740.0011 EW1939/27193: Telegram

The Minister Resident in Iraq ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State

12. In a talk late this afternoon with Nuri Pasha,1 I learned of a communication which he was anxious for me to receive from Minister of Foreign Affairs2 but concerning which it was important greatest secrecy should be taken until noon Saturday, Iraqi time, January 16. I accompanied Minister of Foreign Affairs to his Ministry and from him received following document written in English which is being transmitted through British channels to Iraqi Minister in Ankara and is to be delivered by him on Saturday, January 16 to the diplomatic representatives of Germany, Italy and Japan.

“The Government of Germany having interfered in every way and in the most open manner in the internal affairs of Iraq and having instigated and promoted open rebellion against the constitutional Government of Iraq has continued openly and without cessation her acts of hostility toward Iraq by the publication through her broadcasting stations of false rumors and lying news of vile slanders against the ruling family and of direct incitements to disaffection and dissension.

In consequence of these facts the Iraq Government declares that Iraq considers herself as being in a state of war with Germany as from midnight 16–17 January, 1943.

And whereas the Government of Italy, in partnership with the Government of Germany has been guilty of the same acts of interference in Iraq’s internal affairs and of severe provocation toward Iraq right up to the present time, the Government of Iraq declares that Iraq considers herself as being in a state of war with Italy as from midnight of 16–17 January, 1943.

And whereas the Government of Japan flagrantly violated the rules of neutrality by assisting the Governments of Germany and Italy in their interference in the internal affairs of Iraq and has since openly joined them in their acts of provocation against Iraq, the Government of Iraq declares Iraq to be in a state of war with Japan as from midnight of 16–17 January, 1943.

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Signed Abdul Ilah Hafidh, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government of Iraq.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs requests Department to acquaint Iraqi Minister in Washington3 with above text, a resume of which they are cabling him tonight.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs then delivered to me a note written in Arabic of which the following approaches his own English translation as read to me by him.

“Monsieur le Ministre, I have the honor to inform you that with reference to the Iraqi Government’s declaration that it is in a state of war with the three Axis Powers, we have authorized our Minister in Washington to sign in the name of the Government of Iraq the Declaration of the United Nations signed at Washington on January 1, 19424 for the adherence of Iraq to that Declaration. Please communicate this to your respected Government. I avail myself, et cetera,”

He considers this to be full authority of Government of Iraq to its Minister in Washington to adhere to United Nations pact and will be recognized by him as confirming instructions already cabled him.

Wilson
  1. Nuri as-Said, Prime Minister of Iraq.
  2. Abd-ul-Ilah Hafidh.
  3. Ali Jawdat.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, p. 25.