December 1945, Azarbaijan Crisis
In Azarbaijan during the period 1944-1946 under occupation of Soviet Union the Democratic Party of Azarbaijan was formed.
In September 1944, while American companies were negotiating for oil concessions in Iran, the Soviets requested an oil concession in the five northern provinces. In December, however, the Majlis passed a law forbidding the government to discuss oil concessions before the end of the war. This led to fierce Soviet propaganda attacks on the government and agitation by the Tudeh in favor of a Soviet oil concession.
The Azarbaijan People's Congress held on 20th November 1945 declared itself the founding parliament in Tabriz (capital of Azarbaijan) and took the decision to found the Azarbaijan Autonomous Republic. One party election was held and the Azarbaijan Parliament was opened on 21st December1946. This parliament assigned Jafar Pishevari, the leader of the DPA, to form a government. Under military support of Soviet Union, the central government's army chiefs in Azarbaijan were disarmed and the powers of the central government were eradicated.
Soviet pressure on Iran continued as British and American troops evacuated in keeping with their treaty undertakings. Soviet troops remained in the country. Prime Minister Ahmad Qavam had to persuade Stalin to withdraw his troops by agreeing to submit a Soviet oil concession to the Majlis and to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the Azarbaijan crisis with the Pishevari government. In April the government signed an oil agreement with the Soviet Union; in May, partly as a result of United States, British, and UN pressure, Soviet troops withdrew from Iranian territory. Qavam took three Tudeh members into his cabinet. However, Qavam was able to reclaim his concessions to the Soviet Union. A tribal revolt in the south, partly to protest communist influence, provided an opportunity to dismiss the Tudeh cabinet officers. In December, ostensibly in preparation for new Majlis elections, he sent the Iranian army into Azarbaijan. Without Soviet backing, the Pishevari government collapsed, and Pishevari himself fled to the Soviet Union.
In the new Majlis, a strong bloc of deputies organized in the National Front and led by Mohammad Mossaddeq, helped defeat the Soviet oil concession agreement by 102 votes to 2. The Majlis also passed a bill forbidding any further foreign oil concessions and requiring the government to exploit oil resources directly.
Soviet influence diminished further in 1947, when Iran and the United States signed an agreement providing for military aid and for a United States military advisory mission to help train the Iranian army. In February 1949, the Tudeh was blamed for an abortive attempt on the shah's life, and its leaders fled abroad or were arrested. The party was banned.
The 1953 Coup (August 1953)
The 1953 coup, which was staged with the direct intervention of US and British governments, imposed a regime which reversed the democratic. The coup aimed to suppress the national liberation movement, eliminate the TPI, abandon the nationalisation of oil, reinstate the domination of multi-national monopolies over oil resources and to recruit Iran to a western pact against the Soviet Union in the strategically important Persian Gulf.
In a report send by the British ambassador to the British government of the time, the dangers to the interests of the British Oil companies, which had suffered as the result of the nationalisation programme of the nationalist government of Dr. Mosaddeq and the growing influence of the Tudeh party of Iran, are clearly stated. The report urges the British government and the Americans to take immediate action in overthrowing the elected government of Dr. Mosaddag. The 1953 coup was undoubtedly a great blow to the mass movement of Iran. This was caused by the large scale abandoning of the movement by the closest friends of Dr. Mosaddeg and the treachery of Ayatollah Kashani the leader of the religious movement, and by taking a wrong tactical decision of the Tudeh Party of Iran which put party against nationalist government of Dr, Mosaddeq.
In spite of pro-shah coup the TPI continued its work until 1955, when the Party's underground organisation among the military personnel was uncovered and a large number of officers were arrested and later executed. In the difficult conditions, internal differences within the Party and among the leadership surfaced. They were exacerbated as a result of the treachery of a number of the Party leaders. The Party organisations were therefore unable to resist blows the regime which came to power after the coup, and the regime succeeded in consolidating its position, and the popular movement of country went into a period of stagnation.
The Tudeh Party leadership of the time was heavily influenced by the warming of relations between the Soviet Union and the American administration and hence failed to take decisive measures to combat the regime of Shah.
Shah's Reforms (White Revolution)
The Shah's regime implemented a set of reforms from above under the name of the white Revolution, a major part of which was on land reform. In addition, an important aim of the reforms was to uproot the obsolete feudal system and transform Iranian society to a modern society. The Tudeh opposed these reforms in an article in its central organ dated 20 February 1963.
One of the most important characteristics of this period was the re-appearance of the religious movement against the Shah's regime. The religious movement which had lost all credibility and influence after Ayatollah Kashani's betrayal of the popular government of Dr. Mosaddeq in favour of Shah in the coup of 1953, surfaced once again, this time in opposition to the Shah. The religious leaders entered the arena of anti-Shah struggle because they feared losing their social base as a result of the reforms made by the Shah which threatened the feudal system and "Westernised" Iranian society. The clergy using the religious sentiments of the people and their network organised large demonstrations in Tehran and Qom on 6 June 1961. The demonstrations were suppressed by the army. A large number of demonstrators were killed.
The second split in the Tudeh Party of Iran
Despite all the efforts shown by the Central Committee, the Party faced a second split in 1965. The splinter group had for some time been engaged in factionalist activities.
The splinter group which voiced armed struggle, and had visions of arming the southern tribes and overthrowing the Shah. The split was a serious blow to the Party organisations, especially to those in exile. It took the party some time and much consistent effort to eradicate the damaging effects caused by the split.
This period also coincided with the arrests of Ali Khavari and Hekmatjoo, members of the Central Committee and Asef Razmdideh and Saber Mohammadzadeh, cadres of the Party in Iran. In the summer of 1966, the regime of the Shah sentenced Khavari and Hekmatjoo to death and the rest to long-term imprisonment. As a result of international solidarity and hunger strikes in Europe and consistent demonstrations, the Shah's regime was forced to retreat and reduce the death sentences to life imprisonment.