The Persian Chargé ( Ali-Kuli Khan ) to the Secretary of State

Excellency: I have the honor to submit herewith, for your Excellency’s prompt and kindly consideration, copies of the translation of two cipher cablegrams, which I have received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs at Teheran.

As these messages clearly point out, the Imperial Persian Government is appealing to the Government of the United States to recognize [Page 258] their right of representation at the Peace Conference with the right to vote, in order that the vast losses inflicted upon Persia by the belligerent Powers, who occupied and invaded the neutral territory of Persia, be indemnified and the sovereignty and economic and political independence of Persia be secured for all time upon the firm foundation of justice which it is the unalterable purpose of your Government to embody in the Peace Treaty. My Government are assured that your Excellency’s Government will clearly see the justice of this request on the part of Persia.

In my recent cablegrams I had urged my Government to take prompt action in naming their delegation to the Peace Conference giving it full instruction to co-operate thoroughly and closely with the Government of the United States and to support the American delegation with their vote in realizing the great principles enunciated by the President of the United States.

If the British Government continues to take the attitude mentioned in the enclosed cablegrams, how could Persia be given a chance at the Peace Conference to safeguard her future, and have a voice in matters discussed at the Peace Conference, which will directly and definitely concern her destiny as a sovereign nation?

May I also submit herein enclosed, an article by La Marquise de Fontenoy, published in the New York Evening Sun, under the date of November 19th,1 which reflects to a degree the views of certain representatives of the old regime in Great Britain concerning British policy in Persia.

At this time when the United States of America is to insure the independence and sovereignty of all nations of the world, it is the aim of the sovereign state of Persia, with the help of America, to guard herself against all direct and indirect attempt upon the part of Great Britain or any other Power, to interfere with her independence and seek to use her as their “sphere of influence.”

As the time, preceding the opening of the Peace Conference, is very short, may I beg your Excellency for a prompt and favorable answer which I may transmit to my Government.

Accept [etc.]

Mirza Ali-Kuli Khan, N. D.
[Enclosure 1—Telegram—Translation]

The Persian Foreign Minister ( Aligoli ) to the Persian Chargé ( Ali-Kuli Khan )

Your Excellency’s last cables received. Necessary instructions will be given. The thing that is immediate and important is this: [Page 259] as a result of conferences and steps of the Persian Government regarding right of representation at Peace Conference, I advise you as follows:

A note has been received from the British Minister to the effect that the British Government on its own part is ready to receive the empowered representative of Persia at the place where the Peace Conference will be held so that he may give information on the occasion when matters pertaining to Persia may be discussed.

It is evident that because of the great losses which, contrary to the other neutral governments, the Government of Persia has suffered during the war, it cannot imagine itself in the same position as the other neutral powers. Moreover at the Peace Conference it is possible that questions will be brought up in which the Persian Government will be deeply concerned, and the Persian delegation must defend the interests of Persia. Due to these considerations it is necessary that the Persian delegate be a member of the conference with power to vote …2

It is necessary that you follow up your former activities in this respect and draw the attention of the appropriate authorities to the object and to the losses suffered by the Persian Government, in order that in fulfillment of Persia’s expectations, the American Government may officially recognize Persia’s membership and right to vote at the Peace Conference. I expect good results from your activities.


No. 30

[Enclosure 2—Telegram—Translation]

The Persian Foreign Minister ( Aligoli ) to the Persian Chargé ( Ali-Kuli Khan )

Through the cables gradually sent you, you are assuredly advised, concerning the objects of the Imperial Persian Government in their international policies.

After the recent events which indicated the termination of hostilities the Government deemed it advisable to convene a meeting of ministers, dignitaries, and notables of the capital, in order to consult upon the aims and policies, of Persia and resolve upon a definite plan. The above meeting, in the course of several sessions, conferred and exchanged views, and voted their opinion as follows:

Although the Imperial Persian Government adopted the policy of neutrality from the beginning of the war, and pursued it to the very end, nevertheless the territory of Persia was made a theatre of the war during the entire period of hostilities. Inasmuch as for [Page 260] this reason, Persia was subjected to violence and hardships, and suffered vast material and moral losses, the Government of Persia therefore request from the sense of Justice and fairness of the Powers the carrying out of the following articles:3

  • First: Persian Government delegation be admitted to the Peace Conference even though representatives of other neutral powers are not admitted. This is because of the losses inflicted upon Persia and the conflict of the belligerents upon Persian territory.
  • Second: The annulling and cancellation of treaties, conventions, and agreements which are in contravention of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Persia, and the obtaining of sufficient assurances on the part of powers signatory to the International Peace Treaty, in order that, in the future the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Persia be safeguarded against all interference.
  • Third: Persia to be indemnified for the losses inflicted upon her by any of the belligerent powers.
  • Fourth: The economic and [sic] independence of Persia.
  • Fifth: Revision of the treaties which have not as yet been declared null and are still in force, and the positive determination to annul the capitulations.
  • Sixth: Making new commercial treaties and arranging our customs tariff based on our economic independence.
  • Seventh: Securing co-operation for the Persian Government in revising the concessions which have not yet been made null and void, and arranging them in conformity with the principles stated in the above mentioned articles.
  • Eighth: The ratification of Persia’s frontier lines and the restoration of Persian territory wrongfully taken.

You will see that these eight demands which the Imperial Government makes are based upon and within the scope of the fourteen principles and conditions outlined by President Wilson, all of which have been accepted in principle by all the Powers. And the Imperial Government, because of the losses suffered during the war expects that the Government of the United States of America, to which your Excellency is accredited, may not refuse to assist it in realizing these demands.

You are instructed to immediately convey these propositions to the authorities concerned, and not to fail in any action which is deemed necessary to obtain the assistance of the United States Government, and to advise me of result immediately.

I also convey for your own information the following point: The British Legation declares that the British Government is willing that the fully empowered delegation of Persia be received at the place [Page 261] where the Peace Congress is to be held, in order that he may furnish information whenever necessary, concerning matters relative to Persia.

It is evident that, in such a case, it is impossible for the Persian delegation to defend its country’s interests; for at the Conference, questions will be taken up in which the Persian Government is both directly and indirectly interested.

The safeguarding of Persia’s interests is, therefore, dependent upon the Persian delegation being a member of the Conference, and possessing the right to vote.

A similar answer is given to the British Legation.

I expect of your Excellency also to take immediate action and advise me of result.

No. 38

  1. Not reprinted.
  2. Omission indicated in translation received from Persian Chargé.
  3. In telegram No. 54, Nov. 25, 1918, 1 p.m., the Minister in Persia reported receipt of a note from the Persian Foreign Office giving the following eight points; he also reported that the Legation had requested a more precise statement regarding the eighth point. The substance of telegram No. 54 was repeated by the Department in telegram No. 171, Dec. 11, 1918, 5 p.m., to the Commission to Negotiate Peace, for Colonel House. (File No. 763.72119/2790.)