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'File 3/8 Affairs of Sh. Khaz`als sons.' [‎182v] (364/508)

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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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/? J
E 2801/136/
E 2856/136/
Persian Gull
Report for
E 6725/4360/
situation : either an attempt to patch it up or a definite breach with Reza Khan
and a breach at this time would have been more than unfortunate as the prospects
of settling the Persian debt question were quite hopeful and Russo-Persian
relations were showing distinct signs of strain, He had, with the approval of
His Majesty’s Government, tried the first course and all now depended upon
whether Reza Khan would arrange the Sheikh’s affairs in a satisfactory manner.
At first, everything promised well as the Sheikh told Sir P. Loraine that he had
been treated with the greatest consideration and respect, that Reza Khan had
given him a warm and affectionate welcome and had said that political
considerations had obliged him to bring the Sheikh to Tehran as an act of
authority but that there would shortly be a relaxation. In addition, Reza Khan
renewed his promise to Sir P. Loraine to put the Sheikh’s affairs straight,
undertaking, if the Sheikh behaved wisely, to rehabilitate his prestige in a public
manner; and by the beginning of October Sir P. Loraine was able to report good
prospects of a satisfactory settlement on the basis of the payment by the Sheikh
of a sum of half a million tomans 10,000 Persian dinars, or a gold coin of that value. as his share of the expenses of the Khuzistan
campaign of 1924, in return for which his firmans would be ratified and he would
be allowed to return with tribal authority and high position (but without the right
to have armed forces).
48. Although in certain quarters closely interested in the fate of the Sheikh
there was a feeling that he had been “ let down ” by His Majesty’s Government,
his arrest and removal to Tehran did not lead to a loss of British prestige to the
extent that might have been expected given the key position which he had formerly
held and the manner in which that position had been built up with the support
of the British Government. As a measure of the interest taken in the event in
this country it may be noted that it inspired only one question in Parliament, and
that was answered without difficulty and without giving rise to supplementaries.
As far as Khuzistan was concerned, apart from a purely local disturbance at
the time of the arrest, the event was received with apparent indifference. The
Sheikh’s son Abdullah acted as chief of the Muhaisin during his father’s absence
(and, incidentally, did so more in his own than in his father’s interests). It is
true that at the end of July, 1925 there was a short-lived tribal rising at
Mohammerah (for which the Sheikh was in no way responsible), but this was due
not so much to sympathy with the Sheikh in detention at Tehran as to other |
causes—economic factors, the removal of experienced head-men and the rule of *
Persian officials over Arabs, feared new taxation and threatened loss of properties,
plus, it was suspected, Soviet intrigues.
Subsequent negotiations and the death of the Sheikh.
49. Little object would here be served by a detailed account of the negotia
tions between the Persian Government and the Sheikh during the latter ? s last
years at Tehran. It will suffice to record that the negotiations were marked not
only by more than usual Oriental procrastination but also by gross breaches of
faith on the part of the Central Government, who had obviously no intention of
carrying out the promises given to the Sheikh and to Sir P. Loraine at the end
of 1924 and subsequently and who were obviously merely waiting for the Sheikh
to die. His Majesty’s Government continued unofficially to urge the Persian
Government to come to a satisfactory settlement and release the Sheikh, but their
efforts were unavailing and in the end even the Sheikh himself came to realise
that representations by His Majesty’s Legation on his behalf were more likely to
do harm than good. After eleven years of detention, Sheikh Khazal died during
the night of the 24th-25th May, 1936, having been deprived by the Persian
Government of his estates in Khuzistan and without any settlement having been
reached regarding the compensation which had been promised to him. In record
ing the death of the Sheikh His Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires at Tehran said :
t£ His epitaph might be what is perhaps the only genuine remark which the local
authorities (in the person of Teymourtache in 1930) made about him, that the
£ interests of the individual must be sacrificed to the public good.’ ”
K 4817/453/
&c., &c.
British relations with the Sheikh in matters outside Persian jurisdiction.
50. His Majesty’s Government, with the recollection of the Sheikh’s services
in the past and with their inability to carry out the assurances which they had
given him, had the Sheikh very much on their conscience. Consequently, they did
their utmost to meet any claims which the Sheikh might have against them in so
far as matters lay outside Persian jurisdiction. Thus, in 1935, they and the
Government of India jointly made an ecc gratia payment to him of 50,000 rupees Indian silver coin also widely used in the Persian Gulf.
in repayment of a loan which he had advanced to the Government of India in

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.' [‎182v] (364/508), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/178, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 June 2024]

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