100 years without the name
Resident Ivan Agayants knew that Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill can die in one day.
Still was known of Ivan Agayantsa very little. But on August 28 - 100 - the anniversary since the birth of the outstanding intelligence agent. And therefore the vow of silence is broken.
The day before correspondent “ RG “ met the Hero of the Soviet Union, the colonel of Service of foreign intelligence Gevork Andreevich Vartanyan.
“ Russian newspaper “: Gevork Andreevich, where and how you got acquainted with Agayants?
Gevork Vartanyan: I assume that else before the arrival to Tehran future resident in Iran Ivan Ivanovich Agayants knew also about activity of my father who for many years cast in the lot with the Soviet investigation, and, perhaps, about existence of my modest person. And as we speak, personal meeting with my future head I contacted the first soon after the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.
RG: It how many to you was years?
Vartanyan: Also sixteen were not executed. Then I, of course, did not even assume that I should work until the end of war with Ivan Ivanovich - one of those whose contribution to the Soviet investigation, believe, it is simply invaluable.
RG: And what occurred in Iran on the eve of war, in 1941 - m?
Vartanyan: The situation was extremely disturbing. In anticipation of World War II in Hitler`s plans very important part because Iran &ndash was assigned to this country; it is first of all oil and strategic communications. Through it the way to Afghanistan and &ndash lay further; to India. Exactly there Berlin intended to set troops of Wehrmacht after the planned victory over the USSR.
The World War II was closer, the Reza is stronger - the shah Pekhlevi gravitated to rapprochement with nazi Germany in all areas and especially in military. Here who was the real dictator of the country in which at that time there were about 20 thousand German citizens: military instructors, intelligence agents and agency of all colors under the guise of dealers, businessmen, engineers. Through the investigation and its secret-service network, including numerous agents of influence, Hitlerites pressed on political circles of Iran, on command of armed forces, gendarmerie and police. In June, 1941 Berlin demanded from the Iranian government of the introduction in war. The country has an exit to the Persian Gulf, all territory is crossed by a railway line. Iran could turn for a Reich into a strategic way for deliveries to the Soviet Union of arms, ammunition, the food, medicines and any freights, necessary for Wehrmacht. Certainly, the Kremlin and Lubyanka could not remain indifferent to such succession of events.
RG: And what tasks were set for Agayants`s residency? Whether it is possible to tell now how its work during that most difficult period was based?
Vartanyan: Let`s try. I will answer you specifically with use of our professional terms. In Tehran the main residency of the Soviet foreign intelligence worked. Also reconnaissance points in various Iranian cities were subordinated to it peripheral residency. The management of People`s Commissariat for Internal Affairs set the priority task of creation of a secret-service network for our rezidentura. Purpose - identification of employees and agents of the foreign intelligence services hostile to the USSR of the organizations, prevention of possible diversions and other blasting work directed to failure voyenno - the economic events held by the USSR in Iran.
What belonged to undoubted advantages of the resident Agayants? It possessed the highest skill of the intelligence agent - the professional. Was down on to work methods. Its reaction was amazing. Was a brilliant recruiter. Was able to be guided in a situation and to analyze it. And still Ivan Ivanovich - person of high culture and rare intelligence. The network of agents created by it in Tehran continued to work without failures still for many years after its departure.
Also notice - there were to Ivan Agayantsu who arrived to Tehran only 30 years. He at once and in details got acquainted with a situation on the place. Soon suggested the management to reconstruct all activity of residency in a root: to reorganize it according to conditions of a wartime and to transfer to rails of offensive prospecting work. The initiative of the young resident caused in Moscow reaction ambiguous. The task seemed too difficult and volume. Only in Tehran at us several tens quick workers acted. And time for the decision was catastrophically a little. Nevertheless the main proposals of Agayants were approved. Having received a consent from the Center, Agayants carried out the accurate analysis of the secret-service device which got to it in inheritance. Many Iranians who could not bring the notable help to the Soviet investigation &ndash any more; that is lost prospecting opportunities, excluded from a secret-service network. And at the same time began to look for candidates for recruitment actively. So the secret-service device began to be replenished with new sources of important political and operational information. It was succeeded to get agents of influence in the management of the leading political parties, government and even in the immediate environment of the shah.
Agayants paid special attention to creation of reliable secret-service positions in the highest army echelon. New sources appeared in the Ministry of Defence, in army investigation, in other intelligence agencies, among advisers to the shah. From now on reliable information about plans and intentions of the Iranian government, about the high-ranking officials connected with the German or English intelligences regularly came to Moscow.
