891.00/1–1246: Telegram

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

secret

53. Embassy requested on December 18 Soviet pass for travel Tabriz and return of Associated Press correspondent Joseph Goodwin during period December 24 to 31. Soviet Embassy stated January 9 present inappropriate time for travel Goodwin. I am informing Soviet Chargé he and other Soviet spokesmen have reiterated calm prevails Azerbaijan, and am requesting travel pass be issued forthwith.

No travel pass received thus far for Jernegan or Ferguson.30 Embassy telegram 3, January 2.31

Dept may desire make most active representations to Soviet Government through Moscow Embassy and parallel representations in Washington through Soviet Ambassador, against Soviet attitude towards travel Americans in Azerbaijan.

[Page 302]

Goodwill being informed status of matter. Department may wish make statement to press that Department and Embassy officials (Minor,32 Jernegan and Ferguson) have been prevented from performing their duties in Iran in consequence obstructionist tactics Soviet officials.33

Murray
  1. John D. Jernegan and C. Vaughan Ferguson, Jr., were Second Secretary and Third Secretary of Embassy, respectively, in Iran.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, p. 522.
  3. Harold B. Minor, Chief of the Division of Middle Eastern Affairs; for documentation on Soviet refusal to permit him to travel in Azerbaijan, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, pp. 499 513, passim.
  4. Telegram 260, January 28, 1946, from Moscow, not printed, quoted a letter of January 22 from the Soviet Foreign Office which stated that the necessary instructions had been given to issue travel passes to Messrs. Minor, Jernegan, and Ferguson. The letter concluded: “There is sometimes delay in issuance of passes to zone of deployment of Soviet troops in Iran because Soviet Embassy in Iran must preliminarily confer on such questions with Soviet command.” (761.91/1–2846)