The Iranian History 1942 AD


Iran Asks Resumption Of Postal Flights

Feb, 23, 1942 AD

Different means of postal delivery are on display at Tehran's ICT Museum. A blue Bicycle, a horse carriage, a Tricycle postal car, and a Plane at service in Mehrshar of Karaj, are fragments of a network of hard-work and dedication.The German Junkers Company started operating in Iran since April, 1929 running Tehran-Mashhad postal services. Mutual cooperation expanded in time until Iran established its own school of aviation in 1931. Despite many difficulties and British hegemony Iran-Iraq postal route started operating on March, 15, 1937.
On April, 1, 1941, the army chief of staff staged a coup in Iraq and Rashid Ali Gilani toppled the British puppet ruler. He intended to use the WWII as an opportunity to press for full Iraqi independence following the limited independence granted in 1932.But things did not go as planned and Britain reacted by landing the Indian 20th Infantry Brigade at Basra on April, 18. The war lasted until May, 31, 1941 with return to power of the ousted pro-British Regent of Iraq, Prince Abdollah.
Due to British invasion of Iraq; Iran-Iraq postal operations ceased on May, 5, 1941. An internal communication between Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Post and Telegraph indicates Iran’s willingness to resume Tehran-Baghdad flights on Feb, 23, 1942 which Iraq answered reluctantly asking for same rights for Iraqi airplanes to fly to Iran.
It seems that although Iran was under occupation of Allied Powers at the time, some officials were trying hard to return life to normal, an action which was not quite approved by hegemonies of the time. A brief history of post in Iran follows:
- The first regular postal services in Iran date back to the time of Achaemenid Dariush the Great King of Persia (522-486 BC) through the famous Royal Road.
- On Feb, 13, 1876 A.D. Tehran-Tabriz Postal Services started operating
- Iran Joins International Postal Union on Oct, 16, 1878.
- On Feb, 9, 1926, the draft of air postal services was passed into law by Majlis.
- On Jan, 29, 1927 Iran’s air postal services was officially inaugurated and ten days later, Tehran-Qazvin air mail was functioning.
- German Junkers Company starts Tehran-Mashhad Air Postal services on April, 27, 1929.
- On April, 28, 1929 Bushehr-London air mail services started.
- On July, 29, 1933: Tehran’s new post office building was completed.
***This article is primarily based on Iranian National Library Document #: 9568-102006, in addition to articles #s 873, 1109, 775, and 1060 on *** (Updated: Jul, 16, 2010)

Soheili Becomes Prime Minister

Mar, 9, 1942 AD

A very nice picture from Tehran's Hasanabad Square : Cars and horse Carriages line up for passengers, Passage to 20th century machines is visible.When PM Foroughi resigned in February, 1942, no one wanted to become the Prime Minister under occupation and deal with huge problems. Somehow, Ali Soheili, an experienced politician accepted the job. Knowing English, French and Russian, Soheili had served as the minister of foreign affairs.
The famous Tripartite Conference of Tehran between Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt in Tehran took place during his administration. There is no doubt about his role in these meetings that guaranteed Iran's integrity and independence.
Soheili's term was short and he resigned from duty in July, 1942. Shah proposed the duty to Hasan Pirnia who did not accept. Then Ghavamossaltaneh who was a favorite of both British and Russians was given the on job (Aug, 1, 1942). This was the third time Ghavamossaltaneh became Prime Minister. His mismanagement led to bloody riots of Dec, 8 when bread was scarce and public discontent led to violence. Angry mob looted shops and attacked several offcial buildings including the Majlis. It is not certain who was behind the scenes, in an effort to force him to resign. But this time he decided to stay in office at whatever cost. Some people were arrested and newspapers were shut down. But he was finally forced to resign on Feb, 13, 1943. (Updated: Feb, 13, 2009)

Kayhan Newspaper Founded

Mar, 10, 1942 AD

Pahlavi Mesbahzadeh Shah Farah NoroozOn March, 10, 1942, the Ministry of Culture issued a permit for publication of Kayhan Newspaper, a daily owned by Abdorrahman Faramarzi, and Mostafa Mesbahzadeh as editor-in-chief. Before that, the two rented and published another paper called Ayandeh Iran as it was difficult to obtain a newspaper permit. With help from high ranking officials, their permit was issued.
Mohammad Reza Shah secretly gave a check of considerable amount to Mesbahzadeh in order to found the Kayhan Newspaper, therefore Kayhan’s mission was clearly defending the Pahlavi court from the beginning.
Soon after, Lotfollah Hay and Samad Rezvan bought very expensive advertising spaces on the front page and paid in advance. This payment made it possible for Mesbahzadeh to import a rotary printing machine which he named Nazanin after his daughter.
Kayhan published about one million copies per day in Iran and London before the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Kayhan remains a conservative paper and has survived in circulation as one of oldest newspapers in Iran.
***This article is partially based on The Half Undercover from Kayhan Newspaper Publications.*** (Updated: Jul, 26, 2010)

US Approves Iran Aid Package

Mar, 10, 1942 AD

Famous Iranian poet Saadi Mausoleum in Shiraz built in 1942The United States found Iran eligible for a loan and lease program. Iran also demanded sending American military advisors in order to improve the Gendarmerie and Armed Forces. On March, 20th, Iran's Minister Plenipotentiary in Washington sent an official note to the Secretary of State declaring willingness to employ American advisors in Iran's Ministry of War. The US examined the case and found it a good opportunity to improve friendship ties with Iran.
Public opinion also supported such a move because of mistrust towards Russia and Britain. US also sought the opportunity to gain some benefits and improve her situation in the Middle East. In general, the US policy was to help improve the unstable situation of the Iranian government and wanted to give necessary aid to Iran. Indeed US provided aids that were above requests and expectations. The US government deployed two military missions to renew the military organization in Iran.
The first mission was headed by General Greely. An executive agreement was made on Nov, 27, 1943 between the two states giving the American advisors the official status to be able to help reorganize the Iranian Gendarmerie. General Norman Schwarzkopf was at the head of the second mission for which a similar agreement was made. The executive order gave the American head of the mission under supervision of the US Secretary of State to choose, hire or fire Iranian officers by Shah's consent. The agreement obliged the missions to keep confidential secret information that they were gaining access to, moreover, the Iranian government reserved the right to dismiss these missions whenever they were seen interfering in internal affairs or acting against the law.
These agreements gave a new status to about 30,000 American soldiers who were present in Iran since 1942. Timmerman was a civilian American citizen who was sent as an advisor for the police department but his sudden death on May, 20, 1944 ended his mission and nobody else was replaced after him. (Updated: Jan, 5, 2009)

Iran / U.K. Trade Treaty

May, 26, 1942 AD

The British Imperial Bank Persia, later known as Bank Bazargani Tehran, 1942Iran's economic situation was not bright even before the occupation. After the invasion of Allied Powers, food and other resources became scarce and the occupiers were imposing trade treaties that were against Iran's welfare. According to the trade and finance treaty signed on May, 26, 1942, the British undertook sending bare necessities to Iran while Iran accepted to provide necessary Iranian currency that was needed for expenses of the British troops. The exchange rate for a British Sterling was set as 128 Rials while %40 of payments to Iran could be converted to gold. Iran also guaranteed not to pay in gold except for U.K., Canada, and U.S. transactions.
During the WWII, the Iranian Rial in circulation rose up 70 times causing a %700 inflationary effect. The parliament passed several bills to publish banknotes which were initially ordered from London. On June, 26, 1943 the U.S. and U.K. accepted to pay Iran in gold to lift a huge monetary load on the Iranian economy that had forced the government to sell some of the silver and diamonds in treasury. (Updated: Nov, 3, 2008)