Generally failures of our intelligence agents occurred owing to treacheries. Recent American case - bright to that the proof
the secret-service device Created by Agayants allowed to ensure safety and safety of strategic supply of tin, rubber... following to the Soviet Union from the region of the Persian Gulf through local ports. Reliable control was established over all key points on borders of Iran with the Soviet Union, Turkey and Afghanistan.
RG: Gevork Andreevich, in September, 1941 absolutely unexpectedly for the Iranian leaders the Red Army actually without resistance entered this country. Whether investigation played a role also here?
Vartanyan: Has to tell firmly you that Ivan Agayants`s messages in the Rate of General headquarters and caused input in September, 1941 of the Soviet military group to the northern provinces of Iran. And in August, 1943 Agayants prevented implementation of the operation « developed by Germans; Franz “.
RG: Earlier this operation was a little known.
Vartanyan: Germans wanted to dramatize spontaneous revolts of the Iranian tribes along a railway route of delivery of the American and British freights in CCCP. Plans of fascist intelligence agencies were ruined: the breeding elders who were allegedly controlling these areas and received from Hitlerites generous gifts for the future “ assistance “ suddenly unexpectedly disappeared. Under the leadership of Agayants also some other the brilliant operations which became history of the Soviet and world investigations is carried out.
RG: And what first task was put before you by the main resident?
Vartanyan: To pick up reliable children, my peers and to organize group for assistance to the senior colleagues in identification of the German helpers in Tehran and other cities. I managed to involve in cooperation of seven friends and adherents, natives of the USSR ready to fight against fascism. Expeditious preparation - any. To Ivan Ivanovich and other employees of residency external supervision was necessary to teach to conduct on the run competently us, to perform other special tasks. During formation and preparation of our group Agayants for fun called it “ light cavalry “: we generally moved by bicycles. This name was strongly assigned to group on dozens of years. Agayants played very big role in my professional formation.
By the way, many years when after homecoming I began to participate in training of young intelligence agents later, with gratitude remembered invaluable lessons of Agayants.
RG: And what results of your work “ light cavalry “?
Vartanyan: Only for the two first years of work we revealed not less than 400 people anyway connected with the German intelligence services. It was possible to establish many German agents in many respects and due to those advantages which our age gave. Really, to what, even the thought too carefully would come to very skilled intelligence agent to mind to be checked or come off some boys driving by bicycles?
And at one of meetings Agayants set for us the task to check urgently one high-ranking Iranian military. The enlisted general for big money transferred documents with a signature stamp “ top secret “.
RG: And what it seemed to the resident suspicious here? General.
Vartanyan: Exactly. But there is too much documents, and authenticity of some raised doubts. “ Light cavalry “ exposed dense external supervision over the general. It became clear that in the evenings on blank forms with security classifications it on the typewriter itself ticks these forgeries. The channel of misinformation of the Center was blocked.
RG: You gained expeditious experience and over time tasks probably became more difficult?
Vartanyan: You judge. In 1942 Ivan Ivanovich entrusted me performance of one very sharp expeditious action. Though during World War II Great Britain was an ally of the USSR on the anti-Hitlerite coalition, it did not stir British of a message against the Soviet Union blasting work. Residency with our help knew of creation by British in Tehran of prospecting school. In it took young people with knowledge of Russian and prepared for performance of prospecting and diversionary tasks for territories of the Soviet republics of Central Asia and Transcaucasia. Agayants prepared the plan. Following it, I managed to take root into intelligence school and to obtain valuable information on cadets. After a zabroska on the territory of the USSR they either were neutralized, or converted. This school after my study is decided to be liquidated. But it was necessary to make it so that not to spoil the relations with British. Therefore Agayants very delicately informed the English resident that in Tehran a certain prospecting school works, and we know about it. And the British colleague considered it to cover for the benefit.
And I, having completed a full course of training, gained very valuable experience of prospecting work that very it was useful to me further. I am in many respects obliged that I in life never had failures also to that English school.
RG: It is well known that in 1943 during work of the Teheran conference Hitlerite intelligence agencies planned to destroy leaders “ big three “. Germans called operation “ Long jump “. And what role in prevention of attempt was played by Agayants`s residency and your group?
Vartanyan: Well, here I will remind that confidential operation under the code name “ Long jump “ the nazi saboteur N 1, the chief of a secret service of CC in the VI department of head department of imperial safety Otto Skortseni`s obershturmbanfyurer developed. Since 1943 there was it the special agent on special orders of Hitler. Carrying out operation was charged to Skortseni whom nazi promotion called an idol of the German race. But here “ to the person with a scar “ it was not lucky. He was played by Ivan Agayants.
