Why did the Soviet Union invaded Iran in the most difficult period of the war

History 20/01/20 Why the Soviet Union invaded Iran in the most difficult period of the war

on 25 August 1941 British and Soviet troops began an invasion of Iran. Although in our and in Western literature strongly emphasized the “peaceful” nature of the introduction of troops into Iran, but it was a full-scale military operation, the victims, are especially numerous among the civilian population.

Purpose of transaction

in the First world war, the warring parties have attached great importance to control Iran because of its strategic position and resources. Then the German and Turkish emissaries tried to persuade the government of Persia (as until 1935 it was called the government) for action against the Russian and British possessions in India. In response, Russian troops in late 1914 came to the North of Persia, the British to the South of the country. Russian troops were in Persia to 1917.
During the Second world war there was a similar situation. Germany again tried to use Iran to attack “soft underbelly” of the British Empire. With the beginning of operation “Barbarossa” Iran has become a convenient springboard to attack the Soviet Caucasus. Soviet Union and Britain became allies, decided to take preventive measures and to invade Iran.

the Red Army had already been in Northern Iran in 1920-1921, when he sought to foment revolution in the East. Then more than a year, existed for the Persian Soviet Republic even attempted to capture Tehran.
For the UK control of Iran was vital to defend their Asian possessions and production of oil in the Persian Gulf. This now added another provision of the supply of war materials to the USSR. The British ruling circles were alarmed by the German willingness to turn the middle East into your springboard. In April 1941, in neighboring Iraq coup, and the new rulers of predelivered Germany air force base. In response, the British undertook military intervention in Iraq in may 1941 and occupied the country.

the Invasion

the Pretext for a joint invasion of Iran with the nuclear presence in the country a certain number of German civilians (in industry, communications, etc.). In July 1941, the British government issued an ultimatum demanding that Iran arrest or expulsion of all Germans. The Shah ignored it. August 25, 1941, the Soviet Union and great Britain without declaring war, and presenting some additional requirements have started coordinated military action against Iran.

Soviet troops United in the two armies of the Transcaucasian military district and one army of the Central Asian military district consisted of 16 divisions, including two tank. From Iraq to Iran came two divisions and three brigades of the British colonial troops. Allied aircraft bombed Tehran and other major cities of the country, with the result that there were hundreds dead.
the Objective of the allies was, without getting involved in protracted battles, to move quickly towards each other, capturing key cities – nodes, control and communications. Iran could oppose the allies only nine divisions of comparable strength, but much worse armed and less capable than the Russians and the British. 30 August took place the first meeting of Soviet and British troops moving on the territory of Iran.

control over the Iran

the Superiority of the allies emerged immediately. Shah on 29 August ordered the army to stop the resistance and expressed readiness to start negotiations with the allies. His procrastination was regarded by the allies as a deliberate delay in order to give the possibility of German agents to escape. September 17, Soviet tanks rolled into Tehran. Shah Reza Pahlavi abdicated and was interned in South Africa. On the throne by his son Mohammed Reza (overthrown by revolution in 1979).

Allies cost of the operation was 40 dead Soviet soldiers dead and 22 subjects of the British Empire (mostly Indians). The Iranian army’s irrecoverable losses amounted to more than 800 people.
the USSR and the UK have consistently stressed that not put the task to change any of the borders of Iran, nor the way the Board and the internal regulations, and intend to ensure the loyalty on the part of the Iranian government.
Military control of the allies over Iran completely stopped the ability for Germany to put out some kick or even a sabotage operation against the Soviet Union or the British Empire. Transiransky railway regularly supplied to the USSR under lend-lease. This way, in the USSR during the war was delivered 23.8% of all freight (by tonnage). The Iranian route was second in importance among the supply routes to the USSR.

Stalin’s Attempt to attach the part of Iran to the Soviet Union

Both great powers used their military presence to ensure its influence there in the long term. England (and the US) this was not a problem – they could be sure of the loyalty of the new Shah. It was more difficult for Stalin: he was required either to bring to power in Iran, the local Communists (not necessarily under that name) or at least to break away from Iran some border territories and attach them to the USSR. For 1941-1945, due to the Soviet occupation of Iranian Azerbaijan has developed the movement for the unification of this province with Soviet Azerbaijan.

At the Potsdam conference of the allies in July 1945 it was decided that foreign troops should be withdrawn from Iran not later than six months after the end of the war with Japan. The deadline has expired, therefore, on March 2, 1946.

But on 3 September 1945, the day after the end of the Second world war, in Tabriz, with the support of the Soviet Union, was proclaimed the independence of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. In January 1946, in the neutral zone between the Soviet and British occupation zones was proclaimed a Soviet Republic of Iran Kurdistan.
These are the actions of the separatists and the Soviet Union caused the first major after the Second world war conflict between the USSR and the West. UK, as agreed, until March 2, 1946, withdrew its troops from Iran. However, the Soviet Union was not going to leave.
moreover, on March 4, Soviet tanks moved to Tehran. This provoked a strong reaction in the West. Stalin in that period was not yet ready to dramatically break with the United States and Britain, as well as hoping for their economic aid in the postwar reconstruction of the USSR. He got a postponement of the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the transfer of the solution to this issue agreement between the USSR and Iran. According to some reports, the US then threatened to drop an atomic bomb on Baku, if the Soviet Union will not immediately be removed from Iran.

In April, the Shah agreed to the creation of a Soviet-Iranian oil consortium (then he did not execute this agreement), and began the withdrawal of Soviet troops. To further humiliate the Soviet Union, the US insisted on the announcement of the completion of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Iran for the first anniversary of the victory over Germany may 9, 1946.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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