Ankabut-e Sorkh – a Soviet-backed Clandestine Organization in early 1950's Iran

Urszula Pytkowska-Jakimczyk


This research looks at the activity of an unknown top-secret subversive group called Ankabut-e Sorkh (“The Red Spider”), that operated in Iran in the early 1950’s. Fully inspired and funded by the Soviet Union, at first glance it aimed at sparking a revolution in Iran. Nonetheless, the objectives of Ankabut-e Sorkh not only involved a call for the end of the monarchy in Iran but were more complex in nature. The slogans it invoked were directed at the poorly educated masses to fight for the freedom of the oppressed workers and farmers. Thus, only they could become members of the organization. It strongly refrained from accepting any intellectuals. Ankabut-e Sorkh was also at odds with Tudeh, the main leftist Iranian party that, although operating underground, remained the most powerful organization of the Iranian left-wing political scene.
This research on Ankabut-e Sorkh aims to introduce this organization to a wider audience. It draws mostly upon counterintelligence sources produced by the Second Directorate of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces.

Słowa kluczowe: Iran, Ankabut-e Sorkh, Intelligence Services, Soviet Union, communism, Tudeh

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