501 BB/12–2745

Memorandum by Mr. Harry N. Howard of the Division of International Organization Affairs, and Mr. W. Clyde Dunn of the Division of Middle Eastern Affairs 2


Soviet-Iranian Relations

I. The Problem of Iran

If the Delegate of Iran should bring the problem of Soviet-Iranian relations before the General Assembly of the United Nations, under Articles 10 and 11,3 on the ground that the political independence and territorial integrity of Iran were impaired, in violation of the Charter, by Soviet-inspired developments in Azerbaijan province, what should be the attitude of the Delegate of the United States?

II. Proposed Position of the United States

If this problem arises, the United States Delegate should point out the seriousness of the allegations made by Iran and should state that the problem should be dealt with at once. The Delegate should also point out that the United States is particularly interested since it is a signatory to the Declaration regarding Iran of December 1, 19434 [Page 290] and that it has already endeavored to bring about a satisfactory solution of the problem by conferring with the other signatories to that Declaration. He should add that, since no solution satisfactory to Iran has been worked out, it is only fair to Iran that the matter be considered at the earliest possible moment by the General Assembly and the Security Council. Postponement of the consideration of allegations of this character by a member of the United Nations at the very time when the United Nations Organization is taking form would impair the confidence of member nations in the ability of the United Nations Organization to preserve a peace based upon principles embodied in the Charter of that Organization. Among the purposes and principles of the United Nations Organization it is particularly pertinent to note that all members of the United Nations “shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

The Delegate should explain that the issue which appears to be joined is whether Soviet troops stationed in Northern Iran have aided and abetted a change in the form of government in the area of Azerbaijan over the protest and against the will of the government which is recognized by the Soviet Government and other members of the United Nations as the Government of Iran. If Soviet troops have engaged in such activity, with the approval of the Soviet Government, it would seem clear that the Soviet Government had violated the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. It, therefore, may be the duty of the United Nations to determine the facts in the case. The United States Delegate should, in such instance, suggest a fact-finding commission to be appointed by the appropriate organ of the United Nations to ascertain the facts and to report its findings to the United Nations for appropriate action.

[Here follows Section III, “Essential Facts Concerning the Present Status of Soviet-Iranian Relations”.]

  1. The Office of European Affairs recommended that this memorandum be held for review in the light of possible developments at the meeting of Foreign Ministers, held at Moscow December 16–26, 1945, and that final conclusions should await return of the U.S. delegation. For a summary of discussions concerning Iran at Moscow, see telegram 4311, December 28, 1945, from Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, p. 517.
  2. Of the United Nations Charter, adopted at San Francisco on June 26, 1945, Department of State Treaty Series 993, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1031.
  3. Made at Tehran on December 1, 1943, by President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (Premier) of the Soviet Union; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iv, p. 413.