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Ext 5001/41 'PERSIA – INTERNAL (Miscellaneous despatches).' [‎118v] (236/248)

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The record is made up of 1 file (122 folios). It was created in 21 Jun 1942-15 Mar 1946. It was written in English. 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.


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for the rather unexpected opposition of the Russian Ambassador, who said the
moment was inopportune.”
. ^ 110 ^ eas y to assess precisely what is the extent of Russian influence
in I ^ rsia present. The Shah told Mr. Holman early in July that he appre
ciated the way we made our influence felt, because we did not absolutely insist
on certain appointments being made as some others did. Whether he was.
refen ing to the appointment of the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, who wa
pieviously ambassador in Moscow, I do not know. But if this was so, both
Peisians and Russians were very discreet about the negotiations. Our own
method, viz., not to ask for the appointment of particular officials, but to prevent
the appointment of very bad officials and occasionally to demur at the removal
of gCKxi ones, seems to be better than the method attributed to the Russians.
15. Generally speaking I doubt whether the Russians exert much influence
ovei the affaiis of the Central (government at present. They are alleged to
support the Fuda party, but, in spite of some allegations to the contrary, they
do not seem to carry on any serious internal political activity either in Tehran,
or, for that matter, in the zone where Russian troops are stationed, though they do
seem to show, or to have shown, some favour to the Kurds. His Majesty’s Consul-
General at Tabriz has suggested, and I agree, that they seem to be following a
somewhat hand-to-mouth policy and are solely interested in the war with
Germany. Their economic activities are greatly hampered by a lack of rials
and they have allowed the British military authorities to make up the road from
Tehran to Qazvin and on to Tabriz. They will only allow small quantities of
the excess of cereals in North Persia to come south and east, where it is badly-
needed, and are also taking cattle and horses away into Russia, but as there is
a most difficult food situation in bouth Russia that is hardly surprising Thev
have allowed I eisian troops to return to Rezaieh, but they treat them with great
suspicion indeed, the Persians are like prisoners, and* the conditions of the
return to Tabriz are, I believe, not yet settled. Nevertheless, the situation is
certainly a little easier.
I 16 ' Relations between ourselves and the Russians have gone through a most
f difficult stage, owing to the dispute regarding the use of the four aerodromes in
the .Tehran aiea. At Qaleh Murghi aerodrome we had built a cement runway and
installed D/F facilities, but the Russians claimed its exclusive use for the
reception of American bombers. The dispute ended in an agreement signed
between the R A F. and the Soviet Transportation Administration in Persia, on
the 30th June, by which the Russians will administer Qaleh MurMii and we will
administer the others, each granting the other rights of use as required.
17. iV not her source of tension was an incident on the 30th May when a
British military reconnaissance party, finding a road impassable in North
Kurdistan, turned without previous notification and went through the Soviet
zone. Fortunately the Anglo-Soviet Treaty had been signed only a few- days
t^t an i^’ 110 °wi n o to that fact and also largely owing to the efforts
of Mr. Urquhart, His Majesty’s Consul-General at Tabriz, the incident ended
m an invitation by the Soviet Commander, General Melnik, to General Quinan
i a i 18 ! 1 r ^ a ^ )iaz ; General Melnik w-ould not agree to various measures which
iffb Army desired in order to prepare the way for possible military operations
m the area, but excellent personal relations were established and General Melnik
is to pay a return visit to Bagdad very shortly.
18. Doubtless the Russians will never quite get rid of that suspicion of us
w ich is so chaiacteiistic of them, but our relations have certainly been much
more cordial since the signature of the Anglo-Soviet alliance.
19. The w-ar is beginning to throw long shadows over Persia. It is strange
that this country should have escaped for so long. But now problems are arising
with which the ineffably corrupt and inefficient Administration is obviously
incompetent to deal. To an increasing degree we are having to interfere in the
^ration of the country. Under the new r C.S.C. system the overseas trade
of Persia is planned by the M.E.S.C. in Cairo and controlled from this legation
I have already mentioned the constant representations which we have made about
hoaiding and the appointment of C.L.O-.s to supervise wheat collection and
distribution in the principal areas. In addition we are proposing to take on
lease large areas of irrigated land in Khuzistan, of which the Persians have failed
to make adequate use, in order to supplement the country’s supplies of wheat
and vegetables. Proposals are also on foot for a Food Board and for a Transport
Board to put some measure of energy and, if possible, honesty into Persian
admimstiation m those spheies under British, Russian and American super
vision. It is proposed that British and United States representatives should sit

About this item


This file consists of miscellaneous dispatches relating to internal affairs in Persia [Iran] during the occupation of the country by British and Soviet troops. The file begins with references to an Anglo-Soviet-Persian Treaty of Alliance, signed in January 1942, which followed the Anglo-Soviet invasion of the country in August-September 1941.

Most of the dispatches are addressed by His Majesty's Minister (later Ambassador) at Tehran (Sir Reader William Bullard) to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Anthony Eden). The dispatches discuss political, financial and economic affairs in Persia, as well as issues regarding road and rail transport (for the transportation of foodstuffs), food supplies and press censorship,

Related matters of discussion include the following:

  • British concerns regarding the extent and effect of Axis propaganda in Persia and the Persian Government's response to it.
  • Relations between the Shah [Muhammad Reza Khan] and successive Persian prime ministers, and the power and influence of the Majlis deputies.
  • Anglo-Persian relations, and British concerns regarding Soviet policy in Persia.
  • The Persian press's response to the Allied occupation.
  • The Tehran conference in late November 1943, attended by Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Franklin D Roosevelt, who were also present at a dinner at the British Legation, held in celebration of Churchill's 69th birthday (also discussed is the naming of three streets in Tehran, after Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt respectively).
  • The tribal situation in Persia.
  • The raising of the status of the British Legation in Tehran to that of British Embassy in February 1943.
  • The United States' interests in Persia.
  • The status of Polish evacuees in Persia.
  • The work of the British Council in Persia.
  • The question of the withdrawal of Allied troops from Persia.

The file includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence (folio 1).

Extent and format
1 file (122 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 124; 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.

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English in Latin script
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Ext 5001/41 'PERSIA – INTERNAL (Miscellaneous despatches).' [‎118v] (236/248), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/564, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 November 2019]

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