By: Mir M.Hosseini
In a last effort to assure Iran's neutrality in war, the Ettelaat Newspaper gave the statistics of foreign nationals in Iran as follows; 2590 British, 390 Soviets, 690 Germans, 310 Italians, 180 Czechoslovakians, 70 Swiss, 260 Greece and 140 Yugoslavians.
The official paper depicted that Iran needed technical people for its developments and despite an increase in the number of Iranian engineers and experts, foreign technicians were also necessary. Reza Shah did not want to expel Germans resisting constant pressure from USSR and UK.
Both Soviets and Britain were suspicious of activities of Germans in Iran, the experience from the Fifth Column in Belgium added to their fear. On Aug, 1, 1941, France Presse reported that the Nazi Fifth Column was active in Iran and Afghanistan and were engaged in military missions inside neighboring countries, thus increasing the fear. One way or the other, with the newly constructed trans-Iranian railway Iran was a great supply route which could not be ignored. Both the Russian and British influence in Iran was to the extent that Iran surrendered without any resistance, betrayed by her own top generals.