The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Standley) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:15 p.m.]
154. Department’s 66, February 4, 11 p.m. to Moscow.6 The Iranian Ambassador called on me on February 9 by appointment. He said that he had been informed that I had discussed the Iranian railway question with Molotov and inquired as to Molotov’s reactions. I briefly outlined the steps I had taken and stated that Molotov had maintained that under the terms of the Tripartite Alliance the Soviet Government should have been informed in advance of the transfer and the terms thereof. The Ambassador stated that the transfer was a purely internal question and that his Government was not obligated to inform the Soviet Government regarding it. However, he stated that he had been advised by the Soviet Government that no reply would be made regarding the Soviet position with respect to the transfer pending clarification of its terms.[Page 443]
The Ambassador strongly recommended on several occasions that the operation of the entire Trans-Iranian Railroad, as well as all the other railroads in Iran, be placed under the control of the United States authorities. He stated that he had recommended such a transfer to his Government and had been informed that the present moment was not considered feasible for such a move.