741.9111/29: Telegram

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

338. Your 264, January 22, 7 p.m.49 The draft Anglo-Soviet-Iran treaty quoted in our telegram 4492, September 23,50 was redrafted with the following major changes:

In article V the period for withdrawal of Allied Forces after the war was reduced to 6 months.

A second paragraph was added to article IV providing that special agreements would be made to cover (a) financial obligations of the Allies arising out of the treaty and (b) transfers of Allied property to Persia after the war.

Two annexes were added to the treaty embodying texts of notes to be exchanged which provide for (1) Allied support for Persian independence at the Peace Conference and (2) Persia not to have diplomatic relations with enemies of the Allies.

The revised draft, which was initialled by the three Governments December 15, is being forwarded to the Department by air pouch.

[Page 266]

The head of the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office said today that after the treaty passed the first reading in the Mejlis the Persian Prime Minister requested modifications based on criticisms in the Mejlis. Bullard51 refused but suggested to the Foreign Office that the criticisms should be met by a third annex, providing for an exchange of notes embodying the following four points:

With reference to article III, section 2 (a) the Allied Powers will not require of Persia participation of her armed forces in any war or military operation against any foreign power or powers.
The Persian Government shall not be required to bear the costs of any works which the Allied Powers carry out for their own military ends and which are not necessary to the needs of Persia.
(This point concerned claims which might be made by the Persian Government after the war.)
It is understood that annex I will remain in force even if the treaty ceases to be valid in accordance with the provisions of article IX before peace has been concluded.

The Foreign Office did not like this proposed further exchange of notes, fearing that acceptance would lead to demands for still more exchanges. Moreover, they considered points 1 and 4 unnecessary although harmless. They thought that point 2 prejudiced arrangements already provided for in the treaty. Point 3 was based on a previous exchange of letters now almost wholly outdated and they did not like at all.

The Soviet Government, however, did not object to any of these points.

After further negotiations by Bullard the Persian Prime Minister agreed to drop point 3. Point 2 has been amended by the Foreign Office to read as follows: “It is understood that there is no provision in the treaty which requires the Persian Government to bear the costs of any works which the Allied Powers carry out for their own military ends and which are not necessary to the needs of Persia”.

The Soviet Government agreed to the above changes.

Mr. Bullard has already been authorized to inform the Prime Minister of the British agreement to item 1 and 4 and to item 2 as amended and he is expected to urge the Prime Minister to give his fullest support to the treaty in return for these concessions. The Prime Minister will not now have to go before the Mejlis entirely empty handed.

With reference to the situation in the north of Iran the Foreign Office said that it is true that the Soviet Government has limited the number of Persian gendarmerie and police. The British are seriously concerned about this and they have reminded the Russians that in [Page 267]the British area the Persians are permitted to use their army and to have as many gendarmerie and police as they want.

  1. See footnote 46, p. 264.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Sir Reader W. Bullard, British Minister in Iran.