Coll 28/112B Persia. Tabriz. Monthly dispatches of internal situation in Azerbaijan, & misc: reports.’ [211r] (422/451)
The record is made up of 1 file (223 folios). It was created in 18 Mar 1946-16 Mar 1948. 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
and were, no doubt, given an approved plan of action. Shortly after their return
the formation of a “ Democrat party of Kurdistan ” was announced with
Gazi Mohamed as president and headquarters at Mahabad. A printing press
and a quantity of newsprint were supplied to the society by the Russians. The
society’s manifesto called for the establishment of an autonomous Kurdistan
“within the Persian State," and pledged full support to the Democrat party
♦ of Azerbaijan. Kurdish observers were present at the National Congress (para
graph 12 above), and at the opening of the Azerbaijan National Parliament.
About the middle of December Kurdish spokesmen declared that a National
Assembly of Kurdistan would be opened in Mahabad within a few days, but by
the end of the year there was no firm news that this had been done.
26. Towards the end of October Mullah Mustafa Barzani and his brother
with about 2,000 families of his tribe, fleeing from the Iraqi Government forces,
crossed the Persian frontier and settled in the Sulduz area. He has been
welcomed, if not too warmly, by the chieftains who support the Kurdish
Democrat party, and is likely to play a part in the formation of an autonomous
Kurdistan in this part of Persia. While Democratic principles do not appeal to
the feudal chiefs of the Kurds, the majority of them support the party as a means
of securing their independence. Those who fear both Russian domination and
the ambition of upstarts like Gazi Mohamed, nevertheless support the most
powerful party out of prudence. Co-operation with the Azerbaijan National
Government has been so far slight: Nuri Beg and Rashid Beg Herki came in to
help with the reduction of the Rezaieh garrison, but were sent away again by
the Russians. There are some indications, too, that the Russians may not intend
autonomous Kurdistan to be on an equal footing with autonomous Azerbaijan,
but may design to keep the Kurdistan administration subordinate to the National
Government at Tabriz.
27. All the foregoing paragraphs are, of course, a description of Soviet
policy; the Russian aim was and is the establishment of an autonomous
Azerbaijan. But, as previously, the question was what sort of a regime they
intended for Azerbaijan; now it is, what do they intend to do with the autonomous
Azerbaijan they have created? It is •clear that Azerbaijan cannot continue in
its present indeterminate position, owing allegiance to Persia but disowned by
Tehran; guided, supported and protected by the Soviet Union, but theoretically
part of a foreign sovereign State. Had it been the Russians’ desire to detach
Azerbaijan completely from Persia, nothing could have been easier when the
Democrats seized power; a plebiscite as efficiently run as the elections would have
given a unanimous vote in favour of union with the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic.
Many people in Azerbaijan think that this will yet be done, and that the instru
ment to be used has already been prepared, in' the shape of the “ Friends of
Soviet Azerbaijan ’’ Society, which has recently been formed. There are, perhaps,
two reasons why it has not been done : first, even the Russians may well be puzzled
how to camouflage convincingly so flagrant a breach of their treaty undertakings;
second, Azerbaijan may be much more useful to Soviet policy as part of Persia
than as part of the Soviet Union, since, as one of the most populous and richest
provinces (the equally rich province of Mazanderan being also in the Russian
zone), it can be used to put great pressure on the Central Government, to
influence the composition of the Government and Majlis and to serve as an open
door through which Soviet influence can enter and spread to all parts of Persia.
The Russians, in short, may view Azerbaijan as an instrument by means of
which the whole of Persia can be turned into an Outer Mongolia. If that is a
possible guess at the long-term policy of Russia, certain effects of her short-term
policy are no longer guesswork; Russian engineers are already drilling for oil
in the province, others are surveying for copper, gold and possibly other minerals,
and the whole trade of the province is being carefully shepherded to the
28. Where things have gone so much according to the Russian plan British
interests have inevitably suffered. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in this
province has to compete with the Russian Iransovnaft Company, and the Russians
naturally view with equanimity difficulties which tend to restrict the Anglo-
Iranian Oil Company's trade and extend that of Iransovnaft. The company's
depots have suffered no violence in the troubles of the last month or so, and there
has been only a negligible loss of money through the Democrats shirking payment
About this item
Monthly reports submitted by the British Consul General at Tabriz, concerning events in Tabriz and Azerbaijan. The reports, which span the period January 1946 to January 1948, cover: the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Azerbaijan following the Anglo-Soviet occupation of Iran during the Second World War; the short-lived existence of the Azerbaijan People’s Government, declared in November 1945; the activities of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan and its leader Ja’far Pishevari; the Iranian Government’s reassertion of control in Azerbaijan in 1947. The reports include sections describing: the general situation (with a detailed chronology of events given for reports covering January 1947 to May 1947); the activities of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan; military operations; internal security; trade and industry; finance; communications; agriculture; Kurdish affairs; Armenian affairs; British, Soviet and American [USA] interests, including propaganda. The file includes an English translation of an agreement between representatives of the Government of Iran and the Azerbaijan People’s Government, the original of which was published in the newspaper Azerbaijan on 16 June 1946 (ff 165-167).
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.
- Extent and format
- 1 file (223 folios)
The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 225; 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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- Coll 28/112B Persia. Tabriz. Monthly dispatches of internal situation in Azerbaijan, & misc: reports.’
- front, front-i, 1ar, 2r:146v, 148r:164v, 168r:197v, 200r:224v, back-i, back
- East India Company, the Board of Control, the India Office, or other British Government Department
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