Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Henderson)

Dr. Daftary, who is still Iranian Chargé d’Affaires since the newly arrived Iranian Ambassador has not been able to present his credentials, called upon me this morning and with much emotion handed me the attached summary of a note43 which he said had been forwarded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iran to the Soviet Embassy in Tehran. It will be observed that this note contains what amounts to charges that the Soviet forces in occupation of northern Iran have been following a policy which has resulted in the encouraging of disorder and rebellion against the Central Iranian Government.

The Chargé d’Affaires said that his Ambassador is anxious to know what the American Government intends to do in this situation; the American Government affixed its signature to the Tehran Declaration, which assures the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran. If the United States Government remains quiescent while the Soviet Union carries out what seems to be a carefully laid plan to deprive Iran of its independence or to infringe upon its integrity, no small country in the world can in the future have any confidence in promises made by the Great Powers. There is no small country which has been given more assurances with regard to its independence by responsible Great Powers than Iran. If these promises are not lived up to, there can be little hope for world stability.

I told the Chargé d’Affaires that we had taken no action as yet since we were not yet in possession of the facts. He replied that in the opinion of his Ambassador the note which he was handing to me contained sufficient facts to justify action of some kind. Continued delay in taking action in order to establish more facts might result in the establishment of Soviet-supported rebels in all of northern Iran and perhaps even the occupation of Tehran before any move would be taken by the United States. Every day and every hour is important. The people of Iran could look with confidence only to the United States. They have some hope of support from Great Britain, but if the United States should fail them, they would be lost.

  1. Not printed; it summarized a note sent by the Iranian Foreign Office to the Embassy of the Soviet Union at Tehran on November 17, 1945. For contents of this note, see telegram 959, November 19, 10 a.m., from Tehran, p. 431.