891.00/1–1246: Telegram

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


53. Urtel 53 Jan 12. Dept believes that issuance of press statement suggested by Rossow in his no. 6 Jan 1739 would be inadvisable at present time.

[Page 305]

The Secretary has informed Dept40 that he “feels it highly undesirable for obvious reasons for US Govt to issue” at this time a public statement setting forth the difficulties which members of the Embassy and American journalists are encountering in obtaining Soviet permission to travel in Northern Iran.

Sent to Tehran.

Repeated to Tabriz, London and Moscow.

  1. Telegram from Tabriz not printed; it advised the Department of indications that the issue of Azerbaijani independence would be brought to a head very soon in order to present the world with a fait accompli before the Iranian complaint could be considered by the United Nations. Mr. Rossow recommended that he be authorized to issue a press statement locally, timed to anticipate and prevent drastic action in this direction. (891.00/1–1746) Ambassador Murray supported the recommendation and outlined the text of a proposed statement (telegram 94, January 21, 2 p.m., from Tehran, 891.00/1–2146).
  2. Secretary Byrnes was in London participating in the sessions of the United Nations; reference here is to telegram 656, January 18, from London, not printed. In telegram 472, January 16, the Department had informed London that Ambassador Murray was anxious to issue a statement concerning the United States Government’s inability to obtain permits from Soviet authorities authorizing American officers to travel in northern Iran in performance of their official duties. The Department had also noted that Mr. Henderson, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, and Elbridge Durbrow, Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs, had approved release of the statement, the text of which was included in the telegram for the Secretary’s approval “as we don’t know whether it might upset his plans.” (501.BB/1–1646)