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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January, 1951

REPORT TO I. V. STALIN ON POSSIBLE VISIT OF THE IRANIAN SHAH TO MOSCOW

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    Report on the possibility of a visit by the Iranian Shah to Moscow. Endorses the idea of entertaining the possibility, noting that rejecting his request to come to Moscow could push the ruling circles of Iran closer to the Western bloc.
    "Report to I. V. Stalin on Possible Visit of the Iranian Shah to Moscow," January, 1951, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 82, op. 2, d. 1219, l. 31-33. Obtained by Jamil Hasanli and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119161
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to Cde. I. V. STALIN

According to a report from Cde. Sadchikov, the Soviet Ambassador in Iran (telegram 13,14), in a conversation with Embassy Second Secretary Cde. Kuznetsov on 4 January of this year Nurzad, the chief of the Shah's office, pointing to an increase of Anglo-American propaganda in Iran against the Soviet Union and the desirability of our side taking steps to shut down [paralizovat'] this harmful propaganda and calm the Shah, said, "Why does the Soviet Union not invite the Shah to visit, especially since he needs a spa cure in a place like Kislovodsk or Zheleznovodsk". Nurzad added that the Shah would gladly accept an invitation from the Soviet government and visit the USSR.

Cde. Sadchikov thinks that Nurzad decided to meet with an official of the Soviet Embassy in Iran at the Shah's instruction and that this is confirmed not only by the substance of the conversation but also by the fact that Nurzad considered it necessary to tell Cde. Kuznetsov that the Shah knows of his meeting with him. Nurzad expressed a desire to meet next time with the Embassy counselor and Cde. Kuznetsov, obviously counting on receiving a reply concerning a visit to the USSR by the Shah.

It ought to be noted that this is not the first attempt by the Shah to test the grounds for his trip to the Soviet Union. In 1950 the Shah made such an attempt through the merchant Nostrayan, Deputy Rafi, and the press. In reply to this overture by the Shah Cde. Sadchikov was given instructions (telegram Nº 412 of 16 August 1950) to limit himself for the time being to letting the Shah know, "that the Soviet Union has been and still is in favor of an improvement of Soviet-Iranian relations and that the worsening of these relations did not depend on the Soviet Union" and "to point out that the Soviet Government and the Head of the Soviet State, Generalissimus Stalin personally, have always been and [still] are favorably inclined toward Iran. If the Shah strives to improve Soviet-Iranian relations, then this could only be welcomed".

Cde. Sadchikov thinks it advisable not to reject the Shah's attempt to investigate the possibility of his visit to the USSR (telegram Nº 26-30). The Shah might regard a rejection of a new attempt by the Shah to come to agreement with us about a visit to the USSR for a direct meeting and talks with the leaders of the Soviet Union as our reluctance to deal with him and as evidence that we harbor some special intentions with respect to Iran. This might drive the Shah away from us and cause him to accept American demands for Iran to join the Western bloc, to which some representatives of the ruling circles of Iran object at the present time, preferring that Iran keep to a position of neutrality.

Mossadegh would hardly regard a possible visit by the Shah to the USSR negatively; besides, Cde. Sadchikov does not exclude that the plan for the Shah's visit to Moscow was discussed with Mossadegh in advance. The Shah's arrival in the USSR would promote the improvement of Soviet-Iranian relations, could facilitate the resolution of the issue of the fate of the "Iranryba" company in a direction favorable to us, and would also make a favorable impression on other countries of the Near and Middle East.

In view of this Cde. Sadchikov considers it advisable to charge Embassy Counselor Cde. Inoyarov and Cde. Kuznetsov with meeting Nurzad and telling him, for now on their own behalf, that a visit by the Shah to the Soviet Union would in principle hardly meet with objection by Moscow but in the interests of the matter it would be desirable to know in advance what issues the Shah would like to discuss in Moscow and at the same time to ask Nurzad whether any circumstances prevent the Shah from paying a visit to Moscow.

The USSR MFA thinks it advisable to give Cde. Sadchikov instructions so that Cde. Kuznetsov meets with Nurzad and tells him that, inasmuch it is not clear from Nurzad's information whether the Shah actually desires to visit the USSR and if he does exactly when, he could not report about this to the Ambassador.

In the same telegram Cde. Sadchikov's attention ought to be directed to the fact that he attaches too much significance to Nurzad's report about the Shah's desire to visit the Soviet Union and does not take into account that the Iranians are evidently making such an overture in order to use it for their purposes in the event that we have a favorable attitude.

The draft instructions to Cde. Sadchikov have been corrected in accordance with the comments made a meeting in the 16 January VKP(b) CC meeting.

A draft decree is attached.

Please examine [it].

/A. Gromyko/

[date left blank] January 1952

Nº [left blank]

[Translator's note: in a separate document dated 11 January 1952 and numbered Nº 37-gi Gromyko addresses the same message to Molotov; the document was also distributed to Malenkov, Mikoyan, Bulganin, and Khrushchev. Another version of this telegram, Nº38-gi dated 12 January 1952, was addressed to Stalin and distributed to Molotov, Malenkov, Beria, Mikoyan, Kaganovich, Bulganin, and Khrushchev]

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