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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. Also see the Digital Archive collections on "The Iran/Azerbaijan Crisis, 1946," and "Iran's Tudeh Party" (Image: Stalin, Mohammad Reza Shah, and Molotov at Tehran Conference, 1943).

  • March, 1919

    II. The Right to Territorial Restitution

    This report details Iranian territorial claims, including the Transcaspian District, various oblasts lost to the Russians, Turkish Kurdistan, and other Persian-majority areas the Iranians believe to have been unjustly taken from them.

  • November 16, 1920

    Telegram, Stalin to LENIN and the TsEKA [Central Committee]

    I. V. Stalin discusses Kuchuk Khan's past correspondence with the Shah of Iran, his replacement in the Gilan province by Communist leader Ehsanullah, and the limited possibilities for revolution in Iran.

  • January 03, 1941

    Cable, Reza Shah Pahlavi to Mitskevich

    Pahlavi notes continuing rumors that various forms of firearms are being smuggled into Iran.

  • 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.

  • April 14, 1942

    Letter of USSR Ambassador in Iran Cde. Smirnov about Our Relations with the British in Iran

    Soviet Ambassador to Iran A. Smirnov describes British policy in Iran as well as its implications for the Soviet Union and for the Anglo-Soviet relationship. He suggests that the British are pursuing an imperialist policy in Iran and that this policy is responsible for the mutual distrust forming between the British and Soviet governments.

  • September 27, 1942

    Cable, V. M. Molotov to the Soviet Ambassador A. Smirnov

    Molotov reports on a conversation between Stalin and Iranian Ambassador Ahi on the Soviet Union's lack of designs on Iran, the planned withdrawl of Soviet troops from Iran, Iranian opposition to Kurdish autonomy, and other aspects of the Soviet-Iranian diplomatic and military relationships.

  • December 07, 1943

    Conversations of I. V. Stalin and V. M. Molotov with Iranian leaders

    Brief reports on the tenor of official conversations between Soviet and Iranian leaders including lists of those present at each conversation.

  • 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.

  • June 10, 1945

    USSR Council of People’s Commissars, '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 GOKO [State Defense Committee] No. 9168SS,

    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 GOKO [State Defense Committee] No. 9168SS, '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

    Letter to Nikolai Aleksandrovich

    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