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Coll 28/112B Persia. Tabriz. Monthly dispatches of internal situation in Azerbaijan, & misc: reports.’ [‎211v] (423/451)

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.


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for some of the petrol, &c., consumed. But the supply of products to the agencies
up and down the province has been delayed and obstructed by the Democrats
commandeering lorries of the company, and, with the interruption of banking
business, the agents are unable to remit the proceeds of their sales to Tabriz.
The Imperial Bank of Iran, which has suffered so far only a loss of business
through the drying up of trade and the closing of the National Bank, is accused
by the National Government of withholding credit from the bazaar, of/*\
transferring funds out of Azerbaijan and of taking up a hostile attitude to the _
new Government by refusing to nonour the signatures of the officials of the
National Bank and one of the private banks whose balances with the Imperial
Bank the National Government naturally want to obtain. At the end of December
there were signs that the National Government would put pressure on the Imperial
Bank in Tabriz by threatening to withdraw their protection and by refusing to
grant legal facilities.
29. The sales of British propaganda material, which remained at their usual
level through August, September and October, declined sharply when the troubles
began in November. The agents in the provincial towns may well be afraid of
incurring odium (or inviting violence) as agents of a “ reactionary Power ” if
they display British literature. The agent at Marand was killed during the
seizure of that town by the Democrats at the end of November—though probably
more because he was a wealthy landowner than as the distributor of reactionary
propaganda. It is very probable, too, that parcels of publicity material sent from
Tabriz would be seized in the local post offices. However, the change in methods
of distribution of the more popular periodicals instituted by the Public Relations
Bureau at Tehran during the period under review has relieved this consulate-
general of most of the task of despatching to agents, and hence it is not possible
to ascertain how far sales have fallen in many lines. On the other hand, the
closing of the National Bank has made it impossible for the provincial newsagents
to buy British publications from the wholesale dealer in Tehran. Throughout
the crisis in Tabriz, the Public Relations Bureau shop radio attracted a large
audience to listen to the news of Azerbaijan—some of it unfortunately very
inaccurate—given in Persian by the B.B.C. and Tehran radio. Democrat
criticism of the B.B.C. was sharp at one period and it was feared that we might
be asked not to broadcast, but no such request has so far been made, and the only
hostile demonstration against the shop was a half-hearted one by a few
mischievous youths who broke the window.
30. The last four months have seen the logical result of the policy of
interference in Persia’s internal affairs which the Soviet authorities have pursued
in this province ever since the occupation. The Persians have never been masters
in their own house in Azerbaijan, and hence, as far as the day-to-day life of the
common people is concerned, nothing much is altered by the transference of power
to the National Government. Before the events of the 12th December, however,
the Persians could always look forward to the blessed 2nd March, when,
thev piously hoped, the last Russian soldier would take the road to the north
and they could do as they liked again. That hope, if not dead, is now in extremis.
Even those fatalistic old Conservatives who have seen both Tsarist and Ottoman
invaders come and go before are beginning to admit reluctantly that this time
it is different. It seems hardly likely that the Russians will bluntly break their
promise to withdraw on the 2nd March, but the present situation offers well-nigh
endless possibilities of legal quibbling and chicanery; Azerbaijan may argue that
it is no longer part of Persia within the meaning of the treaty; or Stalin may
graciously grant the petition of the Azerbaijan people to allow their Soviet guests
to stay a little longer; or, if the Soviet troops do depart, they will be no further
away than Julfa, and can cover the 90 miles from there to Tabriz rapidly enough
in response to an appeal for protection against the blood-drinking hordes of the
Tehran reactionaries. • ,
31. I am sending copies of this despatch to the Foreign Office; His
Majesty’s Embassies at Angora and Moscow; His Majesty’s Consul at
Kermanshah; the Government of India; General Headquarters, Delhi; and
C.I.C.I., Bagdad.
I have, &c.

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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English in Latin script
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Coll 28/112B Persia. Tabriz. Monthly dispatches of internal situation in Azerbaijan, & misc: reports.’ [‎211v] (423/451), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3525, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 February 2020]

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