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The Iran crisis was an international crisis concerning Iran in 1946. The cause of the crisis was Soviet refusal to relinquish Iranian territories occupied by the Red Army in the aftermath of UK and Soviet occupation of Iran in 1942. The Shah of Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi, harbored pro-German sympathies. After Nazi invasion of USSR, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union occupied Iran. Reza Shah Pahlavi was deposed and sent to exile to Mauritius. His son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, ascended the Peacock Throne as the new king. Soviet Union, UK, and United States used Iran as an important supply line to help the Soviet war effort against Nazi Germany. Occupation of Iran was scheduled to end after the German surrender. After the end of the war in 1945, Stalin refused to withdraw Soviet forces from Iranian territory. Moreover he attempted to partition Iran by establishing two "People's Democratic Republics" in Iranian territories.The two Soviet puppet states were Azerbaijan People's Republic headed by Sayyid Jafar Pishevari and Kurdish Republic of Mahabad under president Pesheva Qazi Muhammad.
Under intense pressure from the United States, Soviet Union was forced to withdraw the Red Army from Iran. The Iranian army re-occupied Mahabad and Azarbaijan. The leaders of Azarbaijan people's republic fled to Azerbaijan SSR and the leaders of the Kurdish Republic were tried and sentenced to death. They were hanged in Chwarchira Square in the center of Mahabad in 1947.
The result of the conflict became one of the factors in the evolving and differing political relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was also one of the first episodes of the beginning of the Cold War.
- André Fontaine, La guerre froide 1917-1991, Editions de la Martinière, 2004, ISBN 2-84675-139-0 (French)
- George Lenczowski, "The Communist Movement in Iran", Middle East Journal, no. 1 (January 1947) pp. 29-45
- Archie Roosevelt, Jr., "The Kurdish Republic of Mahabad", Middle East Journal, no. 1 (July 1947), pp. 247-69