HC Deb 15 July 1910 vol 19 cc837-8W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will print and circulate the Report received from His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires at Tehran on the Darab Mirza incident?


The substance of the report received from His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires at Tehran is as follows:—After arresting Darab Mirza the Russian party remained in the immediate vicinity of Zinjan three days, a delay which seemed to the officer in command desirable, as the ex-Mir Shikar's forces might have attacked the town, and he wished to make it quite clear both to them and to the Governor of Zinjan that the rebellious movement had no support whatever from the Russian troops. On leaving Zinjan, the, party, thinking it wiser not to return by the route by which they had come, took the northerly and more circuitous road which traverses the district of Tarom to Mendjil, where it joins the Resht-Kazvin road. As they were passing through Tarom they were fired on from the hills, and in order to show that the party had no hostile intentions a few men were sent forward with white flags in skirmishing order. The firing, however, continued, and a small body of Persian horsemen was observed advancing to take up a posi- tion on a hill not far off. The Russians then began to return the fire, and the officer in command, as a matter of precaution, seized the hill above mentioned. On arriving they found a party of nineteen Persians who said that they were Government troops. There were also two dead bodies, one of them that of Ali Khan (the present Mir Shikar or head game-keeper) who is an Emir Toman (general) of the Persian Army and had been sent to the relief of Zinjan. The Russian officer left behind twenty-three Cossacks to guard these nineteen men. On receiving his report the Russian Minister at once instructed the Russian Consul at Kazvin to request the Governor to send to take charge of these men, and he also asked the Tehran authorities to give similar orders. No orders, however, were sent from either source, and he consequently ordered the Russian commanding officer to bring the whole party into Kazvin. They arrived there on the morning of the 9th, after an absence of eight days, and were at once delivered over to the Persian authorities. The encounter lasted three hours and the Cossacks fired 400 rounds. They had no casualties, and it does not appear that they caused any. The official reports received by the Persian Minister of the Interior confirm this account in all essentials. The Russian Minister considered that the best way to prove that Darab Mirza's attempt was not countenanced by Russia was that he should be arrested by the Russians. Having given the necessary orders he at once [...]n-formed the Persian Government, and was thanked by both the head of the Russian Section of the Foreign Office, and the Persian Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was not till forty-eight hours after, when the Cossacks were close to Zinjan and could not be recalled, that the Persian Government began to raise objections.