By: Mir M.Hosseini
A Soviet delegate of petroleum experts, headed by Sergei Kavtradze visited Iran on Sep, 15, 1944 and complained about PM Saed's attitude towards Russians in a meeting with Shah on Oct, 1st. Saed was reluctant to sign an agreement while Iran was under occupation. In a closed session at the parliament on Oct, 8, he announced that his cabinet of ministers suspended such negotiations until the end of the war when the world economic situation would become clear. On the same day, the minister of the royal court informed the British and American consulates in Iran that Shah had decided to cut the negotiations after learning that the Russians requested other mining concessions besides petroleum in the north exclusively, rejecting any competition from other companies. The next day Kavtradze was notified by Saed that Iran would not sign any agreements while the war continued.
Consequently, offers from three U.S. companies: Standard Oil Co., Socony-Vacuum Oil Co, and Sinclair Oil Corp which sought concessions in southwestern Iran were rejected.
Following the governments clear rejection of the Russian offer, Kavtradze openly denounced the decision in a press conference on Oct, 24. After briefing the reporters about the merits of signing the deal such as creation of jobs for Iranian workers, construction of roads and buildings, development of industries and positive impacts on other sectors such as agriculture. Then he boldly announced that the Soviets would not enter further direct negotiations with the Iranian government and all future correspondence would be limited to the political channels in Moscow. Three days later, supporters of the Toodeh party staged demonstrations in Tehran accompanied by Soviet tanks and troops. About 20 of the parliament representatives who were supporters of the Toodeh party started insults against Saed and leftist newspapers started a propaganda campaign that led to more demonstrations in Rasht, Tabriz, Isfahan, Qazvin and Mashhad. Russian army provided logistics and transportation means that brought in participating people from nearby cities and villages. In Tabriz, the police stopped the demonstrators from taking over public buildings after which the Red Army disarmed the Iranian forces and expelled the governor from Tabriz.
There were riots and clashes among Toodeh party supporters and the nationalist front that formed an alliance in support of Iranian government's decision. Some people were injured and killed including a Soviet officer.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, petroleum became a strategic material and countries like Iran with huge oil reserves became scene of behind-the-doors dirty tricks, bribery, and political games that led to coups, bloodshed, and pain instead of raising social welfare level of the nation.Russia's ramifying political influence caused the resignation of Iran's Premier Mohammad Saed Maraghei after he rejected a Russian request for oil concessions in northern Iran.