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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 13, 1946

MESSAGE FROM BAGIROV TO STALIN AND MOLOTOV ABOUT WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS FROM NORTHERN IRAN

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    Bagirov and Maslennikov report on intelligence activities by all sides following on the withdrawal of Soviet troops from northern Iran.
    "Message from Bagirov to Stalin and Molotov about Withdrawal of Troops from Northern Iran," March 13, 1946, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, GAPPOD, f.1, op.89, d.112. Obtained for CWIHP by Jamil Hasanli and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120473
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[handwritten across the top: Nr 250 501 words 13 March 1730 Moscow [1 word illegible] VCh [1 word illegible]]

[Translator’s note: “VCh” refers to a secure landline communications system used by high-level Soviet authorities]

To Cde. Stalin

To Cde. Molotov

In connection with the published decision of the Soviet government about a partial withdrawal of troops from the northern regions of Iran, the workers of foreign consulates in Tabriz are greatly occupied with study of the question of the movements of Soviet troops in the area of Tabriz.

The British consul (Wall) has mobilized his agent network [agentura] to collect information about the number and kinds [rody] of Soviet troops departing from Tabriz and, chiefly, the new operational [voyskovyye] units arriving in Tabriz.

Not limiting himself to this, the consul himself and his workers have visiting the unloading areas of our troop trains. On 10 March when a troop train with tanks which had arrived from the Soviet Union was standing in the station at Tabriz, (Wall) and Vice Consul (Lang) drove up to the station and tried to photograph the train but, having noticed our workers, drove off and continued to photograph from [their] automobiles from a distance.

On 11 March (Wall) and (Lang) again appeared at the Tabriz station where a troop train [loaded] with our aircraft was stopped.

In recent days the British consul (Wall) has been having almost daily conferences with the American and Turkish consuls in Tabriz.

A considerable increase in budgetary allocations has come to the American consulate to intensify intelligence work.  So, for example, at the end of February, instead of the usual monthly receipt of 50,000 rials the American consul received 240,000 rials.

After the withdrawal of detachments of the Iranian Azerbaijani popular militia [opolcheniye] from the areas of Tal’sh-Pahlavi areas to the area of Astara, reactionary elements, together with the gendarmerie and police, began reprisals against people who had participated in the democratic movement and had displayed sympathy toward the Soviet Union.

On 11 March in the village of Khoshtar (Tal’sh [?district?]), on the orders of the Governor-General of Gilyan Ansari the gendarmerie arrested 6 persons, including the leaders of the local organization of the People’s Party, Ali Shakh and Rakhnum, who were sent to Tehran.

In the area of Rakhimabad, east of the city of Rasht, a band of 300 persons appeared, armed with Brno rifles and French 3-shot [rifles]. The majority of this band’s composition had military training. Among them were 3 Iranian officers in military uniform. The band arrived from Mazandaran to help local reactionary elements in reprisals against people who had participated in the democratic movement.

Information has arrived about a concentration of large Iranian governmental forces in the areas of Suleymanabad, Bejan, Hamadan, and Saqqez. All these points adjoin the southern and southeastern borders of Iranian Azerbaijan.

According to unverified data, up to 30,000 Iranian troops are also concentrated in the region of Saqqez who reportedly are preparing for an offensive on Iranian Azerbaijan from the direction of Tikantap and Zanjan.

Iranian officers are being systematically sent from Tehran to the area of Zanjan dressed in civilian clothing for intelligence activity to study the presence of armed forces of the national government.

Together with this, there ought to be noted cases of desertion of individual officers from the Iranian army to the side of the popular militia of Iranian Azerbaijan. On 10 March in the area of Bostanabad 50 km south of Tabriz an Iranian fighter aircraft landed. This was the second case of a flight by Iranian pilots of the Iranian army to Iranian Azerbaijan. The plane’s crew were Junior Lieutenant Dzhavad Zarine and rifleman Sergeant-Major Mokhamed Ali Peyda, both residents of Tabriz; according to the evidence of our people their sincerity is not in doubt. During interrogation in the Ministry of the Popular Militia they declared that the day before [they were] among a number of other pilots who had received an assignment to fly from Tehran to be placed at the disposition of the chief of the Hamadan garrison. Using the favorable situation they decided to carry out their intentions and changed direction to Tabriz, but because of a lack of fuel made an emergency landing in the area of Bostanabad.

M. D. Bagirov

[signature]

I. I. Maslennikov

[signature]

13 March 1946

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