124.91/11–2445: Telegram

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

990. Although our first approach was made November 19, I have not yet even received reply to my request of Soviets here for passes for Embassy officers to travel to Tabriz. Evening of November 21 I called personally on Soviet Chargé and emphasized importance of matter. Having heard nothing from him last night, I delivered strong note expressing surprise at delay and saying I considered restrictions placed on movement American officials in Iran as unwarranted. Concluded by saying I expected issuance of passes immediately.

It is obvious Soviets are deliberately stalling, first pleading they must have authority from Qazvin and then intimating matter might have to be referred Moscow. I suggest Dept instruct Embassy Moscow take this up in strongest fashion and insist Soviet Embassy here be directed issue passes at once.

Persons involved are Embassy Counselor Ward, Air Attaché Garver, Second Secretary Jernegan, Assistant Military Attaché Gagarine and Sergeant Livingston (Garver’s mechanic). Either Ward or Jernegan is to acompany Garver and Livingston in Garver’s plane while Gagarine will proceed by car with Iranian driver. I regard both trips as essential because air trip although much faster may provide little or no information on developments at intermediate points while overland trip will shed light on events at Mianeh, et cetera, but may take 5 or 6 days to complete.

Sent Dept as 990; repeated Moscow 287.