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  • Writer's pictureStephen Lock

An Iranian Inheritance

One of the figures to emerge from the family's archives is Agha Mehti Malikov (b unknown - 1957). The middle son of Keble Hassan Ali, he was sent to run the family’s fruit orchards in Iran where he settled permanently, including after the Bolshevik Revolution. When he died, he left the family’s Iranian fortune to his brother, Teymur Malikov, in Baku.

Agha Mehti and Teymur were two of three sons of Meshadi Keble Hassan Ali Malikov (Dates unknown), who was a leading member of the Second Guild of merchants. Meshadi Hassan Ali expanded the family’s trade with, and fruit orchards in, sub-tropical (Southern), Iran.

1949 receipt for the purchase of an orchard in Iran

In 1949, an orchard was bought in Iran by Teymur Malikov, which is interesting since, by this time, Teymur was a Soviet citizen. However, at is clear from the family's archives and memories, Teymur was a brilliant trader and businessman, whom we shall feature in a later blog post (his remarkable story is told in the biographies section of this website).

The fruit grown in this orchard, amongst others, was traded by the Malikov family in Iran and beyond (left, the 1949 receipt for purchase of an orchard: a copy and translation can be found in the archives section of this website).

Agha Mehti Malikov did not marry nor have any children so, when he died, he left his estate and assets to his brother, Teymur. (below, the telegram informing Teymur Malikov of his brother's death: a copy and translation can be found in the archives section of this website).

Telegram to Teymur Malikov in Baku, informing him of his brother's death in Iran (1957)

At the time, of course, Azerbaijan was a part of the Soviet Union, but Iran was then a capitalist monarchy. Part of the Iranian fortune was inherited and processed through the Soviet system. But not all.

Through the family's archives, we can see the long and, at times, perilous process for Teymur to gain his brother's estate. This includes having to fend off offers of 'help' from persons in Iran who seem to have wanted part of the estate for themselves.

Teymur has to go to the Soviet authorities to get documentary proof of his brother's birth and their relationship (the administrative caesura caused by the Bolshevik revolution makes even this process complex), before a long-drawn out process of involving the Foreign Legal Collegium (the Moscow bar of Soviet lawyers for international law) to claim and process Teymur's claim. You can see the thread of this story become revealed in the archives section of this website. The process continued into the early 1960s, until the matter was concluded. This aspect of the family's archives show the tenacity of the Malikov family to safeguard its inheritance and trading expertise, despite the privations of Soviet life in Baku.

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