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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 11, 1950

FROM THE DIARY OF A. I. LAVRENT'YEV, 'RECEPTION OF IRANIAN AMBASSADOR IN MOSCOW NADER ARASTEH, 10 MAY 1950'

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Diary entry recording a conversation between A. Lavrent'yev and Iranian Ambassador to USSR Nader Arasteh on the topic of the funeral for Reza Shah. Arasteh expresses that Iran took insult at the fact that there was no Soviet representative at the ceremony and the Soviet embassy did not fly its flag at half mast. Lavrent'yev defends the Soviet position on the grounds that there is no international norm for these matters, and that Reza Shah cooperated with Nazi Germany.
    "From the Diary of A. I. Lavrent'yev, 'Reception of Iranian Ambassador in Moscow Nader Arasteh, 10 May 1950'," May 11, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 82, op. 2, d. 1220, ll. 93-95. Obtained by Jamil Hasanli and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119117
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Secret Copy Nº 2

11 May 1950

Nº 94/AL

FROM THE JOURNAL OF  

A. I. LAVRENT'YEV       

RECEPTION OF IRANIAN AMBASSADOR IN MOSCOW NADER ARASTEH

10 May 1950

[Stamp at the bottom

of the first page:

"Secretariat of V. M.

Molotov 11 May 1950

Incoming Nº M-4242s"]

Today I received Arasteh at his request.

Arasteh said that a funeral ceremony for Reza Shah was held in Iran some days ago. On 29 April an article was published on this subject in the newspaper Izvestiya. Moscow Radio, he was informed from Tehran, broadcast an article in Persian also containing sharp words against Reza Shah. He has received a report from Tehran that there was no Soviet representative at the funeral ceremony for Reza Shah and that the flag was not lowered at the Soviet Embassy building on the day of the funeral. At this point Arasteh asked that [I] accept an aide memoire which contained his statement.

The note pointed out that Arasteh had been charged with directing the attention of the USSR MFA to the fact that there are derogatory expressions about Reza Shah in the 29 April article published in Izvestiya and broadcast via Moscow Radio in Persian. This insults the Iranian government and Iranian public opinion. In addition, the note points out that there was no Soviet representative at the ceremony and on this day the flag was not lowered at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, although the Embassy was previous informed of the ceremony. All this is a violation of international customs and is incompatible with friendly relations between countries.

I replied to Arasteh that I could not accept the aide memoire and his statement. The Soviet public can freely express its opinion about any event and give its assessment of it, all the more so that it, like the whole world democratic community, knows very well the close cooperation between Reza Shah and fascist Germany during a war in the course of which it suffered severe losses. I added that the Soviet people would be insulted if I accepted the statement made by Arasteh.

In my reply I also pointed out that no international traditions and norms obligate a Soviet representative to be present at a funeral ceremony for the remains of Reza Shah and therefore this reference to international norms is unfounded.

After my reply Arasteh took his note back, declaring that he only wanted to describe more accurately with this note what he had said and to make the consideration of this issue easier, and that it cannot be considered a protest. Arasteh noted that he was acting on the instructions of the MFA and now does not know what to report to his Ministry.

I again pointed out to Arasteh that I cannot accept not only the aide memoire but also his oral statement, and that it is his affair what he should to report to his Ministry.

In the course of the conversation Arasteh declared that he cannot agree with the assessment that Reza Shah pursued a pro-Hitler policy during the war.

I replied to Arasteh that the fact of active cooperation between Reza Shah and fascist Germany is well known and proven, and that I did not intend to enter into a discussion with Arasteh about this issue.

Cde. Gerasimov was present at the conversation.

DEPUTY USSR MINISTER

OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS [signature]

A. Lavrent'yev

Distributed to Comrades: Stalin

Molotov

Malenkov

Beria

Mikoyan

Kaganovich

Bulganin

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