811.24591/20: Telegram

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

1082. Proposed draft of executive agreement on presence of United States troops in Iran has been submitted for comment to Connolly, as directed in Department’s 588, November 24. He says his command “has no objection to the deletion from this treaty of the words ‘and who are not members of the armed forces of the United States of America’ wherever this expression occurs in text”.

General Connolly, however, raises the question of jurisdiction in criminal cases of American troops in Iran. The procedure as outlined in Department’s 20, January 11, while unacceptable to Iranian Government in absence of agreement legalizing status of our troops here, may be followed immediately the general agreement has been signed and thus should satisfactorily dispose of this point.

It should be noted that criminal offenses committed by American troops in Iran are now being tried by American authorities under general provisions of international law, as is the case with both British and Soviets. Furthermore Iranian Government up to now has not questioned the jurisdiction of American military authorities over their own troops. I urge, and General Hurley,69 who negotiated with General Connolly in this matter on my behalf, concurs, that immediate authorization to sign this agreement be telegraphed as Iranian Government wishes to conclude matter while certain persons are still in Iran.

  1. Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Hurley; for correspondence relating to General Hurley’s visit to Iran at this time as Personal Representative of the President, see pp. 392427, passim.