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'File 3/2 Interference with Kuwait Sailing Craft on High Seas by Persian warships.' [‎262r] (523/550)

The record is made up of 1 file (273 folios). It was created in 10 Apr 1933-23 Dec 1949. It was written in English, Arabic and Farsi. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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British Embassy,
10 th I'ay, 1949.
Dear Department,
There are two questions about Bahrain and Oulf Sheikh
doms generally on which we should be grateful for guidance.
Either through lack of continuity or because we have packed
up a number^of files, we have been unable to find adequate
precedents in our archives.
. first concerns the protection of subjects of gulf
Sheikhdoms vis-a-vis the Persian authorities while in Persia.
r e -,t 0lltlcal ^£ enc y ati Kuwait recently asked the Consulate
at rJiora-amshahr, at the request of the Sheikh of Kuwait to
assist some of His Highness’s subjects who owned land in
Khuzistan and who were being subjected to vexatious demands
a official. In the last few days a representative
oi the Kuwaitis in question has called at the Embassy and in
reply to his requests for help, we have put him in touch with
a suitable official at the I inistry of Justice, without
specifying the nature of his business or actually arranging
cn interview. ^s the Persian Covernment presumablv regard al'
subjects of the Culf Sheikhdoms - and a "ortiori those in
j ersia ^- as iersian nationals, to take any official action
on their behalf would, we think, be to court a rebuff and
might possibly do more harm than good to the aggrieved partis
The second question concerns the formalities to be
observed^ oy .rersian nationals entering the territory of the
ruli sheikhdoms. ^ A Persian official on anti-locust work
recently arrived in Dubai from Bandar Abbas to establish
contact with a Pakistani anti-locust party and asked whether
tne^political Officer. Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. had any objection to his
visiting on of the locust breeding areas. The Political
Officer saw no objection but requested the Persian official to
call at the Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. . On finding that his only travel document
was one valid lor travel ’’from one port in Iran to another”
he Iolitical Officer informed him that in view of his ’ ork*
he wo ild be allowed to remain but that he must report a-ain
before departure and that for any future visits he should
have valid documents. The Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. have asked
us to take the matter up with the appropriate Ministry.
Presumably no contravention of the immigration regulations
of t j.x6 Sheikhdoms should be allowed to pass unchallenged
particularly where acquiescence might imply derogation of the
rights of ms Majesty's Government and of the Hulers. It may
however, be necessary for the exact form of action to vary
according to the circumstances. Thus traveller of no import
ance might be deported; the master of the craft in which he
traveiled might be.imprisoned or fined; while, as in the case
of the .^ersian official referred to above, the offence mi.vht
go unpunished provided that the offender was made to realise
the nature of his offence. It seems to us an open question
whet/her ofiicial action should be taken in Tehran after each
offence. ^ In the present circumstances we see no reason why
this should not be done. It is, however, highly improbable
tuat such action would ever result in the Persians conforming
to oar requirements since to do so woaid very seriously weaken
their claims to the territories in question.
Eastern Department,
foreign Office,
London, SAY. 1.

About this item


This file relates to incidents of Kuwaiti sailing boats being intercepted (and in some cases seized and detained) by Persian warships and other vessels, on suspicions of smuggling. The file largely consists of correspondence between British officials regarding several specific incidents, including one case in which a Kuwaiti dhow was reportedly seized by a Persian warship (the Babr ) off Henjam [Henjān], and towed to Bandar Abbas [Bandar-e ʻAbbās]. Much of the correspondence surrounding this case and others is concerned with establishing whether or not the incidents occurred within Persian territorial waters.

The file discusses more generally the British perspective regarding the extent of Persia's territorial waters and the Persian Navy's right to stop and search foreign vessels in the Gulf. Also included are instructions from the Admiralty regarding the attitude that should be adopted by His Majesty's ships in the Gulf in response to incidents of interference by Persian vessels.

The principal correspondents are the following:

Some of the correspondence dating from after 1935 refers to 'Iranian' rather than 'Persian' vessels, presumably in response to the Iranian Government's request for the international community to refer to the state by its historical name.

Extent and format
1 file (273 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the front to the rear of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 275; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. Two additional foliation sequences are also present in parallel between ff 3-274, and ff 6-274; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English, Arabic and Farsi in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 3/2 Interference with Kuwait Sailing Craft on High Seas by Persian warships.' [‎262r] (523/550), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/172, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 16 October 2019]

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