811.24591/7–2845: Telegram

No. 1335
The Ambassador in Iran (Murray) to the Acting Secretary of State
secret
us urgent

554. Telegram from War to PGC (Persian Gulf Command)1 received this morning states agreement on evacuation of American troops from Iran has been reached and instructs Booth to withdraw all personnel and supplies within 60 days if practicable. Only specific exceptions mentioned are essential ATC personnel and Schwarzkopf and Ridley missions.

PGC believes this schedule can be met under certain conditions one of which is that it not be required to ship out railway rolling stock still here.

While I can appreciate the overriding political considerations which may have dictated this decision, I must point out that it apparently contemplates abandonment of American fixed installations in Iran whose construction costs approximated 37 million dollars and may also involve transfer to Iranians without advance payment of moveable equipment such as trucks and railway rolling stock whose current value may be as high as 10 million dollars. Past history of negotiations with Iranians gives no hope negotiations for sale and payment these properties could be completed within time available.

[Page 1396]

If possible under agreement which has been reached, I would recommend caretaking detachments be left to look after American property even after all other PGC personnel has gone. Total required for this purpose throughout Iran estimated at 2700. If delivered to Iranian custody even though title retained by US, I fear both moveable and fixed assets would deteriorate so rapidly as to suffer heavy if not total loss. In any case I think Colonel Stetson and OANLC (Office of Army Navy Liquidating [Liquidation] Commissioner) staff should remain here so long as we retain title to property of any importance in Iran. Dept may wish to determine whether evacuation order was intended to include Stetson’s office.

Murray
  1. Not printed.