891.20 Missions/2–2648: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iran

secret   us urgent

193. Iran Min Noury called at Dept Feb. 27 on instruction his Govt to request (1) credit covering charges incident to delivery surplus military equipment (reported in telegram following1) and (2) revision of agreement covering US Military Mission to Iranian Army. Latter request, which came as complete surprise to State and Army, concerned following portions reference agreement:

Change words in preamble from “non-commissioned officers” to “enlisted men”.
Delete from Article 8 and other articles concerning duties of the Mission, reference to all functions except advice re administration.
Delete first sentence Article 10 which gives each member of Mission precedence over Iranian officers of same rank.
Delete Article 24 which precludes engagement of other foreign personnel.
Delete Article 25 which permits free passage of imports and exports by Mission personnel.

After informal exchange of views, Noury was informed substance urtel 226 Feb 26,2 to effect that Iranian Minister War had recently [Page 115] stated that no portion of new contract requires Majlis approval and that, therefore, each article of that contract appears to be fully authorized by Iranian law. On basis of that info, together with Henderson’s3 suggestion that discussion of revision of Agreement might best be initiated in Tehran where Agreement was concluded Oct last, Noury stated he would refer matter to Tehran for clarification and possible further discussion.

Prelim Dept conversations with Army reveal that all contract provisions referred to above, other than wording of preamble, represent standard operating procedure and are contained in similar agreements with other countries which have requested US military missions.

Please discuss matter fully with Grow and Schwarzkopf and report developments.

  1. Chargé Somerville, on March 6, stated in part: “Although Embassy has not yet received telegram on Iran … mentioned first sentence Deptel 193, March 1, … it is Embassy’s opinion that failure of US Government to find way to assist in helping Iran meet packing and shipping costs of arms to be purchased under credit agreement would be severe blow to American policy in Iran and that conversely prompt aid and exploitation of present opportunity along lines suggested by Ebtehaj would greatly increase likelihood firm alignment Iran with democratic bloc.” (telegram 252 from Tehran, 891.24/3–648). Abol Hassan Ebtehaj, Governor of the Bank Mellie Iran, the Central Bank of Iran, had conversed with Charge Somerville on March 5 and had made a plea for assistance along similar lines to that made by General Razmara (see footnote 2, above).
  2. Not printed.
  3. Loy W. Henderson, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs.