Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Harold B. Minor of the Division of Middle Eastern Affairs

Participants: The Iranian Minister
Mr. Daftary, Counselor of the Iranian Legation
Mr. Dreyfus, U.S. Minister to Iran
Mr. Allen17
Mr. Minor

The Iranian Minister and Mr. Daftary called today at their request to discuss the question of resuming negotiations for an agreement on the presence of American forces in Iran.

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Mr. Shayesteh reviewed the negotiations which took place last year for an executive agreement covering the presence of American forces in Iran. He said that it had been his impression, gained from conversations with Mr. Paul Alling22 and others, that the United States Government had not desired to press for an agreement on this subject and inquired whether this was still the case. Mr. Allen replied that the initiative in requesting the agreement had come from the Iranians and that the United States Government had in fact not pressed for completion of an agreement but that once negotiations had been inaugurated the United States War and State Departments had carried them on vigorously in order to arrive at a successful conclusion. This was confirmed by Mr. Dreyfus.

The Minister said that his Government had in the end objected to the executive agreement as drafted on the grounds that it was too long and complicated and did not protect Iranian interests fully. He mentioned particularly that the agreement would exempt from income tax payments large numbers of foreigners such as Syrians, Iraqis, et cetera, who are employed by the United States Army and are making large profits from war contracts, although Iranians in similar positions would be required to pay the tax. His Government would like to abandon the present draft and resume negotiations for an agreement along the lines of the Tripartite Pact.23 If the United States Government objected to this the Iranian Government would be willing to proceed on the basis of the draft already under consideration but wished to suggest a number of amendments. He said that he had received full instructions from his Government by mail but has just telegraphed to Tehran for certain information, after which he would approach the Department with a suggested draft.

  1. George V. Allen, Chief of the Division of Middle Eastern Affairs.
  2. Paul H. Alling, Deputy Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs.
  3. Treaty of Alliance between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and Iran, signed at Tehran, January 29, 1942, British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxliv, p. 1017; for correspondence regarding the attitude of the United States toward this treaty, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. iv, pp. 263 ff.