The Kurdish Republic of 1946
This book gives the first complete account of the short-lived Kurdish Republic of Mahabad, created in 1946 in north-west Iran in the shadow of the Soviet-inspired `autonomous' Republic of Iranian Azerbaijan. Both republics came into being after the Second World War but during the Soviet occupation of northern Persia under the Anglo-Soviet-Iranian Treaty of 1942, and both collapsed seven months after the withdrawal of Rus¬sian troops in May 1946. The scarcity of information about this obscure series of events, which cannot be pieced together from written sources since the Kurds concerned destroyed all written evidence of their involve¬ment, has hitherto given rise to a good deal of confusion, especially regarding the role of the Soviet Union, the relations between Azerbaijan and Kurdistan, the nature of Kurdish nationalism, and the personality of the principal Kurdish leaders, including Qazi Muhammad of Mahabad and the Iraqi Kurd, Mulla Mustafa Barzani.
The author, who is a member of the United States Foreign Service, gather¬ed the material for this study during 1954-5 when he was stationed at Kurkuk in Iraq and during 1959-61 when living in Tabriz. He was able to interview a number of Kurds, Turks, Persians, and Arabs who recalled the events of 1946-7. He thus throws new light not only on the Mahabad Republic but on the Kurdish nationalist move¬ment, which still remains a live issue, as the Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq in 1961-2 bears witness.