890.0145/9–148: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


3521. Dept has been informed by Ambassador Wiley Tehran of FO instruction dated Aug 26 to British Amb Tehran re petroleum resources Persian Gulf (Tehran’s 1030, Sept 1,1 not rptd London). Dept gratified that FO accepts our view that action this question should include approach to Iranian Govt. However, instruction also informed Le Rougetel2 that Political Resident Persian Gulf was to be prepared approach Bahrein, Kuwait, Muscat concerning proclamation by them or, alternatively, by Brit Govt in their behalf of “sovereignty over submarine territories” up to median line. Dept has rptdly made known to reps Brit Emb Washington its views concerning desirability proclamations covering jurisdiction and control rather than sovereignty, and assumes FO thoroughly acquainted these views.

However, new factor has been interjected this question with receipt aide-mémoire from Brit Emb Washington dated Aug 273 relative to Iranian claims to sovereignty over Bahrein. Dept has aide-mémoire under active study and formal reply will be forthcoming soonest. From preliminary study we agree with UK that Iran should be discouraged from bringing Bahrein issue to UN, and will be prepared offer further suggestions this regard. It seems to Dept however that UK insistence on sovereignty issue with respect submarine resources will inevitably produce very result with ref Iranian claims to Bahrein that UK and US hope to avoid. Dept therefore earnestly hopes that FO, in current consideration US views transmitted by Brit Emb Attaché Jones now in London, will give appropriate weight to new factor introduced by its note re Bahrein as urging abandonment of word “Sovereignty” and so avoiding heightened possibility unfavorable Iranian action. FO views desired soonest.

Tehran’s 1030, Sept 1 speaks of Sheikhdoms under Brit influence with particular reference to Bahrein, Kuwait and Muscat. FO should be reminded that USG is in direct treaty relations with Muscat.4

  1. Not printed.
  2. Sir John H. Le Rougetel, British Ambassador in Iran.
  3. Not printed; but for summary, see telegram 869, September 14, to Tehran, p. 44.
  4. This telegram was repeated to Tehran.