The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran took place less than two months after the Allied victory over pro-Axis forces in neighboring Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. In the months leading up to the invasion, British and Soviet governments exerted increased pressure on the Shah to push the Germans out of Iran, and its non-compliance was cited as a justification for their intervention. At dawn on August 25, 1941, the Iranian people were awakened by the massive invasion of their country by the combined forces of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.
Moreover, the allies feared after the German invasion of the USSR in June 1941 that the Germans would turn Iran into a base for operations against the Soviet Union and use it as a supply channel for the USSR. Research in the 1980s in the British intelligence archive showed that German influence in Iran was exaggerated to justify the Anglo-Soviet invasion. British troops were stationed on Iran’s western border before the surprise invasion on August 25, 1941. The invasion of Iran was a surprise attack and was described by Allied forces as “rapid” and carried out with ease.
Operation Countenance was a full-scale invasion of the British Empire by the combined forces of Britain and the Soviet Union in their country that was described as one of the most successful allied campaigns of the war, even though it was conducted as a neutral nation. The 9th Infantry Division, with a total of 8,000 soldiers, was a light infantry, and it was unlikely that it could defend itself in Iran against numerous Soviet armored and air forces. The invasion crossed the mountainous terrain with the aim of recruiting new troops from Turkmen and Sahra, gathering Soviet troops, and seizing the city of Mashhad, the largest city in Iran.
On June 22, 1941, their non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) was annulled by the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, code-named Operation Barbarossa, which had drastic repercussions on the situation in Iran. Six days after the invasion and subsequent allied occupation of southern Iran, Lieutenant General Edward Quinan commanded a British division called Iraq Command (later known as Iraq force, later called the Persia-Iraq Force or Paiforce ).
As we mentioned before that Reza Shah’s refusal to expel the German citizens and his strategic concerns prompted the Anglo-Soviet invasion in August 1941. In January 1945, Soviet troops Iranian gendarmerie commander Mazandaran were arrested and disarmed, prompting OSS to warn Moscow to try to prevent the Iranian government and US advisers from operating in northern Iraq.
Sir Reader Bullard and Andrei Andreyevich Smirnov were summoned to Iran after the invasion, the British and Soviet ambassadors to Iran. In December 1943, the United States began sending advisory teams and missions to Iran and US troops from the Persian Gulf Service Command arrived to facilitate supplies to the Soviet Union. The immediate roots of the crisis of 1946 lay in the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran during World War II.
Reza Shah Pahlavi’s reliance on German technology and his ambitious development plans worried the Allies who fear that the Germans might turn Iran into a base for operations against the Soviet Union. After the invasion, Reza Shah abdicated on September 16, 1941, and was forced into exile by the invading British. At the same time, Soviet troops invaded the northwestern provinces of Azerbaijan and Gilan and invaded Northeast Iran after advancing on the capital of Tehran. In the north, the Soviets occupied Tabriz, Rashet, and Mashhad and advanced to Qazvin and Tehran. These areas were under direct British rule and were known as British India, which made the presidency a province called Old Province. At that time, the United Arab Emirates had little unity, and there were no regional councils until 1952.
In the weeks following Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union, British and Soviet considerations of Iran escalated. Iran supported the US protest against the Soviet occupation of its provinces and addressed the matter to the Security Council of the United Nations, which passed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of Soviet troops. The Soviet invasion forced Iran’s Azerbaijan to move south.
British and Soviet troops met on 17 September in Tehran and commanded the country to be divided throughout the rest of the war. The British and Soviet governments concluded that trying to influence Iran was not enough. British forces invaded Persia from their bases in Iraq and southern Iran.