The Revolt of Shaykh Muhammad Khiyabani

Author: Homa Katouzian
Source: Iran, Vol. 37 (1999), pp. 155-172
Published by: British Institute of Persian Studies

This paper is a study of Khiyabani's revolt against the background of the Constitutional Revolution, and within the context of the political rift and chaos that existed at the time in Iran. Its general theoretical framework is the theory of arbitrary rule, with its central concept of the cycle of arbitrary rule-chaos-arbitrary rule that explains the major dynamics of Iranian history. The paper is the first comprehensive study of its subject, and uses important new sources for both a description and analysis of the causes and implications of the revolt and of Khiyabani's central role as its charismatic leader. It shows that -contrary to the established views- the revolt had not been intended mainly, let alone solely, as a reaction to the 1919 agreement, was not pro Bolshevik and was not separatist. Its primary aim was to obtain a form of home rule, led by Khiyabani himself, to impose order and discipline in Azerbaijan, and bring about modernisation along European lines.

Traditional Iranian revolts had been led against an "unjust" arbitrary ruler in the hope of replacing him with a "just" one. When successful, the collapse of the state had invariably led to destructive conflict, disorder and chaos until a new arbitrary rule was established. This led to the cycle of "arbitrary rule-chaos-arbitrary rule". In the latter half of the nineteenth century, acquaintance with European society suggested a political system based on law as opposed to arbitrary rule. Therefore, for the first time in Iranian history, the Constitutional Revolution was aimed, not just against an unjust arbitrary ruler, but at the destruction of the ancient arbitrary rule itself and its replacement by lawful government. It ended by establishing a constitution, which, besides providing a legal basis for the state, created parliamentary government along basic democratic principles. Ideally, this might have resulted in the formation of a new state representing an extensive social base. Yet the radically new situation had no cultural roots, and the ancient traditions of chaos resulting from the fall of the state were as strong as ever. Therefore, the teens of the present century, which followed the victory of the revolution, witnessed growing destructive conflict both at the centre and in the provinces.
It almost looked as if the country would disintegrate as it had done after the fall of the Safavid state in the
eighteenth century. Foreign intervention and occupation during the First World War encouraged the chaotic trends, but domestic factors had been independently at work, and had their roots in the long Iranian tradition of disorders following upheavals.
Thus, although the foreign factor was important especially during the War, the pattern was familiar, and the domestic forces needed little encouragement for engaging in destructive conflict, which both created and perpetuated chaos. It is very important to note that -contrary to common belief- these were not just nomadic, ethnic and regional; they existed right at the centre, in the Majlis, among the factions and parties, and within the ranks of the competing political magnates. Indeed, had there not been such rifts and chaos in the very centre of politics, it is unlikely that such powerful centrifugal forces would have been released, or would have been so effective, in the provinces. For it is characteristic of the country's history that, whoever has the centre, also has the periphery.1
Shortly before the end of the War, Vuthuq al-Dawla formed a ministry with active British support. Almost all the leading politicians felt the need for a strong government that would organise a unified army, reorganise the country's financial system, and stamp out disorder. Some of them were opposed to Vuthuq al-Dawla, but he had his own personal supporters within the political hierarchy, by far the most effective and influential among whom was Sayyid Hasan Mudarris.2

In his first year of office, Vuthuq al-Dawla managed to bring some order to government and administration. These measures did not change the hearts of his radical opponents, but they did tend to soften the attitude of some of his critics among popular politicians and moderate constitutitonalists. During the same year, he and his two closest allies within the cabinet negotiated the Anglo-Iranian agreement, which was signed in Tehran in August 1919. Both inside and outside the country, the Agreement was denounced as an instrument for turning Iran into a British protectorate, and was rejected by the political public with growing resentment and vehemence. Even Mudarris went over to the opposition.3
The Agreement had been the brainchild of Lord Curzon and the Foreign Office alone. Moreover, it had been met with strong opposition from the Government of India, the India Office, the Treasury and the War Office, the first two being opposed to extensive British involvement in Iran, while the latter two were wary of its financial and military implications. The agreement that finally came into being was the result of much debate and disagreement, and took considerable account of the British critics of Curzon's policy. Nevertheless, the Government of India retained its opposition to it, and the other departments returned to their critical position as soon as it faced serious trouble.

It was not so much the text of the terms of the Agreement that led to the stormy reaction against it, but the secret manner (on which Curzon and Sir Percy Cox had insisted) of conducting the negotiations. Curzon managed even to exclude the official Iranian delegation from the Paris Peace Conference, and keep France and America more or less in the dark about the negotiations in Tehran. Rumours (later confirmed) that British money had been paid to help smooth the Agreement's passage made matters much worse.
When the Agreement was announced, Bolshevik Russia -which had hitherto issued several unilateral declarations of the abrogation of Tsarist privileges in Iran- violently denounced it. This was enough to seal the opposition of Iranian radicals to it. But the strongly worded public attack by the United States, and the campaign against it by the French press, left little doubt in the minds of even most of the moderates that the country had been"sold out to Britain".4
This encouraged another upsurge of Kuchik Khan's Jangal campaign which, however, was driven back by a combined operation of Iranian Cossacks and the British Norperforce (North Persia Force) with its headquarters at Qazvin. Yet Vuthuq al-Dawla followed this by an appeasement policy and, for a while, a permanent settlement between the government and the Jangalis looked likely. The policy had been largely encouraged by the fact that Iranian Bolsheviks both in the Caucasus and in the Iranian Azerbaijan, were making friendly overtures to Kuchik and his men, while the attitude of Colonel Starosselski, the Russian chief of the Iranian Cossacks, was far from reassuring.5
The fear of a Bolshevik thrust across the frontier was indeed daily growing. Vuthuq al-Dawla and Firuz wisely thought of talking directly to Moscow, but, though stressing that he would not veto such a move, Curzon effectively stopped it. He did, however, support (and even help) their decision to recognise the newly formed non-Bolshevik Republic of Azerbaijan (formerly Russian Transcaucasus), and send an official delegation, led by Sayyid Ziya, for a trade and cultural agreement. By the beginnings of April 1920 when the draft agreement reached Tehran, Khiyabani led his successful revolt in Tabriz. Three weeks later, the Azerbaijan republic fell to the local Bolsheviks. On 18 May, a Russian fleet landed at Enzeli, and the Norperforce units retreated to Rasht. A few days later, Norperforce received orders from London to retreat further to their base at Qazvin. On 4 June, Kuchik entered Rasht and, together with Iranian Bolsheviks and their Soviet advisers, declared the Soviet Socialist Republic of Iran in a coalition government headed by himself. Both Vuthuq al-Dawla and Norperforce were holding their breath over the possibility -which looked likely to most people- of Khiyabani reaching an accord with the Gilan republic.6 They were therefore pleasantly surprised when, as we shall see further below, Khiyabani suppressed Bolshevik activists in Tabriz.
This brief background partly explains the legend that Khiyabani and his party were pro-Bolshevik revolutionaries with possible designs to secure the secession of Azerbaijan, a view which was greatly reinforced decades later,  when the Pishavari Democrats (and the Tudeh party) described Khiyabani's movement as a true precursor of the Azerbaijan revolt of 1945. It also explains the origins of the commonly held view that Khiyabani's revolt had been provoked by, and was primarily aimed against, the 1919 agreement. Most people in Tehran sincerely believed that at the time, and many also thought that it was a separatist movement. This is evident from the memoirs of Abdallah Mustawfi, Yahya Dawlat-abadi and Mukhbir al-Saltana (later, Mihdi-quli Hidayat), all of them moderate constitutionalists, all of them opposed to the Agreement, all of them critical of Vuthuq al-Dawla's government, who were nevertheless critical of Khiyabani because of his presumed separatism.On the other hand, his former lieutenants and later admirers in Azerbaijan, while claiming that the revolt had been primarily intended against Vuthuq al-Dawla and the 1919 agreement, denied the charge of separatism.
Evidence recently come to light rejects the belief that the revolt was pro-Bolshevik, that it had been primarily or even mainly a reaction to Vuthuq al- Dawla and the Agreement, and that it had been a separatist movement. It also throws considerable light on Khiyabani's personality as a charismatic political leader, on the movement which he led, and on the rise and fall of the revolt. It consists of Ahmad Kasravi's recently-discovered manuscript, The Revolt of Shaykh Muhammad Khiyabani; Major C.J. Edmonds' (weekly as well as monthly) reports on the northwestern provinces of Iran and the Caucasus for 1919 and 1920; reports by Ottoman and Bolshevik secret agents in Iran on Khiyabani and his movement; reports of the British consul in Tabriz; the recently published memoirs of Abul-Qasim Kahhalzada; the virtually unused memoirs of Abdallah Bahrami, the Tabriz police chief until some time before the revolt; and some additional historical notes by Mukhbir al- Saltana.
Major Edmonds was Political Officer attached to Norperforce at Qazvin, and his unpublished reports and other papers are held at the Middle East Centre of St. Antony's College, Oxford. Kasravi's manuscript, signed Sayyid Ahmad Tabrizi, Ahvaz, 1923, was put at this author's disposal, by his family, for publication.8 The manuscript had been commissioned by Husayn Kazimzada (later known also as Iranshahr) to be published in a special issue of his Berlin publication Iranshahr on Khiyabani, which included extremely favourable contributions by Hajj Muhammad Ali Badamchi and Riza-zada Shafaq, among others. It was, however, politely turned down as "a lengthy essay" which, it was claimed, Kasravi "wished to publish as a separate book".9
The manuscript was certainly too long for inclusion in that special issue, but its critical content, however shortened, would have forbidden its inclusion in a collection of articles which could be fairly described as hagiographic. Thus, in his own introduction, Kazimzada described the Shaykh as a "genius","an exceptional statesman of recent times" who had been drenched by the "celestial chalice" of "thought and will", or ideas and action. The date of publication (1926) being just after Riza Shah's accession to the throne, the general political circumstances are reflected in all of the articles, but most explicitly in Kazimzada's introduction when he wrote:
Now that the state and society (dawlat va millat) have been united, and barriers to progress and modernisation have been removed, and revolts and revolutions are no longer necessary, it is our duty to take advantage of the Shaykh's social and philosophical thoughts in order to reform morals, promote modernity and make good the [country's] short- comings.10

Shafaq's contribution was also extremely favourable to Khiyabani. It ended by noting that "Truth is a spark that, however it may be extinguished or buried under dust and cinder, it would flame up again and
bedazzle the eyes".11

