890.0145/5–2049: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iran 1


487. Embtels 691, May 21 [24]; 703, May 26.2 Scrutiny text Iran Gov bill re P.G. subsea resources has partially allayed Dept’s concern re possible ill effect ambiguous and incomplete proclamation. Generally draft law apparently attempts fol Truman Proclamation principles.

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We believe it desirable, however, for Emb, in addition to transmitting gen principles as requested Deptel 474, May 24, to draw Iran attn to several specific points. Draft bill refers to “Internatl regulations”. Emb might point out that several countries unilaterally have issued proclamations and that precedent has thereby been established which apparently is receiving gen acceptance. However, to our knowledge, no internatl body has approved such procedure thereby giving proclamations stature internatl regulation.

Para 5 Dept’s A–23, Mar. 2 indicates undesirability use of phrase “continental shelf” in connection Persian Gulf. If portion seabed “Oman Sea”, to which Iranians might lay claim and which wld extend to areas which might also be claimed by Sheikhdoms, is not deeper than 100 fathoms (generally accepted that land which is covered by no more than 100 fathoms water is considered continental shelf) same reasoning wld seem to apply. While Dept does not wish influence any littoral state in delimiting its claims, you might suggest that adherence to phrase “continental shelf” might be interpreted, if applied to continental depression P.G., as extending Iran claim only to deepest water of gulf (which lies closest Iran shore).

Dept questions clarity and desirability use word “rights” and phrases “proprietary rights” and “belong to”. Dept also recalls difficulties re high seas and fishing encountered by South Amer states which perverted US proclamation by employing phrase “sovereignty” in similar proclamations. You may inform Iranians that great deliberation preceded decision to utilize word “jurisdiction” and suggest Iran Gov may wish consider substituting “jurisdiction and control” in text bill.

Dept believes it desirable for Brit Amb Baghdad to approach Iraq Govt as suggested London’s 2058, May 263 May 24 Brit Emb Wash transmitted a letter to Dept4 stating that in view delay issue Saudi proclamation FonOff have instructed Polit Resident P.G. to inform P. G. Sheikhs they “will be free” to grant conditional concessions or give “lttrs of Intention as from the fourth June”. Lttr indicates Polit resident is to make clear to Sheikhs number of points including one that gen principles embodied in draft proclamation forwarded to Polit resident shld not be violated. In view foregoing, Dept requests amplification Para 4 London Emb cable.5

  1. Repeated to London and Baghdad and by air to Cairo and Jidda.
  2. Latter not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Letter No. 29/106/49 from Mr. Bromley to Mr. Sanger, not printed. A partial text of this letter was transmitted to Dhahran in telegram 164, June 1, 6 p. m., and notice given that ARAMCO, AMINCO, Pacific Western, and NE Development had been notified (890F.6363/6–149).
  5. Paragraph numbered 4 of London’s telegram 2058 stated that “Foreign Office which is still awaiting Saudi draft does not plan approach Sheikhdoms at this time.” (890.0145/5–2649)