Bagirov and Maslennikov report on intelligence activities by all sides following on the withdrawal of Soviet troops from northern Iran.
April 12, 1946
Message from Bagirov on April 7 meeting with Pishevari
To Cde. Stalin
To Cde. Molotov
I, Bagirov, had a detailed conversation on 7 April in Soviet Jul’fa with Pishevari in the presence of Cdes. Ibragimov, Gasanov, Atakishiyev, and Glinskiy.
Pishevari declared that he understands the current situation and will unconditionally put into practice everything ensuing from the agreement concluded between the Soviet Union and the Iranian government.
He further declared that the Democratic Party and national government of Iranian Azerbaijan would in every way try not to give any cause for new provocations against the Soviet Union.
In reply to my question as to why he had invited the member of the CC of the People’s Party Kombakhsh from Tehran, Pishevari replied that he and his comrades are convinced that Qavam and his partners are preparing huge provocations and a mass slaughter not only in Azerbaijan, but in other provinces of Iran as soon as Soviet troops leave northern Iran [and] that his opinion is shared by the leaders of the People’s Party and its provincial organizations. Therefore he, while he could, was forced to get in touch with other progressive circles and groups in Iran to exchange opinions as to what they would do in the future.
By the end of the conversation about Azerbaijani affairs, as was arranged with our people, Kombakhsh drove up [pod”yekhal] and the conversation continued jointly.
Kombakhsh confirmed that the Tehran reactionaries, under the direct leadership of the British and Americans, are preparing huge provocations and bloodletting in the event Soviet troops withdraw.
Kombakhsh further declared that the arrest of Send Ziya, and possibly someone of the most eminent reactionaries, is a trap to prepare public opinion to really make short work of the personnel of the democratic organizations in Iran and conduct a mass slaughter among the workers and peasants.
I requested and warned both of them that they themselves not give [the reactionaries] any excuse for provocations, [make] no uprisings and make no movements of the national government’s forces.
After I left, Pishevari was visited on 9 April by Dzhamshid Keshaverz, who had arrived from Tehran at the request of his brother, the head of the CC of the People’s Party; [Jamshid Keshaverz] was interested in the arrival of Kombakhsh and other representatives of the “Tudeh” [the Iranian Communist Party] party to [see] Pishevari.
Jamshid Keshaverz asked Pishevari – does the national government of Azerbaijan agree to talks with the Tehran government with the participation of the “Tudeh” party? Pishevari answered him in the affirmative.
Pishevari has had similar visits in the recent past by representatives of democratic organizations from other provinces of Iran.
At 1000 on 10 April the British consul in Tabriz (Wall) visited Pishevari.
(Wall) announced to Pishevari that some days ago workers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs had conducted a search of a British subject of Armenian nationality who had come from Tehran and taken gold and silver articles [veshchi] from him (this took place).
Considering the actions of the police workers illegal, (Wall) requested [them] to return the seized articles to the owner. Pishevari replied that, unfortunately, this fact was unknown to him.
He informed (Wall) about the existence of a decree of the national Majlis forbidding export of gold and silver currency [valyuta] from Azerbaijan, but promised to verify this fact and, if the seized valuables did not fall under the activities of the national Majlis, to return them to the owner.
Further (Wall) reported that often diplomatic couriers come to him from Tehran, whom the Russians at the check points know and let pass without checking secret documents. In view of the fact that right now local people are at the check points, proceeding from existing law about the inviolability of the person of diplomatic workers, he requested Pishevari give orders to the check points to let British diplomatic couriers pass without search.
Pishevari replied that they have fedai at the check points, who are often rotated. Therefore the consul needs to report the arrival of diplomatic couriers each time to the national Majlis so that they give orders to the check points to let them pass.
With this the conversation with the British consul concluded.
On 10 April at 5 P.M. the American consul, (Rossow), visiting Pishevari, declared that peace and order were being violated in Azerbaijan.
Pishevari, being indignant with such an impudent announcement of (Rossow), asked him what facts he had at hand for such an announcement. (Rossow) replied that some days ago when he was in a restaurant a local person came up to him with a revolver with the words “When will we expel these Anglo-Saxons from here [?]”
Pishevari noted that evidently this was done by an enemy of the national government with provocative ends and that he, as consul, should have immediately informed the police to determine the identity of this person and call him to account.
As regards order in Azerbaijan, said Pishevari, that everyone knows that it is exemplary. One can leave stores open and nothing will happen. If Azerbaijan felt hate towards Americans then they could openly say so at gatherings and meetings. However there are no such facts.
Further (Rossow) noted that although the question in which he was interested is an internal affair of Iran nevertheless he would like to know – how will Azerbaijan’s relations with Tehran take shape after the agreement reached between the USSR and Iran. Pishevari replied that the Azerbaijani people have set forth their own demands and their own relationship to the Iranian government in the declaration of a people’s meeting which at one time was sent to the Shah and the Premier of Iran, but also was delivered to foreign consuls. He could add nothing to it.
As regards the talks, the national government of Azerbaijan has never rejected them and will not, but it will insist on the natural and just demands of the Azerbaijani people.
In conclusion, (Rossow) requested a reply as to why American ready-made clothing is not permitted to be brought into Azerbaijan for sale.
Pishevari replied that he did not know what trade agreements exist between Iran and America about delivery of goods to Azerbaijan. However, deliver of such goods to Tabriz has an effect on the domestic crafts industry and hurts craftsmen. The national government would be happier to buy a hundred Willys jeeps from the Americans and any number of tires than ready-made clothing.
In conclusion Pishevari declared that if the American people were correctly informed about events in Azerbaijan then they would support the legal and natural rights of the Azerbaijani people.
Today the general consulate in Tabriz received a telegram from Ambassador Sadchikov [stating] that according to an announcement of Qavam the democrats in Zanjan reportedly are terrorizing the population and have begun to move their armed forces forward in the direction of the village of Mendzhil’.
In Pishevari’s opinion the declarations of foreign consuls and Qavam of the lack of order and peace in Azerbaijan are being done intentionally and in coordination in order to prepare for the introduction of Iranian troops into Azerbaijan before talks begin and armed suppression of the democratic movement in Azerbaijan under the pretext of establishing order.
Bagirov, M. D.
12 April 1946
[transmission and receipt stamps at the bottom:]
Sent 1936 12 April OPS Duty Officer Tumanova; received by Trifan’ Checked 2108 12 April by OPS Duty Officer Tumanova
Bagirov describes a conversation with Pishevari on events in Iranian Afghanistan. He also describes Pishevari's separate meetings with representatives from the Tudeh party and the British and American consuls in Tabriz.
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