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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Iran-Soviet Relations

This collection contains Soviet documents related to Soviet-Iranian relations, Soviet interests in Iran, and Soviet support for the separatist movement in Iranian Azerbaijan. In 1946, the Soviet Union sparked the Iran crisis of 1946, also known as the Iran-Azerbaijan Crisis, by refusing to relinquish Iranian territory occupied by Soviet forces during World War II. (Image, Stalin, Mohammad Reza Shah, and Molotov at Tehran Conference, 1943)

  • December 09, 1941

    Cable from Dimitrov to Stalin, Molotov, Beria, and Malenkov

    Cable to top Soviet officials advising against reviving the Communist Party of Iran, and instead advising its members to work through the People's Party. Kuybyshev believes the Communist Party would be too small to be significant, and would give British and Nazi agents in Iran an opportunity to turn Iranian elites against the Soviet Union.

  • 1944

    Report on the Political and Economic Situation in Tabriz in 1943

    A report detailing the political and economic situation in Tabriz in 1943, detailing, among other things, leadership, local government, and elections. There is emphasis placed on the Soviet role in the region and how it will affect outcomes.

  • March 18, 1944

    Letter, Dimitrov to Molotov, 'The Situation in the People's Party of Iran'

    Message from Dimitrov to Molotov about the 1944 Iranian elections and the upcoming merger of the country's trade unions. Dimitrov attributes the People's Party's loss in the election to corruption among its opponents, but states that the campaign for the People's Party was successful in introducing its ideas to Iranian citizens.

  • June 05, 1944

    Letter to Deputy USSR People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs Kavtaradze and the USSR Ambassador to Iran Makisimov from Vice-Consul of the USSR General Consulate in Tabriz Marchenko

    Letter forwarding a report about the political and economic situation of the consular district of the USSR General Consulate in Tabriz for 1943.

  • June 24, 1944

    Decree by the USSR Council of People’s Commissars on Establishing a School in Tabriz

    A decree by Molotov discussing plans to establish a school in Tabriz with instruction in the Azerbaijani language.

  • February 07, 1945

    Message from Bagirov to Stalin and Molotov Containing a Record of a Conversation between Rossow and Pishevari

    Bagirov reports on a conversation between Pishevari and the American consul Robert Rossow about Soviet troops in Iran and the views of the separatist Azerbaijan People's Government.

  • June 10, 1945

    Decree by the USSR Council of People's Commissars on the Organization of Soviet Industrial Enterprises in Northern Iran

    A decree with plans for construction of various factories and enterprises in northern Iran under the organization of the Azerbaijan SSR.

  • June 21, 1945

    Decree of the State Defense Committee on Geological Prospecting Work for Oil in Northern Iran

    A decree on prospecting and drilling for oil in Northern Iran, detailing the exact plans of the Soviet Union.

  • June 21, 1945

    Decree of the USSR State Defense Committee No 9168 SS Regarding Geological Prospecting Work for Oil in Northern Iran

    Decree ordering '"Azneft" [Azerbaijani Oil] Association to supervise geological prospecting for oil deposits in northern Iran under the direction of Narkomneft, the USSR Oil Ministry.

  • July, 1945

    Message to Nikolai Aleksandrovich on Strengthen the Friendship between the Peoples of Southern Azerbaijan and the Soviet Union.

    A letter describing the activities of the Soviet 4th army to strengthen ties with the local population in Iranian Azerbaijan.

  • July 06, 1945

    Decree of the CC CPSU Politburo to Mir Bagirov CC Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, 'Measures to Organize a Separatist Movement in Southern Azerbaijan and Other Provinces of Northern Iran'

    The Soviet leadership informs the leadership of the CPAz CC of the decisions taken regarding the need to organize a separatist movement in Northern Iran. The document sets up a step by step plan to insure that the population in Northern Iran can be manipulated to declare independence and join the Azerbaijan SSR.

  • July 09, 1945

    Message from General Tyulenev to the Commanding General of the 4th Army

    Plans for the organization of a hyrdogeological detachment to begin prospecting work for oil in northern Iran.

  • July 14, 1945

    Secret Soviet Instructions, 'Measures to Carry out Special Assignments throughout Southern Azerbaijan and the Northern Provinces of Iran'

    Soviet document with instructions on creating the Azerbaijan Democratic Party in northern Iran in an attempt to set the basis for a separatist movement.

  • July 24, 1945

    Message from Bagirov to Aleksandrov on Printing Presses

    Message requesting three printing presses for the publication of newspapers and an illustrated magazine.

  • July 24, 1945

    Message from Bagirov to Mikoyan on Publishing in Southern Azerbaijan

    Message requesting paper for the publication of newspapers and an illustrated magazine

  • July 24, 1945

    Message from Bagirov to Yudin on Printing Presses

    Message requesting printing presses for Southern Azerbaijan.

  • October 21, 1945

    Message from Bagirov and Maslennikov to Beria on Arming the Autonomous Movement in Iranian Azerbaijan

    A memo to Beria about helping the autonomous movement in Iranian Azerbaijan. It details both missions and operatives.

  • October 31, 1945

    Message to Bagirov on a Visit to Southern Azerbaijan

    A letter to Bagirov detailing a 10-day Soviet visit to Iranian Azerbaijan reporting on the progress of organizing the Azerbaijan Democratic Party.

  • November 20, 1945

    Telegram from Baku to Moscow, 'Additional Information Received from Tabriz'

    Telegram to top Soviet officials discussing Iranian troop operations against Azerbaijani partisans, both of which are asking the Soviets for assistance. States that orders have been given for Soviet forces to act against Iranian ones only under extreme necessity.

  • November 21, 1945

    Telegram from Baku to Moscow, 'The Situation in Iranian Azerbaijan'

    Telegram to top Soviet officials that describes the opening of the Azerbaijani National Assembly in Tabriz. Also notes that Azerbaijani partisans are now on the defensive, having overcome most of the landowners and gendarmerie units in the area. Indicates that partisans have begun to rely partially on Soviet support.