Badamchi had been a leading figure in the revolt, and had recently (in December 1925) represented Tabriz in the constituent assembly, and had voted for the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty.12 The then prevailing political mood required the movement to be represented as nationalist and anti-imperialist (and particularly anti-Agreement); and as centralist as opposed to separatist or even federalist. With regard to the aims of the revolt, Badamchi made two points. First, that the revolt had been solely a reaction to Vuthuq al-Dawla's government and the 1919 Agreement. Indeed, it went much further and made the very unlikely claim that Vuthuq al-Dawla had been trying to arrange the assassination of Khiyabani and other Democrat leaders in Tabriz even before they rose. He implicitly acknowledged the fact that Tabriz Democrats had not said much in public against the Agreement or Vuthuq al-Dawla's government, yet claimed that their victory in the Tabriz elections had worried Vuthuq al-Dawla to the extent that:

Being aware that once the Azerbaijan deputies enter the Majlis under the leadership of the late Khiyabani, their able and beloved leader, the Agreement would never pass through the Majlis, Vuthuq al-Dawla decided to extinguish this light, stifle Azerbaijan, this cradle of liberty, thus attaining his own corrupt objective. He therefore sent the Swedish [officers], Biverling and Vogelklu, together with a number of [Iranian] police officers, with instructions to stifle the Democrat Party and kill its leading members at any cost. (For one of the police officers, whom I do not wish to name at the moment, once when he was drunk had said that their mission was to kill the leading Democrats.) Apart from that, seeing that Vuthuq al-Dawla was apparently implementing the Agreement before its approval by the Majlis (which had not yet met), the Democrat Party regarded silence at that moment as treason against the motherland, and felt impelled to rise against government actions which were destroying the country's independence, led by their brave and gallant commander, and able and respectable leader,Aqa Shaykh Muhammad Khiyabani.

This, as we shall see below, is incorrect. The article has been written against the background both of the
extreme unpopularity of the Agreement, and of the strong backlash against disintegrative trends in the nineteen-twenties. Hence Badamchi's second explanation of the revolt is not unrelated to the first:
The Democrats and their beloved commander and leader had no other objective except patriotism, protection of Iran's greatness, and the strengthening of the constitution. And they curse those... who accuse the Democrats of being rebels who had tried to secure the secession of Azerbaijan [from Iran].13

All of these views and sentiments have been repeated and reflected by many later admirers of Khiyabani, such as Azari.14 It will be shown below that, while the claim that the revolt was wholly or even mainly intended against Vuthuq al-Dawla and the Agreement is incorrect, the evidence suggests that it was not a separatist movement. But the issues regarding its background, objectives and developments go well beyond those two questions, especially as the new evidence reveals that the revolt itself had been the climax of a long process where by Khiyabani and his supporters had extended their grip over the government and administration of Tabriz.

Shaykh Muhammad, a son of Hajj Abdal-Hamid, a merchant of the Khamina district of Tabriz, was born in 1880. In his youth he had both assisted his father in his business and attended courses in traditional religious sciences.15 His education reached the level of a local prayer leader, and he knew some mathematics and traditional cosmography aswell. In 1906 he was already teaching at Talibiyya College, "a Tabriz traditional school where they teach religious sciences", when Kasravi became his student.16
Shortly afterwards he gave up teaching and became a prayer leader at a mosque in the Khiyaban district
of Tabriz.
After Muhammad Ali Shah's coup against the Majlis, Khiyabani joined the constitutionalists of Tabriz, and when the Shah fell, he was elected a deputy for the town in the second Majlis. Having joined the radical wing of the Democrat party, he played a leading role in the debates of later 1911, which led to the dissolution of the Majlis, as a result of the Russian ultimatum for the removal of Morgan Shuster, the American chief financial adviser to Iran. Russian forces stationed at Qazvin would have occupied Tehran if the ultimatum had not been accepted. The pro-Democrat government of Samsam al-Saltana, and its Foreign Minister Vuthuq al-Dawla, saw no alternative but to comply with the Russian demand. Public feelings were running high, and, in the  Majlis, most of the Moderates joined the radical Democrats in rejecting the government's plea for compliance. The result was disaster for all of them and for Iran.17

Almost twenty years ago, the present author compared the Iranian disaster of 1911 with Thermidor 1794 in the French Revolution.18 The analogy is a fair one in so far as the idealists had a major setback on both occasions. But it must be further observed that, in both cases, the idealists played an important role in bringing the disaster upon themselves. It must also be emphasised that, unlike the case of France, the conflict in Iran over the Russian ultimatum was not a domestic matter, and so no domestic political force had engineered the "Thermidor". It was the Russian oppression as well as the emotionally-charged response to it which resulted in an unnecessary domestic struggle, entailing the worst possible outcome for the country.

The highly arrogant behaviour of Russia and its occupying forces in Iran was flagrant, and against all norms of behaviour towards an independent country. This, indeed, was the very reason behind the great emotional outburst of Democrats, Moderates and the urban crowds in defence of their country's, and, indeed, their own, dignity and integrity. On the other hand, it was clear that every act of Iranian defiance would simply raise the stakes, escalate the crisis and result in a much greater Iranian defeat, as in fact it happened.
Thus the conflict was far from domestic, and the government of Samsam al-Saltana was trying to make the best of a bad job vis-a-vis a much more powerful foreign foe against whom Britain no longer would move to contain. Yet the Majlis and the crowd were facing the cabinet almost as if they were responsible for the Russian threat, and that they or anyone else in Iran could possibly put an end to Russian aggression. There was therefore a destructive conflict between the Majlis and the cabinet, by means of which both of them, as well as the country, would end up as losers.
It would not be possible to present even a brief outline of the debates and disagreements here. The most fundamental point, however, is that the Majlis saw itself as the representative body of the people or society (millat) as opposed to the state or dawlat. This was much in the spirit of the ancien regime when, either passively or actively, there had been a permanent state of destructive conflict and distrust between society and state. And now that there was constitutional government, "the state" which previously had been the Shah, was being identified with the executive cabinet, "the government", for which the term dawlat was also used.19 Indeed, much of the parliamentary debate, including Vuthuq al-Dawla's and Khiyabani's contributions, was on the relative powers of the Majlis and the government. Vuthuq bitterly complained of the cabinet's lack of power to act, and Khiyabani argued that any more power would bring the former regime back in a new guise.20 Unless it is seen in this historical context, the conflict makes no sense at all, for the result was a total and unmitigated defeat for both the state and the society.
This was anticipated at the very time even by no less a radical Democrat leader than Taqizada,who had recently been effectively driven out of the country because of his radical views. He sent fourteen telegrams to various leading figures of different views, including Sulayman Mirzai, Vuthuq al-Dawla, Sayyid Muhammad Riza Shirazi (Musavat) and Mu'tamin al-Mulk, imploring them to come to terms with the Russians so as to avoid a disastrous defeat. For example, in his telegrams to Sulayman Mirza, the parliamentary Democrat leader, he wrote:
I am absolutely astonished at the attitude which the Majlis has adopted towards the question of the [Russian] ultimatum... At this moment hostility and stubbornness would result in eternal damnation.21

And he went on to say that "the Majlis and the government" must act as one, form a crisis committee and meet the Russian demand of a formal apology. In his telegram to Mu'tamin al-Mulk, he wondered whether "there was no-one among the country's leaders to comprehend the delicacy of the situation, and realise that the whole world would reproach us for showing such stubbornness over a mere apology".22 In yet another telegram to Mu'tamin, he "begged [him] in the name of the motherland to give courageous advice in this dangerous situation, so that the cabinet withdraws its resignation, the apology is made, and the motherland is saved from the risk of destruction". He even asked Mu'tamin to present his telegram to the Majlis.23
His advice and efforts, like those of the government, were not heeded, and this led to the Russian ultimatum, their occupation of Rasht and Tabriz, and their pause for occupying the capital. It led to abject surrender: the ultimatum was accepted, and the Regent dissolved the Majlis.24 If the earlier Russian protest against the confiscation of the properties of Shu'a al-Saltana had been favourably received, there would have been no ultimatum, no need for an apology, no Russian occupation of Tabriz, no expulsion of Shuster, no dissolution of the Majlis, and no such sense of unmitigated defeat by the public. That the Russian protest violated Iranian sovereignty was stark and brutal; but the worst could have been avoided if the Majlis had cooperated with the government on a matter over which there was no real domestic conflict.

This was a major example of chaos at the centre in the name of constitutional government, one which was to spread more widely and deeply through the world war and after until the 1921 coup. And although Khiyabani himself had been on the radical side of that conflict, it is clear from his later attitude that he drew a hard lesson from it. It was at least one important reason for the great emphasis which he put on order, discipline, solidarity and security -both in speech and in action- in the brief period that he was the undisputed master of Tabriz (see further below).
After the closure of the Majlis and Russian occupation of Tabriz, Khiyabani first went to Mashad, then to the Caucasus, but sometime afterwards, Samad Khan Shuja al-Dawla, the lawless and fearsome Russian-appointed governor of Tabriz, gave him immunity to return to Tabriz through the intervention of the Imam Juma of the town.25 At first he went back to the mosque, but later opened a shop in the bazaar where "the freedom-loving people of Tabriz" went to talk to him quietly about the country's situation."And as Khiyabani combined wisdom and respectability with intelligence, his influence grew daily, and he even had a number of devotees who were totally committed to him and his leadership".26
The February revolution in Russia and the consequent departure of Russian forces from Tabriz made it possible for Tabriz Democrats to resume activity, but, according to Kasravi, Khiyabani's personal style of leadership had already divided the party. Kasravi himself was among the critics, because he believed that "for Khiyabani, the leadership of the Democrat party was as if he himself was the ruler of Azerbaijan... And we shall see that, in the very name of the leader of Democrats, he took very important decisions, and eventually established his dictatorship (diktaturi) under the banner of 'uprising'."27 He even writes about a secret terrorist organisation which became active in Tabriz between the departure of the Russians and occupation of the Turks, and believes that it was run by Khiyabani and his deputy Ismail Nubari. He says that many of those whom the "Committee of Terror" assassinated had been Russian collaborators and hated by the public:
But the point is that the Committee of Terror... destroyed some innocent people by its fire, even one of the freedom-seeking people (azadi-khahan)... Sayyid Nimatallah Khan, editor of the Kilid-i Najat newspaper... whose only crime was that he was opposed to Khiyabani and Nubari...28

