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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 13, 1952

REPORT TO I. V. STALIN ON EXCHANGE OF LETTERS BETWEEN IRANIAN PRIME MINISTER MOSSADEGH AND US AMBASSADOR HENDERSON

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

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    Report distributed among top Soviet officials analyzing the exchange of letters between Mohammad Mossadegh and US Deputy Secretary of State Henderson. Notes that, although not explicitly mentioning it, the letters were likely about renewed US military aid to Iran.
    "Report to I. V. Stalin on Exchange of Letters between Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh and US Ambassador Henderson" May 13, 1952, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 82, op. 2, d. 1219, l. 100-102. Obtained by Jamil Hasanli and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119166
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Top Secret

Copy Nº [handwritten: 2]

to Cde. I. V. STALIN

An exchange of letters between Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh and US Ambassador Henderson about US aid to Iran occurred on 24 April. These letters, published in the Iranian press, were the result of talks between Henderson and the Shah, Mossadegh, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kazemi and, as is evident from the press reports, and also from statements of some official representatives of the US and Iran, had as their subject questions of military aid to Iran. For example, in an article in its 26 April issue devoted to the above exchange of letters, the well-known semi-official newspaper Ettelaat, which is close to palace circles, reported in this connection that the issue of American military advisers who '"were in an unclear position after the expiration of the Jam-Allen Agreement* will be settled in order that they remain in Iran on the basis of a new agreement acceptable to both sides and continue work to familiarize the Iranian Army with the weapons being provided".

* The Jam-Allen Agreement, an Iranian-American agreement of 6 October 1947 about an American military mission to instruct and organize the Iranian Army. A. V.

At a 27 April press conference Minister of Railways Busheri, speaking about the issue of American military advisers as a government commentator, declared that, "…until a government decision the military specialists will work in their locations as before".

In his statement on 17 March of this year press conference Deputy US Secretary of State McDermott reported that the American government had agreed to keep a military mission in Iran instructing the Iranian Army, but at a 25 April press conference McDermott declared that the exchange of letters between Mossadegh and Henderson gave "the United States the opportunity to continue to give Iran military aid on the basis of the terms of sections 5 and 11 of the military aid law", that is, the 26 July 1950 American law providing for $131,500,000 for military aid to Iran, Turkey, and Greece."

[Translator's note: McDermott was at this actually a Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Press Relations]

[Stamp]: Secretariat of V. M. Molotov

13 May 1952

Incoming Nº M-6372os

In addition, according to available information, the American military mission, which had temporarily halted its work in January of this year, resumed its work as a result of the exchange of letters between Mossadegh and Henderson, and the American-Iranian agreement of 23 May 1950 about American military aid to Iran again went into effect.

Thus, although the letters of Mossadegh and Henderson do not directly speak of American military aid to Iran, nevertheless from the reports indicated above and the statements of Minister of Railways Busheri and Deputy Secretary of State McDermott, it is clear that the exchange of letters between Mossadegh and Henderson was about giving Iran military aid which was connected with the continuation of the work of the American military advisers in Iran.

It should be noted that in connection with the conclusion of the agreement about American military advisers in Iran at the end of 1947 the Soviet Government in notes of 31 January, 25 March, and 18 March 1948 directed the Iranian Government's attention to the fact that the agreement about military advisers is incompatible with the provisions about good-neighborly relations proclaimed by the Soviet-Iranian Treaty of 26 February 1921.

In view of the above the USSR MFA considers it advisable to charge Cde. Vyshinsky with delivering a note of the Soviet Government to the Iranian Ambassador in Moscow, a draft of which is attached. The text of this note is to be published after it is handed to the Iranian Ambassador.

A draft VKP(b) CC decree is attached.

Please examine [it].

A. Vyshinsky

13 May 1952

Nº 354-VK

Authenticated: [Starodomov]

Copies were distributed to

Cdes.Molotov

Malenkov

Beria

Mikoyan

Kaganovich

Bulganin

Khrushchev

10 copies were sent mch. [Translator's note: abbreviation unknown]