701.9111/464: Telegram

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

4. Your 5, January 13, 6 p.m.4 The Iranian Chargé d’Affaires in conversation on January 21 with an official of the Department stated that his Government believed that there was a close connection between the Elkton incident and the fact that Djalal by his earlier activities in connection with the Geneva Arms Convention had incurred the displeasure of the Secretary of State.5

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The Chargé further expressed the view that the confusion in the mind of the Iranian Government and the continued agitation in Teheran over the Elkton incident was due to the fact that the Iranian Government was not furnished at the time with copies of the depositions of the offending police officers and of eye-witnesses declaring that the Minister’s arrest resulted largely from having lost his temper and having behaved in an unbecoming and provocative manner. The Chargé pointed out that in the absence of such information his Government had assumed that all press accounts of the Minister’s behavior at the time of the incident were fabrications as Djalal had declared them to be.

It was explained to the Chargé that the Department had not furnished, or even referred to, the depositions in question because it did not consider that any circumstances attending the incident in any way condoned the action of the police in arresting the Minister and had insisted upon the dismissal and punishment of the officers regardless of any wrongdoing on Djalal’s part.

If, however, as now appears to be the case, the Iranian Government’s misgivings and misinterpretation of this unfortunate affair would be dispelled by furnishing the Foreign Minister with copies of the depositions in question, forwarded with the Department’s instruction No. 167 of December 12, 1935, you are authorized to do so without delay. You should at the same time explain this Government’s reasons as set forth above for not furnishing copies of these documents at an earlier moment. You may also state that it would hardly appear necessary to point out the absurdity of connecting the Elkton incident with Djalal’s earlier activities in connection with the Arms Convention.