Ja'far Pishevari

Last updated
Ja'far Pishevari
President of People's Government of Azerbaijan
In office
2 November 1945 15 November 1946
Preceded byOffice instituted
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Member-elect of the Parliament of Iran
In office
Admission refused on 13 July 1944 [1]
Constituency Tabriz
Personal details
Zaviyeh-ye Sadat, Khalkhal, Persia
Died11 June 1947
Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union
Political party Azerbaijani Democratic Party
Other political

Sayyed Ja'far Pishevari (1893 – 11 June 1947) (Azerbaijani : Seyid Cəfər Pişəvəri, سید جعفر پیشه وری, Persian : سید جعفر پیشه‌وری) was the founder and chairman of separatist and communist Azerbaijan People's Government (November 1945 November 1946), created and supported by Soviet occupational forces in north-western Iran.

Azerbaijani language Turkic language

Azerbaijani or Azeri, sometimes also Azeri Turkic or Azeri Turkish, is a term referring to two Turkic lects that are spoken primarily by the Azerbaijanis, who live mainly in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran. North Azerbaijani and South Azerbaijani have significant differences in phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax, and sources of loanwords. ISO 639-3 groups the two lects as a "macrolanguage".

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.

Azerbaijan Peoples Government Soviet-backed client state in northern Iran

The Azerbaijan People's Government was a short-lived unrecognized secessionist state in northern Iran from November 1945 to December 1946. Established in Iranian Azerbaijan, the APG's capital was the city of Tabriz. Its establishment and demise were a part of the Iran crisis, which was a precursor to the Cold War.



He was born in Khalkhal in Ardabil province, Iran. He had lived in the Caucasus in the early 20th century and was introduced to Marxism during this period. He was a member of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.

Ardabil City in Iran

Ardabil is an ancient city in northwestern Iran, and the capital of Ardabil Province. Located in the northeastern part of Iran's historic Azerbaijan region, at the 2011 census, Ardabil's population was 564,365, in 156,324 families. The dominant majority in the city are ethnic Iranian Azerbaijanis and the primary language of the people is Azerbaijani.

Iran Islamic Republic in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With 82 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the political and economic center of Iran, and the largest and most populous city in Western Asia with more than 8.8 million residents in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area.

Caucasus An area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea

The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

He was a founding member of the Communist Party of Iran (not to be confused with the Tudeh Party), established in 1920, in Rasht. He became a journalist and communist activist in the 1920s. [2]

The Communist Party of Iran was an Iranian communist party founded in June 1920 in Bandar-e Anzali, Gilan Province. Originally established as the Justice Party in 1917 by the former social democrats who supported Baku-based Bolsheviks, it participated in Third International in 1919 and was renamed to the Communist Party of Iran in 1920.

Rasht City in Gilan, Iran

Rasht is the capital city of Gilan Province, Iran. Also known as the "City of Rain", it had a population of 639,951 as of the 24 October 2011 census. Rasht is the most densely populated city of Iran in terms of population size and, in terms of population ratio, it is also ranked first in the country day and night.

He was arrested and imprisoned during nine years in the late 1930s and early 1940s by the government of Reza Shah Pahlavi for his communist ideas and activities. [2] He was released from prison after Reza Shah was deposed by the Allies in 1941. He went to Tabriz and established the Azerbaijani Democratic Party with manifest material and organizational support from the USSR. He was the ADP candidate for the Majlis and was elected, but was denied entry [1] by the rest of deputies. Of the 100 votes cast, his credentials were rejected 47–50. [3]

Allies of World War II Grouping of the victorious countries of World War II

The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.

Tabriz City in Iran

Tabriz is the most populated city in northwestern Iran, one of the historical capitals of Iran and the present capital of East Azerbaijan province. It is the sixth most populous city in Iran. Located in the Quru River valley, in Iran's historic Azerbaijan region, between long ridges of volcanic cones in the Sahand and Eynali mountains, Tabriz's elevation ranges between 1,350 and 1,600 metres above sea level. The valley opens up into a plain that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, 60 kilometres to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers, Tabriz is considered a summer resort. It was named World Carpet Weaving City by the World Crafts Council in October 2015 and Exemplary Tourist City of 2018 by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Party was a communist party supported by the Soviet Union and founded by Jafar Pishevari in Tabriz, Iran, in September 1945. ADP was founded as an opposition party against the Pahlavi dynasty. Soviet-supported Tudeh party dissolved its Azerbaijan chapter and ordered its members to join ADP. The ADP ruled the Soviet-backed Azerbaijan People's Government from 1945 until 1946 with Pishevari as premier.

