« PreviousContinue »
the necessary instructions. If the draft treaty with Iran failed to materialize we should probably not consider it necessary even to notify the Iranian Government and we should simply assist the United States authorities to establish the base by virtue of our being in military occupation of that part of the country.
The other question on which I understand Your Excellency is anxious to have the opinion of His Majesty's Government is that of the delivery point at which the assembled United States aircraft are to be delivered to the Russians. We note that the United States Government are anxious that this point shall be situated in Iran, that they consider that it would most conveniently be situated at Tehran and that they expect arrangements to be made for its defense. On further consideration it might be best that your Government should consult the Soviet Government on this question of the exact point of delivery and make arrangements with them direct. For our part, however, we consider that it would be preferable to locate the delivery point at some place such as Kazvin within the area occupied by Russian troops. There are no longer Allied troops at Tehran and to bring them back would raise a difficult political question. Practical difficulties might arise if the delivery point were situated in the southern part of Iran which is occupied by British troops.
There is one further point which I think I ought to mention at this stage. Your message of the 26th November did not specify the arrangements which the United States Government contemplates for providing ferry crews and communication aircraft for the return of the crews from the delivery point to the assembly base. His Majesty's Government assume that in view of the purely American character of the project these will be furnished by the United States Government and we should be very grateful to have confirmation of this. We fear that it would be quite impossible for the Royal Air Force to undertake this commitment."
861.248/172: Telegram The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom
WASHINGTON, December 30, 1941–8 p. m. 6066. Department's 5426, November 25, 9 p. m. and your 6027, December 12, 11 p. m. War Department has received report from General Wheeler that agreement has been reached with Commander-inChief, India, and Air Officer commanding Royal Air Force in Iraq to establish aircraft assembly plant at Abadan for delivery to the Russians of 200 planes per month and that the British are starting necessary construction work immediately.
You are requested to obtain the definitive approval of the British Government to establishment of this project as a purely American operation as indicated in the Department's 5426.
We are glad to accept the British offer to assemble planes temporarily at Basra and the first contingent of planes is being delivered there. Future consignments will, however, be delivered to Abadan.
Please also request that the British send the necessary instructions to their Minister at Tehran and advise you of the nature of those instructions for our information. We are advising our Legation at Tehran but instructing Dreyfus not to approach the Iranian Government until his British colleague has been appropriately instructed.
We are instructing the Embassy at Kuibyshev 70 to advise the Soviet Government of these plans and to take up with it the question of a suitable delivery point. General Wheeler is also seeking a conference with the Russian authorities in Iran to discuss details.
861.248/173b : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
WASHINGTON, December 30, 1941–8 p. m. 1317. After thorough study of various methods by which aircraft may be delivered to the Soviet Government it has been decided that the most practical and expeditious route is to send the planes by sea to the Persian Gulf for assembly and flight to Russia. Agreement in principle has been reached with the British Government for an American assembly plant to be erected at Abadan, Iran, and construction of the necessary facilities at Abadan is being undertaken immediately. Pending completion of the American assembly project, planes are being shipped to Basra where they will be assembled by the British.
Please advise the Soviet authorities of the foregoing and discuss with them the point at which they wish to take delivery of the planes. We prefer a point in Iran to any point in Russia. Kazvin has been suggested. The War Department will provide adequate American personnel at the delivery point to meet all technical requirements. The Soviet Government is expected to supply hangar space and working facilities there as well as adequate quantities of 100-octane fuel and oil. The point selected should have a satisfactory field with ample fueling facilities and working and living accommodations for the necessary personnel. It should be adequately defended by the Russians.
General Wheeler is endeavoring to get into contact with the Russian authorities in Iran to discuss details.
Because of the German drive toward Moscow most of the Soviet Government had moved to Kuibyshev and the American Embassy had followed.
861.248/173a : Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Iran (Dreyfus)
WASHINGTON, December 30, 1941–8 p.m. 166. Agreement has been reached in principle with the British Government and between General Wheeler and the appropriate British officials in India and the Near East for the establishment at Abadan of a plant to assemble planes brought by sea for delivery by air to the Soviet Government. The project will be exclusively under American military control and command. Construction is being started immediately to provide the necessary facilities and accommodations for 135 officers, 50 enlisted men and 800 civilians. Hangars and housing expected to be completed by January 15. Pending completion of the assembly plant crated planes will be delivered at Basra for assembly by the British.
The Embassy at Kuibyshev is taking up with the Soviet Government the point in Iran at which the planes are to be delivered. Kazvin has been suggested. General Wheeler is also seeking to establish contact with Russian officials in Iran to discuss details. The British Foreign Office states that if the Anglo-Iranian Treaty of Alliance goes into effect the arrangement at Abadan would be covered by the terms of the alliance and that the British Minister at Tehran would be instructed merely to notify the Iranian Government as a matter of courtesy. The position would be that the British Government was in effect subletting to this Government part of a site made available to it by the Iranian Government under the treaty. If the draft treaty with Iran fails to materialize the British state they would probably not consider it necessary even to notify the Iranian Government and that it would merely assist us to establish the base by virtue of being in military occupation.
The foregoing is for your information. You should not make any approach to the Iranian Government until your British colleague has received his instructions and you have received further instructions from us.
ATTITUDE OF THE UNITED STATES TOWARD ANTI-BRITISH
MILITARY COUP IN IRAQ?
711.67/105 : Telegram The Minister Resident in Iraq (Knabenshue) to the Secretary of State
BAGHDAD, January 2, 1941–5 p. m.
[Received January 2–1:41 p. m.] 1. Referring to my telegram No. 120 of December 17, 7 p. m.? The Turkish Minister 2a called today to inform me that his Government after receiving his full mail reports of the situation in Iraq, instructed him to inform the Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs that Turkish Government was glad to receive from the Iraq Minister at Ankara the assurance that the information received by the Turkish Government regarding the unhappy relations between Iraq and Great Britain was unfounded and to say to the Iraqi Foreign Minister that Turkey, faithful to its pact of Ankara with Great Britain 3 and the Saadabad Pact with Iraq,t would be happy to see relations between Great Britain and Iraq established on a basis of friendship and mutual welfare and understanding.
711.67/106: Telegram The Minister Resident in Iraq (Knabenshue) to the Secretary of State
BAGHDAD, January 3, 1941–7 p. m.
[Received January 3–4:16 p. m.] 2. The Department's démarche of December 35 and British and Greek victories against the Italians, and the Turkish démarche culminating as reported in my telegram No. 1, January 2, were undoubtedly the deciding factors in averting a serious crisis between
For previous correspondence relating to this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. III, pp. 703 ff.
* Ibid., p. 722.
* Treaty of Mutual Assistance, signed October 19, 1939, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cc, p. 167.
* Treaty of Non-Aggression, signed July 8, 1937, by Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey; for text, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cxc, p. 21.
* See telegram No. 56, December 3, 1940, 5 p. m., to the Minister Resident in Iraq, Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. III, p. 716.
Iraq and Great Britain. The President's radio address of Sunday last has been a further important contribution to the same end. The
a Regent 6a is reported to be withholding his signature to practically all documents sent to him by the Cabinet.
However, the Prime Minister, supported I am told, by the Mufti 8 is still persisting in his efforts to remain in power, while the Minister of Defense ka who is also acting as Minister of Economics is reported to be endeavoring to defeat British refusal to provide dollars by seeking authority to force Iraqi exporters to turn over their dollar exchange to the Government for dinars in order to provide the Government with the dollars necessary for their purchases of war materials in the United States. This would, of course, adversely affect our normal trade with Iraq.
711.00111 Armament Control/2550
The British Embassy to the Department of State
His Majesty's Ambassador in Baghdad recently reported that he had received reliable information to the effect that Bond Brothers and Company, 310 California Street, San Francisco, were offering to sell to the Iraq Government miscellaneous war material, much of which was of types specially suited for "gangster” warfare or fifth column activities. Two persons named Selim Zibundi and Wagner were understood to be acting on behalf of Bond Brothers.
In addition, the Iraq Minister of Defence had stated that he had placed orders in the United States for 500 Johnson .303 automatic rifles costing $200,000, raw materials for the manufacture of 15,000,000 rounds small arms ammunition costing $280,000, and various miscellaneous stores including telephone cable. The Minister also stated that as Japan declined to supply anti-aircraft guns to Iraq he would endeavour to obtain them in the United States. Sir Basil Newton added that he presumed that all the transactions to which the Minister of Defence had referred were being carried out by the Iraq Purchasing Mission in New York.
Sir Basil Newton went on to refer to certain reports to the effect that the Iraq Government were contemplating obtaining arms from Japan. The Ambassador expressed some doubts whether any such project was likely to materialise, but he added that the possibility
Address by President Roosevelt, December 29, 1940, Department of State Bulletin, January 4, 1941, p. 3.
6a Emir Abdul Ilah, maternal uncle of the boy King, Faisal II. ? Rashid Ali al-Gailani.
• Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a political refugee from Palestine.
Ba Gen. Taha al-Hashimi.