By: Mir M.Hosseini
Iranian negotiators headed by prime minister Ghavamossaltaneh return from Moscow empty-handed. He arrived in Moscow on Feb, 19 to resolve the issue that arose with presence of Red Army. On Nov, 26, 1945, the Bolsheviks that prevented Iranian military from reaching the Kurdistan and Azerbaijan provinces where a Soviet backed group had taken control and declared independence. Iran was a country under occupation by great powers at the time. Iranian politics in 1946 is a valuable case-study for researchers of political sciences.
Andrei Vishinski, the Soviet representative at the United Nations, in response to a complaint submitted by Iran, asked the UNSC not the interfere with ongoing bilateral talks which was indeed a trick for USSR and UK whose Anglo British 1907 Entente had already divided Iran between two spheres of influence, to gain time and install puppet regimes in the oil rich areas. Some Iranian politicians however, were trying to get as much support as possible from the United States and involve the US in this matter.
The Russian proposal consisted of 3 items including :
- Recognition of the independent state of Azerbaijan by Iran.
- Acquiring North Oil Concessions.
- Soviet military presence in a buffer zone that consisted of 5 major provinces north of Iran.
On March, 1st, TASS announced that the Red Army was evacuating partly from Mashhad, Shahrood, and Semnan only one day before the deadline to evacuate Iran from all foreign troops. The date, March, 2nd was agreed on during the Tehran Conference. Ghavamossaltaneh, disappointed from the Soviet attitude, could not expect any goodwill from the British either. He visited George Kennan, the US consulate at Moscow on March, 4 and expressed his dissatisfaction with Allied Powers not keeping their promises.
When Ghavamossaltaneh arrived in Tehran on March, 7, the Majlis which was nearing the end of its 14th term did not convene to hear his report, neither did he want to confront Russians who had already sent additional troops and stationed 16 tanks and 150 truckloads of soldiers on the Tabriz-Tehran road.
This wrong move by the Soviets triggered President Harry Truman to use his iron gloves for the first time. One day after Hossein Ala resubmitted Iran's complaint at the UNSC, the United States foreign secretary announced on March, 19, that the USSR had been given a note to explain the reason behind sending extra troops to Iran which created complexities:
1. Movement of Soviet troops near the Iraq and Turkish border created security issues for Turkey.
2. Soviet control of Iranian oil reserves constituted a threat to western economy.
3. Disrespecting rights of small nations and failing in fulfillment of obligations towards them could create further conflicts.
Surprisingly, on March, 24, just before the UNSC convened on the matter, Moscow officially announced that the Soviet Army was evacuating Iran completely in six weeks. In a meeting on March, 27, Hossein Ala, the Iranian ambassador to UN announced that there was no agreement between Iran and USSR and that the Iranian negotiators had been under constant pressure in Moscow to accept Soviet terms that ignored Iran's sovereignty. On April, 3, he reiterated Iran's firm position.
On April, 4, after hearing the reports, The UNSC accepted Iran's proposition asking the Soviets to evacuate Iran without any conditions while Iran kept the complaint until May, 6 when another UNSC session would evaluate the results.