800.24591/6–1945

No. 632
The Secretary of War ( Stimson ) to the Secretary of State

secret

Dear Mr. Secretary: I have your letter of 13 June 19451 (ME) with reference to the Iranian Government’s request for the withdrawal of American forces from Iran, and note that you will welcome the views of the War Department on this subject.

The supply and transport operations of the Persian Gulf Command have been successively reduced until the primary mission of the command was declared completed as of 1 June 1945. The withdrawal of troops not needed in the operations of the command has been under way continually since January as each successive cut in the scale of operations was made. The withdrawal of the remainder of the operating service troops will continue as rapidly as the exigencies of the military situation permit. The bulk of the troops still in Iran at present will fall in this category.

It will, however, be necessary for certain United States troops to remain in Iran for an indefinite period, probably not less than the duration of the Japanese War plus six months. These troops fall into two categories. The first category includes the caretaking troops at United States installations throughout Iran, and troops necessary for their maintenance, totaling about 3000, which will be withdrawn as soon as satisfactory arrangements for the liquidation of United [Page 957] States assets are made. The War Department has no desire to keep these troops in Iran any longer than is necessary for the protection of United States interests. The second category is composed of the service troops, numbering about 1500 for the support of the Air Transport Command air base at Abadan. These troops are required for staging combat aircraft to China, and for Air Transport Command traffic in support of United States Forces in the India-Burma and China theaters. They are directly contributing in the war against Japan and will be required until that war is successfully completed.

In any reply to the Iranian Government it should be pointed out that there are no United States combat troops in Iran, and that it is essential that the two categories of troops referred to in the foregoing paragraph remain until their missions are completed.

Sincerely yours,

Henry L Stimson
  1. Not printed.