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

No. 648

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 639 of November 29, 193531 and to report as follows:

On December 5 at the German Legation I met Dr. Ahmad Matine Daftary, Under Secretary of the Iranian Ministry of Justice. He informed me that he had been commissioned by the Foreign Office to discuss the proposed treaty of extradition between the United States and Iran.

The Under Secretary called my attention to the International Conference for the Unification of Penal Laws at Copenhagen and asserted that his Government would prefer in principle to enter into extradition treaty negotiations along the lines of the projects adopted by this body in 1931, 1933, and 1935 in Paris, Madrid and Copenhagen, respectively. He added that his Government would be quite willing to consider any special clauses that the United States might desire to incorporate in such a treaty. It might be mentioned in connection with the above suggestion that Ahmad Matine Daftary was a delegate to the International Conference for the Unification of Penal Laws at Copenhagen and was elected Vice-President of the organization.

I asked the Under Secretary if the Department of Justice had any objection of a vital character to the draft which was submitted to the Foreign Office by the American government. He reluctantly admitted that Sections 5 and 25, pertaining to bigamy and crimes against the laws for the suppression of traffic in narcotics, appeared to be rather out of harmony with Iranian law on these subjects. In answer to this objection I pointed out the saving clause in Article 1, but suggested that my Government had no intention or desire to insist upon the exact wording of the draft submitted and that I should be very [Page 393] glad indeed to have him revise the sections which he had mentioned and that I would then submit the revised draft to the Department of State for rejection or approval.

To the above suggestion the Under Secretary urged that his Government would prefer the draft made by the International Conference for the Unification of Penal Laws. I asked him if I might have a copy of the proposed draft for submission to the Department and he replied that if I would send Mr. Saleh, Legation Interpreter, to his Ministry on the following day that he would be pleased to furnish a copy and to explain to him in Persian what he had explained to me in his imperfect English.

When Mr. Saleh called, Mr. Daftary was unable to find a printed copy, but was able to furnish the enclosed rough draft32 of projects of this character which he asserted had received the approval of the Conference. His explanation of the position of his Ministry to Mr. Saleh coincided with the explanation which he had given to me at the German Legation.

A few days later while calling at the Foreign Office on another matter I brought up the subject of my conversation with Mr. Ahmad Matine Daftary. I informed the Acting Minister that while I would of course be more than pleased to forward the draft which Mr. Daftary had submitted, I was rather of the opinion that much time could be saved in the event that the Department’s draft could be revised in keeping with the views of the Ministry of Justice. To this suggestion the Acting Minister appeared to be in accord, and he assured me that he would discuss the matter again with Mr. Daftary and ask him to revise and transmit to the Legation the draft which I had previously presented to the Foreign Office. This has not yet been received, but I am enclosing herewith the French text of the rather imperfect draft offered by the Ministry of Justice as of possible interest to the Department.

Respectfully yours,

Wm. H. Hornibrook
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed. This draft is the same as that found in Actes de la Conférence, Sixth International Conference for the Unification of Criminal Law, Copenhagen, 1935, p. 417.