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'File 3/8 Affairs of Sh. Khaz`als sons.' [‎177r] (353/508)

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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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the acting 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. , addressed a letter to the Sheikh
containing the revised assurances. The text of this letter need not be reproduced
here because it mentioned the co-operation to be expected from the Sheikh in the
capture of Basra, and, as the question of such co-operation did not actually arise,
the Sheikh, after the capture of Basra, asked for a revised letter from which the
passages relating thereto should be omitted. Sir P. Cox therefore addressed to
him a new letter bearing the date the 22nd November, 1914 (i.e., that on which
Basra was occupied by British forces), which became the master document, the
text of which is reproduced as document No. 6 in the annex.
The War Period.
19. It may be recorded briefly that the Sheikh was of positive assistance to
His Majesty’s Government during the war, largely by his maintenance of order in
that part of Persia where British interests were so considerable. This was particu
larly the case in 1915 when certain unruly tribes under his jurisdiction, incited by
the preaching of a jehad by Turkish agents, rose in revolt and assisted the Turks C onf 13055 *
in an attack on British troops at Ahwaz and in cutting the Anglo-Persian Oil
Company’s pipe line; on that occasion the Sheikh did much to facilitate the rapid
restitution of order as soon as the Turks had been driven back. Towards the end
of 1915, when it appeared probable for a time that Persia would intervene in the
war on the side of the enemy, there was some discussion of recognising the Sheikh’s
independence in that event, but, as the emergency never in fact occurred, Conf. 11794 .*
Sir P. Cox’s letter of the 22nd November, 1914, remained the final embodiment
of His Majesty’s Government’s commitments to the Sheikh.
The Post-War Period, 1919-20.
20. The end of hostilities in Europe and in the Ottoman Empire brought
little improvement in the state of Persia, which continued to exercise His Majesty’s
Government. The danger from Germany and Turkey was now removed but that
from Russia was revived in a new form—Bolshevism. The Sheikh’s territories,
by contrast, remained generally quiet, to the benefit of British interests which had
grown enormously. Although order was maintained in the Sheikh’s territories,
this was achieved only by autocratic and oppressive rule and the Sheikh was no
longer a popular ruler. He maintained his control of the tribes by a policy of
breaking the power of any sheikh or tribe likely to become too strong and a danger
to his rule, replacing the suspected leaders by agents of his own selection whb
governed the tribes and collected revenue from them; in the process, incidentally,
he acquired personal possession of much property. He now feared for his life,
and Chassib Khan, his eldest son, whom he had appointed as Governor of
Mohammerah in 1919, came under suspicion, as a result of which he was removed
from his post in 1921 and thenceforward carefully watched. Khazal continued
to enjoy the support of His Majesty’s Government, who, however, had not, in
his opinion, sufficiently rewarded him for his past services. (In particular, he
was disappointed that Feisal ibn Hussein had been chosen as King of Iraq
rather than himself.)
The rise of Reza Khan.
21. The beginning of the decline of the Sheikh’s power coincided with,
and was a direct result of, the rise of Reza Khan, who was ultimately personally
responsible for the Sheikh’s complete downfall. General Reza Khan arrived
at Tehran with his force of Cossacks in February, 1921, took control of the
capital and from that time, until he became Prime Minister himself in October,
1923, was, as Minister of War, the main force in Persian politics His immediate
policy was to bring the country under the control of the Central Government,
and for this purpose he organised military formations in the distant parts which
had hitherto been largely outside the control of the Government; at first, however,
he found it politic to leave the Sheikh’s territories alone.
FinanciaZ dispute between the Sheikh and the Persian Govemment.
22. Prior to the advent of Reza Khan, the Central Government had been
showing resentment at the prosperity of Arabistan from which they were deriving
no direct financial benefit owing to {a) the non-pavment by the Sheikh of his
annual revenue (maliyat), and (b) the appropriation to himself by the Sheikh
of all indirect taxation. It is unnecessary here to enter into details of the
Conf. 13055,*
p. 222.
Ditto, p. 220.
VC

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Content

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)
Arrangement

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.' [‎177r] (353/508), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/178, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100030262304.0x00009a> [accessed 21 June 2024]

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