891.24/411: Telegram

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

332. Department’s 147, March 26. All wheat arriving in Iran is pooled by Middle East Supply Center. Distribution is made by Ministry of War Transport, in keeping with prearranged Middle [Page 614] East Supply Center program under supervision of the PAI Force Middle East Supply Center liaison officer. Total Iranian demands for imported wheat are about 13,000 tons monthly divided as follows:

Iranian civil 9500, AIOC 1500, and army labor 2000. Last figure includes American Army labor but General Connolly does not wish to submit to Middle East Supply Center pooling arrangement and intends to import own wheat.

A possible bottleneck in shipment of wheat is railway. Program now calls for movement from ports to Tehran of 160 tons wheat plus 100 tons other goods daily. Minister State is being asked to approve increase of wheat figure to 300 daily without reducing the 100 ton figure. Much will depend on attitude to be adopted by American Army when they assume in near future full responsibility for movements control. General Connolly and staff in their desire to move maximum possible goods to Russia have so far shown little appreciation for necessity of moving Iran’s essential requirements. I am hopeful, however, they will adopt a more liberal interpretation of term “Iran’s minimum needs”. I do not, therefore, recommend any immediate action and will keep Department informed of developments.