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November 27, 1945

Telegram from Baku to Moscow, M.D. Bagriov and I.I. Maslennikov to Cdes. Stalin, Molotov, Beria, and Malenkov

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation


FROM BAKU 27 November 1945




We report the situation in Iranian Azerbaijan as of 2200 26 November.


According to a report from Tabriz, at 1100 on 25 November in the city of Zanjan unarmed members of the Democratic Party under the leadership of Doctor Jagan Shahi, Chairman of the city committee, and committee members Ali Zade Yunus and Abdulfaz Rauf, willfully disarmed the city gendarmerie, the railroad police, and soldiers of the city military presence, and occupied the premises of the railroad station, the military presence of the post office, and disrupted communications between Zanjan and Tehran.


The Democrats seized 95 rifles, of which 20 were issued to members of the Democratic Party. The remaining weapons are being guarded on the premises of the city committee. The police were not disarmed by the Democrats but the former, sitting in various city buildings, exchanged fire chaotically with armed members of the Democratic Party for 15 minutes. The prosecutor, the chief of the gendarmerie, his assistant, and the chief of the railroad police were arrested by the Democrats. Those arrested are being kept on the premises of the committee and the rest were disarmed and sent home.


A local landowner, a well-known reactionary and  a follower of Seyyed Ziaeddin [Tabataee], Julfikar Sultan Mahmud Khan, is preparing to enter the city with his armed detachment of 300 men in connection with this event and deal with the Democrats. At the present time it is quiet in the city of Zanjan. The incident of the disarming of the gendarmerie directly by members of the Democratic Party under the leadership of the committee was done for the first time ever, and the possibility is not precluded that it was provoked by followers of Seyyed Ziaeddin who had infiltrated the committee. We recommended that the CC of the Democratic Party send its representative to Zanjan and investigate on the spot. We did not advise returning the weapons which were seized.


Nasrullah Khan Yurchi, a well-known reactionary in Azerbaijan Province, prepared an attack on a partisan detachment in the village of Nir. Having found out about this, the partisans identified Nasrullah Khan's attack and on 24 November surrounded his residence in the village of Akchay, 40 km from the city of Ardabil. One hundred armed and 120 unarmed partisans took part in the operation. Nasrullah Khan's people opened fire on the partisans. His relatives from neighboring villages came to his aid with armed groups and surrounded the partisans.


Partisans from other regions were sent by the leader of the partisan detachments in Azerbaijan Province to help this detachment. Since the start of the partisans' operations in Azerbaijan Province they have disarmed four gendarmerie posts at which 18 gendarmes were located. Ghulam Mirza, the chief of the gendarmerie post in the village of Nir, who was notable for his cruelty toward the peasants, was shot. Four soldiers were disarmed and 65 rifles and six revolvers were taken from local reactionaries. One group of partisans had a firefight with a platoon of soldiers traveling from Meshkin Shahr to Ardabil, and forced the latter to return. Those arrested were three landowners, out-and-out followers of Seyyed Ziaeddin, who tried to flee the city of Ardabil for Tehran. The chief of the Ardabil prison was killed.


From the beginning of the partisan operations officers of the Iranian forces in Ardabil have exhibited confusion; a brigade was confined to barracks and is building defensive structures around their location. Not relying on his own soldiers the brigade commander, Colonel Zarif, has been trying to arm and move leaders royal troops [Shakhzevanskie vozhaki] against the partisans, Amir Aslanbek, Gotam Khan, and Nasrullah Khan, but without success. Eighteen soldiers have deserted from the brigade in recent days. At the present time the partisans of Ardabil control all the roads and important points. The partisans of the Sarab Region have killed  the chief of the gendarmerie, the chief of the garrison, and 20 gendarmes since the beginning of operations. A platoon of Iranian soldiers has been disarmed, from whom were taken 25 rifles, three light machineguns, and ammunition.


In the village of Lamirchi, Sarab Region, the local khan put together an armed group of 30 men to fight the partisans. The partisans suggested that the khan immediately surrender all the weapons and disband the group.





Received via VCh

27 Nov 1945


Message to top Soviet officials describing continuing hostilities between Azerbaijani partisans and the Iranian gendarmerie. In the actions described, the partisans are successful, killing very few gendarmes and preferring to disarm the rest.

Document Information


RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 99, ll. 0067-0069. Contributed by Jamil Hasanli and translated by Gary Goldberg.


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