Material benefit for the real intelligence agent is not the main component at all. Otherwise any, even the enemy party could buy up very well paid resident. I consider that the traitor kills himself. It is already a live corpse, it is dead for the former colleagues, relatives, familiar
the Forward party of division consisting of six German saboteurs including two radio operators, was dumped on parachutes near the city of Qom that in 70 kilometers from the Iranian capital. “ Light cavalry “ it managed to the first to obtain information on a landing and to find location of group. All six Germans were arrested. When Hitlerite intelligence agencies knew of a failure of forward party, Berlin decided to refuse the direction to Tehran of the chief performers of operation.
I will never forget those days. During conference from November 28 to December 2, 1943 - go the Teheran residency worked in the round-the-clock mode. Used also all secret-service device. All information deserving attention immediately was reported on Agayantsem Stalin.
RG: And what personal qualities of Agayants you would mark out especially? It is felt that you very much appreciate the teacher.
Vartanyan: I would mark out its patriotism, aspiration to be useful to the Homeland. He lived so itself and us learned to live also.
Worked very hard and did not spare itself. And it had a severe form of tuberculosis. Ivan Ivanovich was for the colleagues the best example of the real security officer - the intelligence agent.
Now there are a lot of talk that presently money makes the mare go. But I am ready to approve the return. Not only at the time of my youth, but also now people for patriotism reasons go on reconnaissance.
We, for example, did not receive any money for the activity. And when the Great Patriotic War began, even found means to contribute them to fund of defense.
Generally speaking, material benefit for the real intelligence agent is not the main component at all. Otherwise any, even the enemy party could buy up very well paid resident.
So the main thing in our profession - The Homeland, and even irrespective of ideology.
Agayants himself was convinced of it and taught us, young people: investigation - it is not a way of earning money and other material benefits, but, first of all, one of the most effective ways of protection of the Fatherland. It is work for the original patriots, people convinced and self-sacrificing. Such work cannot be performed really, being not really sincere to the country the lover, without understanding need of this activity for our state, for our people.
Otherwise the profession of the intelligence agent turns into craft on type: I serve the one who will pay more money. Greedy intelligence agent - it is a nonsense.
RG: You spoke about large achievements of residency of Agayants in general and your group. And whether there were cases of failures, treacheries?
Vartanyan: Thank God, we had no failures. If the intelligence agent, and including the intelligence agent - the illegal immigrant, observes all necessary security measures and conspiracies, correctly behaves in society, no counterintelligence will calculate it.
Our with Goar Leonovnoy`s spouse long-term “ accident-free “ work abroad - bright example. At the illegal immigrant, as well as at the sapper: one mistake means death. We had then a lot of very great success which cannot even be compared to Tehran - 43. And we are grateful for it too to that experience which was gained in Ivan Ivanovich`s residency.
Generally failures of our intelligence agents occurred owing to treacheries. Recent American case - bright to that proof.
RG: When you worked in Iran and during some other periods of history of our investigation, sometimes punished traitors and deserters from among the staff of Service very severely, up to their physical elimination.
Vartanyan: I consider that the traitor kills himself. It is already a live corpse, it is dead for the former colleagues, relatives, acquaintances.
And in conclusion I can tell the following. We worked with Ivan Ivanovich in very difficult and severe military years. But confrontation of intelligence agencies in this or that form is never stopped.
On this war there are also losses. But I am sure that our investigation was, is and will be demanded for performance of the most responsible tasks of safety of our Fatherland. Allow me to wish in completion of our conversation success to young people prodto olzhatel of business of our remarkable intelligence agent Ivan Ivanovich Agayants.
FROM the FILE Ivan Ivanovich Agayants was born
on August 28, 1911 in the city of Ganja (Azerbaijan) in the teacher`s family. In 1930 - the m is enlisted in economic management of OGPU. Since 1936 - in bodies of foreign intelligence, and in 1937 - the m is directed to operational work in the Parisian residency. In 1941 - 1945 - the main resident of our investigation in Iran. Then again the resident in Paris. In 1967 - m I. I. Agayants became the deputy chief of the First head department of KGB. Masterfully used French, Turkish, Persian and Spanish languages, well knew English and Italian. The general - the major Ivan Ivanovich Agayants is awarded by the Orders of Lenin, the Red Banner, the Labour Red Banner, Patriotic war of the II degree, the Red Star. Died in 1968 after a serious and long illness.
“ Russian newspaper “.