Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

The Minister of Iran called to see me this morning.

The Minister made a very long exposition of the subject matter contained in full detail in Mr. Murray’s [Alling’s] memorandum of his conversation with the Minister on March 20.67

At the end of the Minister’s statement, he asked me what the opinion of this Government might be.

[Page 275]

I replied to the Minister that I greatly appreciated the expression of friendship for the Government and people of the United States which he had made in behalf of his Government and told him that his Government and he personally might be assured that this friendship was fully reciprocated. I said it was our desire here to do everything we could to cooperate with the Government of Iran in lending assistance which might be desired, including the services of technicians and experts.

I said that with regard to the specific question he had raised, the Soviet Government had made no communication to the Government of the United States of any character whatsoever with regard to its aspirations and desires concerning new frontiers or new spheres of influence as an outgrowth of the present war.

I stated that the British Government had kept the United States Government informed of the conversations which had been held between the Soviet and British Governments concerning various matters of this character,68 but that this Government had not been informed by the British Government of any discussion between the Soviet and British Governments which affected Iran.

I stated that, for these reasons, it seemed to me that it would not only be inappropriate, but positively prejudicial, for this Government—out of a clear sky insofar as it was concerned—to make any public declarations concerning the independence and integrity of Iran.

I stated that the general position of this Government was fully set forth in the provisions of the Atlantic Charter as signed by the President of the United States and that the principles there enumerated constituted the determined policy which this Government intended to pursue.

The Minister thanked me very effusively and said that he fully agreed that in the light of the circumstances which I had mentioned there would be no appropriate occasion for the United States, at this juncture, to make any public declaration of the kind he had discussed with Mr. Murray. He emphasized the fact that this suggestion on his part had been an individual and informal suggestion and had not been made under instructions of his Government.

I stated at the conclusion of our interview that I would be very glad to keep in touch with the Minister so that if any matters affecting Iran came to my attention, I would have the opportunity of talking them over with him for the information of his Government.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. Supra.
  2. For correspondence on this subject, see vol. iii, pp. 490 ff.