Abdallah Bahrami was then chief of the Azerbaijan police. He admits that he was a member of the Democrat party, and even that he had a regular "secret meeting" every week with the Khiyabani faction leaders, including himself, Nubari, Hariri and Badamchi (Kasravi also says that he "was in league" with them, see further below). He mentions briefly the terrorist campaign of the "Committee of Punishment", but is rather uninformative about the perpetrators, and says that "the public believed that these acts [of terrorism] were committed by the Democrats and that I was giving them support". Only in one case does he attribute it to Democrats, the case of the Imam Juma of Tabriz, which both he and Kasravi describe as having shocked the town. Bahrami says that Imam Juma was killed by three Democrats who were under Hariri's supervision, and that they had decided to kill him without higher authority. Nevertheless, it lends support to Kasravi's account that the Khiyabani faction was involved in the terrorist campaign.28a

Throughout his account, Kasravi emphasises two aspects of Khiyabani's personality and leadership: that he was highly intelligent, very clever and "a champion in the field of politics", and that he was a "dictator", given to personal rule. The two aspects might well have been two sides of the same coin. Khiyabani had become critical of disorder and chaos, which an increasing number of people nowassociated with "freedom","law","constitutionalism" and "democracy". And, as we shall see below,
through many of his words and actions, he emerges as an astute politician, trying to provide a strong leadership in the midst of a chaotic political culture.
The irony is that Kasravi, too, detested chaos, yet apparently he did not see the kinship between his own attitude and that of Khiyabani, and was especially upset by the latter's skilful manoeuvrings. For example, when Kasravi and a fellow critic (the brother of Kazimzada-yi Iranshahr) successfully attacked him in a party meeting, he verbally agreed with them but carried on in the same old way. A major bone of contention was over Taqi Rif'at's editorship of Tajaddud, the official party newspaper, because he had shown much deference to the Turks when they occupied Tabriz. But Khiyabani kept him in that post, saying "I like MirzaTaqi Khan very much".29 Rif'at is especially known, and revered among many literary modernists, for his radical views regarding the modernisation of Persian poetry, which led to the famous debate between him and the Poet-Laureate Bahar through the pages of Tajaddud in Tabriz and (Bahar's) Danishkada in Tehran.30

An important piece of historical revisionism revealed by the Kasravi manuscript is that the revolt was far from sudden, its origins going as far back as early 1917. He writes at length on how Khiyabani and Nubari effectively ran Tabriz (even though there were Governors-General) for ten months, between the evacuation of the Russians and the occupation of the Turks. The Russians had left a large arms and ammunitions depot behind which contained many heavy weapons. The Democrats appropriated more than a half of its stocks (and made 14,000 tumans by selling some of them), leaving the rest for the government. Yet Kasravi emphasises that even that would not have been left for the government if the Democrats had not taken charge of the depot.
There was famine both in town and in the province because of a bad harvest, combined with plunder by the departing Russian armies and hoarding by traders. The Assyrians rose and sacked several villages, especially in Urmiya and Salmas. Khiyabani and Nubari, says Kasravi, could not do much about the Assyrian revolt except bringing pressure on the Governor-General who sent a force of Iranian Cossacks to stop them but did not succeed. The terrorist gang, as mentioned above, was in their control, but later Khiyabani was remorseful about some of the assassinations, and tried to blame Nubari alone for it. On the other hand, they were very active and largely effective in dealing with the famine in Tabriz.31

One particular episode is worth mentioning. Kasravi briefly says in the manuscript that the Crown Prince (whose seat was traditionally in Tabriz) and the Governor-General tried to remove the police chief (the aforementioned Abdallah Bahrami)  "who was in league with" the Khiyabani faction; but Khiyabani and Nubari stopped them. Bahrami himself relates the story at much greater length, saying that Khiyabani had told the Governor-General that either the police chief should be returned to his post by noon "or you too must go".31a
Then came the Turks, who banished the two leaders to Maragha, but released them after they pulled out later in 1918. The following report by Ismail Haqqi, the leading agent of Enver Pasha's intelligence network, the Tashkilat Makhsusa, confirms both the conflict between Khiyabani's movement with the Ottomans and his rapport with the Tabriz government:
In Tabriz, next to the Democrat party which is run by Khiyabani, Nubari and Hariri, who, incidentally, enjoy the support of the Police force (i.e. of Bahrami), there exist a few trivial parties such as the Ahrar, Taraqqiyun and Mujahidin. Among them it is only the Mujahidin which is worth mentioning ... with its pro-Turkish stance ... On the other hand, the Democrat party, with its clear Iranian patriotic and xenophobic stance, is the most serious and popular party, which not only enjoys the good graces of the people, but has the support of the police, gendarmerie and regular soldiers.32
This report also shows some coincidence of interest between the Democrats and the British in the region, which, as we shall see below, was further strengthened after Khiyabani's revolt:
Furthermore, our explicit support of the Mujahidin's Pan-Turkist policy has allowed the British to launch a counter-campaign in the city ...  the campaign has bolstered the Democrats' anti-Ottoman position.33
It was at this time that, according to Kasravi, Khiyabani established good relations with the Governor-General, and arranged for Nubari's banishment as the erstwhile terrorist leader. Another Governor-General came and went, but was replaced by a weak man, Sardar Mu'tazid, as the acting Governor-General early in the autumn of 1919. It was from that time, almost six months before the event in March 1920, that the idea of an open revolt began to take shape.
Before the return of Khiyabani and Nubari to Tabriz, the Democrats had begun to reorganise their party and activities, and had aired criticism of Khiyabani's style of leadership. When Khiyabani returned, says Kasravi, as a result of his charismatic influence, his rapport with the Governor-General, and the greater activism and better organisation of his supporters, he took over the party leadership in his usual style. This led to complaints, which he simply brushed aside by "ahost of coarse and unseemly words". The party was now openly divided into two factions: the Tajaddudiyyun (because they published the party newspaper, Tajaddud) and the Tanqidiyyun, or Critical Faction.34
According to Kasravi's account, the foundations of the revolt were laid in September 1919. This is confirmed by a speech by Khiyabani of May 1920 when he said that the decision for the revolt had been taken "eight months before".35 The Democrats, even though informally, were still playing a large role in the running of the provincial affairs. Ismail Aqa Simku (also known as Simitqu), the legendary leader of the Shakkak Kurdish rebels, rose again in the province. In his Tarikhi hijdah sala, Kasravi presents a detailed account of Simku's plunders and massacres before as well as at this time.36
But in his account of Khiyabani's revolt, he largely confines himself to the matter as it affected Tabriz politics. The last village in the Salmas area was captured in December 1919 and, according to Major Edmonds' report, "nearly all the men were massacred".37 Both he and Kasravi maintain that the acting Governor-General was corrupt and secretly in league with the rebel leader. Edmonds reported that troops mutinied in Tabriz, imprisoned him and demanded their arrears of pay.
Sardar Intisar (later Muzaffar Alam) was sent from Tehran as commander-in-chief of all the government forces in Azerbaijan, and shortly afterwards also became acting Governor-General. Kasravi describes him as an able man who quickly managed to defeat Simku. But Simku himself managed to escape, and widely believed rumours had it that the Sardar and Colonel Philipov, Russian commander of the local Cossack force, had let him go for a large bribe. Ernest Bristow, the British consul in Tabriz, wrote in his end-of-the-year report for 1920:
The expedition of 5000 men under the Russian Colonel Phillipoff left Tabriz in January and on the 17th announced a great victory; the matter however dragged ... The only manifest result of this expedition, which is said to have cost the Persian government some five hundred thousand tomans, was that the Chief of the expedition returned to Tabriz the richer by a considerable sum.38

Another source of anger in Tabriz, was the appointment of Majid Mirza Ayn al-Dawla as Governor- General of the province. He did not have a good reputation among the constitutionalists (least of all in Tabriz), but he was taking his time to get to his post. By the beginning of January 1920 he reached Zanjan and remained there  for two months, "where", reported Edmonds, "he did not fail to line his pocket".39 "The passage of HRH Ain-ud-Dauleh", he wrote in a subsequent report, "was, here [in the Khamsa province] as elsewhere, the signal for general unrest and disorder".40 Ayn al-Dawla was still in the small town of Miyaneh (Miyanaj) at the time of the revolt early in April. Azari confirms that the appointment of Ayn al-Dawla had played a role in provoking the revolt,41 although (as we have shown above) the decision had been taken already, and such unpopular events as Ayn al-Dawla's appointment had merely helped the process. Indeed, as we shall see further below, he took a long time to arrive in Tabriz after the event, and even then he left matters entirely in Khiyabani's hands. Apart from that, the people of Tabriz soon had a specific grievance against him. While still in Zanjan, he had sent some one to Tabriz as the chief of Azerbaijan's finance department, and the latter in turn had taken a large team of men to replace the existing civil servants in the department. It intensified feelings, and angered the influential local employees who were about to lose their jobs.42
The arrival of two Swedish officers, Major Bieverling and Captain Vogelklu, from Tehran provided the ultimate pretext for the uprising. Swedish officers then ran the country's police force, and the two men would normally have been appointed to run the provincial police by the Chief Prefect, General Westdahl. They, too, brought a number of Tehrani officers with them who displaced some of the existing ones, adding to the discontent among the local government employees. At the same time, the new police team began to interview former terrorist suspects and, according to Kasravi, this worried khiyabani and his men who thought that it could "result in the revelation of many a secret".43 It must also be the source of the claim by Badamchi, quoted above, that their mission was to "kill" Democrat leaders, and, following his lead, Azari's claim that they were Vuthuq al-Dawla's "spies".44
The zeal as well as cultural insensitivity of the Swedish major in fulfilling his duties provided the opportunity. A thief having run away, they took his wife for questioning to find the stolen cash. According to Kasravi, this was the first woman to be put in jail in Tabriz, and she happened to be related to a highly respected and revered prayer leader (although, as we shall see below, Khiyabani himself mentioned two women in his interview with Major Edmonds). There were loud protests, but Bieverling did not respond, and his not being a Muslim made matters worse, invoking the religious duty of not tolerating the rule of the infidel.
The final twist was the arrival in Tabriz of Ayn al-Dawla's deputy, Amin al-Mulk (later, Dr. Ismail Marzban). This did not please Sardar Intisar who, as we have just seen, had been both commander-in-chief and acting Governor-General, presumably hoping to be deputy under Ayn al-Dawla. He therefore agreed to help Khiyabani "with his acumen and ability", in exchange for the Shaykh's support both for his own position and for his brother to be elected a Majlis deputy for a provincial town.45

