November 21, 1945
Telegram from Baku to Moscow, 'The Situation in Iranian Azerbaijan'
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
FROM BAKU 21 November 1945
to MOSCOW, to Cde. STALIN, to Cde. MOLOTOV, to Cde. BERIA, and to Cde. MALENKOV
We report the situation in Iranian Azerbaijan as of 2200 20 November.
According to a report of our military units two battalions of the 2nd Guards Infantry Division of Iranian troops and one company of the gendarmerie, which were located in the village of Kerej on 18 November, were approaching the city of Qazvin on 20 November. An Iranian officer addressed a demand to the brigade commander of Soviet troops in Qazvin to let the troops pass in the direction of Tabriz. The brigade commander did not permit the Iranian troops to pass.
According to information of our border troop the local authorities of the city of Iranian Astara; Lt. Col. Zagirnia, the border commissar for the Astara region; Lt. Safani, the chief of the gendarmerie; Kadyni, the governor of the city; and Nikiju, the chief of customs, fled the city on 18 November in connection with the increased activity of partisan groups in the Azerbaijan region.
According to a report from Tabriz in the Meyaneh region partisans attacked a gendarmerie post of the village of Tark with the objective of disarming [it]. The gendarmes resisted, as a result of which three partisans were killed and three were wounded; seven gendarmes were killed. In the same area in the village of Maman the partisans disarmed five gendarmes. At the Meyaneh railroad station partisans killed Ansari, the chief of police, an elderly reactionary who fought against the democratic movement. Aziz Khan, a big landowner in the Maragheh region, attacked a partisan detachment in the village of Hojamir with 25 armed horsemen. The partisans disarmed the horsemen and the landowner hid. In the same area the partisans disarmed the Binab gendarmerie post, during which they took 20 rifles and the gendarmes were herded into the premises they occupied. At the request of the gendarmerie local elders came to the partisans with a mullah and a Koran with a request not to kill the gendarmes. After the gendarmes handed over [their] weapons the partisans let them go [after] receiving a promise from the gendarmes to cease brutality against the peasants. During an attempt to hide the partisans arrested the reactionary landowners from the city of Maragheh Ittikhari, Musavi, his brother Ahmed Musavi, Paymaan, and Melik Mamed Khan, an ardent supporter of Seyyed Ziaeddin.
Rallies held throughout the cities of Iranian Azerbaijan where deputies were elected to the National Assembly, and they drew a great number of people. In the city of Rezayeh 5,000 people participated in a rally, 2,000 in Khoy; 3,000 in Shahpur; more than 2,000 in Maragheh; more than 2,000 in Maranda; 600 in Julfa; up to 15,000 in Ahar; and more than 20,000 in Tabriz. The rallies went calmly without any disturbances. Everywhere decisions were made approving the convening of the National Assembly and demands were advanced for holding elections to local self-governing bodies - enjumens - and the granting of autonomy to the Azerbaijani people.
M. D. BAGIROV
I. I. MASLENNIKOV
Received via VCh
21 Nov 1945
Telegram to top Soviet officials describing strikes made by Azerbaijani partisans against Iranian gendarmerie and popular rallies throughout Iranian Azerbaijan.
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