890.0145/5–2449: Telegram

The Ambassador in Iran (Wiley) to the Secretary of State


691. Following is text of bill regarding Persian Gulf subsea resources approved by Council of Ministers and submitted Majlis May 19:

“The importance of natural resources lying at the bottom of the sea and under the seabed in the vicinity of Iranian territories necessitates action on the part of the Iranian Government to signalize its rights to the said resources. In addition to the law of 24th Tir 1313 (15 July 1934) concerning the coastal waters of Iran and in view of international regulations passed recently on the subject of natural resources, especially oil resources lying in the continental shelf of countries, it is considered necessary by the Iranian Government, on whose continental shelf important natural resources are available, to make new regulations and declare Iran’s proprietary rights with respect to these resources. In consequence, this bill is submitted for approval.

  • “1. The natural resources existing at the bottom of the sea or under the bottom of the sea up to the limits of the continental shelf of the Iranian coasts in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea belong to the Iranian Government.
  • “2. Should the continental shelf of Iran extend to the coasts of another country or be common with another adjacent country, the limits of the interested countries will be fixed equitably between the interested governments with respect to the natural resources of the continental shelf.
  • “3. This law does not alter the situation of non-coastal waters on the continental plateau and free shipping rights in said waters will remain in force.
  • “4. The provisions of the law of 24th Tir 1313 are not changed hereby and will remain in force”.1

Sent Department, repeated Jidda 7, Baghdad 61, Cairo 29, London 113, Dhahran 60.

  1. The Department, on May 23, notified Jidda that this legislation had been introduced into the Majlis, the Iranian Parliament (telegram 195, 890.0145/5–2349). Jidda, in reply on May 27, stated that it had given a copy of telegram 691 to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and had “lost no occasion to keep question alive.” (telegram 372, 890.0145/5–2749)