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Coll 28/65 ‘Persia. Perso-Soviet Commercial Relations.’ [‎116r] (232/482)

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The record is made up of 1 file (239 folios). It was created in 23 Mar 1933-30 May 1940. It was written in English, French and Russian. 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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September 28, 1935.
1955 J
Section 4.
[E 5740/146/341
Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen to Sir Samuel Hoare. — (Received September 23.)
(No. 391 E.)
Tehran, September 7, 1935.
. IN continuation of my despatch No. 369 E. of the 23rd August, I have the
honour to report that a Soviet-Iranian Treaty of Commerce was signed on the
27th August at Tehran.
2. In a statement in the Majlis on the 31st August, the Minister for Foreign
Affairs said that a new treaty of commerce, residence and navigation, as well as
several other conventions, have been signed. The agreement comprised the treaty
itself together with a protocol and four annexes, conventions concerning anti
locust measures and prevention of animal diseases, and a sanitary convention
with a veterinary section. The treaty, together with the subsidiary agreements,
was submitted to the Majlis. Simultaneously with the signature of the treaty,
certain arrangements and contracts had been signed and exchanged between the
Ministry of Finance and the Soviet commercial representation. The treaty was
for a period of three years and provided for the purchase of goods from the Soviet
Union valued at 180 million rials (about £2 million) during the first year against
the sale of Iranian produce of an equivalent value; for the two following years
there would be a progressive increase of 20 million rials per annum.
3. The Minister concluded his speech by stating that the agreements
guaranteed satisfactory economic relations with the Soviet Union for the next
three years whilst safeguarding the interests of both countries. Similar
expressions of satisfaction had been made by the Prime Minister and by the
Soviet Ambassador at a banquet following the signature of the agreements. The
Soviet Ambassador has since proceeded on leave of absence.
4. For a day or two the Iranian press faithfully echoed the remarks of the
Ministers concerning the happy issue of the negotiations, but on the 2 nd September
the Messager de Teheran published a telegraphic message, apparently emanating
from Moscow, which was not very happily worded. A copy of this message is
enclosed. The Iran of the 3rd September contained a long article expressing
surprise at this message and particularly at the statement that the new treaty was
a continuation of the new Soviet policy of extending its influence in Mongolia,
Turkey and Iran. The Iran denied that there was any question of credits from
the Soviet Union being extended or even requested, and also denied that the Soviet
Government were to erect factories in Iran. It admitted, however, that the agree
ments provided for the purchase of equipment for two wool-washing establish
ments, “ a few rice-cleaning plants and machinery for Government grain stores ;
the erection of these factories and granaries would be effected by the competent
Iranian departments or enterprises. The Soviet Embassy subsequently issued a
statement describing the Moscow telegram as a fabrication devoid of all authen
ticity. The incident is a curious one, as the Moscow telegram was issued by the
Iranian news agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. , Agence Pars, but it can now presumably be regarded as
5. In addition to the agreements mentioned in paragraph 1 above, there is
also a railway agreement, which is understood to have been initialled in 1932,
regulating railway communications between the two countries over the Tabriz-
Julfa line.
6 . Further authentic details of the new agreements are not yet available,
but the enclosed memorandum by the commercial secretary, based on a conversation
j between the Soviet Charge d’Affaires and the secretary of the American Legation,
throws some further light on the subject. The likelihood of some form of
agricultural and technical co-operation between the two countries was referred to
VX73. in paragraph 3 of my despatch No. 237_E. of the 1 st June last, and the Soviet
[515 z—4]

About this item


Correspondence, newspaper cuttings, treaties and other papers, reporting on commercial relations between Persia [Iran] and Russia. The papers cover: a deterioration in relations between Persia and Russia in 1932-33, culminating in the ban on Russian imports into Persia; the Persian Government’s Foreign Trade Monopoly Act of 1933 (ff 218-223); the Irano-Soviet Treaty of Establishment, Commerce and Navigation, agreed between the two nations in 1935; a copy of the treaty in French (ff 101-106); a further printed copy of the treaty in French and Russian (ff 42-85); the termination of the 1935 treaty in 1938; the agreement of a new Treaty of Commerce and Navigation in 1940, created in response to events in the Second World War (ff 3-7).

The file’s principal correspondents are: HM’s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Tehran, Reginald Hervey Hoare, Hughe Montgomery Knatchbull Hugesson, Horace James Seymour; the British Chargé d’Affaires at Tehran, Victor Alexander Louis Mallet; the Commercial Secretary at the British Legation in Tehran, Sydney Simmonds; HM’s Ambassador to Russia, the Viscount Chilston, Aretas Akers-Douglas; Noel Hughes Havelock Charles of the British Embassy in Moscow.

The file includes several items in French, being newspaper cuttings and texts from the Persian newspapers Le Messager de Teheran and Le Journal de Tehran.

Extent and format
1 file (239 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 240; 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. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English, French and Russian in Latin and Cyrillic script
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Coll 28/65 ‘Persia. Perso-Soviet Commercial Relations.’ [‎116r] (232/482), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3471, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 December 2019]

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