The revolt began on 5 April. Two days later, the town was in Khiyabani's hands with hardly a shot being fired. On 5 April, Khiyabani ordered his men to go, fully armed, to the office of the Tajaddud newspaper. He then sent a detachment to release a prisoner from a police station. The man was a nonentity, but Khiyabani had decided to seize the moment. Faced with about sixty armed men, the station chief surrendered the prisoner to them but reported the matter to the police headquarters via telephone. Bieverling sent his deputy, Vogelklu, at the head of a detachment of mounted police, who, seeing that the men were numerous and well-armed, did not stop them but surrounded the Tajaddud building once they had entered it.46
At this point, Sardar Intisar personally arrived on the scene and, as Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces, ordered Vogelklu to relent.47 Khiyabani and his men spent the night in the building and conferred with the Sardar on their next move. The following morning they had the shops and schools closed, and Khiyabani sent word to soldiers, gendarmes and policemen to go and collect their back pay at the Tajaddud office. There was a large rally where passionate speeches were made. The crowd was then sent round to the police headquarters to take it over and drive the Swedish officers out of town. Ordinary policemen were not prepared to fight, and Amin al-Mulk, the deputy governor, ordered the Swedes and "their company" to leave town.
The motives and programme of the revolt were left deliberately vague until the very end. Kasravi emphasises that Khiyabani's faction of the Tabriz Democrats was silent about the 1919 agreement.
Khiyabani himself would not express an opinion about it, and his disciples would simply say that "it is not easy to know whether the agreement is in our interest or against it".48 Azari claims that the revolt's highest motive was to oppose the Agreement but does not cite any evidence for it, least of all from Khiyabani's own speeches and articles, which contain no reference to it at all. Indeed, the one short public communique about their aims, which the Democrats published immediately after they took over the town, and one reprinted by both Kasravi and Azari, was vague and general. It simply said that they had risen in protest against "a host of unconstitutional actions of [the various] provincial governments", and that they expected the government officials to respect their "free regime" and implement their decisions with sincerity. The "freedom-seekers", it said, were well aware of the "country's highly sensitive situation" and were determined to "establish order and security". Their programme, "in two words", was, "the establishment of public security; the actualisation of the constitutional regime".49 There was no mention of, and not even an allusion to, the 1919 agreement.
Kasravi complains that, when they were asked about the movement's specific objectives, they would simply reply that they had a "sublime ideal" which it was not yet opportune to reveal. Mukhbir al-Saltana independently confirms this. He says that when he arrived in Tabriz as Governor-General in September 1920, he told two of Khiyabani's closest men, Sayyid al-Muhaqqiqin and the aforementioned Badamchi, that Vuthuq had gone, the Agreement was in abeyance, members of the cabinet (as they knew) were honest men, and civil war and separatism would be destructive, i.e. all the reasons that he and most others believed to have motivated the revolt. They replied, and went on repeating, that they had a great ideal which they were not yet ready to reveal.50

A close study of Khiyabani's speeches and articles in this period confirms this. It also gives much information about his basic aims, his attitude to politics, and his style of leadership.51 He said in an early speech after the revolt that the movement's objectives, like those of an army at war, should not be revealed to the enemy.52 And on another occasion that "the enemy must be kept in the dark... so that he would not learn the plans and tactics of his adversary".53 On the other hand, he systematically attacked chaos and indiscipline, and emphasised the supreme importance of strong leadership. In a speech specifically aimed against factionalism and chaos, he said that they should act with "one voice", that the new regime would be "that which is relevant to our time", and that, before it is established, it would be "wrong to divide the freedom-seeking people".54 In a later speech, he emphasised that the revolt had not yet put forward any specific programme, and said that "there is reflection and gradualism in our course of action".55

The speeches are marked with emphasis on the importance of the will to act, on unity, on order and discipline, and (save for the usual slogans on freedom, democracy, etc.) on avoidance of highly ambitious proclamations about largely unattainable goals: a problem which is all too familiar in Iranian politics in the twentieth century. Fear must be set aside; movement must have utter self-confidence and know that he who has the will to act will succeed.56 Modernization and progress are frequently mentioned as the movement's long term objectives. For example:

Iran must independently gather the means for her modernization (tajaddud) and progress (taraqqi), and must soon- as fast as possible- join the world's civilised nations. This is our basic aim, and in the name of Iranianism (Irdniyyat) we shall adopt the best ideas of the world's modern nations.57

But it is emphasized that progress would have to be gradual to succeed:
An ignorant person will not become instantly knowledgeable. Likewise, a democracy cannot change past injustice and arbitrary government in a single day. As philosophical opinion has it, civilization arises from the gradual disappearance of the existing traditions, and their replacement by new ones.58
And the lessons which he had derived from the post-revolutionary chaos found an explicit echo in the following:

He who is used to the dark will be bedazzled and even blinded if he is suddenly exposed to light ...
The fourteen-year-old [Constitutional] Revolution was a sudden change, and so it led to disorder. But this time discipline [ he uses the European word] will be imposed on events, and you shall be exposed to light gradually (emphasis added).59
And again, in another speech:
Haste is a powerful factor in causing failure. It makes it possible for us to lose our balance, go over the top with idealism, and achieve nothing.60
The themes of "discipline", "order", "singleness of voice", "centralisation" and "central decision making" are the most frequent ones, if only because they affected the daily running of the affairs of the town and province. He talked about "the single voice of Tabriz", and the need for "centralisation in every respect". 61 He said in another speech:
We say that in Azadistan [Azerbaijan], and all over Iran, there should be just one idea, one voice, so that it would determine and inform the country's regime. Our actions stem from this conviction (emphasis added).62
He described two types of discipline: one which was "imposed" (ijbari), and one which was "voluntary" (ikhtiyari). The latter was the "common discipline" accepted by the movement.63 This was a recurring theme in his speeches:
We would like Iranian democracy to become familiar with that civil and voluntary discipline, which is one of the sources of civilisation, and therefore attain real and practical freedom(emphasis added).64
Thus there was to be no letting or relenting on opposition, whether from inside or outside of the movement, and this was the worst grievance that Kasravi and other members of the Critical Faction had of Khiyabani and the Tajaddud Faction of their own party. Elaborating on the themes of centralization, order and discipline, Khiyabani said that opponents and critics would be "punished without pity". He went even further and said that anyone with any skill or ability who would refuse to help movement would be punished as a traitor.65 This attitude is explained in another speech where he said:
One often needs to take hard decisions and resort to extreme action in order to propagate a new creed (maslak), most of which may be in fundamental conflict with the creed itself. But this is a necessary evil, and temporary resort to hard choices in the interest of mankind is needed to ensure success.66
Much of this was clearly a reaction against how chaos and disorder had been misunderstood for law, constitutionalism, democracy and freedom after the fall of the arbitrary state. Indeed, it is against this general background that his emphasis on obedience must be viewed:
No nation can progress without obedience. No concept of freedom would be imaginable if it was not combined with obedience. No matter how radical a creed might be, it could not deny the need for obedience ... If you wish your country to be free, independent, peaceful and secure, then after learning, deciding on your ideas, and choosing your commander, you must prepare yourselves for complete and unquestioning obedience.67

That is as good a piece of evidence as any for Kasravi's complaint that Khiyabani and his men "expected blind obedience from the people in the name of the 'maintenance of discipline' ".68 And it is on that basis that he levels the charge of dictatorship against the Shaykh. He brings no charges of separatism against him, however, and -coming as it does from a critic who was an enemy of disintegration- it should have been sufficient to seal the argument.69 But there is also widespread evidence in support of it in Khiyabani's own speeches, though the emphasis and frequency increases with time, presumably in response to fears and rumours of separatism in Tehran. A couple of examples have been incidentally cited in the above quotations. Here is another specimen:
The foundation of some states is so strong that is not easily shaken by [adverse] events. Britain is like that, and the British are lucky. Is our own Iran like that too? Never! On the contrary, the symbol of our governments is discontinuity. That is why the entire foundations and structures of Iran must be rebuilt. No one knows what Iran's policy, and the basis of her policy, is. It is not clear whether it belongs to England, Russia, the Cossacks' headquarters or somewhere else... If Iran belongs to Iranians, the country's foundation must be laid anew, and its structure must be built again.70

This incidentally is centred on the theme of orderly and continuous government, and the observation that "the symbol of our governments is discontinuity" is astute.

They did, however, rename the province Azadistan (Freedom land), though they did not explain its significance beyond the literal meaning of the term. In his Tarikh-i hijdah sala, Kasravi says that it had been suggested by Ismail Amirkhizi, a close Khiyabani lieutenant, on the arguments that the province had fought hard for freedom during the Constitutional Revolution, and that the newly formed transcaucasian republic had called itself the Republic of Azerbaijan.71 Azari has also produced the same story, apparently from Kasravi. But it does not exist in Kasravi's manuscript, and though it might well have been true, it looks more like an apology in the light of the prevailing centralist ideology of the Riza Shah period. Kasravi's insight in the manuscript is that the change of name was due to the desire for establishing some form of home rule in the province, led by Khiyabani and his men. He says that after Mushir al-Dawla became Prime Minister in July 1920, and approached Khiyabani in a conciliatory manner,
Khiyabani replies that, unless the government recognises "Azadistan" he would not be ready to engage in any negotiations (and, in fact, what was meant by "Azadistan"was the situation as it was then in Azerbaijan, which he wanted to remain eternal, that is, the government recognise his rule in Azerbaijan).71a

This seems to be borne out by Khiyabani's own references to the subject. For example, on one occasion he said that if any government department (in the province) did not officially use the new name after a certain deadline, its head would be immediately dismissed.72 On another occasion, he complained that "Tehran has not yet accepted the name 'Azadistan' ".73 Clearly, the great importance which he attached to the change of name of the province could not have been only due to the later explanation offered by Amirkhizi.
Three weeks after the revolt, Major Edmonds, Norperforce's political officer, met Khiyabani in Tabriz. Kasravi says that Edmonds had interviewed him too, and talked about the possibility of their faction working against Khiyabani, which he had rejected. He also says that someone representing Tehran had contacted him and received the same reply.74 From what follows, it looks more likely that theirs was a fact-finding mission, probably couched in such terms as to give Kasravi that impression. At any rate, Kasravi says that Edmonds met with Khiyabani, and since it was in both their interests, "not much argument was needed for them to enter a pact".75
Although there was no "pact" as such, Kasravi's account is borne out by a special report sent by Edmonds to Cox in Tehran on his interview with the Shaykh on 1 May, 1920:
On April 30th I with Captain Geard attended a "Garden Party"given by the democratic party in honour of those who fell in the fight for the constitution at Tabriz... The primary objective was doubtless to raise the wind with the democrats who doubt[less] also wished to invest their present movement with the halo of the struggle for the constitution ...
Later, he watched Khiyabani address the guests:

Towards the sunset Shaikh Muhammad Khiyabani, president of the "Tajaddud"and a virtual dictator of Tabriz ascended the stage ... a man of about 40 of slight build, with black beard thin below the corners of the mouth ... he spoke with restraint deliberately and with no hesitation as one who knew exactly what he wanted ... He spoke in Turki and I was unfortunately not able to follow it all. Among other things he announced that, especially during the coming Ramazan when the people would constantly be meeting together, no political discussion would be permitted without the previous consent of the Tajaddud.
Next day Edmonds met Khiyabani at the house of Fakhr al-Atibba:
On closer acquaintance he does not give that impression of the cold impassive revolutionary I got the previous day. Indeed, he was almost shy but for all that spoke with a conviction that he had Tabriz in his hand and that his decisions could not admit of any discussion.
It was indeed a real interview, for much of the time was spent on Khiyabani's answering Edmonds' specific questions:
He explained that his party expelled the Swedes (Bieverling and Vogelklu) because they had been made the tool of others to suppress freedom. They had been tactless in at least two cases of imprisonment of women, including one who was pregnant.
As for the aims of the movement:

Their object were (sic) summarised in their manifesto of 9th April (quoted above) ... nothing more and nothing less. They demanded constitutional government according to the fundamental law and pure administration ...

Asked "how long it would be necessary for an unofficial body to exercise supervision over government departments", Khiyatbani replied that:

He could not admit a Committee representing the people were unofficial - government officials were servants of the public and the public had every right to and would control their actions. He quoted the dishonesty of successive chiefs of the revenue department, the wicked waste over the Simko expedition, etc.

Asked, if the movement was "a struggle for freedom" why it was necessary for meetings to have the permission of the Tajaddud,
He replied that Persia was not like England where a law passed by the majority was enforced on all although minorities were free to raise their voice against it. They had Bolshevik and Turkish propagandists, reactionaries and other parties ready to seize such opportunity to create disorder... Expression of opinion would be allowed but not in meetings and provided there was [no] incitement to disturbance.
Discussing foreign relations, he said he was not opposed to the 1919 agreement:

His party had at bottom a great affection for England which had gained them the constitution ... Though it was primarily for the Majlis to accept or reject the Anglo-Persian agreement, his party did not oppose the agreement as such but they would expect the people to have some voice in its interpretation e.g. in the choice of advisers - Swedes for instance had been quite unsuitable for Azerbaijan. An instrument like the agreement was necessary and inevitable, but should not be between two or three men but between peoples.
Nor was Khiyabani's view of Vuthuq al-Dawla, as expressed to Edmonds, anything like as negative as that of most radicals and constitutionalists at the time:
"Poor Vuthuq he (sic) has handicapped himself hopelessly by electing to play a lone hand. He is distracted from the administration of the state by the intrigues around him... I think you may tell higher [British] authority that your relations with Persia would be on a much firmer basis if the Prime Minister would take the country into his confidence".

And, while emphatically denying the charge of separatism, he went even further on Vuthuq al-Dawla and the Agreement:

He could assure me in the most positive terms that there was nothing of a separatist nature in their movement. They considered Azerbaijan as an integral part of Persia and had announced this to the Turks when they had tried annexationist propaganda. He admitted that on the 7th [of April] there had been cheers for a republic and cries of  "death to the English" and "death to Vuthuq-ud-Dauleh". At times of popular uprising there were always elements that did not understand and indulged in this sort of thing. We would have noticed that such cries had been rigorously suppressed.76
Khiyabani may not have put all his cards on the table, and Edmonds is unlikely to have expected that he would. Yet he was so reassured as to write further in his following report for April and May:
In P[olitical] O[fficer]'s opinion the movement started as a genuinely patriotic agitation for the restoration of the constitution, there was nothing Separatist or Bolshevik about it. It is of course impossible to foresee the results of mishandling by the Central Government. This view is rather confirmed by the latest news of steps being taken by the Democrats, since the Russian descent on Enzeli, to suppress bolshevik (sic) activity in Tabriz and prevent communication by the German Consul (who was endeavouring to profit by it) with the outside.77

The reference to "mishandling by the Central Government" was an aside on how the Jangali problem had been mishandled by the provincial governors of Gilan, and a warning to Tehran to be more careful this time. But Vuthuq al-Dawla could not have received better news in the midst of bad luck pouring down from everywhere: Khiyabani was not separatist, nor pro-Bolshevik, nor pan-Turanian, nor anti-Agreement, and he was trying to impose order and discipline in a highly sensitive province.
The death of the German consul was related to that fact. Bolshevik agents and local sympathisers had stepped up their agitation since the fall of Baku at the end of April, and the Bolshevik landing at Enzeli on 18 May had further emboldened them. Kurt Wustrow, the German consul, was "endeavouring to profit by" the situation, it appears, purely out of anti-British feeling, and this had been known even when Edmonds had met Khiyabani.78 In his annual report for the year 1920, Ernest Bristow, the British consul in Tabriz, wrote:
The situation was so threatening that it was decided to remove the two platoons of British Indian troops... The platoons left on June 1st. Very active Bolshevik propaganda was being carried on in Tabriz about this time and it was generally believed that Wustrow... was at the bottom of it.79

Both Kasravi and Azari confirm that Wustrow had stored up an arsenal, including heavyweapons, in his consulate, and had threatened to explode the consulate and the adjacent district when, he had been asked to surrender them. Moreover, this had already happened before Khiyabani's revolt.
The Bolsheviks in Gilan were about to conclude a coalition pact with Kuchik Khan, and it was concluded at the early days of June, in fact on the very day that Khiyabani's fighters and the regular police attacked the German consulate. Some leading Bolsheviks had taken refuge in the building, but the real fear was that the consul was arming and organising a Bolshevik insurrection. The battle did not take very long because, while shooting from the roof-top, Wustrow was either killed or committed suicide, both of which possibilities are mentioned by all the existing accounts.80 Indeed, Bristow also mentions the possibility that he was shot by a fellow German, "who regarded him as a madman".81 That ended the siege of the consulate as well as Bolshevik agitation in Tabriz. In a report sent to Moscow, a Bolshevik agent in Tabriz compared the Democrats with the Russian Kadet (liberal) party, clearly implied that there were not separatists, and confirmed their hostile attitude towards the Bolsheviks, though he thought they were anti-British as well:
The Democrats,while stressing Iranian nationalism and seeking changes and reforms for the whole of the country, have extended their struggle along two fronts, an anti-British and an anti-Bolshevik one.82
Any doubts about Vuthuq al-Dawla's attitude towards the situation in Azerbaijan is dispelled by the account of Kahhalzada, Persian secretary at the German legation in Tehran, of his reaction to the news of Wustrow's death. In the evening of 4 or 5 June, Vuthuq al-Dawla sent for him, giving him the news of the consul's death, and asking him to tell the German legation next morning that "there is a rumour in town that Mr. Wustrow committed suicide". This he did, and he later accompanied the German Charge d'Affaires to the Foreign Ministry, where they officially told them of the rumour, adding that the matter would be investigated, though "there is no doubt that it was his own fault". The German Charge did not at all take kindly to that comment.83
At no stage did Vuthuq al-Dawla's government declare Khiyabani's movement to be a rebellion. There is no evidence of direct contact between the two men, although it might just have happened after Edmonds' reports had been sent to Cox. It has not been possible to trace a single reference to Khiyabani's revolt in the voluminous correspondence between Cox and Curzon, which are full of fear and foreboding about the situation in the Caspian provinces, the Bolshevik agitation there as well as in Azerbaijan, the danger of a Bolshevik landing at Enzeli (which proved to be real), and the intrigues of Colonel Starosselski, the Cossack chief, against Vuthuq al-Dawla and the Agreement.84 Whether or not Vuthuq al-Dawla and Khiyabani made any direct contact, it is clear that, at least for the time being, neither side felt unsafe regarding the other.
Sardar Intisar, the military Commander-in-Chief, had been co-operating with Khiyabani, as had been all the regular government departments. The offending chief finance officer, Tarjuman al-Dawla, had left Tabriz. In mid-May, a couple of weeks after Edmonds' first report had been sent to Tehran, Ayn al-Dawla, the slow-moving Governor-General, at last arrived in Tabriz, leaving his horse and rifle guards ten miles outside the town. Describing himself as a father to the people of Tabriz, he dismissed Amin al-Mulk, the deputy governor, at Khiyabani's request but otherwise did not interfere in running the affairs.85
It was shortly after Ayn al-Dawla's arrival that Khiyabani finally ordered the arrest and banishment of the leaders of Democrat party's Critical Faction, including its leader, Dr. Zayn al-Abidin Khan (Iranshahr's brother), on the charge that they had tried to make direct contact with Aynal-Dawla.86
Kasravi managed to give them the slip, escaping to Qala Afshar, where he nursed an illness for a month before making his way to Tehran. Yet he later managed to piece together the circumstances of the fall of the revolt in some detail. As we shall see below, his account corresponds almost completely to that of Mukhbir al-Saltana, and this is important, since neither of the two men had been aware of the other's version before he wrote his own.
Ayn al-Dawla left town "early in July", thus reported the British consul, as peacefully as he had arrived, having been dismissed by the new Prime Minister, Mushir al-Dawla. But an unofficial party of Democrats held his caravan up a few miles outside the town "until he disgorged forty thousand tomans of his ill-gotten gains during the five weeks of Governor-Generalship".87 Long before then, Sardar Intisafr, the military commander, had been eased out of town, although it is unlikely that someone like him would have left head down if he had had Vuthuq al-Dawla's backing for resistance.


