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Ext 5001/41 'PERSIA – INTERNAL (Miscellaneous despatches).' [‎16v] (32/248)

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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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difference of opinion between the two Governments on the subject. It was
suggested that it would assist Persia and, incidentally, His Majesty’s Govern
ment, if the United States Government would tell the Soviet Government that
they regarded it as desirable that the evacuation of Persia should start at an
early date. It was left to the discretion of His Majesty’s Ambassador whether
to inform the State Department that we were not prepared to withdraw any
troops except pari passu with the Russians, and that the extent of our with
drawal was limited by the obligation, until the end of the war with Japan, to
protect the oil-fields and the refinery. A few days later the iVmerican press
reported the Acting Secretary of State as saying, with regard to the Persian
Government’s note, that the United States Government naturally sympathised
with the Persian Government’s point of view, and that it was, he believed, well-
known that the number of American troops in Persia was already being rapidly
5. The attitude of the American Embassy in Tehran was disappointing.
This was seen at its worst in a harangue by the American Counsellor, who
argued that whatever we did Persia would be eaten up by Russia in a few years
anyhow, and whose conscience disapproved the British attempt to induce the
Persians, by the placing of a time-limit on Allied offers of assets for sale, to make
up their minds quickly—and thereby give no excuse to any foreign Ally to retain
troops to guard its assets. The heart of the counsellor bled like anything, but
as it was not quite clear whether the wound was caused by British brutality in
trying to hustle the East, or by fear that haste might produce fewer dollars
for American assets, it was difficult to find the right styptic. Even the new
ambassador, Mr. Wallace Murray, in spite of his avowed suspicion of Russian
motives, deprecated a too speedy withdrawal of British troops lest this should
interfere with the sale of assets.
6. In reply to the communication from His Majesty’s Embassy m
Washington the State Department said that they were drafting a reply to the
Persian note agreeing to the idea of withdrawing troops from Persia before the
final treaty date. The State Department agreed that it would be desirable foi
British and American troops not to be withdrawn except pari passu with the
Russian, but on the other hand said that the War Department would not wish
to delay the withdrawal of American troops for political reasons. I he Wai
Department would wish to leave, until the end of the war with Japan, 500 men
to service the air transport command, besides leaving guards on military installa
tions and properties until their final disposal, which might take many months.
The State Department were considering what, if anything, they would say to
the Russians. , , , ^
7 The nature of His Majesty’s Government s reply to the I ersian note
was communicated to the Soviet Government in Moscow on the 31st May. The
communication was to add that His Majesty’s Government now wished to propose
formally that Allied troops should start withdrawing from Persia pari passu
and in stages before the final treaty date, and that military talks should be held
to discuss the stages in which such withdrawals might take place. No reply had
been received by the end of the quarter—perhaps because arrangements for a
meetino- 0 f the Big Three had already been made. The Persian Ambassador m
Moscow could get" no information from the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs
beyond the fact that the question “ was bein^ considered carefully.” The Soviet
Ambassador was in his permanent state of having received no instructions, but
he assured the Ministry for Foreign Affairs that the presence of the Soviet troops
was only temporary and that the mere removal of material would take a long
time g a possible hindrance to our good intentions came to light with the
discovery that when the transfer of the railway to the Persian Government
relieved the British forces of the responsibility of guarding it, the railway
brigade would be moved from the railway and housed in the camp at Hamadan
no longer required by the Americans. The advantage of good ready-made quarters
in a good climate was fully realised by His Majesty’s Embassy, but it seemed
that ft would completely wreck our attempt to secure a substantial withdrawal
of Soviet troops if at this moment we placed a large body of troops much farther
forward than ever before, and quite close to Qazvm the point above all whicn
it is desirable to clear of Soviet forces. It was found however, that once free
of its duties on the railway, the railway brigade would not be needed in Persia
at all and the plan to use the Hamadan camp was abandoned. This was
fortunate, for the pro-Russian newspapers in Tehran were already announcing
the arrival of British troops as well as a great increase in the British forces

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).' [‎16v] (32/248), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/564, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 12 November 2019]

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