891.6363 Standard Oil/47: Telegram

The Chargé in Persia (Engert) to the Secretary of State

73. Legation’s 71, November 22. Bolshevik Minister without awaiting instructions from Moscow lodged formal protest against concession on the ground that the treaty between Persia and Soviet Russia of last February not having been ratified all Russian rights in Persia were in full force and that even had the treaty been ratified concession would be violation of article 13. Persian Government replied that Khochtaria concession never was valid and is therefore not affected by the treaty. I believe Rothstein is using incident to press for ratification of the above treaty which is unlikely without important modification.

British Legation has been instructed to state to the Persian Government that the concession is considered an unfriendly act and the French Legation has made similar statement.

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The Prime Minister in a personal letter to me states, “I wish to reiterate to you that the Government with Parliament are firmly resolved to stand by their decision”. Minister of War who is virtually dictator was orally even more emphatic.

Persian press and public received the news enthusiastically but there is a slight undertone of anxiety as to Russia’s next move.