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Ext 5001/41 'PERSIA – INTERNAL (Miscellaneous despatches).' [‎7v] (14/248)

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The record is made up of 1 file (122 folios). It was created in 21 Jun 1942-15 Mar 1946. It was written in English. 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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Persian Government for a commercial concession. It would be difficult for the
Russians not to follow suit and if they replaced their military by a commercial
airline they could hardly maintain their cabotage lines in Persia.
24. On the 7th August the embassy reported that the American military
authorities in Tehran had provisionally fixed the middle of September as the date
by which all American troops except for the United States Army Liquidation
Commission should have left Tehran.
25. On the 9th August the Soviet Ambassador told His Majesty’s Ambas
sador that his embassy had at last notified the Potsdam decision to the Persian
Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Soviet forces would leave with the greatest
possible speed. In reporting this to the Foreign Office the embassy pointed out
that the Russians had the advantage over us and the Americans in that they had
no assets of any importance in Tehran.
26. On the 19th August the Foreign Office communicated to the embassy
their new proposals, revised in the light of the virtual end of the Japanese war.
for the withdrawal of British, American and Soviet troops, for discussion at the
Foreign Secretaries’ meeting in September. Two alternative courses seemed
possible :—
(1) To agree on the exact date in 1946 by which the withdrawal must be
completed, and to publish the date.
(2) To act as in (1) above and to press in addition that there should be an
intermediate time-limit by which British and Soviet troops would
have to withdraw to specified zones. These withdrawals could be
either on the lines of point 2 of our Potsdam proposals, or as a with
drawal to the British and Russian zones defined in August 1941
27. His Majesty’s Embassy replied on the 22nd August that course (1)
should be excluded as a first line of approach to the Russians, as it amounted to
saying publicly that the Allies regarded themselves as free to profit to the utmost
by the letter of the treaty long after any excuse remained for so doing. This
would play into the hands of the Russians and Tudeh mischief-makers. As to
course (2) the embassy suggested that His Majesty’s Government should propose
to the Russians the total withdrawal of both troops in less than six months. Now
that the war with Japan was over, the only delaying factors were physical diffi
culties of transport and the disposal of assets, and it should be possible to
surmount these in less than six months in view of the political issues at stake.
It would be invaluable if we could inform the Russians that we were ready to
withdraw completely by about the 12th December—the date on which the Persian
general elections were due to be held. If they rejected the proposal merely because
they saw no reason to hurry, the world would then know that the blame for the
delay did not lie with us. If, on the other hand, they decided to move out with
us, it would hamper their plans for interfering with the elections.
28. Meanwhile, on the 20th August, the Foreign Secretary of the new
Labour Government, Mr. Bevin, had announced in Parliament that His Majesty’s
Government did not desire, and did not believe that their Soviet Allies desired, to
take advantage of the treaty facilities in Persia for any purpose other than for
the prosecution of the war. Mr. Eden, in commenting on this speech for the
Opposition, agreed entirely, and added that His Majesty’s Government had only
one interest in Persia, to see her prosperous, united and strong; the last thing they
wanted was a recurrence of the zones of influence of many years ago.
29. On the 23rd August the embassy returned to the charge about the
position of British Airways. They pointed out that the work of the Royal Air
Force at Mehrabad aerodrome was so closely bound up with the British Airways
service to Tehran that the withdrawal of the Royal Air Force could not be planned
until the future of that service was known. Nor could the embassy discuss details
of the withdrawal with the Russians as they would raise the question of the
airfields immediately. If British Airways applied forthwith to the Persian
Government for a commercial concession, the embassy could negotiate with the
Persians accordingly and seek to arrange for Royal Air Force personnel to provide
essential services at Mehrabad (which would be handed back to Persian control)
until they could be replaced by British Airways officials pending the establish
ment of a suitable Persian organisation with the necessary foreign technical
assistance, which, it was hoped, w T ould be British. The alternative was to with
draw altogether, but this would throw the Persians into the hands of other air
lines —probably American. Meanwhile, army plans for withdrawal from Tehran
by the end of September were going ahead, and unless the main party of the
Royal Air Force could keep pace with them they would be in a very difficult

About this item


This file consists of miscellaneous dispatches relating to internal affairs in Persia [Iran] during the occupation of the country by British and Soviet troops. The file begins with references to an Anglo-Soviet-Persian Treaty of Alliance, signed in January 1942, which followed the Anglo-Soviet invasion of the country in August-September 1941.

Most of the dispatches are addressed by His Majesty's Minister (later Ambassador) at Tehran (Sir Reader William Bullard) to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Anthony Eden). The dispatches discuss political, financial and economic affairs in Persia, as well as issues regarding road and rail transport (for the transportation of foodstuffs), food supplies and press censorship,

Related matters of discussion include the following:

  • British concerns regarding the extent and effect of Axis propaganda in Persia and the Persian Government's response to it.
  • Relations between the Shah [Muhammad Reza Khan] and successive Persian prime ministers, and the power and influence of the Majlis deputies.
  • Anglo-Persian relations, and British concerns regarding Soviet policy in Persia.
  • The Persian press's response to the Allied occupation.
  • The Tehran conference in late November 1943, attended by Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Franklin D Roosevelt, who were also present at a dinner at the British Legation, held in celebration of Churchill's 69th birthday (also discussed is the naming of three streets in Tehran, after Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt respectively).
  • The tribal situation in Persia.
  • The raising of the status of the British Legation in Tehran to that of British Embassy in February 1943.
  • The United States' interests in Persia.
  • The status of Polish evacuees in Persia.
  • The work of the British Council in Persia.
  • The question of the withdrawal of Allied troops from Persia.

The file includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence (folio 1).

Extent and format
1 file (122 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 124; 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.

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English in Latin script
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Ext 5001/41 'PERSIA – INTERNAL (Miscellaneous despatches).' [‎7v] (14/248), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/564, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 December 2019]

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