[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Ministry of the Interior
Governorate of Kashan
Date: 31/3/1324 [21 June 1945]
Confidential, Eyes only,
Important information; also, the attachments should be studied and paid close attention to. Attached: 5 pages
Ministry of the Interior
Following the suspicious telegram number 23, [dated:] 30/3/24 [20 June 1945], I bring this report to your attention:
After receiving the reports from the alderman and some of the Muslims and the Baha’is of Araan, about conflict and disorder being caused between the aforementioned religious groups (because it produced a bad reflection and it was beginning to look unusual and disturbing), on 29/3/24 [19 June 1945] I myself, together with the mayor, Mr. Ghaffar Vaziri, went to Araan.
After some questioning and a close examination of the matter, owing to the fear created by the misunderstanding and the accusations made by some of the Muslims and the Baha’is, which had caused arguments and minor fights, Mr. Shahrabi, the head of the Gendarmerie [police force] of Kashan, without informing or getting an order from the Governorate, together with a few gendarmes [police officers] and Abol-Ghasem Hesam from Kashan, who is the unofficial young man that accompanies him on all of his trips, went to Araan, to the house of Mr. Remezan-Ali Lame, [a working man] who is from Araan and is accused of being a Baha’i.
Right away, [Mr. Shahrabi] summoned the police to the house of Ramezan-Ali, and right away started questioning [the police officers] in front of the Baha’is and threatening them. This politically incorrect action of the aforementioned [officer] caused the panic and the anger of the Muslims; it caused a lot of noise and almost a state of emergency, which coincided with my arrival. As soon as the head of the Gendarmerie heard about the arrival of the mayor and me in Araan, he returned to Kashan without checking or receiving an order. Right away, he ordered Officer, Morteza Iranpour (the son of the well-known Mashallah Khan), who had accompanied him to the scene, to arrest some of the Muslims and bring them to the Battery [police station]; this order caused more outcry and chaos among the people who were there.
So, as soon as I entered Araan and became aware of what had happened, in order to keep the [peace], and considering what was best under the circumstances, I summoned [Morteza Iranpour] and ordered him to refrain from illegally interfering. [I instructed him to] leave the people to themselves. Then I met with the clergy and the respected representatives, and counselled them about the disadvantages of conflict and the horrible consequences of division. Later, I met with different groups of people, and with wisdom and words that were both encouraging and scaring them, I was able to wrap up what had merely started with some words and misunderstanding and ended in peace and friendship. All the people showed joy and appreciation for my going personally to Araan and for the pleasant outcome [that resulted].
According to the report of the event, a copy of which is enclosed herewith, both sides were convinced and promised to treat each other with the utmost kindliness and friendliness; but unfortunately, as we were returning, some people came and said that a few police officers had come to Araan again on behalf of the head of the Gendarmerie and were planning to arrest and take the Muslims to Kashan. Because this had scared people, they did not let me leave, and because of their request I stayed overnight and I witnessed that the officers were loudly announcing on the streets and bazaars that the [village was] under martial law, and that people were being threatened that anyone who left their home at night and was found on the streets would be shot.
Because the people of Araan are farmers, and they have to water their crops and watch over them at night, they were very unhappy with this and it almost caused a riot; so again, I invited people to peace and patience by wise and practical means and peace and calm returned to the town. In the morning, I left for the city confident that it was taken care of. Therefore, considering the above explanation, you will agree that all of this happened due to the unwise decision making of First Lieutenant Shahrabi, the head of Gendarmerie, who is young, inexperienced and unfamiliar with the local policy, and that if [he] continues, he might cause more conflicts in the future. These kinds of affairs are considered more political in nature, and the authorities and the Gendarmerie officers are not allowed to interfere with them—unless, if necessary, they inform and attain the required order from the Governorate—nevertheless, Mr. Shahrabi did not pay the least attention and directly interfered unlawfully. So, if he continues in this way, [I] will not be responsible [anymore]. His unfair method of conducting the affairs and his bad behaviour through all the villages has caused difficulties. I implore you to consider replacing [him] with an experienced commander who is relatively older, familiar with the current policy, and totally familiar with the administrative provisions, as soon as possible; otherwise, if something bad happens, or if there is an upheaval, it will not be my responsibility.
Finally, five pages of the copy of the report and the petitions received, as well as the minutes of the settlement meeting, which are worthy and important, are enclosed for your attention.
The Acting Governor of Kashan,
[Signed, Mohammad Fahim]
[Handwritten 1] [Stamp: registration of the confidential office of the Ministry of the Interior, number: 2577, date 13/4/24 (4 July 1945)]
[Handwritten 2:] Mr. ….a copy of this report must be sent to the Gendarmerie headquarters so that it will take the necessary steps about the head of the Gendarmerie of Kashan and report the outcome.
[Handwritten 3:] Pay special attention that they abstain from taking any action in these sorts of religious conflicts, without the explicit order of the regional governor.