The Chargé of the Soviet Union (Gromyko) to the Secretary of State

The Chargé d’Affaires of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and has the honor to bring to the attention of the Secretary the following.

The Soviet Government takes into consideration the memorandum of the United States Government of April 3, 194314 in regard to the aims of the American policy in Iran, handed by Mr. L. G. Dreyfus, Jr., Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America in Teheran to Mr. A. A. Smirnov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in Teheran. The Soviet Government shares to the full the desire of the United States Government as to the necessity of maintenance of the closest contact and collaboration between the American and Soviet Representatives in Iran in the interests of joint efforts directed toward a victorious end of the present war and securing of a [Page 449] lasting peace in Iran after the war. At the same time the Soviet Government expresses readiness on its part to supply the United States Government with information on Soviet-Iranian relations and frankly and fully discuss the questions which may arise during the solution of practical tasks between the Soviet and American representatives in Iran.

In addition to that the Soviet Government deems it necessary to draw the attention of the United States Government to a certain lack of clarity which consists of the following. In the memorandum of the United States Government of April 3 it was stated that the American technical military units were stationed in Iran only to support the British military forces, and that the latter, as before, had full control over transport lines in the south of Iran, and that they also bore responsibility for their safety.

However, in the draft15 of the agreement between the United States and Iran on the question of presence of American troops in Iran, handed by the State Department to Soviet Ambassador M. Litvinov it is provided that

“The Imperial Iranian Government, upon request, will grant to the United States of America the right to use, maintain, guard and control, in part or in their entirety, any of the means of communication within Iran, including railways, roads, rivers, aerodromes, ports, pipe lines, and telephone, telegraph and radio installations, whenever such use, maintenance, protection and control may be found advantageous for the prosecution of the war.”

Thus, in the above-mentioned two documents there is a divergence in the definition of aims and functions of American troops in Iran and their relations with the British armed forces. Having in mind the rights granted to the Soviet Union in the treaty of alliance between the U.S.S.R., Great Britain and Iran signed in Teheran on January 29, 1942 and also the agreement in principle reached by the Governments of the U.S.S.R. and Great Britain in January–February, 1942 in regard to the fact that the northern part of the transiranian railroad be controlled by the Soviet authorities, and the southern part of the railroad, accordingly, be controlled by the British authorities, the Soviet Government would like to receive in regard to this matter additional explanation and to acquaint itself to a more complete extent with the agreement reached between the American and British sides on the question of exploitation of the southern communications of Iran. Additional information on this question is considered to be important not only from the point of view of interests and rights belonging to the Soviet Union in accordance [Page 450] with the treaty of January 29, 1942 but also for the establishment of more expedient forms of further cooperation of Soviet British and American representatives in Iran.

  1. Memorandum based on instructions contained in Department’s telegram No. 153, March 31, 5 p.m., to the Minister in Iran, p. 351.
  2. Post, p. 459.