Chapter forty-nine: Seven Days in Persia
While the war raged in Poland a minor incident In Persia went unheard. There, Prince Soleyman Mirza Eskandari, an ardent constitutionalist and founder of the Socialist Party of Persia and also one of the founders of the resistance against Reza Khan, attempted to wrestle the power from the hands of his cousin.
With funding from Moscow Eskandari began to conspire against the crown during the early 30s and won the support of several senior marjas, attracted by his totalitarist ideas but unaware of his relation with the USSR. On September 22nd, 1939, he delivered a speech harshly attacking the ulama (religious scholars) and followed by a denunciation of the Shah's programmes and of the moral corruption in the country, and accused the Shah of being a puppet of the British Emipre.
Soyleman Mirza Eskandari
While he was right in his condemnation about Reza Khan's politics, he went too far attacking the ulama and, of course, attracting the attention of London, that decided that this was too much and decided to stop him. In that they were helped by the fear caused by the the terrorist actions which took place during the Jangal rebellion (1914-21) and that the main Persian communist figures living in exile in the USSR had been purged by Stalin. Thus, it was not too difficult to present Eskandari as a derranged nobleman while forcing the Shah's hand and to persuade him to began a small reform process and to release some political prisoners, which became a fact by 26th September 1939 (1).
Of course, Eskandari did not remain idle and before the Shah's police could get their hands on him, he escaped with Iraj Iskandari and his closest colleagues to Moscow, here they founded a Marxist-Lininist organization, the Tureh party, with Eskandari as chairman. At home the communists were crushed: some 200 communists were arrested; 38 were incarcerated in Qasr Prison in Tehran.
In Moscow Eskandari wasted no time to become a nuisance for Stalin as the Tureh became a mixture of contradicting ideas, as some of its founders wanted to create a "a liberal rather than a radical party," with a platform stressing the importance of "constitutional" and "individual rights", protecting "democracy" and "judicial integrity" from fascism, imperialism and militarism. The party initially attempted to appeal to non-secular masses by barring women from membership, organizing Moharram processions, and designating "a special prayer room in its main clubhouse." Of course, Stalin was everything but pleased and soon Eskandari and his liberal friends found themselves visiting the Lubyanka prison and, then, the party moved "rapidly to the left".
The Lubyanka buidings, the headquarters of the KGB and affiliated prison on Lubyanka Square in Moscow
Thus, while in Moscow the Tureh were smashed and "teach" the right lessons, the Persian Communist sympathizers went underground and waited his chance. They were to be quite dissapointed...
(1) Don't you love when you influence completely some poor bugger and get a slider movement in the right direction but in the wrong area? I wanted you, silly Shah, going more interventionist, not turning into a beatnik, you bast....!!!!
[GAME NOTES: Dunno how and when the USSR did that to Persia.
OF course, having a Communist Prince was kinda funny, but the zombie Head of State (Sir -A Sir going commie?!?!? What the fuss!!!! What do you think this AAR is? Oxford?- Dinshah Irani died in 1938) of a Communist Persia in well terms with Britain and awfully close to DOW on the USSR, well... it was too much for me and I counter couped ASAP as possible. The money spent was a pain in the ass for a time, but at least settled things before I lost my temper and send the Marines, the SAS and the Gurkhas]
@J.J.Jameson: Blame Trekkie for that. I felt that if I forget the Poles squadrons I would burn in hell
@H.Appleby: And completely, be sure
@Nathan Madien: I must say I can't remember how the heck the Imperial flag got replaced by the smiling one -old memento of a failed AAR.
@trekaddict: From time to time the IA selection of CO surprises me as well.