The London TimesMay 7 1920





A King?s messenger, who has arrived at Teheran, reports that the train in which he travelled from Saturn to Tiflis, had just crossed over a bridge near Tiflis when the bridge was blown up. The reason for the outrage is unknown. Many prosperous people had left Baku for Tiblis and Batum before the entry of the Bolshevists. The latest advice indicate that the new Government formed before the entry of the Bolshevists, was more pro-Turkish than its predecessor, and that the hooligan element is strongly in evidence in the town. Caspian traffic continues though a report is current that the Bolshevist Volga fleet has come out from Astrakhan. It is noticeable that Tsarist circles here welcomed the advent of the Bolshevists at Baku, which they interpret as involving the disappearance of the republic of Azerbaijan and prophesy that Georgia and Armenia will follow suit and that Great Russia will be reintegrated territorially and finally return to sanity and monarchy. The Supreme Council?s past and future efforts on behalf of the independence of small republics are evidently not taken seriously. This view, however, does not correspond with news from Baku, which shows that Moscow is prepared to recognise the local Soviet Government and also the autonomy of. Georgia. A Bolshevist junction with the Turks is probable, and the position of the Armenian Government is difficult. The problem immediately interesting Teheran is whether the Baku-Batum route to Europe will remain open. England can be reached in three weeks via Batum, whereas the present average time via Baghdad is two months, and few have the courage of the Shah, who is facing the summer at the head of the Persian Gulf.

Mr. Lloyd George?s announcement that the mandate for Mesopotamia includes Mosul is welcome in Mesopotamia, where it is universally believed that this will prove more truly economical in every sense. I understand that to some extent repatriation of the Assyrian refugees from the Bakuba camp is now taking place through Mosul. The situation at Tabriz continues un-favourable for the Persian Government. The Swedish police officers had to abandon their attempt to return to their posts.

Sardar Abdul Aziz Khan, the Afghau envoy sent to discuss the treaty with Persia, yesterday presented the Crown Prince, in the Shah's absence, a letter from the Ameer, expressing a desire to take advantage of Afghanistan's new liberty in regard to foreign affairs to establish the most friendly relations with Persia. The newspaper Iran publishes a communication, apparently emanating from Abdul Aziz Khan, stating that when the envoy left Afghanistan for Persia no official or stable agreement existed between the Afghans and Bolshevists. Socialism and Bolshevism were uncongenial to the young Afghan nation, and at the utmost there were only 40 Bolsheviks in Afghanistan. The new Ameer, Amanullah, is described as progressive and as much more favourable towards education than the late Habibullah. Amanullah has instituted Ministries of Public Instruction and Foreign Affairs, and formed a public assembly, the members of which, however, are nominated and not elected.

The London Times