761.91/1–3046: Telegram

The United States Representative at the United Nations ( Stettinius ) to the Secretary of State

us urgent

1166. For the President and the Secretary of State. At this afternoon’s meeting of the Security Council74 the Iranians expressed their willingness to undertake bilateral negotiations under the aegis of the Council, if the Council so recommended, retained the matter before it, and requested the parties to report progress.75 After 4 hours discussion we reached unanimous agreement on a resolution which took cognizance of the readiness of the parties to seek a solution by bilateral negotiations, requested the parties to report the results, and retained the right to the Council at any time to request information as to the progress of the negotiations.76 Vyshinsky agreed to a supplementary statement by Bevin that if the reports were unsatisfactory the Council [Page 326] could consider the matter at any time.77 Before the resolution was accepted I stated that I would agree with the understanding that this matter remains of continuing concern to the Council until a settlement is reached in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter.78

Bevin made a very blunt statement charging among other things that the Soviets’ admission that they had stopped the Iranian forces from moving into northern Iran indicated clearly a violation of the Tripartite Treaty of 1942.

I believe this is a satisfactory solution and one which will be not displeasing to the Iranians.

  1. For the official record of the proceedings of the Security Council on January 30, see SC, 1st yr., 1st ser., No. 1, pp. 45–71.
  2. Ambassador Taqizadeh concluded his remarks by stating:

    “In conclusion, I should like to say that, now that this dispute has come before the Council and has found a place on its agenda, it cannot be dismissed and must not be dismissed. In no circumstances must it go out of the hands of the Council; it must be pursued.

    “If, as the Soviet representative said at the conclusion of his statement, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is ready for direct negotiations for the settlement of this dispute, we will be prepared to take part in direct negotiations, if the Council recommends this procedure to be adopted. We have always tried in the past, and have always wished to enter into direct negotiations. But now this procedure should be adopted according to a recommendation of the Council, and in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Charter.

    “The Council should take this matter under its jurisdiction; negotiations should proceed under its aegis. Progress should be reported to the Council from time to time, and results should be reported to it within a reasonable lapse of time. In this way, we are ready to get into direct negotiations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, but under no circumstances are we prepared to let the matter go out of the hands of the Council.” (SC, 1st yr., 1st ser., No. 1, P. 48)

  3. The resolution as introduced by Mr. Bevin and adopted unanimously by the Security Council read as follows:

    “The Council,

    “Having heard the statements by the representatives of the Soviet Union and Iran in the course of its meetings of 28 and 30 January, and

    “Having taken cognizance of the documents presented by the Soviet and Iranian delegations and those referred to in the course of the oral debates;

    “Considering that both parties have affirmed their readiness to seek a solution of the matter at issue by negotiation; and that such negotiations will be resumed in the near future,

    “Requests the parties to inform the Council of any results achieved in such negotiations. The Council in the meanwhile retains the right at any time to request information on the progress of the negotiations.” (Ibid., p. 70)

  4. Mr. Bevin’s resolution, as originally drafted, included the following terminal sentence: “In the meantime, the matter remains on the agenda.” (SC, 1st yr., 1st ser., No. 1, p. 64). Mr. Vyshinsky commented: “… I am decidedly against this question remaining on the agenda of the Security Council. It must be removed in view of the express agreement for a friendly settlement of this question. I am convinced that we shall achieve results. Should we fail to achieve any results, then any member of the Security Council can come into the Security Council and say: ‘Give us an account of what you have done to carry out the obligations which you have assumed at the meeting of 30 January 1946.’” (Ibid., p. 66.) After further discussion, Mr. Bevin asked: “… If we put a full stop at the word ‘negotiations’, and take out the words ‘the matter remains on the agenda’, does he [Mr. Vyshinsky] agree—this is the question—does he agree that if the progress of the negotiations is not satisfactory, the matter can be discussed by the Security Council?” Mr. Vyshinsky’s reply was: “… But, if, unexpectedly, owing to other circumstances or to the interference of some hotheads, no results are achieved, then I can answer Mr. Bevin’s question thus: ‘Yes, in accordance with the terms of the Charter.’”(Ibid., p. 70.) Mr. Bevin then dropped the terminal sentence in his draft resolution.
  5. Mr. Stettinius made three statements of substance during the discussion on January 30. He noted first: “… I do not believe that keeping the matter on the continuing agenda of the Council while negotiations are in progress, until a solution is found, is in any way incompatible with the Charter or the dignity of the Council, or any of its members. Moreover, it does not seem to me that the Council can divest itself of its responsibility in the situation which has been brought to its attention.” (SC, 1st yr., 1st ser., No. 1, p. 58). Later, he reinforced his position with the statement: “… It must be understood that the item remains on our continuing agenda.” (Ibid., p. 63) Finally, just prior to the unanimous adoption of Mr. Bevin’s resolution, Mr. Stettinius noted: “Since I think I was the only one who insisted on the words ‘remaining on the agenda’, I wish to make my position clear at this time in relation to Mr. Bevin’s recent proposal. I am willing to accept Mr. Bevin’s proposal with the understanding that this matter remains a continuing concern of the Council until a settlement is reached in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter.” (Ibid., p. 71)