘ heirs and successors.’ ”
13. The Sheikh was still not satisfied and in discussions with the Political
Resident stated that he wished the assurances to be made applicable for a period
of 100 years to his male descendants rather than to his “ heirs and successors.”
The reason for the request to extend the assurances to his male descendants was
that he feared that his nephew Hanzal might seize some favourable opportunitv
to effect his own (Khazal s) or his eldest son’s (Chassib s) assassination and usurp
the sheikhdom; and that for a stated period was that he feared that at some
future date the British Government might find it necessary to intervene in
Southern Persia and perhaps find it convenient to take over Mohammerah, when
he might lose his privileges and revenues—in which case he would like an under
taking that he would continue to enjoy his personal revenue and be granted
an asylum in India or elsewhere. Finally, he asked for a form of written
assurances which he could show to his tribesmen to quiet their apprehensions
and to strengthen their support of himself and their faith in the friendlv policy
of the Britisn Government.
14. There was considerable delay before fresh assurances were given to the
Sheikh, who, for a number of reasons, was becoming anxious as to his position.
In the first place he was concerned at the growing influence at Tehran of the
^JBakhtiari Minister of the Interior, Sardar Leader of a tribe or a polity; also refers to a military rank or title given to a commander of an army or division. Assad, who was hostile to himself, and
early in 1910 Sheikh Khazal was speaking of intervention in Persian politics; he
was, however, told that his best policy was to continue his allegiance to the Central
Government, to whom he should submit any grievances, and that His Majesty’s
Legation would support him if he were refused satisfaction. The Sheikh expressed
his readiness to comply with this advice but wished in return for an assurance
of protection against the Bakhtiari; this, however, His Majesty’s Government
considered both unnecessary and undesirable.
15. Later in the year matters were complicated bv the action of the Vali
of Basra, who, because of alleged actions of the Sheikh’s followers in Turkish
territory and of the Sheikh’s refusal to surrender one of his tribal chiefs (of
Persian nationality), sent a gun-boat which shelled one of the Sheikh’s villages
on the Turkish side of the Shatt-el-Arab. The Sheikh, who expressed his readi
ness to raise his whole territory against the Turks, was, however, prepared
to be guided by His Majesty’s Government in this matter, and the latter found
themselves in a position of having to implement their assurances against attack
from a foreign Power. While holding a warship in readiness to proceed to
Mohammerah if necessary, they found it possible to safeguard the Sheikh’s
position without resorting to hostilities; it was, however, deemed desirable to
counteract a certain amount of loss of prestige suffered by the Sheikh and also
to make a demonstration in face of the growth of Turkish ambitions in the
Conf. 9540,
No. 435.
Conf. 9552,
No. 386
Conf. 9540,
No. 479.
Conf. 9540,
No. 11
Conf. 9552,
No. 291.
Conf. 9633,
No. 189.
Conf. 9738,
No. 427.*
Conf. 9743,
No. 241.
Conf. 9743,
No. 233.

About this item


The file contains a Confidential Foreign Office report entitled 'British Relations with Khazal, Sheikh of Mohammerah'. The report contains a detailed history of the relationship between the British Government and Shaikh Khaz‘al bin Jābir bin Mirdāw al-Ka‘bī, the Ruler of Mohammerah (present day Khorramshahr). An annex to the report contains copies of numerous written assurances given to the Shaikh by British officials between 1902 and 1914.

Extent and format
1 file (14 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the front to the rear of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 14; 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.

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English in Latin script
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'File 29/6 British Relations with Khazal, Sheikh of Khorramshahr' [‎4r] (7/28), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/1747, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 25 June 2024]

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