It attracted not only an impressive array of professional and white-collarassociations, but also much of the intelligentsia. Among its members andsympathizers–some would say“fellow-travelers” –were many of thecountry’s intellectual luminaries.44Their list reads like a Who’s Who ofmodern Iran: Sadeq Hedayat, Bozorg Alavi, and Sadeq Chubak, the threeleading lights of modern prose writing; Ahmad Shamlu and Nima Yushej,the two path-blazers of modern poetry; Bahar, the poet laureate of tradi-tional literature; Said Nafisi, Mehdi Bamdad, Muhammad Tamaddon,Morteza Ravandi, Yahyi Arinpour–five leading historians; Noshin,Loreta, and Hussein Khair-Khaw, the founders of modern theater;Ghulam-Hussein Saedi, the playwright; Jalal al-e Ahmad and Behazin,two well-known essayists; Golestan, one of Iran’s first film directors; andsuch literary figures as Parviz Khanlari, Nader Naderpour, MuhammadTafazolli, Muhammad Mo’in, Fereidun Tavalolli, Fereidun Tankubani,and Siavesh Kasrai. Their ranks also included prominent lawyers, doctors,surgeons, engineers, architects, musicians, artists, sculptors, and universityprofessors. These intellectuals socialized in Tudeh clubs as well as in privatecafés near the cinemas and theatres of northern Tehran. Their maingathering places were the Noshin’s Sa’adi Theater and Ferdowsi Caféfavored by Sadeq Hedayat and Bozorg Alavi. In the words of the London110A History of Modern Iran
Times, Tudeh at its height attracted the“most talented and the besteducated of the young generation.”45The Tudeh Party, however, suffered major setbacks in1945–46. Thesewere caused by the Soviet demand for an oil concession in northern Iran andtheir sponsoring of autonomy movements in Kurdestan and Azerbaijan.The oil demand took Tudeh by surprise–especially since their Majlesdeputies had just denounced the government for offering concessions inBaluchestantoAmericancompanies,andtheirlabororganizersinKhuzestan had been calling for the nationalization of the Anglo-IranianOil Company. Tudeh tried“damage limitation,”arguing that the Sovietwillingness to share future profits equally was far more generous than the20percent received from the British. The demand, however, became anembarrassing litmus test dividing leftists from nationalists. Bullard reportedthat many Tudeh leaders had privately informed the prime minister thatthey opposed the Soviet demand and instead supported the official policy ofpostponing all oil negotiations until after the war.46The Kurdish and Azerbaijan movements were even more damaging. InSeptember1945, the Soviets, for reasons best known to themselves, suddenlysponsored Kurdish and Azerbaijan groups demanding provincial autonomy.Jafar Pishevari, a veteran communist who edited his own paper and disdainedthe young Marxists leading the Tudeh Party, suddenly rediscovered his Azeri“roots”and realized that his native Azerbaijan had long been deprived of its“national rights.”Supported by the Soviets, he established his own
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- Fall '08
- Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Reza Shah, Pahlavi dynasty, Qajar dynasty, nationalist interregnum