Vuthuq al-Dawla's government had already fallen by "early in July".The Shah had returned to Tehran from Europe on 2 June, and had not accepted Vuthuq al-Dawla's conditions -mainly involving the dismissal of Starosselski- for continuing in office. He told Herman Norman, the new British minister in Tehran, that "he disliked and distrusted him [Vuthuq al-Dawla] so extremely that he would never be able to work with him sincerely".88 On 25 June, he accepted Vuthuq al-Dawla's resignation, and it took Mushir al-Dawla (later, Hasan Pirniya) two weeks and much haggling, through the intermediacy of Norman, with Curzon in London in order to form a cabinet.89
Mushir al-Dawla was an honest, urbane and respected constitutionalist. He had a reputation among both left and right (including the British Foreign Office) for lacking political will and acumen. The reputation may be considered fair in so far as, whenever he was Prime Minister, he tried to govern by constitution and consent during hard and turbulent times. A close study of his government between July and November 1920, however, has shown that he fulfilled his extremely difficult task with wisdom as well as firmness.90
Kuchik Khan had already run into trouble with his Bolshevik partners in Rasht, largely because of the zeal and lack of tact which the latter used in implementing their own social policy. On the other hand, he drew his own legitimacy from his basic constitutionalist and patriotic convictions, and if there were three politicians to whom he looked up for guidance and approval, they were none other than Mushir al-Dawla, his brother Mu'tamin al-Mulk and Mustawfi al-Mamalik (who was also in Mushir al-Dawla's cabinet). Shortly after the latter formally accepted office, Kuchik parted company with the Bolsheviks and left for the forests. Mushir al-Dawla then sent a strong Cossack force, led by Starosselski himself, against the Bolsheviks. At first they made rapid progress, then they had serious setbacks in mid-October, and that played a decisive role in the fall of Mushir al-Dawla's cabinet. 91
It would have been difficult for him to have tried to suppress someone like Kuchik by force, but the Azerbaijan problem must have looked much simpler than that. Mushir al-Dawla and his colleagues had personally known and respected Khiyabani as an old constitutionalist democrat from his time as a Tabriz deputy in the second Majlis. Kasravi writes in his manuscript:
We all know Mushir al-Dawla... as a renowned freedom-seeking man. And there can be no doubt that he had no wish for fighting and bloodshed with those involved in the, rising (qiyamiyan) of Tabriz, who belonged to the freedom-seeking public... And so it was that for over two months the government was making conciliatory overtures to Khiyabani. But he and his lieutenants were in no mood to listen to such words... 92
That is right. Mushir al-Dawla dismissed Ayn al-Dawla, without naming a successor for him. It was weeks later that he appointed Mukhbir al-Saltana, his finance minister, as Governor-General of Azerbaijan, Through which period he had been trying to reach a settlement with Khiyabani via telegraphic correspondence. Mukhbir al-Saltana was an old constitutionalist, several times minister and Governor-General. and twice previously Governor-General of Azerbaijan. His popularity did not quite rise to that of Mushir al-Dawla, but he was a respected statesman with a good reputation in Azerbaijan, and he had been openly critical of the 1919 agreement. Hence Khiyabani's saying that Tehran was "using a deceptive policy", and sending "a famous Governor-General".93 Mukhbir al-Saltana's account of the events leading to the fall of Khiyabani is very similar to Kasravi's independent narrative, except that it is more detailed and, occasionally, more precise. Both of them confirm that, when Mukhbir al-Saltana's appointment was announced, Khiyabani wired back that a Governor-General was not needed, and that Tehran had to recognise "Azadistan"(this is also alluded to in a Khiyabani speech of the time 94), by which he probably meant his own rule in the province. Both of them write that Mushir al-Dawla's government sent money to Khiyabani for the government expenses in Tabriz, Mukhbir al-Saltana specifically mentioning "two 20,000 tumans" followed by another 15,000.95
Badamchi, Khiyabani's devotee, says that the latter had told Mushir al-Dawla that it was "in the interest of the patriots for this revolt to continue" because Mushir al-Dawla's government would not last long.96
Khiyabani knew Mukhbir al-Saltana personally, and sent him telegrams couched in highly respectable terms when he joined the cabinet, saying how the latter's "wise, learned and true" view of the political situation corresponded to his own.97 But when he was named Governor-General, Khiyabani somewhat cooled off, and eventually sent a message to him that he should go to Tabriz alone, i.e. without military escort and new civil servants. Mukhbir al-Saltana observed these conditions. He left at the end of August and reached Basminj, near Tabriz, after a couple of days of typically hazardous journey on roads infested with nomadic brigands, and through villages hostile to strangers, a situation attested to by Kasravi's manuscript as well. Here is a specimen of the prevailing chaos on the roads and in the countryside:
Everywhere on the way the harvest had been left unthreshed, herds were inside the village walls, and -fearing the Shahsavan [nomads]- the peasants were sitting in the watch towers with guns in their hands... In Tikma Dash we came across a group of Shahsavans. They had thirty riders and I had seventy, led by Garmrudi khans. A horse was killed on either side, but they passed and so did we. At Jangavar peasants began to shoot at us, thinking that we were Shahsavans. We put the carriages in the front and the shooting stopped.98
Kasravi writes in the manuscript that "in those very days lawlessness in Azerbaijan had become so bad that the Tabriz-Miyaneh road was cut off... and the Shahsavans were looting the villages up to a few miles to Tabriz."99
At Basminj, Mukhbir al-Saltana dismissed his Garmrudi guards. Said al-Saltana, a Tabriz community leader and go-between, met him there and suggested that he should attend Khiyabani's regular meetings at the Government House in Tabriz. He agreed, but Khiyabani later told Said on the telephone that he did not wish to see Mukhbir al-Saltana nor would he be allowed to take up residence in the Ali Qapu (the Government House) or in the other two government buildings. According to Mukhbir al-Saltana, he declined the Tabriz Cossacks' suggestion of sending a welcoming party, and, since he had been barred from government buildings by Khiyabani, he arrived at Said al- Saltana's house in the town.100 Kasravi independently confirms all this, but says that he does not know what was exchanged between Mukhbir al-Saltana and Said al-Saltana in Basminj.101
He was visited by Khiyabani's close lieutenants, and especially Badamchi and Sayyid al-Muhaqqiqin, several times, and he told them that the 1919 agreement had now been put in abeyance, and that civil war and separatism would be destructive, i.e. all the reasons that he and most others in Tehran believed to be behind the revolt. But they gave the familiar reply that they had a great ideal which they were not yet ready to reveal. Mukhbir al-Saltana tried to use the British and American consuls as peacemakers, but it did not work, and, according to him, the American consul then described Khiyabani as a "rebel".102 The latter refused Mukhbir al-Saltana's invitations to a meeting, saying that he was a fast talker and would have the better of him.103
The Russian Cossack chief of Tabriz had visited Mukhbir al-Saltana and had told him that Khiyabani's men could easily be reduced. The commander of the less important but much more popular gendarmes also reassured him of his co-operation, and this he would not have done under Vuthuq al-Dawla's government.104 But it was Khiyabani who made the first move. On 13 September, the tenth day of Mukhbir al-Saltana's arrival in Tabriz, Sayyid al-Muhaqqiqin brought word to him from Khiyabani that he should leave town. He wrote in his inimitably telegraphic style:
On Sunday 13 September Sayyid al-Muhaqqiqin saw me and said "Khiyabani says, What are you waiting for?" I said, "I am waiting for you to give up your stubbornness." He said, "Our position is unchangeable". I said that I had not come on my own initiative so that I could leave when I wished; I must speak to Tehran. He said, "The telegraph is under censorship". I said, "If I lie, do not communicate." He said, "Have it done huzuri (i.e. when the correspondents were personally in the respective telegraph offices)." I said, "Tomorrow is a holiday (because of Muharram); I shall have it done huzuri on Tuesday." I then told the Sayyid that, assuming I was to go, "What about security on the road? "He said that they would send riders with me. I said, "I do not trust your riders." He said, "Take Cossacks with you." I said, "That makes sense."105
Kasravi wrote independently in the manuscript:
For ten days Mukhbir al-Saltana was there, and no matter how many times he sent messages to Khiyabani that he had been appointed Governor-General of the province and wished to talk to him, he would only reply through some of his collaborators that "The people do not want you"... Eventually Khiyabani sent a message to Mukhbir al- Saltana, saying "Leave town or you will be thrown out".106
Meanwhile, the Cossack chief and his Iranian assistant, Zafar al-Saltana (later, General Hasan Muqaddam), had contacted Mukhbir al-Saltana again and declared their readiness for action. That Sunday afternoon there was as usual an open-house tea party at the Cossack headquarters on the outskirts of the town. Mukhbir al-Saltana went there "two hours before the sunset" and stayed behind after all the other guests had left. He then told the Cossacks to get ready for action during the night, and to move early in the morning. On the other hand, Khiyabani and his people, as Kasravi pointedly writes, were completely surprised, probably because they were sure that Mukhbir al-Saltana would soon leave town.
Both Mukhbir al-Saltana and Kasravi write that, by sunrise, all the government buildings had been re-taken, after very little resistance resulting in a couple of deaths on both sides. Both of them also say that, late on that very Sunday night, Khiyabani, going home alone, had been recognised by the Cossack chief, but that he did not arrest him because, says Mukhbir al-Saltana, he had ordered the Cossack chief against it.
Thus the movement collapsed, in the same way as it had succeeded, within a few hours, and with hardly a shot being fired. The Cossacks, as usual, looted the homes of some of the leading figures in the revolt, including that of Khiyabani, though Mukhbir al-Saltana was able to stop them in time from looting the homes of a few others. He also says that, since he could not find Said al-Saltana on the telephone, he instructed another intermediary to tell Khiyabani that he could go and remain at his home unmolested, and when the intermediary asked him to write it down, he did so.107
Khiyabani hid in the basement of a neighbour's house. A couple of Cossacks on regular patrol were told by a little girl that he was hiding at the house of Shaykh Husayn Basminji. Instead of a little girl (mentioned by Mukhbir al-Saltana) Kasravi says a beggar, but in his Iranshahr article cited above, Badamchi refers to "that dog of a child". Perhaps it was a beggar girl.108 At any rate, the Cossacks entered the house, there was an exchange of fire, and Khiyabani was killed. It was not clear who had fired first, and there was a rumour that, having been hit in the foot or leg, Khiyabani had shot himself in the head. Mukhbir al-Saltana does not insist on the truth of this rumour, merely saying wa'l ilmu ind Allah ("God knows best").109
Nonetheless, Mukhbir al-Saltana quotes verbatim a suicide note, allegedly found in Khiyabani's pocket, which had been handed to him. If true, it must have been ready in his pocket in case he was discovered:

Farewell comrades. Since I was all on my own and determined not to be arrested, I took my own life.
Follow my principles. Do not forget my people. I have no one. They looted my home. So much for Mukhbiral-Saltana's love of freedom (azadikhahi). 14 September [1920], Muhammad Khiyabani.110

