891.00/11–2345: Telegram

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

983. Iranian FonOff has sent further note to Soviet Embassy as forecast mytel 978, November 22.

Prime Minister has asked Majlis to refrain from debating Azerbaijan situation so that Iran Government may pursue its negotiations in calm atmosphere. He stated conversations were proceeding satisfactorily and he hoped to arrive at a solution. (I have no reason to believe this assertion is correct. It was probably motivated by desire of Prime Minister to avoid further provocation of Soviets by inflammatory speeches.)

There are strong rumors Cabinet will resign and be replaced by new Cabinet including such elder statesmen as Qavam-es-Saltaneh, [Page 448] Sadegh Sadegh and Mostafa Adl.55 Reason for such move would be to introduce stronger personalities and men persona grata to Russians in order to cope with crisis.

FonOff has unconfirmed report that rebels at Mianeh captured and then executed 14 Govt Partisans. Otherwise no reports of new developments in Azerbaijan have reached me.

Assistant Military Attaché Captain Gagarine yesterday traveled to Qazvin via Karaj and found traffic including Iranian Army supply trucks was being permitted to pass along highway although all cars were halted and searched at Soviet check post in Karaj. Gagarine talked to Commander Iranian column halted outside Qazvin who confirmed Arfa’s statements that Russians had ordered force to turn back. Commander said he was awaiting orders from Tehran before making any move in either direction. Gagarine saw two Soviet armored cars and small infantry detachment apparently guarding eastern entrance to Qazvin against Iranian advance.

Colonel Baker visited Karaj yesterday morning and observed usual gendarme and police posts there together with Iranian Army detachment of 4 or 5 men engaged in guarding telegraph line. He was unable estimate number Soviet troops Karaj and saw nothing to indicate arrival any large reinforcements such as Iranians had previously reported but cannot state positively such reinforcements had not arrived.

Although these investigations were necessarily superficial and inconclusive they show that alarmist Iranian reports of Soviet actions in expelling Iranian post and establishing force of 5 or 6000 troops in Karaj are probably unfounded. This illustrates difficulty of ascertaining true facts any situation when only Iranian sources of information are available. It should be emphasized however that Gagarine confirmed halting of Iranian column which is central point in present controversy.

  1. Chairman of the Iranian delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and Minister Without Portfolio in the Hakimi and Sadr governments from May to October 1945.