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

No. 627

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatches nos. 592, dated June 26, 1943, and 612, dated July 12, 1943 concerning the misconduct of American troops in Iran and to enclose a translation of an article appearing in the Tehran daily Iran-E-Ma as well as copies of two recent notes from the Foreign Office on the same subject and a written complaint by a private citizen.80

I am distressed to see that the Iranian press is beginning to call attention to the behaviour of our forces here for the following reasons:

First, we have heretofore enjoyed almost without exception a favorable press, although there have been attacks on some of the advisers [Page 506] as individuals and hints of misconduct on the part of the troops. There has not previously been an outright attack such as the enclosed. When one journal inaugurates a campaign in Iran, the others usually take up the cry, each trying to write a more sensational article than its rivals. Secondly, the Tehran press has reached a state of vileness unequalled anywhere else in the world. Nothing is too bad to print and the fouler a paper’s language, the more copies it sells. I should hate to see the Tehran press pitch into the Americans with all the epithets they possess, and they possess a considerable stock.

Despite the efforts of General Connolly reported in my despatch no. 612 the situation shows little improvement, the Legation receiving a considerable number of complaints from various sources daily. The two notes from the Foreign Office are enclosed as they are typical of the sort of complaint the Legation usually receives. We may, however, hope for some improvement in the Tehran region since all offices and billets of the army have been removed from the city to the Amirabad barracks, several miles outside of the city limits. General Connolly has stated that he hopes to make the city of Tehran out of bounds to his men, but it is questionable whether he will be able to enforce such a strict regulation in view of the rather serious effect it will have on his men’s morale.

I shall continue to keep the Department periodically informed on this subject.

Respectfully yours,

Louis G. Dreyfus, Jr.
  1. Enclosures not printed.