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Saving the “Big Three”: How Azerbaijani prevented assassination of Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt

8 May 2015 12:08 (UTC+04:00)
Saving the “Big Three”: How Azerbaijani prevented assassination of Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt

By Arzu Naghiyev

The unparalleled patriotism and determination of the sons and daughters of Azerbaijan during the Great Patriotic War was one of the factors that brought closer the victory over fascism.

And with each passing day, the heroism of Azerbaijanis during the Great Patriotic War becomes known more and more.

One of Azerbajanis that was the unsung hero of that war was Mammadhuseyn Asadov. During the war years, Asadov was a member of the Soviet intelligence and took part in preventing the "Operation Long Jump".

The mentioned operation was an alleged German plan to simultaneously assassinate Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt at the 1943 Tehran Conference.

Due to Azerbaijan’s geopolitical location, the country’s security officers at the time had a special role in regional intelligence operations.

So, what was Mammadhuseyn Asadov's part in this?

When he turned 19, he began to serve in a Special Forces unit of the Soviet Red Army.

After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet Main Intelligence Directorate sent Asadov to Iran, since he was perfectly aware of the situation, spoke several languages and possessed ample intelligence capabilities.

Between 1942 and 1947, Asadov served as the head of the USSR trade mission in Iran.

Iran was at the time chosen the most suitable place for talks of Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. The preparation for the talks was going on in utmost secrecy. The allies even didn’t inform Iran about this for safety reasons. Iran learned about the venue six days before the beginning of the talks, that is, on November 22, 1943.

On the night of November 24, the member of the high command, chief of the general staff, Alexander Vasilevsky, who also was the marshal of the Soviet Union, arrived in Astara, where he was met by Asadov. The two together then departed for Iran.

Under the orders by Stalin, the main purpose of Vasilevsky’s visit to Iran was to inspect the preparedness for the meeting of the anti-Hitler coalition leaders and to handle the safety issues.

Prior to the Tehran Conference, Asadov received information about the preparation of the German intelligence services to assassinate the heads of the USSR, the US and the UK.

Asadov was among those to first receive the information, and to actively take part in averting the assassination attempt on Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. And for his exceptional role in carrying out this operation, Asadov was awarded two orders at the same time – the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Star.

It was the US President Franklin Roosevelt who for the first time, in December 17, 1943, told the public at a press conference about this assassination attempt.

And historical studies show, this topic has remained closed up to the 25th anniversary of the Tehran Conference.

Vladimir Voronov, a historian and journalist, an expert specializing in the 30's and 40's Soviet Union military and foreign policies, was saying in his researches that the Soviet intelligence leaders talked a lot about this conspiracy.

According to Voronov:

A story about the involvement of a group of a 19-year-old Soviet intelligence agent, Gevork Vartanian in the Tehran events, has surfaced. How and when did this story emerge?

This story emerged in 1948 when a series of documents were published by the order of Lavrentiy Beria with legend saying that the epic attempt on comrade Stalin’s life was prevented by the subordinates of Beria. All these reports were prepared for the 70th birthday of Stalin. Later, this issue wasn’t raised till 1968, till the 25th anniversary of the Tehran conference.

As for Vartanian, he is the son of the agent of the Joint State Political Directorate, later the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs of USSR. He was an ordinary agent who had no ties to the serious intelligence network in Iran.

As they called themselves, the "flying cavalry”, was a recruited crowd of Armenian boys could be used under any flag not for serious operations, but for the “operations” such as to beat up someone, to smash something, or to carry out demonstrative surveillance.

Voronov also wrote that the "flying cavalry" were involved to infiltrate the British Intelligence, not German. His writings say that all the regalia about Vartanian were prepared decades later and have no connection with the Tehran Conference.

Voronov says Vartanian was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union in 1984, in accordance with the presentment executed during the office of late Yuri Andropov when the State Security Committee of the Soviet Union extremely needed new heroes.

So, even if Vartanian was a secret service agent and achieved something after decades, he had nothing to do with preventing the "Operation Long Jump".

Additionally, in 1999, during the meeting of the heads of the special service agencies held in Moscow, Vartanian admitted that he is grateful to Azerbaijanis for all his awards.

So, the Azerbaijani secret service agent Mammadhuseyn Asadov has exceptional merits in participating in prevention of the "Operation Long Jump", which was to assassinate the heads of the anti-Hitler coalition. The history shows that everything falls into place sooner or later. This is the truth.

Azerbaijanis today can proudly honor the memory of another hero, fellow countryman, who lived an honest and decent life and did so much for his homeland and people.

Meanwhile, we shouldn't forget that over 600,000 Azerbaijanis went to the front lines and thousands of our compatriots lost their lives on the battlefields during the Great Patriotic War…


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