The rabble, most of whom, says Kasravi, had been applauding his speeches until a few days before, tried to take his corpse round the bazaar, but Mukhbir al-Saltana stopped them and ordered it to be buried in a local Imamzada. Kasravi confirms this, and so does Badamchi who bitterly complains that Mukhbir al-Saltana "did not arrange a respectable funeral" for "that blessed martyr".111 Mukhbir al-Saltana says that he repaired Khiyabani's home, replaced his looted furniture, and paid 6,000 tumans (which up to then had been collected from an entry-and-exit tax for Tabriz under Khiyabani himself) to his family.112 Predictably, meetings were held in Tehran, and elegies and other poems were written in mourning for Khiyabani's violent death, although many popular politicians and activists did not blame the government for it. Democrat meetings and publications attacked the government, and the most effective work of that kind was a poem by Poet-Laureate Bahar who, because of his recent collaboration with Vuthuq al-Dawla, was no longer regarded a member of the Democrat party. It was a tarjiband with the following tarji:

If the blood of the innocent [mazlum] Khiyabani should come to boil,
Iran would wear a red shroud from one end to the other.
The name of both Vuthuq and Mushir al-Dawla was Hasan. Bahar, who was a Vuthuq al-Dawla supporter, compared the latter's execution of a couple of leaders of the rebel band of Nayib Husayn Kashi (Kashani) with the death of Khiyabani in the following verse:
If that Hasan killed a couple of Kashis for the motherland's sake,
This Hasan killed the motherland's freedom-lovers like beasts.113
Kasravi briefly mentions the hagiographies published at the time, including Bahar's poem, which he says had been really intended as an attack on Mushir al-Dawla because he had replaced Vuthuq al-Dawla.114 However that may be, when Bahar came to write the history of that period a quarter of a century later, his view had radically changed when he wrote of the incident:
These acts of Mushir al-Daula were very brilliant, and though they hurt the feelings of sentimentalisers (manfi-bafan) and even some popular constitutionalists, there can be no doubt that, from the point of view of the basic interest of the state, and service to the country, they were wisely taken. Also, the Prime Minister's personal standing was such that it could not be shaken by the critical reactions to them.115
That last remark provides an excellent clue to the swift rise and equally swift fall of Khiyabani and his revolt.


The Constitutional Revolution's single unifying object was to bring down the ancient arbitrary regime, and to replace it with a system based on a legal framework. But there was another side to the dialectics of Iranian history, the ancient Iranian chaos as the antithesis of the ancient Iranian arbitrary rule. Despite the great aspirations and good intentions of many of its leaders and activists, the revolution brought chaos, not just in the provinces, but -more effectively- at the centre, and in the very centre of "politics", even among "politicians" themselves. Foreign intervention and occupation certainly contributed to the chaos but did not create it. When the First World War ended, the country was in ruins and in danger of disintegration. Almost all political leaders were of one accord that the chaos must be brought to an end, and that required the formation of a unified army, and the reorganisation of the country's finances. But a large majority of them opposed the Anglo-Iranian agreement of August 1919, which they believed would compromise the country's independence. Given the Shah's tacit, but well-known, opposition to Vuthuq al-Dawla's government, the lack of co-operation by the Russian chief of the Iranian Cossack force, and the continued defiance of the Jangal movement, Vuthuq al-Dawla had been left with little legitimacy within a few months after signing the Agreement.
Khiyabani was a charismatic Tabriz Democrat leader and an influential deputy in the second Majlis, who had experienced the extremities of chaos at first hand both in Tehran and Azerbaijan, and both in the Majlis and among the Tabriz Democrats. He had increasingly assumed the role of the undisputed Democrat leader in the province, and had played an increasingly important role in running it since 1917. In Lenin's words about Russia, power was then lying in the streets ready to be picked up even in Tehran, let alone in Tabriz, after the Russian and Turkish forces had departed. Khiyabani and his men decided to pick it up in Tabriz, but did so cautiously and with deliberation.
They were far from separatists as many, then and subsequently, believed, but they wished to have a considerable amount of autonomy in governing the province. It is clear from Khiyabani's speeches that they were strongly opposed to chaos and in favour of firm rule, so that they would be able to bring modernization along European lines. The idea, mentioned above, of stopping the chaotic and disintegrative trends to make possible effective government and social progress, was shared by many, even by those with conflicting ideologies and strategies. Not only was Khiyabani not a separatist, but he often spoke as if he wished to extend his activities and programme to the whole of Iran. Yet if he was serious in the latter point, it is difficult to know how he hoped to achieve his aim, even assuming that he would manage to formalise his own rule in Azerbaijan, which seems to have been his most cherished objective. He applied himself forcefully towards that goal, curbing argument even within the Democrat ranks, and that is the reason why Kasravi and other party critics saw him as a dictator who put his own power above all else. That, too, was the reason for his emphasis on prudence, on not revealing one's hand too soon. He must have been (at least) somewhat critical of the 1919 agreement, and this is seen even from his diplomatic replies to Edmonds' questions. But he did not campaign against it, and -contrary to near-universal belief- his revolt had not solely or even mainly been motivated by opposition to the Agreement. Nor was he a Bolshevik or pro-Bolshevik, as it has been often claimed, although there is no evidence that he was ideologically anti-Bolshevik. He suppressed their activities, which were being supported by the German consul in Tabriz, both in the interest of maintaining his own grip on the situation, and in order to appease Norperforce and Vuthuq al- Dawla. These were the reasons why the latter left him alone, at least for the time being. Vuthuq al-Dawla did not even declare him a rebel either when he seized power, or afterwards. For he was not causing any trouble to Vuthuq al-Dawla, and he enjoyed a considerable amount of popular legitimacy in his own land, whereas Vuthuq al-Dawla was fast losing what was left of his legitimacy. Khiyabani was apparently caught in a paradox, that of trying to bring order to the province while being disobedient towards the centre. But the paradox became real when he defied Mushir al-Dawla's government whose popular legitimacy was second to none everywhere, including in Azerbaijan. Had Vuthuq al- Dawla tried to topple Khiyabani by force, there would have been a strong popular resistance in Tabriz, and a popular outcry in Tehran. Mushir al- Dawla's "weakness"as a strict constitutionalist was also his source of strength as a popular legitimate Prime Minister, being thus able to deal with Kuchik and Khiyabani much more easily than Vuthuq al- Dawla could have done, even though their different responses led to different outcomes for themselves. No doubt there were many factors working for the decline of Khiyabani's authority before he fell. But by far the most effective was that, by confronting Mushir al-Dawla's government, he appeared as a rebel. It was not so easy to tell Mukhbir al-Saltana to leave town as it had been to tell Amin al-Mulk or Sardar Intisar, for he and his political master enjoyed the kind of legitimacy, hence self-confidence, that they and their political master did not.
Khiyabani's revolt was another episode in the politics of chaos after the Constitutional Revolution, which reached its anti-climax first in the coup d'etat of 1921 and was then followed by the fall of the Qajars in 1925. Only at that point did both constitutionalism and chaos came to an end for sixteen years.

