891.20 Missions/3–348: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iran


210. Agreed views State and Army concerning Iranian request revise agreement covering US Mil Mission to Iranian Army (Deptel 198 Mar. 1) closely parallel those developed in discussion between Grow and Iranian Min of War (urtel 246, Mar. 31):

Wording in Preamble might be changed to meet Iranian request. While controlling US Statute stipulates “enlisted men”, that law might be interpreted here to permit substitution “non-commissioned officers” in strict conformity with wording Majlis Act Oct. 24, 1943.2
Limiting functions of Mission to advice concerning matters of administration is acceptable. While present extensive functions of Grow Mission would, we think, result in greater benefit Iranian Army, we would not insist upon their retention as necessary condition for continuance Mission. If Iranian Govt wishes Mission continue all its present functions, as stated by Min of War, we feel that those functions should be stipulated in Agreement; otherwise, exercise of functions beyond advice on administrative matters might lead to plausible charge, in spite of oral assurances Min of War, that Mission is exceeding its authority.
Elimination of provision giving precedence to US Mission members over Iranian officers of similar rank would not be acceptable. On basis of uniform experience US Mil Missions abroad, it is believed [Page 116] that precedence is necessary to make advice by Mission members effective. Further, it is felt that precedence, which is granted in all agreements covering US Mil Missions abroad, should be extended as matter of courtesy on part of receiving Govt.
Prohibition against engagement of other foreign military personnel without agreement Iran and US Govts is necessary because: (1) Only by such provision can responsibility for effective operation be accepted by US Mission; (2) Without such provision, conflict of authority between US and other foreign military personnel might cause serious administrative confusion.
All provisions Art 25 beyond immunity from import duties are now found to be peculiar to US-Iran Agreement in question. Those exemptions are, however, provided in practice in all countries where we have military missions. In view provision made for payment these charges under Iranian law and decree Apr 15, 1947, there is no objection to change of wording to bring principles expressed in Art 25 into line with present practice. It is felt that substitute wording should assure provision Iranian payment all charges mentioned Art 25.

After Grow and Min of War have discussed latter’s draft statement of desired changes, draft should be referred Wash with Grow’s comments before indicating any degree official US concurrence.

In view of urtel 226 Feb. 263 reporting statement Iranian Min War that agreement does not overreach basic Majlis Act, would appreciate views of Emb and Grow concerning possible policy considerations, as opposed to legal factors, which might have entered into Iranian request revise Agreement.

Sent Tehran 210 rpt London 791.4

  1. Not printed.
  2. Telegram 246, March 3, 5 p. m., from Tehran, noted that the Department had reversed “noncommissioned officers” and “enlisted men” in its telegram 193 (891.20 Mission/3–348).
  3. Not printed.
  4. Chargé Somerville reported, on March 11, that he had discussed telegram 210 with General Grow. The latter was said to be convinced that the Iranian Government would not press for revision of the agreement until September, when it was required to give notice as to its renewal beyond March 1949 (telegram 272 from Tehran, 891.20 Mission/3–1148).