U.S. Founds Iranian Military Mission

Sep, 27, 1942 AD

Tehran Darvazeh Dowlat : Modern style encountering Traditional school of thought.The United States founds the Iranian military mission in order to supply necessities of the British troops in the Persian Gulf alongside streaming supplies to the Soviets. Hitler declared war on U.S. on Dec, 11, 1941, Three months before that, Britain had asked the U.S. to supply locomotives and wagons for the Iranian railway because one fifth of the railroad employees were foreigners who left Iran after the occupation. Iran's industries were technologically dependant on foreign know-how. Although, Little has changed in that sense over decades, those were critical times when for the Allied Powers and Iran was strategically important.
First party of the Iranian Military Mission who were mostly U.S. Army engineers arrived in Iran in December, 1942. They were immediately deployed in construction and repair of railway system in South Iran.. This Mission later took the name : Persian Gulf Service Command. The PGSC succeeded in increasing the transportation capacity of the railroad system ten times it's original until May, 1943. More than 5 million tons of supplies thus went to the Soviets' through Iran corridor, 2.8 tons of which went by rail.
The number of American soldiers that came to Iran reached 30,000 by January, 1943. This caused great concern in Iran because there was no agreement regarding this issue. To clear the situation, the imperial government sent a letter to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Feb, 5, 1943, officially asking if the U.S. wanted to join the triplet agreement made between Iran, Britain and Soviets on Jan, 29, 1942. But Iranians could not succeed in getting the U.S. to enter that agreement and was to satisfy herself with a separate deal. Letters, drafts and notes shuttled through diplomatic channels between Iran and the U.S. but for unclear reasons no agreement was finally signed between the two states in this regard after all. (Updated: Jan, 2, 2009)

German Spy Network Busted

Nov, 1, 1942 AD

1900 Meydan Ghazvin SquareAfter receiving a tip, the British intelligence officers were led to the hiding place of Franz Mayer in Isfahan. Documents, notes, and letters were seized that revealed methods used by the German Fifth Column in Iran. Mayer was the head of the German spy network in Iran. Other important German spies were named as Schultzer, Kummel, and Weissrock.
The documents also showed that Habibollah Nouri, a member of the Iranian parliament had regular correspondence with Mayer and his top aid Hossein Vaziri. A top military officer, General Zahedi was accused of hiding Mayer in Isfahan. Zahedi's arrest coincided with the riots on Dec, 8 and 9 due to bread scarcity and did not get enough public attention. The Iranian foreign minister protested the arrest and asked for his interrogation and trial by Iranian authorities. In August, 1943 several others were arrested and interrogated by the British at Soltanabad.
One year later, on Aug, 30, 1943 a joint list by the occupation forces was presented to the Iranian prime minister that included 162 Iranians whose names were found in documents in Mayer's house in Isfahan. On Sep, 29th, the attache of the USSR embassy asked the ministry of the foreign affairs to deliver some of detainees in Arak to Rasht in order to be interrogated by the Soviets. Although they received a negative response from the Iranian authorities, occupation forces actually did whatever they wanted including torture, and other atrocities, most of which was not revealed due to censorship and the atmosphere of war. (Updated: Nov, 3, 2008)

Bread Riots Emerge In Tehran

Dec, 8, 1942 AD

People gathering at Baharestan SquareWhile Iran was still under occupation and crop from the most fertile northern provinces were sent to USSR, Iranians were facing famine. The quality of bread gradually became so poor that a group of people started gathering in Baharestan Square since the early hours of Dec, 8. Later that day, some representatives of people entered the parliament to negotiate a solution which did not become possible. Unsatisfied, the angry crowd, mostly young students began beating some parliament representatives. Another group broke into Ghavamossaltaneh's mansion. Soon, the angry mob started looting shops and local businesses around Bazaar. The police could not contain the riots that were spreading fast.
Ghavamossaltaneh ordered shutting down all newspapers and appointed general Amir Ahmadi as the governor who briefly declared military curfew. Riots were suppressed by force. Some of the uprising leaders were arrested or killed. Newspapers stayed closed with the pretext of a new Press Law that was being prepared. Therefore, there are no reliable accounts of tolls of the incident to this day.
A century years later, Iranians still lack democratic representation, free press and a media that can convey voices of the masses. (Updated: Aug, 21, 2009)

Mandatory Education Draft Presented To Parliament

Dec, 24, 1942 AD

1900 darvazeh Shemiran GateThe mandatory education draft was presented to the Iranian parliament. This draft was later approved and became law according to which general education should be mandatory, free of charge and equal throughout the country. Some years later the UN human rights had similar provisions regarding general education. In Iran, free education was extended to all educational levels including doctorate starting from 1974 when all private schools gradually became public. Buildings and equipments were bought from their previous owners, and staff were hired by the government under the ministry of education while their work history records were calculated for retirement benefits. After the revolution in 1979, the new constitution approved the same law, however two years later private schools with a different Arabic name started to pop up in all educational levels again, and authorities began tagging discontent university students and imprisoning them in the new millennium. According to a report published in the Hamshahri daily newspaper on April, 20, 2006 there are 1,000,000 illiterate Iranians betweens the ages 9 and 29. (Updated: Jan, 25, 2008)

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