The Minister in Persia ( Caldwell ) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 24, 1919.]
Sir: Now that the war has reached an end the Persians are evincing great interest in the peace conference and all parties are in accord in expressing the desire that Persia should be represented there. They base their claim for such representation at a conference which will presumably be formed of representatives of the belligerent nations only on the ground that Persia, though neutral, has nevertheless suffered heavily from the war, her territory having been invaded by the armies of three belligerent powers and actual fighting having occurred on her soil on many different occasions.
Persia’s desiderata are to have her independence and territorial integrity recognized by an international conference of the great powers and guarantees given that she will be allowed freely to develop internally as she thinks best for the establishment of a strong independent state that will no longer be a pawn in the international game of the large imperial powers. Persia also desires indemnities for the damage caused by foreign belligerent armies in her territory and there are some Persian statesmen who even desire that Persia should be made a perpetually neutral state by treaties between the great powers.
For the realization of their hopes Persians of all parties are looking more and more towards the United States for help. They would like to have the support at the peace conference of a strong disinterested power like the United States having no political interests in Persia, should Persian representatives be admitted there. …
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