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'File 3/8 Affairs of Sh. Khaz`als sons.' [‎190v] (380/508)

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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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Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.
Annual Report
for 1923, p. 57
No. 35).
Conf. 12445,
§§ 163-166.
E 4392/1416/
E 4612/77/34/
B 4392, E 5061,
E 6369/1416/
E5731, E7267/
interposed between himself and the Central Government; it is true that tliere had
been frequent troubles between him and the Bakhtiaris, but they had usually
managed to combine in the face of a common danger. I he Bakhtiaris were fined
for complicity in the attack on the Persian troops at bhalil in the previous year,
they were compelled to accept a settlement of their revenue dispute with the
Persian Government and in October a body of 250 Persian troops arrived at
Shushtar under Colonel Baqir Khan, who began to exercise greater powei m
Arabistan than the Governor himself. .
29. The revenue dispute w~as a source of constant anxiety to His Majesty s
Legation for the best part of the year, but as a result of their good offices a settle
ment was reached in the middle of November. By this settlement the Sheikh was
to pay 500,000 tomans 10,000 Persian dinars, or a gold coin of that value. in respect of arrears, 100,000 tomans 10,000 Persian dinars, or a gold coin of that value. down and the
remainder spread over twenty years; a sum of 150,000 tomans 10,000 Persian dinars, or a gold coin of that value. was to be paid
annually in future by the Sheikh in respect of both direct and indirect taxation,
from which a deduction of 20,000 tomans 10,000 Persian dinars, or a gold coin of that value. would be allowed to cover the Sheikh s
pension and other legitimate taxes. The Sheikh was thus allowel to continue to
control indirect revenue, but a financial agent of the Central Government was to
remain as inspecting officer for the whole province of Arabistan. ^
30. In April, 1923, when the Persian Government were preparing to send a *
military force against the Bakhtiaris, Sir P. Loraine spoke to the Shah, the Prime
Minister, the Foreign Minister and Reza Khan on the dangers of provoking the
tribes in the south, with possibly harmful effects on both British and Persian
interests. The Minister of War was not to be moved from his purpose, however,
and Sir P. Loraine reported at the end of the month that there were further
indications to confirm that Arabistan was the ulterior objective, in which case
Reza Khan would doubtless pursue the same tactics with the Sheikh as he had with
the Bakhtiaris; the question of our assurances to the Sheikh would then arise.
A few days later Sir P. Loraine telegraphed saying that an immediate decision
was required whether we were to support or oppose the extension of the authority
of the Central Government throughout the entire country, and, in either case, by
what means; to support the Minister of War would mean the almost certain lapse
of our local friendships (of which the most important and difficult case was that
of the Sheikh of Mohammerah), but by giving such support we might obtain a
measure of control over Reza Khan and perhaps some definite assurances as #
regards the Sheikh’s position ; on the other hand, to oppose him meant the pros
pect of the same local friendships crumbling under visible force, the gradual
collapse of our position and influence unless we were prepared to use force, the
thwarting of the one chance that had appeared for decades of a stable Persia
under Persian control, a period of intense friction with the Persian Government
almost certainly leading to a rupture, and, finally, playing into the hands of
Russia. Lord Curzon, however, was not to be rushed into formulating a new
policy at this juncture and replied to Sir P. Loraine calling attention to what His
Majesty’s Government had done to help the Persian Government and to the
apparent inability of Reza Khan to appreciate our attitude in his pursuance of
an ambition to create a military dictatorship for himself; as regards the Sheikh
we were bound to him by special obligations which we had no intention to ignore ;
Reza Khan must be made to realise that he could not prosecute his centralising
policy to a point where it ran directly counter to British interests; in the last
resort he was dependent upon His Majesty’s Government—who were alone able
to afford him that financial support which he required. The Foreign Office also
arranged with the Admiralty to hold some of His Majesty’s ships in readiness
to proceed to Mohammerah and also up the Karun should it prove necessary to
support the Sheikh.
31. On the 31st May Sir P. Loraine had a meeting with the Prime Minister
and Reza Khan, who, after expressing a wish for the general improvement of
Anglo-Persian relations and repeating assurances as regards British interests,
said that far from having any complaints against the Sheikh, they wished and
meant to support him; for internal reasons they wished to send 200 men to
Shushtar; Reza Khan said that the presence of some troops in Arabistan was
vital to his prestige and that if His Majesty’s Government were to veto the pro
posal he would have to resign; he gave his word of honour—and promised written
assurances—that the troops would not interfere with the Sheikh, but that their
orders would be to support him against any who might question his authority;
the Prime Minister also promised to telegraph to the Sheikh saying that the
Persian Government had no grievances against him and were entirely well
disposed; Sir P. Loraine (who took the view that acquiescence in the despatch

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.' [‎190v] (380/508), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/178, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 June 2024]

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