891.00/1925: Telegram

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

289. Your 334, October 21.

Iranian Minister has presented his Government’s draft, which appears to be in form of joint Anglo-American-Iranian declaration.55 [Page 169] We are studying this together with British draft transmitted in your telegram.
We are inclined to agree, tentatively, that road transport measures should be decided by Transport Committee, provided that body is disposed to give full consideration to Sheridan’s suggestions. It is assumed he will be member of committee or at least have full opportunity to express his views at all times.
We are also inclined to concur in Iranian request that 25,000 tons wheat be made available without delay, but we believe wording of draft should be slightly modified. As presented to Department it reads “the American and British Governments will immediately bring to Tehran 25,000 tons of wheat”. It would seem preferable to substitute something like the following: “the American and British Governments undertake to transport to Tehran at the earliest possible date 25,000 tons of wheat”.
We would suggest that the general undertaking of the American and British Governments, as stated in the second paragraph (a) of third section your telegram, be qualified somewhat as follows: “the Governments of the United States and United Kingdom undertake to do everything within their power to arrange etc.” It is impossible to foresee developments in the transportation field during coming months, and Department fears an unqualified undertaking might later lay us open to a charge of breach of faith.
We would like an explanation of the reasons for second paragraph (b) third section your message. It is not understood why Anglo-American Governments should undertake to remedy temporary local deficiency of cereals, in the absence of a general shortage. This would seem to be primarily question of internal transport and distribution, with which Iranian Food Ministry and Transport Committee should deal.
London informs us Foreign Office favors some form of public declaration but does not agree to text transmitted by British Legation. Foreign Office has promised to give us text which it would approve.
We are asking Cairo to repeat to you its 1872 to Department56 which reports British authorities there propose formation of Anglo-American-Russian-Iranian food board to handle all phases of grain situation.
Foregoing is for your information and comments and for use in consultation with your British colleague.
  1. See note from the Iranian Legation, October 23, p. 163.
  2. Supra.