The Ambassador in Iran (Murray) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 20—8:50 a.m.]
961. Arfa today told me General Derakshani, Iranian Garrison Commander Tabriz, has issued proclamation saying certain elements were threatening public order and he (Derakshani) had instructions from military authorities Tehran to defend its post and public buildings to last man. Proclamation warned any foreign elements against interference saying Iranian forces would not be responsible if bloodshed resulted.
Arfa likewise said 6,000 Russian troops in civilian clothes are in Tabriz and threatening Iranian garrison (which numbers about 1,000). He believes similar situation exists at Ardabil.
I am inclined to accept his statement regarding issuance proclamation but reserve judgment on report about Russian troops in civilian clothes.
Arfa has report Tudeh Party in Gilan and Mazandaran is preparing coup along lines of events now said to be transpiring in Azerbaijan.
Unofficial sources say telegraph line from Azerbaijan to Sannandaj has been cut.
In past 2 days Russian Embassy has informed both British Embassy and our Military Attaché that it is at present inopportune for any foreigner to visit northern Iran.
Iran Govt is obviously seeking wide publicity for present developments and last night called in local AP-Reuters correspondent to give him substantially same information as that furnished Embassy.
Sent Dept as 961; repeated Moscow 274; London 79.