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'File 3/8 Affairs of Sh. Khaz`als sons.' [‎193v] (386/508)

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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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E 9926/263/
34 / 1924 .
44. Sir P. Loraine met the Sheikh at Ahwaz on the 13th December and
persuaded him to address to Reza Khan a telegram of regret and submission, but
now Reza Khan made difficulties and was guilty of a number of breaches of faith.
The rebellion had collapsed and he wished to drive home his advantage, while
at Tehran criticism was being voiced in the Majlis regarding foreign intervention
in Persian internal affairs. Reza Khan now demanded the Sheikh’s unconditional
surrender instead of, as arranged, sending him a friendly message; Persian troops
continued to move beyond the agreed line and Reza Khan expressed his intention
of marching to Mohammerah; and he now made difficulties about meeting
Sir P. Loraine and the Sheikh at Bushire, stating that this was no longer possible
owing to the news of the proposal having leaked out. In addition, there was
reason to believe that Moscow had put in a spoke to prevent a satisfactory arrange
ment being reached. In view of Reza Khan’s attitude and the failure of our
policy of “biased neutrality,” His Majesty’s Government and Sir P. Loraine
now adopted a strong line with the Persian Government and Reza Khan, in the
course of which the substance of the 1914 assurances to the Sheikh were disclosed
to the Persian Government; the attitude of His Majesty’s Government now was
that, by his submission, the Sheikh had put himself in the right, that they attached
importance to abiding by their obligations to him (although, in view of the 4?
situation in Egypt following the murder of Sir Lee Stack on the 19th November,
thev were anxious not to be embroiled in South Persia), that they were still
desirous of doing everything in their power to secure a settlement satisfactory to
the Persian Government, but that if the latter persisted in attacking the Sheikh
His Majesty’s Government reserved to themselves the right to take such measures
as they might think fit in pursuance of their assurances to the Sheikh. But the
latter was now a sick man and had suffered a moral collapse, and Reza Khan, by
taking full advantage of His Majesty’s Government’s desire to avoid complica
tions, was master of the situation. Sir P. Loraine expressed doubts whether it
would be possible to obtain terms for the Sheikh favourable enough to make it
worth his while to remain in Khuzistan, but he eventually arranged for Reza
Khan and the Sheikh to meet at Ahwaz on the 6th December. After a
preliminary meeting, Sir P. Loraine spoke to the former, explaining the position
of His Majesty’s Government and emphasising the scrupulous loyalty of their
attitude and tlieir strong desire that the Sheikh’s position should be substantially
maintained. Reza Khan’s reply was reassuring : he wanted to maintain the
Sheikh in effective authority, but must arrange this in such a manner as to disarm
his critics in Tehran; he did not want a breach with His Majesty’s Government
and promised to hold up the advance of Persian troops. The result of the Ahwaz
conference seemed to bear out Reza Khan’s promises. He and the Sheikh swore
friendship on the Koran; Persian troops were to remain at Shustar till the spring
when, except for detachments, they would be withdrawn provided the pacification
of Luristan had been completed; as a temporary measure Reza Khan would
appoint a governor at Ahwaz, but this governorship would be restored to the
Sheikh in the spring and meanwhile the temporary governor would have no power
to interfere with the Sheikh’s authority over the Arab tribes; minor points
regarding jurisdiction, police, taxation, &c., were reserved for subsequent
discussion and all Persian officials, including the military, would have strict
orders to work in harmony with the Sheikh and give him any help he might
require. Reza Khan assured Sir P. Loraine that he would not allow agitation
in Tehran to deflect him from his purpose and that Sir P. Loraine could be free
from anxiety. Sir P. Loraine also reported that Reza Khan realised that the
Soviets had been adopting a perfidious attitude throughout in an endeavour to
prevent a peaceful settlement and to drive Reza Khan into armed action.
The New Attitude of His Majesty's Government, 1925.
45. The immediate crisis was over but matters were by no means finally
settled. It was clear, however, that the old regime had come to an end and that
Reza Khan, having established a strangle-hold over Khuzistan would be unlikely
ever voluntarily to relinquish it. His Majesty’s Government were now in an
embarrassing position : the services which the Sheikh had rendered them in the
past and general considerations of prestige in Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. made it undesirable
that they should abruptly terminate their assurances to the Sheikh; the safety of
the oilfields and of British lives had to be considered; but the assurances were not
compatible with the general policy of strengthening the Central Government
and the embarrassing position in which His Majesty’s Government found them
selves presented the Soviet Government with wonderful opportunities for fishing
in troubled waters. During his discussions with Reza Khan at Ahwaz,

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.' [‎193v] (386/508), 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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