ĀŽĪR “Alarm bell,” a radical leftist Persian newspaper which was printed at Tehran from Ḵordād, 1322 Š./May, 1943, to Ḵordād, 1324 Š./June, 1945. The holder of the publication license was Sayyed Jaʿfar Pīšavarī (q.v.), a veteran revolutionary and communist (b. 1893 at Ḵalḵāl in Iranian Azerbaijan, d. 1948? at Baku). He was also Āžīr’s editor and the author of articles in it under both his own name and the pseudonym Raštī.
In an earlier period, Pīšavarī had used the name Sayyed Jaʿfar Javādzāda and been active in the Baku-based ʿAdālat party (Ferqa-ye ʿAdālat), editor of its bilingual Azeri-Persian newspaper Ḥorrīyat “Freedom,” and one of the founders of the Communist Party of Iran in 1920. He was commissar for internal affairs in the Soviet Republic of Gīlān and editor of the newspaper Kāmūnīst, printed at Rašt in 1920 and later the prime mover of the newspaper Ḥaqīqat, printed at Tehran in 1921-22.
Āžīr was closed down shortly after Pīšavarī’s departure to Tabrīz, where a group calling itself the Democrat Party of Azerbaijan (Ferqa-ye demokrāt-e Āḏarbāyjān) set up a pro-Soviet autonomous regime under his leadership in the summer of 1324 Š./1945.
Āžīr’s contents included political and social topics, particularly debates of the fourteenth Majles (parliament) which invalidated Pīšavarī’s electoral mandate; criticisms of Reżā Shah’s reign; attacks on non-leftist individuals and groups; criticism of new leftist organizations, groups, and individuals (accusing them of lack of revolutionary experience and drive); propaganda for Marxism-Leninism; and support for the Soviet Union, whose troops were then occupying parts of Iran. This newspaper in its first year, beginning on 1 Ḵordād 1322 Š./23 May 1943, consisted of two six-column pages measuring 29.5 x 40.5 cm and was published three times weekly on odd-numbered days and sold at the price of 1 1/2 rials. Illustrations were few. Advertisements filled about a quarter of the paper’s space.
Sets of Āžīr are preserved in the National Library and the Majles Library at Tehran and in the Library of Congress at Washington.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: August 18, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 3, pp. 260-261