891.114 Narcotics/8–1745: Telegram

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

621. Deptel 406, August 7, Embtel 613, August 12.18 Discussed opium matters for 2 hours August 13 with Foreign Minister and Minister Finance.19 I presented our views regarding limitation, control, [Page 1537] desirability of convening a poppy limitation conference in the near future, possibility of Iran joining with Turkey and Yugoslavia in a new opium agreement, et cetera minister Finance who is the Cabinet Minister officially concerned with opium production and sales was present at my personal request and his presence and helpful attitude greatly facilitated progress of discussions.

While unable due to governmental situation to promise anything at this time requiring Majlis20 action Mr. Bader agreed to take following steps:

To seize first suitable occasion possibly an early meeting of the Anti-Opium Society to make formal address placing Government squarely on record as favoring (a) early ratification of 1925 Geneva Convention21 (b) action curtailing opium production in Iran and (c) participation by Iran in proposed post-war poppy limitation conference. Mr. Bader stated that he would make his address so strong that succeeding governments would find it extremely difficult if not impossible to recede from position taken. (The Embassy is to furnish him with memorandum covering the points which it believes might well be brought out in his address.)
As Minister of Finance having jurisdiction over the opium monopoly to take such steps as may be possible without Majlis action to nut into effect as regards foreign sales system of import-export certificates set forth in Chapter V of the 1925 Convention.
To see that steps are taken immediately to tighten up Government controls at warehouses and ports with a view to curtailing as far as possible illicit trade in opium.
To reconsider as soon as the Government’s present commitments have been met action of his predecessor in doubling price paid by Government to opium growers.
To endeavor to have legislation passed restricting cultivation of poppies to those areas in which Government would be best able to control cultivation.
To propose that the Government again approach Turkey regarding possibility of Iran joining with Turkey and Yugoslavia in a three cornered revival of opium agreement previously in force as between latter two countries.22 (He promised to let us know when and if discussions were about to be initiated so that we could then take such supporting action as we considered desirable and possible.)
To endeavor to expedite action by Iran Government on proposals contained in memorandum received with the Department’s instruction No. 472 of August 19, 1944 and transmitted to ForOff with Embassy’s note of September 20.23 (I took occasion to point out to him favorable [Page 1538] response which we recently received from Turkish Government in this connection and left a copy of text of exchange of notes24 with him for his consideration.)
To take immediate steps to insure that Director of the opium monopoly will in the future furnish Embassy and Consulate information which they require periodically for preparation of reports on opium situation. (This official has never been very cooperative and this cooperation has recently been practically nil.)

On the whole I regard results of our talk as encouraging. We have received promises before, however, and it remains to be seen to what extent Mr. Bader will be able to make good on this. Embassy will press him from time to time for information regarding progress achieved and will keep Department informed of results.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Anushiravan Sepahbodi and Mahmoud Bader, respectively.
  3. The Iranian Parliament.
  4. Signed February 19, 1925, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxxxi, p. 317. For documentation regarding American participation in this narcotics conference at Geneva, see Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. i, pp. 89 ff. For withdrawal of the American delegation from the Conference, see letter from the Chairman of the delegation, ibid., p. 125.
  5. Signed at Belgrade, December 17, 1934, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. clxxviii, p. 471.
  6. See draft memorandum and footnote 28, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. ii, p. 1091.
  7. For texts of notes of September 22, 1944, and May 14, 1945, see Department of State Bulletin, July 8, 1945, pp. 63 and 65, respectively.