Political career

The Soviet Union founded the communist Azerbaijan People's Government in November 1945 during their occupation of Northern Iran, making Pishevari its leader. [2] It seems however that the strong man of this government was Mohammed Biriya, Minister of Propaganda and head of a secret police trained by the NKVD. [2] His government's actions, including organizing and arming local militias, disarming of regular Iranian military and police forces, setting up an independent judiciary based on the Soviet legal system, nationalising banks, [2] levying taxes, land reform [2] without ratification of the Majlis, using Azerbaijani as the official language [2] and banning the usage of Persian [ citation needed ], and setting up an alternative curriculum and educational system, were viewed with deep suspicion by the central government and other Iranians.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Mohammad Biriya and the original name Mohammad Baghezadeh was an Iranian Azerbaijani poet and politician. by Ja'far Pishevari with the formation Azerbaijan People's Government in 1945, was Culture Minister of Azerbaijan's Government.

The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs, abbreviated NKVD, was the interior ministry of the Soviet Union.

Following an agreement reached between the governments of Iran and the USSR under intense American pressure, who viewed Pishevari's government as a not-too-subtle scheme by the USSR to partition Iran, Soviets removed their protection. Iranian armed forces, kept away from the provinces of Azerbaijan and Kurdistan by the Red Army presence since 1942, entered these provinces in November 1946. Pishevari's self-proclaimed government collapsed quickly, as many of the people welcomed the central government's troops. By December 1946, both Azarbaijan and Kurdistan were evacuated by the Soviet forces and the Iranian government re-established control over the USSR-occupied territories. It appeared as if Pishevari's government was becoming very unpopular, especially in larger cities where the merchants feared communism.

Kurdistan region in Middle East home to the Kurds

Kurdistan or Greater Kurdistan is a roughly defined geo-cultural historical region wherein the Kurdish people form a prominent majority population and Kurdish culture, languages, and national identity have historically been based. Kurdistan roughly encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges. The territory corresponds to Kurdish irredentist claims.

Red Army Soviet army and air force from 1917–1946

The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991. The former official name Red Army continued to be used as a nickname by both sides throughout the Cold War.

In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.

After the collapse of this short-lived republic, he fled to Azerbaijan SSR and died in a car crash in Baku in 1947. Some historians speculate that he was killed by the KGB. To date, their claim has not been verified.

His legacy is a matter of heated debate today. While many Iranians consider him as either a Soviet stooge or a traitor, he is considered a national hero for Azeri nationalists or a socialist revolutionary by the Iranian Left. It is now beyond doubt that he had the support of Joseph Stalin and the USSR in setting up his government. There is also no doubt that USSR indeed wanted to annex several provinces in northern Iran. [4]

Available sources show that Soviet territorial aspirations included provinces of Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Gilan, Mazandaran, and Khorasan. What Pishevari intended to achieve and his role in the Soviet plans is a matter of debate though. Some scholars on the Left argue that he never intended to partition Iran and what he wanted was a gradual transformation of the whole country to a communist state. Those on the Right argue that the proclamations and directives issued by his person and his government leave no doubt that he intended to join his republic to the Azerbaijan SSR, and thus the Soviet Union.

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  1. 1 2 آشنایی با تاریخ مجالس قانونگذاری در ایران دوره اول تا دوره شانزدهم [History of Legislatures in Iran (1285–1328)] (in Persian). Majlis Research Center. 2005 [1384]. p. 266.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Sebestyen, Victor (2014). 1946. The Making of the Modern World. Pan Macmillan. ISBN   0230758002.
  3. Atabaki, Touraj (2000). Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran. I.B.Tauris. p. 74. ISBN   9781860645549.
  4. CWIHP Virtual Archive : Collection : 1945-46 Iranian Crisis