811.24591/1–2445: Telegram

The Ambassador in Iran (Morris) to the Secretary of State

49. During interview with Foreign Minister40 he discussed pending question of agreement regularizing status of our troops in Iran and suggested that since troops may shortly be leaving Iran matter might be adjusted by having Majlis pass a resolution approving action of Government in originally admitting troops to Iran and otherwise [Page 373] legalizing their status in this country for the duration of the war. In advancing his suggestion Entezam professed he was motivated by sincere desire to settle this question as simply and expeditiously as possible.

I gave no opinion as to what reception this proposal might receive from my Government but suggested that Entezam submit matter through his Minister in Washington to Department to which he agreed.

This initial telegram is for Department’s information. I shall follow it up with further comments after I have had an opportunity to discuss question with PGC.41

  1. Nasrollah Entezam.
  2. In despatch 203, February 13, 1945, the Ambassador expressed his opposition to the Iranian suggestion that the status of American military forces in Iran be regularized by an act of the Majlis, He pointed out that although this course of action would provide legality for the presence of the troops from the viewpoint of Iranian domestic law, it might fail to give the United States adequate protection against possible Iranian claims for damages, taxes, customs duties, etc. The Ambassador concluded that he and Brig. Gen. Donald P. Booth, Commanding General of the Persian Gulf Command, believed it advisable to negotiate a formal treaty or agreement to handle the matter. (811.24591/2–1345)

    No further action on the question of regularizing the status of American troops in Iran occurred until March 1945 when the Iranian Minister informed the Department of State that the Iranian Government no longer deemed an agreement necessary and considered the matter closed. No correspondence concerning this action by the Iranian Minister has been found in Department files. However, on September 29, 1945, the American Embassy in Iran issued a statement in reply to critical articles in certain Tehran newspapers about the presence of American troops in Iran and other matters. The statement noted the abrupt suspension by the Iranian Government of negotiations for an agreement governing the presence of American troops in Iran in December 1943 (see telegram 1103, December 10, 1943, from Tehran, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iv, p. 486), and stressed that the United States Government had repeatedly expressed willingness thereafter to reopen negotiations until the matter was closed by the action of the Iranian Minister in March 1945. The text of this statement was transmitted to the Department in telegram 789, October 2, 1945, 5 p.m. (891.24/10–245)