891.00/11–2445: Telegram

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

989. Mytel 983, November 23. I consider Capt Gagarine’s visit to Qazvin established beyond any shadow of doubt (reurtel 642, November 22) fact that Iranian column has been halted by Soviet authorities. Even Soviet Chargé in conversation with me (mytel 982, November 23) did not assert that column had been allowed to proceed. Apart from this direct evidence plus circumstantial information previously received from Iranian Chief of Staff and FonOff I would refer Dept to numerous earlier instances Embassy has reported in which Iranian Army and gendarmerie units have been prevented from moving into or within Soviet zone. (See especially Embstel 188, March 17, and others on same incident.) Every week since my arrival here I have been receiving official Iranian reports of this kind … and I think past Russian record in this respect is such that we need have no hesitation in accepting evidence our own officers and other sources in present case.

I should point out further that I am still without reply from Soviet authorities to my urgently presented request for passes for American diplomatic officers to travel to Tabriz. Russian reluctance this regard is highly suspicious to say the least.