1. For an analysis of the Constitutional Revolution, see Homa Katouzian, "Liberty and Licence in the Constitutional Revolution of Iran", JRAS, Series 3, vol. VIII, 2 (1998). For the theory of arbitrary rule, see idem, "Arbitrary Rule. A Comparative Theory of State, Politics and Society in Iran", British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies XXIV (1997), pp. 49-73; idem, "Problems of Political Development in Iran: Democracy, Dictatorship or Arbitrary Government?", BJMES XXII (1995), pp. 5-20; idem, "The Aridisolatic Society. A Model of Long Term Social and Economic Development in Iran", IJMESXV (1983), pp. 259-81; idem, The Political Economy of Modern Iran, (London and NewYork, 1980), chs. 1-4; idem, "Nationalist Trends in Iran, 1921-1926", IJMESXI, (1979). For evidence of rift and chaos after the revolution, see William J. Olson, Anglo-Iranian Relations during World War I (London, 1984); Ervand Abrahamian, Iran betweenTwo Revolutions (Princeton, 1982).
2. See, for example, Abdallah Mustawfi, Sharh-i zindagani-yi man, vol. II (Tehran, 1964); Yahya Dawlatabadi, Hayat-i Yahya, vols. III and IV (Tehran, 1983); Malik al-Shuara Bahar, Tarikh-i mukhtasar-i ahzab-i siyasi dar Iran, vol. I (Tehran, 1978); Javad Shaykh-ul islami, Sima-yi Sultan Ahmad Shah Qajar, vol. I (Tehran, 1989); Olson, op. cit.
3. The references are numerous. See, e.g., the documents in British Public Record Office files F.O. 371/3558, F.O. 371/3859, F.O. 371/3860, and British Documents on Foreign Policy, vol. IV, Olson, "The Genesis of the Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919", in Elie Kedourie and Sylvia G. Haim (eds.), Towards a Modern Iran (London, 1980); Shaykh-ul islami, op. cit.; Houshang Sabahi, British Policy in Persia, 1918-1925 (London, 1990); James Balfour, Recent Happenings in Persia (London, 1922).
4. See Katouzian, "The Campaign against the Anglo-Iranian Agreement of 1919", BJMESXXV, (1998); Martin Sicker, The Bear and the Lion, Soviet Imperialism in Iran (New York, 1988); Aryeh Y. Yodfat, The Soviet Union and Revolutionary Iran (London, 1984); British Documentson Foreign Policy, vols. IV, XIII.
5. See Katouzian, op. cit.; further, Ibrahim Fakhraii, Sardar-i Jangal (Tehran, 1978); Cosroe Chaqueri, The Soviet Socialist Republic of Iran: Birth of the Trauma (Pittsburgh, 1995). But for the specific point in hand see especially Major C. J. Edmonds' reports to Cox for the months of October 1919 to May 1920, The Edmonds Papers, St. Antony's College, Oxford.
6. See Documents on vol. Katouzian, op. cit.; British Foreign Policy, VI; Edmonds' reports to Cox for November 1919, and February and March 1920, and his special report of his meeting with Sayyid Ziya (Iran's chief delegate, then en route back to Tehran) at Qazvin, The Edmonds Papers; General Hassan Arfa, Under Five Shahs (London, 1964).
7. Mustawfi, Sharh-i Zindagani; Dawlatabadi, Hayat-i Yahya; Mukhbir al-Saltana (Mihdi quli Hidayat), Khatirat va khatarat (Tehran, 1984).
8. See Ahmad Kasravi, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad Khiyabani, ed. and introd. Katouzian (Tehran, 1998). In his Tarikh-i hijdah sala-yi Azerbaijan (Tehran, 1992), Kasravi's discussion of Khiyabani and the revolt, though still critical, is less extensive and more circumspect, probably in deference to popular opinion. In his autobiographical Zandagani-yi man (Tehran, 1976), there is more on his personal relationship with Khiyabani.
9. Sharh-i hal va iqdamat-i Shaykh Muhammad Khiyabani Special Issue of Iranshahr, no. 14, p. 8, repr. in Intisharat-i Iranshahr (Tehran, 1972).
10.  Ibid, p. 4.
11. Ibid, pp. 19-21.
12. See Husayn Makki, Tarikh-i bist sala-yi Iran,vol. III (Tehran, 1995), p. 646.
13. Iranshahr, no. 14, pp. 32-33. The name of Biverling has been transliterated back from the Persian into the Latin script, as its original European form does not exist in any of the sources.
14. See Ali Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad Khiyabani dar Tabriz (Tehran, 1983); Nasih Natiq, "Chahra-yi Tabnak-i Khiyabani", Reprinted in an appendix to ibid. It had been originally published in Yaghma (1965); Ali Azari, Qiyam-i Kolonel Muhammad Taqi Khan Pisyan (Tehran,n.d.), pp. 160-74.
15. Azari, op. cit., p. 10.
16. Kasravi, op. cit., pp. 90-91.
17. See further, Mustawfi , op. cit.
18. See Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran, p. 68. See further, E. L. Woodward, French Revolutions (London, 1965; Leo Gershoy, The Era of the French Revolution (1789-1799) (Princeton, 1957), and From Despotism to Revolution (New York,1963).
19. See Katouzian, "Arbitrary Rule".
20. Vuthuq al-Dawla's, Khiyabani's and other speeches have been reproduced in Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, pp. 27-81.
21. See Khatirat-i Tufani. Zindagi-yi Sayyid Hasan Taqizada, ed. Iraj Afshar, 2nd ed. (Tehran, 1993), p. 459.
22. Ibid., p. 458.
23. Ibid., pp. 458-59. For the full text of all the telegrams, see pp. 457-64.
24. There are a number of primary Persian sources on the affair, of which Kasravi's in Tarikh-i hijdah sala-yi Azerbaijan Part1, chs. 28-33, is the most comprehensive, and in which he very cautiously says that the government probably meant well in its attempt to reconcile the Russians, "because Iran could not fight the Russians." (p. 241). For a recent detailed account of the events, see Janet Mary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911 (New York, 1996). For a full analysis and appraisal of the episode, see Katouzian, State and Society in Iran.  From the Constitutional Revolution to the Rise of the Pahlavi State (London, forthcoming), ch. 3.
25. Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad; Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani.
26. Kasravi, 1, pp. 96-98.
27. Ibid., ch. 2, p. 106. 
28. Ibid., p. 113.  Kasravi's account of the terrorist activities in his Tarikh-i hijdah sala is less extensive as well as more circumspect inzandagan-i man, 88, there is a fleeting reference to it, and though Khiyabani's name is mentioned, it is so submerged that the reader would be likely to miss the point.
28a. See Abdallah Bahrami, Khatirat-i Abdallah Bahrdmi az akhar-i saltanat-i Nasir al-Din Shah ta avval-i Kudita, Tehran, date of preface, 1965, pp. 544-49.
29. Ibid., p. 130. In Tarikh-i hijdah sala, p. 844, Kasravi makes the same complaint of Khiyabani's behaviour but does not mention Rifat's name.
30. There is an extensive, though somewhat uncritical, discussion of Rifat's views, and his debates with Bahar, in Yahya Aryianpur, Az Saba ta Nima,vol. II (Tehran, 1993).
31. Kasravi, Qiyam-iKhiydbani,ch. 2; Tdrikh-ihijdahsala,Part 3. See also Bahraimi,op. cit.,pp. 549-51.
31a.  Kasravi, Qiydm-i Khiyabani, p. 117; Bahrami, op. cit., pp. 563-65.
32. The Turkish General Staff Military History and Strategic Studies (ATASE)--Ankara, K. 1859, D. 88/142, F. 1-20, 19/5/1918. I am grateful to Touraj Atabaki for supplying me with this material as well as tha twhich will be cited in n.82 below.
33. Ibid.
34. Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani, ch. 3. See also his Tarikh-i hijdah sala, Part3.
35. See Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, p. 367; Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani, ch. 4.
36. See Tarikh-i hijdah sala, Part 3, ch. 16, and Part 4, chs. 4-6.
37. See Edmonds' report for December 1919, The Edmonds Papers.
38. Bristow, "Report on Azerbaijan during 1920", in ibid.
39. Edmonds' report for January and February 1920, in ibid.
40. Edmonds' report for April and May, in ibid
41. Azari, Qiyam-i Sihaykh Muhammad, p. 262.
42. Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani; Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad.
43. Kasravi, op. cit., pp. 138-39.
44. Azari, op. cit., pp. 238, 261.
45. Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani, and Tarikh-i hijdah sala. 
46. Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani, ch 5.
47. Ibid., p.144; Azari, op. cit., pp. 261-62.
48.  See his Tarikh-i hijdah sala, p. 846.
49. Kasravi, op. cit, p. 868, and Azari, op. cit., p. 263.
50. See Mukhbir al-Saltana, Khatirat,. 316.
51. Most of his speeches have been reprinted, in full or in part, over some 200 pages in Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, pp. 289-488; a few others have been published in Iranshahr, no. 14, pp. 50-57.
52. Azari, op. cit., p. 298.
53. Ibid., p. 350.
54. Ibid., p. 393.
55. Ibid., p. 404.
56. Ibid., pp. 344-46, 358, 360, etc.
57. Ibid., p. 377.
58. Iranshahr, no. 14, p. 51.
59. Ibid.
60. Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, p. 465.
61. Ibid., p. 304.
62. Ibid., p. 393.
63. Ibid., pp. 333-34.
64. Ibid., p. 354.
65. Ibid., p. 359.
66. Iranshahr, no. 14, p. 50.
67. Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, p. 454.
68. Tarikh-i hijdah sala, p. 845. Kasravi makes the same point repeatedly, and sometimes even more emphatically, in Qiyam-i Khiyabani.
69. For the most comprehensive study of Kasravi's thoughts on this point, see Abrahamian, "Kasravi, the Integrative Nationalist of Iran", in Kedourie and Haim (eds.), Towards a Modern Iran, pp. 96-131.
70. Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, p. 410.
71. Tarikh-i hijdah sala, p. 873.
7la. Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, p. 163-64.
72. Ibid., p. 402.
73. Ibid., p. 469.
74. Qiyam-i Khiyabani ch.5, Tarikh-i hijdah sala, Part 4, ch. 8.
75. Qiyam-i Khiyabani ch.5, pp.156-57.
76. Edmonds' report of the interview on 1 May 1920, The Edmonds Papers. For a report of the garden party and speech attended by Edmonds, reprinted from the newspaper Tajaddud, see Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, pp. 306-11.
77. Edmonds' report for April and May, The Edmonds Papers.
78. Edmonds' report of the interview, 1 May 1920.
79. Bristow, "Report on Azerbaijan".
80. See Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabdni, and Tarikh-i hijdah sala; Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad; Abul-Qasim Kahhalzada, Dida-ha va shanida-ha, khatirat-i Abul-Qasim Kahhdlzda ed. Murtaza- Kamran, (Tehran, 1984).
81. Bristow, "Report on Azerbaijan".
82. Russian Central State Archives, Archive of October Revolution, Fonds 5402, Inventory1, File 514, list 4.
83. See Kahhalzada, Dida-ha va shanida-ha, pp.  431-33.
84. See Katouzian, "The Campaign against the Anglo-Iranian Agreement of 1919".
85. Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani; Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad.
86. See Azari, op. cit., pp. 375-77, for Khiyabani's own speech reporting the arrests; Kasravi, Tarikh-i hijdah sala and Qiydm-i Khiyabani.
87. Khiyabani. Bristow, "Report on Azerbaijan".
88. Norman to Curzon, 23 June 1923, British Documents on Foreign 89 Policy, vol. XIII, no. 483.
89. See various telegrams exchanged by Norman and Curzon, June-July 1920, in ibid. See further Katouzian, State and
Societyin Iran.
90. Ibid., chs. 6 and 7.
91. Ibid.
92. Qiyam-i Khiyabani, p. 163.
93. See Khiyabani's speech in Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, p. 478.
94. Khiyabani's speech, in ibid. p. 469.
95. See, Mukhbir al-Saltana, Khatirat, and "Nuqta-ha-i dar tarikh-i Mashrutiyyat", Ayandeh (January-March 1993), pp. 959-71.
96. Iranshahr, p. 136.
97. See the full text of his letter in Mukhbir al-Saltana, Khatirat, pp. 313-14.
98. Ibid., p. 315
99. Qiyam-i Khiyabani, p. 161.
100. Mukhbir al-Saltana, Khatirat and "Nuqta-ha-i".
101. Qiyam-i Khiyabani pp.164-65.
102. "Nuqta-ha-i", p. 996, and Khatirat, p. 316.
103. Ibid., pp. 315-16.
104. Ibid., Azari also confirms the cooperation of the gendarmerie with Mukhbir al-Saltana. See Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, p. 490.
105. Khatirat, p. 316, repeated more briefly in "Nuqta-ha-i", p. 968.
106. Qiyam-i Khiyabani p,. 165.
107. Khatirat, p.317.
108. Mukhbir al-Saltana, op. cit., and "Nuqta-ha-i"; Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani, p. 167; Badamchi, Iranshahr, p. 38. For a colourful account of the incident of Khiyabani's death by an alleged eyewitness, see Azari, Qiyam-i Shaykh Muhammad, pp. 490-92.
109. "Nukta-ha-i", p. 968.
110. Khatirat, p. 318, n. 1.
111. Ibid. and "Nuqta-ha-i", Kasravi, Qiyam-i Khiyabani, p. 167; Badamchi, Iranshahr, p. 38.
112. "Nuqta-ha-i", p. 969, and Khatirat, p. 319.
113. For the full text of the long tarjiband, see Divan-i Bahar, vol. I, ed. Muhammad Malikzada, (Tehran, 1956, pp.
114. Qiyam-i Khiyabani, p. 170.
115. See Bahar, Tarikh-i mukhtasar-i ahzab-i siyasi, p.54.

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