891.00/5–2948: Telegram

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

secret   us urgent

591. Colonel Sexton informed by Razmara Chief of Staff that Iranian consul Baku reports considerable activity among Iranian ex-Democrats there. He confirms audience Mullah Mustafa Barzani and Gholam Yahya as reported Embtel 538, May 18,1 and states they met with Padegan, formerly one of Pishevari’s2 right-hand men.

British Chargé d’Affaires also concerned with free movement Barzanis and Soviet Kurd political agents from USSR to Iraq through Iranian Kurdistan. He blames inefficiency Iranian Army’s border patrols. Embassy believes, however, that Army unable to control cross border movements until government wins confidence Jalali, Shikkak and Harki tribes; unfortunately attitude is still one of mutual suspicion and tribal leaders are disinclined to check these movements.

Besides Barzani-Democrat activities mentioned above, other danger signals are (a) establishment of large Soviet Consulate in Maku [Page 149](Embtel 588, May 293), (b) consultant of Soviet Consul General Krasnik of Tabriz in Moscow (Embassy’s A–97, May 203), and (c) Iranian Army reports to Military Attaché of increased Soviet activity in Khorassan and Gurgan. I am concerned with possibility frequently mentioned here that ostentatious Soviet activity along northwest frontier may be diversionary tactic, and that next Soviet move against Iran may come in direction of Khorassan and Gurgan plain. The basic situation in those regions differs little from that of Azerbaijan, with large Turki and Kurdish speaking tribal minorities potential allies for any Soviet inspired adventure. Razmara tells me that this appears to be the Soviet plan. Dooher’s4 information confirms.

We should in all likelihood be caught completely off guard by any Soviet-inspired move in Khorassan or Gurgan. This, therefore, suggests advisability prompt establishment American Consulate in Meshed, and, if Department approves, I shall take necessary preliminary steps pending assignment qualified political officer as consul at Meshed.

Sexton requests Mis be informed.

Sent Department, repeated London 45. Department pass Moscow 32, Kabul 12.

Wiley
  1. Not printed; it advised that Mullah Mustafa had just returned to Iran from a ten-day visit to Moscow in company with Gen. Gholam Yahya Daneshyan, former leader of the Azerbaijani armed forces (891.00/5–1848).
  2. Jafar Pishevari, Prime Minister of the “National Government of Azerbaijan” in 1945 and 1946.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Gerald F. P. Dooher, regularly Assistant Attaché at Tehran; at this time at Tabriz.