891.77/715: Telegram

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

179. Department’s 93, February 20. Please ask your British colleague whether competent British authorities have provided Soviets with the information which they are understood to have requested some time ago regarding arrangements for American operation of Iranian transport routes and whether British and Russian authorities have come to a specific agreement on this transfer.

We understand that Soviet authorities in Iran are working with General Connolly and have not objected to his operations south of Tehran. However, so far as Department is informed, Soviet Government has not yet indicated to Iranian Government its formal assent to such operation. This situation is causing us concern, since it leaves an opening for a possible Soviet complaint that Anglo-Soviet-Iranian treaty has been violated.

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As you know, and as you may inform British Minister, we consider it essential to have full understanding and collaboration in Iran between British, Soviet and American authorities. This question of transport operations seems to have disturbed Soviets and may prove a serious barrier to understanding unless clarified. You should point out to British Minister that our forces entered Iran under British auspices to undertake work in an area of British occupation. Consequently, this Government feels that the British authorities should do whatever may be necessary to arrive at a satisfactory adjustment of the matter with their Soviet allies.

Please report by telegraph.