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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1953

MESSAGE TO CC CPSU G.M. MALENKOV ABOUT OBSTACLES IN IRANIAN AZERBAIJAN

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

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    Malenkov reports complaints about the organization of the Democratic Party of Iranian Azerbaijan in Baku and its radio station.
    "Message to CC CPSU G.M. Malenkov about Obstacles in Iranian Azerbaijan ," 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, GAPPOD, f. 1, s. 89, i. 187. Obtained for CWIHP by Jamil Hasanli and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120062
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CC CPSU

to Cde. Malenkov, G. M.

The Chairman of the CC CPSU Commission for Liaison with Foreign Communist Parties, Cde. Grigor’yan, V., has sent two letters of members of the CC of the People’s Party of Iran who live in Moscow and a copy of a brief summary of a report of members of the Executive Bureau [ispolboro] of the CC of the People’s Party of Iran about work in Iranian Azerbaijan.

The members of the CC of the People’s Party of Iran in Moscow complain of the serious obstacles and difficulties which arose in their work in Iranian Azerbaijan because of a lack of contact and coordination with the CC of the Democratic Party of Iranian Azerbaijan in Baku and its radio station. They write of the lack of purposefulness and lack of coordination in the operation of the radio station of the Azerbaijani democrats, which has an adverse effect of the work of the CC of the People’s Party and does not permit them to exercise joint direction of the democratic movement in Iranian Azerbaijan.

The members of the CC of the People’s Party of Iran in Moscow complain also of Doctor Dzhavid and his clique who are interfering with the populists [narodniki] in their work in Iranian Azerbaijan. They write that they could deal with them, but do not do so since Dzhavid cites to his ties with me, M. D. Bagirov.

For all practical purposes I am reporting about the issues raised by the populists which, after the defeat of the democratic movement in Southern Azerbaijan in December 1946, in accordance with the decision of the CC of our Party and the personal orders of Cde. I. V. Stalin, we have no ties with any organizations or persons in Iran, including in Iranian Azerbaijan.

Besides the daily broadcasts via the “illegal radio station” located in the Azerbaijan SSR [u nas], the CC of the Democratic Party of Southern Azerbaijan in Baku also has no ties with any organizations or persons in Iran, including in Iranian Azerbaijan.

All the broadcasts of the “illegal radio station” of the Azerbaijan democrats, all of their work in Baku occurs with the direct active participation of a member of the CC of the People’s Party of Iran, Kambakhsh, who informs the populists in Moscow in detail, both about the work of the Azerbaijani democrats in Baku and their radio station.

We really do not know about the situation in Iran at the present moment and cannot make a judgment about it from the Tehran press alone and also from stories and statements of numerous refugees who have come to us from Iran; by the way, the Republic state security organs have identified among them a rather large number of skilled intelligence officers (45 people).

Only from documents sent by Cde. Grigor’yan has it become known to us that the People’s Party has been concerned with the democratic movement in Iranian Azerbaijan since the beginning of 1951.

From these very same documents it has become known to us that in their work in Iranian Azerbaijan they allegedly encountered obstacles created by the Azerbaijani democrats in Baku and their radio station, as well as by Doctor Dzhavid and his clique.

From all this that they write, one thing is indisputable: in view of the limitless authority of the Soviet Union in Iran, in particular in Southern Azerbaijan, which has always gravitated toward the Soviet Union, and the unbearable position of the people, who have been brought to extreme despair, people are ready to join any party and follow any political leader oriented toward the Soviet Union.

But judging from everything there is no proper leadership of the people’s movement in Iran, particularly in Iranian Azerbaijan.

From what they write in the documents sent by Cde. Grigor’yan it is evident that many suspicious people still continue to remain in the leadership of the People’s Party, that the CC of the People’s Party still continues to maintain ties with such an inveterate, blatant American agent as Doctor Dzhavid.

As regards the radio station of the Azerbaijani democrats, it enjoys exceptional popularity among the workers of Iran. In spite of all repressions and persecutions the people not only of Iranian Azerbaijan but of all Iran listen with great attention to the broadcasts of this radio station. This infuriates the Iranian rulers into a frenzy and their masters, American and British intelligence, who are trying in every way to provoke [SIC, sprovotsirovat’] the broadcasts of this radio station.

This would be evident from the attached copies: 1) of a letter of Cde. Vyshinskiy of 30 August 1952 and 2) our reply to Cde. Vyshinskiy on this issue (see attachment).

From the translations of the radio broadcasts of the Azerbaijani democrats sent to Cde. Vyshinskiy for July and August of 1952 on 326 pages it is convincingly evident that the radio station of the Azerbaijani democrats is actually impeding the Iranian government of Mossadegh and his masters – the Americans and British - and at the same time is helping the populists, orienting the workers of Iran, including Iranian Azerbaijan, toward them.

In confirmation of this, for the sake of brevity it is sufficient just to familiarize oneself with the attached single broadcast of this station of 2 August 1952 (see attachment).

If the populists honestly and genuinely are writing that Doctor Dzhavid is impeding them, then this could only be welcomed. If they think that he is suspicious and harmful, then we for a long time have not only suspected him, but are taking every measure in order to somehow take him out of Iran, unmask [him], and break with him. Have them deliver him here to us or, in any case, liquidate him as a dangerous provocateur.

We do not know all the populists who signed the documents sent by Cde. Grigor’yan or who figure in these documents, but we know several of them.

It is evident that the populists do not so much want to get sanction from us for the leadership of the democratic movement in Iranian Azerbaijan, since they have actually been running it for a long time now, as they are making an attempt to sound out and identify what measures we will take in Iranian Azerbaijan and what we intend to do in the near future.

Recently the rulers of Iran have been greatly concerned about the ever-growing rumors fanned by the British to pressure the Iranian government about the supposed upcoming crossing into Iran of Azerbaijani democrats, Kurds, and detachments of the Kurdish chieftain Molla Mustafa Barzani, who emigrated to the USSR in 1946.

From the statements of identified and unmasked intelligence agents it is obvious that the government of Iran is interested in the number of Azerbaijani democrats in the USSR, their armed detachments, the location of their leaders, organizational issues, and the main thing, the time “when the Azerbaijani democrats will go on the offensive against Iran”.

In the same light, the following place in the populists’ letter seems quite strange after all:

“We well know that there can be such special circumstances and considerations which would make a continuation of the two-party situation within Iran necessary in order to hasten the liberation of the Iranian or Azerbaijani people. In such a case we, too, as in the past, will follow this path with boundless sincerity and fidelity.”

Regardless of everything, the attitude of the populists toward the democratic movement in Iranian Azerbaijan has been from the very beginning, and remains, negative. Even in the beginning of the creation of the Democratic Party in Iranian Azerbaijan in 1945 the CC of the People’s Party of Iran was categorically against it and took a quite hostile position if not to say more, since it was afraid that Iranian Azerbaijan and Kurdistan would leave [and join] the Soviet Union.

It is especially suspicious, but in a different way, how the then members of the CC of the People’s Party conducted themselves regarding this issue: Abdul Samed Kambakhsh, Artashes Avanesyan, and Doctor Dzhavid, about whom the populists “complain”. We are attaching detailed descriptions, drawn up on the basis of documents available to the CC of the Azerbaijan CP and the MGB of the Republic.

As regards such members of the CC as Reza Rusta and Keshaverz F., then according to information reaching us during [their] stay in Moscow they are described negatively, particularly Keshaverz F., who even made anti-Soviet statements.

Our suspicions as regards several leaders of the People’s Party of Iran were strengthened after the well-known “escape” of dozens of leading workers of the People’s Party of Iran from the “Kasre Kadzhar” central theater of Tehran on 15 December 1950.

Considering that the entire army, the entire police, the entire Iranian intelligence apparatus and officials are actually in the hands of the Americans and the British, this “escape”, it seems to us, was organized by American and British intelligence.  The circumstances of the “escape” itself described in the attached note of Kambakhsh himself (see attachment) suggest this thought.

Returning to what was said above about Dzhavid and the need for his liquidation as a provocateur, we request [you] suggest to the populists, if they actually have such capabilities as the organization of the escape of 10 important political workers… [available text ends here]

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