891.24/271: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

6015. Reference is made to paragraph 3 of the Department’s telegram 5300, of October 26, 5 p.m. concerning draft announcement dealing with situation prevailing in Iran. The following is the text of the announcement as approved by the Foreign Office:

“The Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Imperial Persian Government;

Considering that the responsibility of feeding the people of Persia rests primarily on the Imperial Persian Government, but that it is desirable, as war conditions may bring economic distress to the people of Persia and it is the general policy of the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom to safeguard the economic existence of the peoples of the Middle East against such distress, to take all possible [Page 172] steps to ensure the supply of bread for the people of Persia until the gathering of the harvest in 1943;

Having regard to the undertaking given by the Imperial Persian Government to carry out (a) all measures recommended by the United States adviser to the Ministry of Food, including measures to prevent hoarding and the introduction of the rationing of foodstuffs, and (b) all recommendations of the Road Transport Committee which are certified to be essential for the regulation of the means of road transport in Persia by the majority votes of the following three members of that committee, namely the chairman appointed by the Imperial Persian Government and the members designated by the British and United States Ministers at Tehran respectively;

Have agreed as follows:

If the Persian Minister of Food, with the concurrency of the United States adviser, and the United States and British Ministers at Tehran decide, by a majority vote, that they are satisfied that all practical steps have been taken by the Imperial Persian Government under their undertakings referred to above, and that nevertheless the supply of cereals (wheat and barley) within Persia is insufficient to cover the minimum needs of the population of Persia for the current year ending with the gathering of the 1943 harvest, the Governments of the United States of America and of the United Kingdom will take all steps, within the full limit of their powers, to ensure that supplies of cereals will be brought to Persia from other sources sufficient to make up the deficiency.
The Imperial Persian Government are responsible for the distribution of cereals within Persia and for ensuring that a deficiency in one area is met by supplies from another area in Persia when the total supply of cereals within Persia is sufficient for the needs of the population of the country as a whole. The Imperial Persian Government are also responsible for the distribution to necessitous areas of any supplies brought into Persia from other sources in fulfilment of the undertaking of the other two Governments in article 1 above. The Governments of the United States of America and of the United Kingdom will take all steps, within the full limit of their powers, to ensure that the means of transport at the disposal of the Imperial Persian Government shall be sufficient, if put to the best possible use, for the proper distribution of these cereals. In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized to this effect by their respective Governments, have signed the present agreement and have affixed their seals.

Done at Tehran this . . . . . day of . . . . . in triplicate.”

The text of the announcement has been telegraphed to the British Minister at Tehran with instructions to hold it until informed by Minister Dreyfus that the Department’s concurrence has been given. The Foreign Office is of course prepared to consider any changes in this proposed announcement that the Department might wish to make. It is also prepared carefully to consider any draft which the Department prepares.

With reference to making some wheat available as soon as possible Foreign Office states that it has advised the Ministry of War Transport [Page 173] here that it approves supplying 20,000 tons. Foreign Office adds in this connection that it would not object to having up to 25,000 tons supplied, the figure mentioned by the Department.

In order to meet the serious currency situation Foreign Office states that in agreement with the Iranian authorities arrangements have been made within the framework of the Anglo-Iranian Financial Agreement of May 26, 1942 for issuing rial currency in an amount estimated to be sufficient to meet needs at least until November 2 of this year. Foreign Office is very much concerned over the currency situation and feels strongly that an early solution of this problem must be found. With a view to facilitating this Foreign Office inquires whether the Department would not consider instructing Minister Dreyfus to tell the Iranian authorities that the Department regards the carrying out of the terms of the Anglo-Iranian Financial Agreement to our interests as well.

As to the proposed British-Russian-American-Iranian Food Board mentioned in the Department’s telegram 5300 of October 26 Foreign Office states that it feels that before new steps are taken in this respect the Soviet Ambassador in Tehran ought to recommend the establishment of such a board to his Government. The British Minister in Tehran has been asked to suggest to the Soviet Ambassador that he may care to submit such a recommendation to his Government.

Foreign Office like Department views situation prevailing in Iran as serious. It appreciates having been kept so fully informed of Department’s attitude and it wants to cooperate closely with the Department in meeting the situation there.