811.248/7–1344: Telegram

The Chargé in Iran (Ford) to the Secretary of State

498. Department’s 411 July 7. Iranian Government Administration of Public Domains informally states land on which our Abadan installations are built is public domain and that Anglo-Iranian Oil Company has recently filed application to occupy it under provisions of its concession. I hope to have further details in next few days. There appears no danger that early action will be taken on application which would require approval of Cabinet.

PGC1 has received instructions from War Department to block any attempt at purchase of land in question and has requested Legation to act accordingly through Iranian Government circles but I have so far confined myself to informal inquiries regarding facts.

If it develops that application might prejudice our interests I suggest that in interest of mutual American British understanding it would be better for Legation to approach British Embassy frankly and endeavor to reach adjustment rather than ask Iranian Government officially to refute [refuse] request.

  1. Persian Gulf Command, the service command of the United States Army charged with the mission of operating a supply route across Iran for the transit of lend-lease supplies to the Soviet Union, Maj. Gen. Donald H. Connolly commanding.