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'File 3/8 Affairs of Sh. Khaz`als sons.' [‎180r] (359/508)

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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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found him in a depressed state of mind. The Sheikh spoke of his past services
to His Majesty’s Government and of how he had followed their advice in meeting
the wishes of the Persian Government; he was, however, convinced of the latter’s
hostile intentions towards himself, and attributed this primarily to his friendship
with the British Government. He wished to know whether the latter would
preserve him in his autonomous position, and also, if the Persian Government
made a direct attack on him, whether he should resist or submit. Colonel Trevor
expressed his inability to answer the first question on his own authority, and as
regards the latter, said that he could hardly advise the Sheikh to resist his own
Government. In reporting this conversation Colonel Trevor expressed his own
firm conviction that Peza Khan was desirous of reducing the power of the Sheikh
and raised the question of the 1914 assurances, pointing out that if we were to
stand by and watch the Persian Government take progressive steps to reduce the
Sheikh’s state of local autonomy, such an attitude would have a deplorable effect
locally, and the Sheikh, not without some reason on his side, would think himself
badly let down. Mr. Ovey’s comment on this report was to the effect that the
Persian Government had done nothing which was not in accordance with the
assurances given in the present year and that there did not appear to be any
special grounds for the Sheikh’s nervousness; and the view expressed in the
Foreign Office was that it was easy to understand the latter’s attitude, but that
there was no reason to suppose that His Majesty’s Government would not continue
to afford him adequate support by diplomatic means provided he paid his revenues
and gave the Persian Government no valid excuse for interference in his territory.
38 1 ‘ ? risis ar0Se early Au & ust ’ Partly due to the hostile attitude of
Colonel Baqir Khan (the Persian Commander at Shush tar), but principally to
the action of the Persian Government (inspired by their American financial
advisers) m informing the Sheikh that his firmans were invalid, having been
cancelled by a later firman A Persian word meaning a royal order or decree issued by a sovereign, used notably in the Ottoman Empire (sometimes written ‘phirmaund’). of 1903. The Sheikh now expressed his determination
to resist any further interference, if necessary by force, and commenced taking
steps to secure the allegiance of his tribes. Mr. Ovey instructed His Majesty’s
Vice-Consul at Ahwaz to inform the Sheikh (a) that he realised the latter’s
anxiety, but that he could not believe that the Persian Government could legally
proceed to the lengths feared; (6) that he would call the Prime Minister’s
attention to the grave issues involved and hoped to prevent any precipitate action •
and (r) that if instead of awaiting the results of the support of His Majesty’s
Government the Sheikh were to commit any rebellious act, he would be putting
himself m the wrong and would prejudice his case with His Majesty’s Govern-
J ei fi a l ne d always willing fully to support his just claims. Mr. Ovey
added that if the Sheikh thought that the Prime Minister’s position had been
shaken by recent political developments he was much mistaken and instructed
^ argument to keep the Sheikh quiet. On the
23rd August the Foreign Office telegraphed to Mr. Ovey informing him of reports
MKmoA ° 1 - i £ 0mpany that tile Sheikh was forming an
alliance with the Bakhtiari, Kashgai, &c., and was speaking of inviting the Shah
^ r ‘ ° V i ey was instructed (a) to have a further message
, the Sheikh to the effect that, while he might rest assured that, under
instructions from His Majesty s Government, Mr. Ovey was doing his utmost to
induce the Persian Government to accord just consideration to the Sheikh^
recognised rights and interests, he must be reminded that the British assurances
^fra 1 , n e f endent uppn 1 ills lo yalty to the central Government and that he should
refrain from any violent action which would be highly prejudicial both to his
own and Bntish interests; and (b) to inform the Asian Prime Minister A?
IS recent administrative measures in South-West Persia appeared to be
irreatened vitel Brf SSU y nCeSlven to His Majesty’s Goyernment and
threatened \ ta j Biatlsl1 interests m those regions where they could not view
any untoward developments with indifference; Reza Khan should therefore he
urged to abstain from pressing matters to an issue. Mr OveyTok active sten^
and m the result the Prime Minister sent a message to the Sheikh saying- that
loThAfA “ 1W1 of dispossessing him but that his attention wS Irawn
e fact that he must not sell land to foreigners, and assuring him of surmort
m every way as long as he continued to be loyal. The Sheikh was^oHet saH P sfiA
especially as Reza Khan subsequently sent him a bombastic and toStewfam
and m conversation wRh His Majesty’s Consul at Ahwaz (Colonel Peel) expressed
his determination to overthrow Reza Khan or perish in the P - 1-
opinion the struggle was inevitable and there was more chance of Access aTthat
time than later; he insisted that he was not taking the initiative but defending
his AtSAl”AAi 0 fAl di p ati0n M He de0kred that he would ab “ d <™
aerenslve measures only if the Prime Minister agreed (i) to give written
E 4642/263/
E 8892/263/
E 7016/263/
E 7136/236/
E 7574/263/
34/1924. .
E 7831/263/

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.' [‎180r] (359/508), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/178, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 June 2024]

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