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891.00/1795 : Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

TEHRAN, October 13, 1941–1 p.m.

[Received 1:47 p. m.] 187. With reference to the Department's 104,59 there has been improvement in the situation in the north of Iran. The Soviet authorities have prevented further meetings of Armenian separatists; relative free road communication between important cities has been reestablished; the British Minister reports better cooperation on the part of the Soviet authorities in transportation matters; the British Consul at Tabriz reports an improvement in the general conduct of the Russians; and the Foreign Minister informs me the Iranian police are being rearmed. In addition, the British Minister advises me confidentially that the forces occupying Tehran will be withdrawn, a fact which when made known will have a favorable effect.

This improvement may be attributed to representations made by the British and American Governments. My opinion, however, is that reports of substantial improvements in situation should be accepted with reserve. Russians continue to spread Communist propaganda as for example the following was printed on a Soviet invitation to sporting events held yesterday in Tehran “Proletariat of all countries unite". Foreign Minister informs me that an article in Ettelaat of October 9 which described the Soviet occupation of Iranian towns in the most favorable light was published under pressure from the Soviet Ambassador.

The above was written before receipt of Department's No. 109, October 11. Moose is leaving at once.


891.00/1787 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Iran (Dreyfus)

WASHINGTON, October 16, 1941–11 p. m. 114. Department's No. 104, October 8, 1 p. m. The following tele

59 gram has been received from Moscow.

[Here follows text of telegram No. 1788, October 11, 1 p. m., from the Ambassador in the Soviet Union, printed on page 471.]

In spite of the Soviet reaction described in the foregoing telegram it is hoped that the representations of the Embassy in Moscow will have a salutary effect upon the Russians in so far as their political activities in Iran are concerned.

69 See footnotes 53 and 54, pp. 467 and 469, respectively.


Please keep the Department currently and fully informed of all ascertainable facts regarding conditions in the Russian-occupied Zone.


740.0011 European War 1939/15896 : Telegram The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary

of State

LONDON, October 17, 1941—midnight.

[Received October 17–7:40 p. m.] 4964. My 4820, October 9, midnight. Foreign Office informed the Embassy this afternoon that some days ago the Soviet Government had indicated its approval of the draft tripartite treaty between Great Britain, Russia and Iran without any suggestion for changes and with apologies for the delay in answering. The Soviet Ambassador at Tehran is said to have received appropriate instructions and negotiations between the three Governments on the the British draft treaty are said to be practically under way.


740.0011 European War 1939/16232: Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

TEHRAN, October 29, 1941-3 p. m.

[Received 7:18 p. m.] 210. Reference Department's 109, October 11, 6 p.m. Moose returned here Sunday evening after having visited Tabriz, (Rezaieh?), and Resht and is now preparing a report on his trip which includes the following: All evidence obtained tends to show that Soviet discipline has been uniformly good and that minor disturbances which have occurred were caused by local people. Open separatist movements were early discouraged by the Soviet military authorities though Communist propaganda continues to be spread by word of mouth, motion pictures and in Tabriz by the theater and the registration of Soviet sympathizers.

The railway has been completed from Kazvin to a point beyond Zenjan and some work has been done all the way to Tabriz. Construction stopped completely at the time of Soviet invasion and much equipment and material has been carried off by Soviet forces and by villagers. The Governor of Eastern Azerbaijan (Tabriz) states that the equipment and material are now being collected and that Iranian Government has ordered prompt resumption of work. Though no definite decision has yet been reached the British military transport authorities are considering immediate completion of line as far as (Kaflankuh?) a few miles short of Mianeh and eventual completion of entire line.

Seven missionaries in Tabriz are American citizens. They dislike submitting their passports to the Consulate in Tehran each 6 months for validation and fear loss in their regular Iranian mails. While Tabriz is now quiet they fear local disturbances following withdrawal of Soviet troops. They likewise fear possible German invasion of Azerbiajan. In either event they would like to have a consular officer in Tabriz to inform them when the last possible moment for evacuation arrives and to afford maximum protection to mission property. They plainly indicated that they considered Moose's visit as preliminary to reopening of Tabriz Consulate. He neither denied nor confirmed their belief.

Consulate and residence quarters can be had in Tabriz though probably it would take some weeks to find a suitable place, agree on terms and carry out inevitable alterations and repairs. Rents are relatively low. Combined quarters should cost $1000 a year or less. Heating would be more expensive than in Tehran. A full report follows by mail.61


891.51A/515 : Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

TEHRAN, November 5, 1941-noon.

[Received November 5—10:26 a. m.] 218. The Minister of Foreign Affairs informs me he will shortly request the assistance of the American Government in obtaining for Iran American finance, health, municipal and perhaps other advisers and missions. His delay in making formal proposals is probably due to fact that Majlis which expired October 31 will reassemble November 31 at which time Government will be reconstituted.

Iran is looking more and more toward United States for assistance and guidance and we should not, I feel, miss the opportunity to improve our position. I suggest in case formal overtures are made on this score that Iranian requests be sympathetically received. We must of course bear in mind growing possibility of German invasion of Iran which may prevent actual selection and arrival of such advisers. Even in event of invasion the preliminary steps taken now would facilitate the resumption of conversations after the war.


61 Not printed.

740.0011 European War 1939/17364 : Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

TEHRAN, December 11, 1941–4 p.m. [Received 5:45 p. m.]

. 255. The British Minister informs me in strictest confidence that he will leave Monday by air to meet Mr. Eden at Kuibyshev. While he did not divulge purpose of meeting I believe it may have to do with poor relations existing locally between Russians on one hand and British and Iranians on other. The atmosphere of mutual distrust in the contacts of these three creates confusion and disharmony thus obstructing carrying out of affairs of common interest. British and Iranians accuse Russians of lack of cooperation and of continuing to spread Communist propaganda in north while Russians accuse other two of lack of cooperation and in the case of Iranians of inventing stories to discredit the Soviets. The latest and most aggravated incident is the murder of several Turks and others in Tehran and Tabriz apparently for political reasons which the Iranians and some others lay at door of Bolshevik agents. Russians deny any part therein and as result are demanding that Iran Government reduce police force in Tabriz, withdraw Colonel Safe, Iranian police chief, and close newspaper Voice of Azerbaijan.

My opinion is that all three parties are to blame for this situation which I feel is detrimental to our common cause.


741.9111/21 : Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

TEHRAN, December 19, 1941–11 a.m.

[Received 4:35 p. m.] 260. The Foreign Minister informs me the Iranian Government would like to have the United States adhere after signature to the Iranian-Russo-British treaty which has been initialed and which will be presented to Majlis in a few days. American adherence would, he says, increase the value of the treaty in Iranian eyes by tenfold. He added that he has not considered it opportune to broach the matter to the Allied representatives. I will forward a copy of the final draft by air mail.



741.9111/22: Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

TEHRAN, December 20, 1941–1 p. m.

[Received December 21–10:20 a. m.] 261. Reference my No. 260.62 Prime Minister reiterated to me today desire of Iran Government to have United States adhere to treaty. He explained that the Government's situation is precarious because of widespread dissatisfaction created by Russian occupation. He stated that Soviet propaganda, political activity and interference continue and that Russians seem to feel they have a sphere of influence in Iran as I note (apparent omission). He expressed opinion that Iran's position vis-à-vis the Allies might be improved were United States to adhere to the treaty.


741.9111/21 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Iran (Dreyfus)

WASHINGTON, December 29, 1941–10 p. m. 165. Your 260, December 19, and 261, December 20. Although it is unlikely that the Department would be able to fall in with this suggestion in its present form, we shall be glad to study the matter, with a view to making such helpful suggestions as may be possible, as soon as the text of the treaty is received. In your discretion you may so inform the Iranian Government.



[Following the British and Soviet action in Iran described in correspondence printed on pages 383 ff., that country became an important supply route to the Soviet Union both for British and American material. In response to an inquiry of September 4, 1941, as to whether American assistance was visualized in developing transportation through Iran, the British Government asked for railroad equipment. Later the need for additional railroad construction was reported. A telegram to the Embassy in the United Kingdom on October 8, 1941, stated that Brigadier General R. A. Wheeler, an outstanding military engineer officer, assisted by railroad experts, would head an American military mission to Iran (891.20/128a).

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