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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 26, 1945

TELEGRAM FROM BAKU TO MOSCOW, 'THE SITUATION IN IRANIAN AZERBAIJAN'

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Message sent to top Soviet officials, describing hostilities between Azerbaijani partisans and Iranian gendarmerie, which the partisans attempt to resolve peacefully but must sometimes resort to violence. Notes the "reactionary" rumors of chaos and violence being spread about the new state, but asserts that few believe these once visiting partisan-controlled cities.
    "Telegram from Baku to Moscow, 'The Situation in Iranian Azerbaijan'," November 26, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI. F.558. Op.11. D.99. L.64-66. Obtained by Jamil Hasanli and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119112
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TELEGRAM

FROM BAKU 26 November 1945

to MOSCOW, to Cdes. STALIN, MOLOTOV, BERIA, and MALENKOV

We report the situation in Iranian Azerbaijan as of 0800 26 November.

According to a report from Tabriz our workers who have arrived from the city of Meyaneh report that rumors being spread by reactionary circles about disturbances in the city are not true. Life in the city of Meyaneh has proceeded normally from the moment events unfolded in Iranian Azerbaijan. In the city itself partisans killed a total of one person, Ranuma, the secretary of the Seyyed Ziaeddin organization; the remaining operations of the partisans were conducted outside the city.

On 22 November British Vice-Consul [Lang] paid a special visit to the city of Meyaneh. Talking with Magerranov, the Soviet commandant of the city, he twice declared that through a personal visit to Meyaneh he was convinced of the falseness of rumors circulating about disorders which have supposedly occurred and continue to occur in the city. He referred to the fact that because of a temporary disruption of communications he had not had an opportunity to inform his Embassy of the real situation in Meyaneh in a timely manner. [Lang] returned to Tabriz the same day.

We are sending the details of a clash between the Meyaneh partisan detachment and the gendarmerie post in the village of Tark mentioned in our information of 20 November. Wishing to avoid bloodshed, after encircling the post the partisans sent them a respected elder, a spiritual representative, with an offer to hand over weapons and disperse. Captain Ebram, the chief of the post, rejected the offer and personally shot the emissary. The partisans sent a second influential elder who knew Captain Ebram well; the latter also shot the second man and ordered fire to be opened on the partisans. All nine gendarmes were killed as a result of the firefight and Captain Ebram was seized by the partisans and shot. Three of the partisans were wounded. At the suggestion of the partisans 50 soldiers and three officers at the conscription point in Meyaneh

surrendered all their weapons, ammunition, and four vehicles in an organized manner. The partisans returned the pistols to the officers and permitted [them] to go home. One of the officers, an Azerbaijani captain from the city of Tabriz, stated that he wants to serve his people, is ready to perform any very difficult mission, and asked that he be accepted in the detachment. The partisans intend to use him to teach them military matters. The disarmed soldiers were supplied with food and money by the partisans, and sent home on passing vehicles. The partisans also permitted gendarmes who had voluntarily surrendered [their] weapons to go home; at the suggestion of the partisans before leaving the finance department of the city council paid them the wages due them.

On 23 November with the permission of the partisans the influential khan Salar Muzfar, who had previously fled the city and created an armed detachment of 50 men to fight the partisans, returned to the city of Meyaneh. The partisans suggested that Salar Muzafar surrender all weapons and decided not to liquidate him personally, considering his advanced age and authority among the landowners.

On 23 November 22 km from the city of Meyaneh the partisans captured and shot Arshad Ranjbari, an inveterate reactionary, provocateur, and member of the Seyyed Ziaeddin organization, who was trying to flee to Tehran.

In information of 24 November we reported that Colonel Humayun of the Tabriz gendarmerie had given orders to the gendarmerie of the city of Azershahr to abandon [their] posts and go to Tabriz. Having found out about this order, the partisans appeared in the city of Azershahr and disarmed the gendarmerie. In the same area, in the large population center of Gevgan southwest of Azershahr, the partisans disarmed and expelled 12 gendarmes. In the city of Tabriz during the presentation of the declaration of the Founding Congress to the American consul the latter asked whether representatives of the people not affiliated with a Party were participating in the National Assembly or were participants of the Assembly only members of the Democratic Party.  He was told in response that representatives of all sectors of the population participated in the National Assembly, both Party members and those not in the Party. During the presentation of the declaration to him, the British consul accepted it reluctantly and said that in connection with events he was deprived of the opportunity to send it to the Embassy but as long as he had received it he would send it as intended.

M. D. BAGIROV

I. I. MASLENNIKOV

Received via VCh

26 Nov 1945

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