891.00/11–1945: Telegram

The Ambassador in Iran (Murray) to the Secretary of State

959. Iranian Army and gendarmerie reports say members of Democratic Party of Azerbaijan have seized control of Ardabil, Sarab, Mianeh, Maragheh and Miandoab all in Azerbaijan (if correct this means they control all major routes entering province).

Reports add large group is moving on Zenjan and another in direction of Tehran. Today’s press says two representatives of party have been arrested in Tehran and are suspected of plotting disturbances here. Rumour says uprising Tehran scheduled November 22.

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Gendarmerie and Army reports state Russians accompanied Democrat groups in Azerbaijan and shot down anyone offering opposition. Several gendarmes and civilians reported killed at Mianeh and elsewhere.

Telegraphic communications north of Zenjan still cut.

Following council of Generals yesterday morning Shah ordered column of about 1,500 troops and gendarmes to move from Tehran immediately for Azerbaijan. Soviet Military Attaché has been informed of this and press says he has arranged with Russian headquarters Qazvin to permit troop movement. Shah reported to have told Soviet Military Attaché that state of rebellion exists and troops were being sent to put it down.

Other Army units ordered to take up posts on roads leading into Tehran and at railroad installations here.

Foreign Office official last night delivered to me body of note41 which was sent yesterday42 to Soviet Chargé d’Affaires Iakoubov listing numerous recent and less recent incidents which Foreign Office asserted had occurred in Azerbaijan in which Russians were directly or indirectly involved. Note spoke of threat of Kurdish revolt and interference by Russians with movement Iranian forces and enforcement of laws. Note specifically stated Democratic Party had cut telegraph lines and had occupied Govt offices and disarmed gendarmes and railroad police at Mianeh. Also said Russian officially had recently instituted strict control of all persons traveling into northern Iran. (Foreign Office official said this control includes search of baggage and seizure of all papers.) Note said to have ended with protest against situation and request for permission to send Iranian forces to restore order. Official said it was hoped reply would be received today but that troops might move forward regardless.

Situation was discussed in Majlis yesterday and Minister of War Riazi asserted Soviet military authorities had promised measures would be taken to stop disturbances in Azerbaijan.

Foreign Office says cutting of telegraph lines plus Soviet and Democratic Party road control has isolated Govt from communication with Azerbaijan. Embassy of course is also cut off from communication with Consulate Tabriz and I propose to send an officer by car as soon as possible to investigate developments and make contact with Ebling.

Sent Dept as 959, repeated Moscow 273, London 78.

  1. A copy of this note, in French, was transmitted to the Department in despatch 151, November 19, 1945, from Tehran, not printed.
  2. The note was delivered on the evening of November 17, 1945; see last paragraph of telegram 971, November 21, 8 a.m., from Tehran, p. 438.