The Secretary of War ( Patterson ) to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary: Reference is made to the discussions in the cabinet yesterday morning on the removal of the approximately 5,500 United States Army troops now in Iran. This is in connection with a message which you intend to send to the Russians.58

We will direct that all remaining American Forces evacuate Iran by January 1st. This is in accordance with the policy of the State Department. This action may result in the loss of substantial quantities of U.S. property and of U.S. interests in fixed installations under [Page 453] the jurisdiction of the Foreign Liquidation Commissioner, although we understand that the Commissioner will make every effort to dispose of the property prior to January 1st and the Army will do what it can to remove property that is portable and not disposed of.

Abadan airport is desirable to an uninterrupted operation of our Army Air Transport Command route across North Africa to India. It is understood informally that it is agreeable to the State Department for the Air Transport Command to turn over the operations of the airport with necessary communications and weather facilities to TWA59 under a War Department contract. Confirmation of this understanding is requested.60 Should this proposition not prove feasible, it will be necessary to interrupt operations for an extended period until the necessary alternate rights and facilities could be provided. Such alternate rights would involve the securing from the British of full operating rights and use of housing and shop facilities at Habbaniyah together with rights and possible construction of housing and shop facilities at Bahrein and Sharjah.

Appropriate orders will be sent out directing that all of our troops will be evacuated by 1 January except for those on Attaché functions, General Ridley’s U.S. Military Mission with the Iranian Army and Colonel Schwarzkopf’s U.S. Military Mission with the Imperial Iranian Gendarmerie 61

Sincerely yours,

Robert P. Patterson
  1. See telegram 2386, November 23, 5 p.m., to Moscow, p. 448.
  2. Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc.
  3. In reply, on November 24, 1945, the Secretary of State wrote: “It is entirely agreeable to the State Department for the Army Air Transport Command to transfer the operations of the airport at Abadan with necessary communications and facilities to TWA.” (811.24591/11–2445) For further information on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. v, bracketed note on p. 496.
  4. This was done in telegram Warx 85023, November 24, 1945, to the Commanding General of the Africa-Middle East Theater at Cairo (811.24591/11–2445).