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.
February 7, 1946
Message from Bagirov to Stalin and Molotov Containing a Record of a Conversation between Rossow and Pishevari
to Cde. Stalin
to Cde. Molotov
On 4 February the American consul in Tabriz Rossow visited the Prime Minister of the national government of Azerbaijan Pishevari.
Rossow came with a request to remove the prohibition on exporting from Azerbaijan for shipment to America a consignment [partiya] of intestines bought by an Armenian merchant. This was evidently the formal reason for the visit.
In view of the interest in the questions which Rossow asked Pishevari, we sent you the text of their conversation:
Rossow: “In accordance with the agreement allied troops should leave Iran at the beginning of the month. However, to me as a former military man, it seems that before the withdrawal of the troops preliminary preparatory work is needed for several months at least. No preparations are being noted here for the evacuation of Soviet troops. How do you see the withdrawal of these troops in accordance with the agreement?”
Pishevari: “We did not invite these troops. Their stay in Iran was occasioned by the attitude of the central Iranian government to the allies. However, the stay of these troops does not threaten our national government inasmuch as they do not interfere in our internal affairs. Finally, it is easier for you to clarify the question of the withdrawal of Soviet troops by the deadline via your own government”.
Rossow: “Do you intend to establish direct trade relations with foreign governments? This is counter to international law since Azerbaijan is within the state of Iran and foreign trade relations are conducted by the Iranian government”.
Pishevari”: The Tehran government wants to repress the Azerbaijani people by [exerting] pressure on the economic and trade activity of Azerbaijan. Therefore we need to establish direct trade relations with the outside world. The interests of our people require this [and] our merchants and landowners insist on it”.
Rossow: “In the newspaper ‘Azerbaijan’ a report was printed that you gave at a plenum of the CC of the Democratic Party where in one part you declared that the Iranian reactionaries with the help of several imperialist nations want to repress the freedom and independence of the Azerbaijani people. Whom did you have in mind as imperialist nations? We Americans consider only the Germans as an imperialist nation and, as you know, they have been defeated”.
Pishevari: “We do not consider any nation in the world imperialist. But we know that in individual states there are ruling groups and circles with imperialist designs. In a word, all those who [are] helping the Tehran reactionaries [and] who want to repress our freedom and independence, we can justly call imperialists, for our people want to live freely”.
Rossow: “How do you view the talks in London?”
Pishevari: “Whatever talks are held we know only one thing – the question of Azerbaijan should be decided only in Azerbaijan, not outside it and not via a foreign state. [By] taking this question outside Iran, the Tehran government has committed a crime with respect to all the peoples of Iran. Azerbaijan has determined its fate and will not retreat from its decision. It is ready for any sacrifices in the name of preserving its national independence”.
M. D. Bagirov
7 February 1946
[transmission and receipt blocks at the bottom:]
Sent 2105 7 February 1946
OPS Duty Officer Ayrapetova
Received by Davydov
Checked 2140 7 February 1946
OPS Duty Officer Ayrapetova
Bagirov reports on a conversation between Pishevari and the American consul Robert Rossow about Soviet troops in Iran and the views of the separatist Azerbaijan People's Government.
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