501.BC/4–248: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iran


290. Dept considers that decision on desirability Iran request for UN Investigating Commission1 rests completely with Iran Govt [Page 131] (urtel 330 Mar. 312) and that we should not take position either of encouraging or discouraging new approach to UN.

In discussing matter with Iran officials you might take following line. Iran has defended its position well in recent note exchanges. Soviet note Mar. 24, as stated urtel 324 Mar. 29,3 apparently adds little to controversy. Although Iranian note Mar. 22 good presentation Iranian case, Soviets can ignore or reject it as dealing with views of “private” Soviet citizen which do not constitute official Soviet policy. It is assumed that Iranian officials are seriously weighing such considerations as (1) whether time is propitious for such request to UN; (2) almost certain Soviet veto in SC; (3) whether request for UN action should be reserved for later use in event more serious Soviet move.4

Dept. feels suggestions Deptel 131 Feb. 10 still applicable. Emb should continue to indicate support firm Iranian stand including suggestion that, even if Iran Govt does not see fit to request UN investigation, it might again consider filing notes with UN SYG for attention and info SC members.5

Sent Tehran 290, rpt London 1145, Moscow 363.

  1. Tehran advised, on April 2, that the Iranian Government had definitely decided to request such a commission to investigate the charges and countercharges in the recent exchanges of notes by the Soviet Union and Iran (telegram 338, 761.91/4–248).
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed; it gave the feeling of the Embassy that while the Soviet “note in itself adds little that is new regarding Soviet-Iranian controversy, it is effort continue ‘softening tip’ process whereby Soviets hope frighten Iran Government into abandoning present orientation with western powers. Soviet comparison of current American activities with those of Nazis in 1941 is obvious effort panic Iranians into believing USSR may take counter-measures similar to those of 1941.” (761.91/3–2949)
  4. At this point in the telegram as originally drafted appeared the following:

    “Iranians might consider possibility of inviting USSR to concert with Iran in joint request for UN investigation of charges and countercharges, transmitting copy of invitation to UN SYG and exploiting it for maximum publicity value. In event of probable Soviet refusal this approach, onus would rest on USSR and Iran would not have played trump card.”

    This portion of the draft telegram was deleted by Charles E. Bohlen, Counselor of the Department.

  5. The Department, on April 6, informed Tehran that Warren R. Austin, the United States Representative at the United Nations, had given the substance of telegram 290 to his Iranian opposite number, Nasrollah Entezam, on April 5. Ambassador Austin had commended the Iranian stand at the United Nations and had advised him that “US would support firm Iranian stand.” The Department concluded that “we feel no useful purpose would be served by Iranian Govt pursuing plan request UN appoint investigatory commission (urtel 338 Apr 2) but that filing with UN SYG recent notes for info SC would conform with normal UN procedures and afford desirable publicity Soviet coercive tactics. In official conversations with Iranian authorities, however, we should not advise Iran what action it should take with regard to UN.” (telegram 295, repeated to London, Moscow, and USUN, 501.BC/4–648)

    The Shah informed Ambassador Wiley on April 17 that copies of all notes recently exchanged by Iran and the Soviet Union had been sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations for information (telegram 410, April 19, 10 a. m., from Tehran, 761.91/4–1948).