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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 05, 1946

MESSAGE FROM BAGIROV AND MASLENNIKOV ON APRIL 4 MEETING WITH PISHEVARI

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    Pishevari, the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, lists conditions for opening talks with the Iranian government in Tehran on the status of Iranian Azerbaijan.
    "Message from Bagirov and Maslennikov on April 4 meeting with Pishevari ," April 05, 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. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120476
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 To Cde. Stalin

To Cde. Molotov

In accordance with orders received via telephone from Cde. Molotov on 2 April we entrusted Cdes. Ibragimov, Atakishiyev, and Gasanov with coming to an agreement with Pishevari and preparing him for a possible meeting and talks with representatives of the Tehran government.

We report the content of a conversation that Pishevari had with our people on 4 April in Tabriz:

Pishevari agreed to hold talks with Tehran on the following conditions:

1. The talks are to be held in Tabriz or, in case of emergency, in Mianeh, in order to feel the support of the people and have a chance to consult with them quickly.

2. Pishevari, Padegan, and Shabustari should conduct the talks.

3. Pishevari considers the final end of the talks to be:

a) recognition of the autonomy of Azerbaijan in the form of an enjumen [assembly];

b) to have their own troops and their own command staff, but with subordination, as with all Iranian troops, to the General Staff. In case of need the troops of Azerbaijan will defend Iran from foreign enemies;

c) Azerbaijan is to retain the right to provide for internal order with its own police without gendarmerie and other personnel being sent from Tehran;

d) official communications in Azerbaijan are to be conducted in the Azerbaijani language, but correspondence with Tehran in Persian;

e) study in schools is to be conducted in the Azerbaijani language until the 3rd grade; after the 3rd grade Persian will be introduced in addition;

f) state land is to be left for the peasants, but distribution of land among the peasants  is to be paid at state expense with subsequent gradual payment by the peasants of the value of these lands to the state;

g) recognition by Tehran as legal measures heretofore taken by the national government and no criminal prosecution according to Iranian law is to be initiated regarding the democrats, for example: for expenditure of state resources, confiscation of property, convictions of people, expulsion from Azerbaijan, execution, etc.;

h) increase the number of deputies from Azerbaijan in the Iranian Majlis in proportion to the population of Azerbaijan;

i) not to permit the return to Azerbaijan of people expelled as enemies of the democratic movement.

Pishevari again declares that all of Qavam’s intentions are directed at the liquidation of the democratic movement and everything as a whole gained until now by the Azerbaijani people.

In conclusion, he declares that he will fulfill all our orders and will not sabotage them, but he does not conceal that in this case he is an executor of orders, but he does not agree with them in spirit.

Your comrades report that during the conversation Pishevari was nervous, speaking all the time about the traitorous role of Qavam, and raised the question of withdrawing activists of the national government to the Soviet Union.

In reply to our request send via our comrades to put his wishes and suggestions in written form, Pishevari, referring to his fatigue and nervous condition, asked that he limit himself to the content of this conversation.

Today, 5 April, our people should again meet for a second time with Pishevari, and also Shabustari and Padegan.

It has become known to us that on 4 April Kombaksh arrived in Tabriz from Tehran, summoned to the talks by Pishevari, as he declared to our people.

Kombakhsh is a member of the CC of the Iranian People’s Party and head of the organizational department of the CC, [and] a deputy of the last Majlis. At the beginning of the creation of the Democratic Party of Iranian Azerbaijan, being summoned to Baku by me, Bagirov, he had a negative attitude to the autonomy movement in Azerbaijan and the creation of the Democratic Party. Proceeding from these opinions of his, we did not bring him into the democratic movement of Iranian Azerbaijan. His origin – his mother is from the Kajar dynasty - that is, Azerbaijani - and his father is Persian [fars]. He received a military and general political education in Moscow. We do not at all understand his summons by Pishevari without our knowledge.

In light of what has been said, we have given the following instructions to Cdes. Ibragimov, Atakishiyev, Gasanov, and Glinskiy:

“Considering the poor mood of Pishevari and his nervousness, do not pressure him and do not insist that he write down his suggestions without fail.

You all need to take measures for a gradual preparation of mood, chiefly of Pishevari, and all the remaining leaders and convince them of the need and correctness at this moment of making maximum concessions in possible upcoming talks with the Tehran government.

Pishevari’s summons of Kombakhsh without our knowledge is not understandable and strange; he has always had a negative attitude toward Kombakhsh by his own admission. At all costs find out from Pishevari and Kombakhsh the reason for the latter’s arrival in Tabriz and the content of their conversation with Pishevari and other leaders of the national government.

In the most courteous, friendly, and quiet manner convince Pishevari and his comrades, and Kombakhsh separately, that:

1. any measures on their part that are not coordinated with us could lead to the most undesirable and negative consequences;

2. without considering the current international situation any speeches by them in any form are tantamount to adventurism and condemned to failure beforehand.

Tonight, no later than midnight, report via Glinskiy in detail about everything that is being done and also your opinion, having secured the support of Pishevari and Kombakhsh in advance for their joint meeting with us in Soviet Jul’fa on the night of the 6th, or in an emergency, on the evening of the 7th.”

M. D. Bagirov

[signature]

I. I. Maslennikov

[signature]

5 April 1946

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