891.00/11–2645: Telegram

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

971. During informal conversation yesterday evening with Embassy officer, Under Secretary of FonOff Homayunjah, who seemed much disturbed and spoke with unaccustomed bitterness made following statements:

Russians have been encouraging arming and lending military support to small groups of dissatisfied people in Azerbaijan which has resulted in present troubles.
It is for this purpose that Soviets have insisted in keeping troops in Iran after end of war contrary to spirit of Tripartite Treaty.
It is unjust that Soviets should interfere in Iranian internal affairs and repay Iran in this way for sacrifices she made for Allied victory. Russians have no right to prevent move of Iranian troops to put down disorders.
Iran Govt takes courage from thought Iran has other Allies for whose moral and material support she hopes.
Iran Govt is determined to maintain friendly relations with Soviet Union and will do everything possible to this end so long as independence and integrity of Iran are not affected. (Prime Minister and Homayunjah were to see Soviet Chargé last night in effort to clarify situation.)
If Iran is in fact faced with Soviet hostility she can do nothing except throw her case before the world and let world decide issue. Although Iran Govt is ready at any moment to discuss any Russian grievances Iranian attempts so far to open negotiations have herewith no Russian response. It is even very difficult for FonOff to make contact with Soviet Embassy here.
No one in Iran Govt has slightest idea of provoking armed class [clash] with Russia and it would be absurd to think of Iranian forces as threat to Russian security.
Former Premier Bayat recently appointed Governor General Azerbaijan is ready to leave for his post as soon as weather permits [Page 439] flying but there is doubt as to reception he will meet from Russians at Tabriz.

Homayunjah seemed vague as to details of events in Azerbaijan during past few days and would not express definite opinion as to whether reported uprisings constitute real revolution or have some other objective. He emphasized, however, that regardless of character of disturbances Iran Govt should be left free to deal with them.

He said no reply had yet been received to note presented Soviet Embassy regarding recent disturbances and instances of Russian intervention. Mytel 659 [959] November 19 said note was delivered evening of November 17. (Not November 18 as I had been originally informed.)

Sent Dept as 971; repeated Moscow 279 London 85.