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

No. 182

Sir: I have received your despatch No. 648 of December 12, 1935, in regard to the proposed extradition treaty between the United States and Iran. You enclose the French text of a counter draft of the proposed treaty supplied by the Under Secretary of the Iranian Ministry [Page 394] of Justice, who informed you that this draft is in accordance with the proposal adopted by the International Conference for the Unification of Penal laws. You added that at your suggestion the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs has apparently agreed to the submission to you of specific suggestions for the amendment of the draft treaty which the Department proposed.

It is hoped that you will receive at an early date the suggested revision of the Department’s draft especially as the draft submitted by the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Justice is unsatisfactory to this Government in several important particulars and represents a wide variance from the extradition treaties which the United States has concluded with almost all of the countries of the world.

For your information the draft you forwarded is unsatisfactory in the following important respects:

It omits a list of extraditable crimes and offenses, which list is contained in all of the extradition treaties of the United States and which is considered highly desirable from the standpoint of definiteness and certainty;

It does not provide for the production of evidence making out a prima facie case of guilt against the person whose extradition is requested;

It does not provide for the mechanics of the procedure involved in case of extradition. Such a provision is regarded as necessary under the laws of the United States;

It limits unduly the definition of political offenses, and,

It provides that a contracting party which refuses to surrender one of its nationals must place him on trial for the offense committed abroad. Under its system of jurisprudence the United States could not carry out such an obligation.

Referring to statements contained in your despatch, the Department advises you that if the Iranian Government so desires, the United States would be willing to omit bigamy from the list of extraditable crimes. However, it is hoped that it may be possible to include therein crimes against the laws for the suppression of the traffic in narcotics, and you will please endeavor to bring this about.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore