The Head of the Delegation of the Soviet Union at the United Nations (Vyshinsky) to the President of the Security Council (Makin)48

The delegation of the Soviet Union, acting on behalf of the Soviet Government, considers it necessary, in connexion with the appeal of the Iranian delegation addressed to the Security Council, to make the following statement:

1. The allegation made by the Iranian delegation of interference by the Soviet Union, through its officials and through its armed forces, [Page 310] in the internal affairs of Iran is not in accordance with the facts and is devoid of any foundation. In this particular case, the Iranian delegation repeats the statement made by the Iranian Government to the Soviet Government in November 1945.49 This statement, however, was categorically refuted by the Soviet Embassy in Iran in its Note of 26 November.50 It should also be noted that in its reply of 1 December 1945,51 the Iranian Government not only failed to disprove the facts referred to in the Soviet Note of 26 November, but also expressed, as is stated in the above-mentioned Iranian Note, “its satisfaction that, as is confirmed by the Embassy’s reply, the interference of Soviet officials in the internal affairs of the northern districts of Iran is not in accordance with the facts”. Moreover, in the same note, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran “expresses its satisfaction at the fact that, as has been pointed out, the Soviet officials fully respect the Tri-Partite Agreement52 and the Declaration signed and published in Tehran by the leaders of the three great Powers,53 Allies of Iran.”

These facts are sufficiently convincing evidence of the inaccuracy and groundlessness of the statement of the Iranian delegation regarding the alleged interference on the part of the Soviet Union in the internal affairs of Iran.

2. Equally in contradiction to the facts is the statement of the Iranian delegation that the Iranian Government has made unsuccessful attempts to enter into negotiations with the Soviet Government on this question. This statement of the Iranian delegation is refuted by the above-mentioned facts, since the Iranian Government not only attempted to negotiate but entered into negotiations with the Soviet Government on this question, as is evident from the Iranian Note of 1 December, referred to above.

3. The Soviet delegation considers it necessary to point out that the Iranian Government is trying to use the presence of foreign troops in Iran in order to represent this fact as a violation of Iranian sovereignty and as a cause of the events which are taking place in Iranian [Page 311] Azerbaijan. As a matter of fact, the presence of Soviet troops on the territory of Iran is quite legitimate inasmuch as this right was granted to the Soviet Government by the Soviet-Iranian Treaty of 26 February 192154 and the Soviet-British-Iranian Treaty of 1942. The events in Iranian Azerbaijan have no connexion with the presence there of Soviet troops, as the indisputable and entirely objective facts bear witness. These events are of an exclusively Iranian and internal nature.

As is known, what is happening in northern Iran is connected with the aspirations of the population of northern Iran for national autonomy within the limits of the Iranian State, and with the achievement of the wishes of the local population, which is nothing unusual for a democratic State.

4. At the same time, the Soviet delegation cannot but draw attention to the fact that propaganda hostile to the Soviet Union has of late been growing stronger in Iran with the manifest toleration of the Iranian Government. This propaganda in no way differs from the fascist propaganda which was carried on against the Soviet Union at the time of Riza Shah.

The anti-democratic and pogrom activity, hostile to the Soviet Union, on the part of the reactionary forces in Iran which are supported by certain influential Iranian groups drawn from the ruling circles and the police authorities, creates for the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic and for Baku a danger of organized hostile actions, diversions and so forth.

The Soviet Government considers, however, that questions of this kind, which affect the relations between two neighbouring States, the USSR and Iran, can and should be settled by means of bilateral negotiations between the Soviet Government and the Iranian Government. The Soviet Government did not and does not refuse to accept this method of settling such questions arising between Allied Governments.

5. In view of these facts, and taking into consideration that in this I particular case the conditions envisaged by Articles 34 and 35 of the Charter of the United Nations are lacking, the Soviet delegation regards the appeal of the Iranian delegation to the Security Council as devoid of any foundation and is categorically opposed to the consideration of the above-mentioned appeal of the Iranian delegation by the Security Council.

A. Vyshinsky
[Page 312]

[The Iranian and Soviet letters of January 19 and 24 were brought formally to the notice of the Security Council at its meeting on January 25. Two major issues were discussed at this meeting: The question of the inclusion of the Iranian matter on the agenda of the Council and the question of Iran’s right as a member of the United Nations to be invited to the Council’s table.

The Iranian question was placed on the agenda with no objection. At this point, Mr. Vyshinsky stated:

“There is one point I would like to clarify: that is the inclusion of the Iranian question in the Security Council’s agenda. Does this mean consideration of the substance of the question or discussion as to whether it should come before the Council at all?

If this item is placed on the agenda so that we may discuss whether the question should be considered, then I have no objection to its inclusion on the agenda for the next meeting. … The Soviet delegation … has put forward reasons proving that the statement of the Iranian Government should not be considered by the Security Council.

It therefore seems to me that we should, in the first place, thoroughly discuss this matter, and, as the Chairman suggests, the Soviet delegation should in any case have the opportunity at the next meeting of putting forward its reasons why this question should not be considered by the Security Council.” (United Nations, SC, 1st yr., 1st ser., No. 1, p. 16.)

The President of the Council replied: “… I should like to say that the inclusion of the item in this agenda does give an opportunity for the Council to have a discusion, and that the USSR could, at the initial stage of that discussion, make such proposal as it might think proper. The inclusion would not deny to the USSR representative the opportunity of being able to move in whatever direction he might wish.” (ibid.)

In reply to a question by Mr. Bevin, the President of the Council stated further: “… It is for the Council itself to determine the procedure that it wishes to adopt in regard to this matter, that is, whether it wishes to proceed to a discussion or to take any other action it might wish.” (Ibid., p. 20)

Regarding the second issue, Mr. Stettinius stated: “… I wish to make very clear that the United States Government believes that any Member country of the United Nations which makes a complaint has a right to be heard at this table.” (Ibid., p. 18.) A motion by the Egyptian representative to this effect was adopted without a vote.

For the official record of the proceedings of the Security Council on January 25, see ibid., pp. 15–20.]

  1. Reprinted from SC, 1st yr., 1st ser., supp. No. 1, p. 17.
  2. For summary of note of November 17, 1945, from the Iranian Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the Soviet Embassy in Iran, see telegram 959, November 19, 1945, from Tehran, Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, p. 431. The text of the note is printed in SC, 1st yr., 1st ser., supp. No. 1, p. 50.
  3. For last paragraph of Soviet note, the key section in the Soviet reply, see telegram 1040, December 2, 1945, from Tehran, Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, p. 470. The full text is printed in SC 1st yr., 1st ser., supp. No. 1, p. 55.
  4. For text, see telegram 1054, December 3, 1945, Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, p. 473, or SC, 1st yr., 1st ser., supp. No. 1, p. 58.
  5. The Treaty of Alliance between the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and Iran, signed at Tehran on January 29, 1942; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, March 21, 1942, p. 249.
  6. The Declaration regarding Iran, December 1, 1943, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iv, p. 413.
  7. Treaty of Friendship between the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic and Persia, signed at Moscow; for text, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. ix, p. 384.