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Southern Azerbaijan during World War II

The World War II influenced to the socio-political life of Iran, as well as Southern Azerbaijan. Although during the World War II Iran officially declared about its neutrality, administrative circles under the leadership of Rza Shah turned the country into the area of activity of German intelligence organs.

But the collapse of military – police regime of Rza Shah, transition of the real administration of the country to the parliament restoration of  political freedom, liberation of political prisoners shaped suitable condition for the revival of national democratic movement in Iran.

Major demands of the participants of the movement were the democratization of state order, improvement of the circumstances of the population and etc.

In order to shape much more stable movement, the participants of national-democratic movement and the group of democrats under the leadership of Seid Jafar Pirsheveri appealed to the nation to create Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) on September 3, 1945. There were reflected such problems as introduce-ment of autonomy to Azerbaijan inside of Iran, achievement of national solidarity, realization of reforms, which responded to the requests of the people along with the explaination of the program of the party.

It is important to mention that Soviet administration and personally I.V.Stalin, who was interested in the development of national-liberation movement in Iran was completely informed about the situation in Iran and South Azerbaijan, thanks to M.C.Baghirov. Stalin permitted to the   creation of ADP and the election of S.C.Pisheveri as its leader.

On September 5, 1945, there began to be published the newspaper of “Azerbaijan”, who was the organ of ADP.

On October 2-4, 1945, there occurred the first Congress of ADP.

Congress elected Central Committee under the leadership of S.C.Pisheveri. ADP, which passed to open struggle, began to create detachment of fedaies and to agree their activity. Along with it, the party called the nation to defend national existence of Azerbaijan.

At the result of accepted measures by democrats and their wise tactics in the beginning of Tabriz and from November to December 7, in Maragha, Maku, Marand, Ardebil, Sarab, Astara, Zenjan and in other regions of Azerbaijan were created democratic organs of the government.

On November 21, 1945, there was created National Congress of Azerbaijan. Congress expressed its demands about the call of Milli Mejlis and establishment of National government. The called Milli Mejlis (on December 12) formed National Government under the leadership S.C.Pisheveri. The government consisted of 10 ministers, Supreme Court and General Advocacy.

So, national-liberative struggle in South Azerbaijan was all-national movement. Although Iranian governmental circles did their best to accept several measures for preventing this movement, but they could  not. On the other side, coming of Soviet troops to Iran played significant role in the guarantee of the movement.

National government organized and directed special commission to Tehran for the discussion of the issue about national autonomy of Azerbaijan in the structure of Iran, as well as other problems.

In the beginning of 1946, National government accepted “Law about elections” in order to create new local administrative-territorial organs. On January-February of the same year, there were realized elections.

On February 16, 1946, National Government adopted agrarian law. According to this law, the lands of “khalise”, which were under the property of state, as well as the lands of escaped and fought people against new government and landowners were divided among peasants. But the peasants did not have right to sell or hire these lands.

The one of the greatest achievements of National Government was the adoption of the Law about language by Milli Mejlis, on January 6, 1946. With this Law the Azerbaijan language was declared the official language in the whole territory of Azerbaijan, office work in all enterprises and study at all schools should be conducted in this language. In a short time there were published textbooks, newspapers and journals in native language, were opened libararies, reading-halls and hundreds of new schools. In June, 1946, there was established Tabriz University.

The success of National Government was confronted with disturbance in administrative circles of Iran. The movement had not already limited only with Azerbaijan and extended to other regions of Iran. That is why, Iran government prepared to suppress this movement. Due to realize this plan Qvamush-Sultan, who came to the governance in January of 1946, began to formal negotiations with National Government. On June of 1946, there was concluded agreement between them in Tabriz. For the achievement of agreement the National Government had to go to serious discounts. According to the agreement, the National Government accepted the states of provinsional organ of authority. Simultaneously, the government of Teheran extended company of mass information, in which it accused Azerbaijan democrats in the attempts of separation of Azerbaijan from Iran. At the same time, Teheran government, which utilized from confirmations among USA, England and USSR, succeeded to the discussion of “the problem of Iran” in the UN. By the order of Security Council of UN, the Soviet troops were withdrawn from Iran.

After all of these prepared work, Iran government declared to the organs of Azerbaijan with the aim of make an order during the ballots to new parliament, there should be placed troops in Azerbaijan. On December 1, governmental troops began to attack. National government passed to contrattack in the direction of Zenjan, Maragha and Miyana; National Government did not want to permit the massacre and beginning of civil war, ordered to its armed forces to cease the fire. On December 12, Iran troops entered to Tabriz, without resistance.

Thousands people were arrested and killed, 10 thousands patriots had to emigrated.

So, the national-liberative movement of 1941-1946 was defeated. The leader of the movement, S.C.Pisheveri was sent to Soviet Union in December of 1946, and on June 12 of 1946, he died in automobile accident in Azerbaijan.


About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"