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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 04, 1983

INFORMATION BY THE SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN BUDAPEST ON THE SITUATION IN IRAN

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    This bulletin from the Soviet ambassador to Hungary describes Soviet relations with Iran, including tensions relating to Iranian communists and the double containment policy created by Soviet military aid to Iran, as well as Iraq, during the Iran-Iraq War.
    "Information by the Soviet Ambassador in Budapest on the situation in Iran ," July 04, 1983, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, M-KS-288 f. 11./4415.ő.e. Translated by Zsófia Zelnik. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122540
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HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST WORKERS' PARTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE TOP SECRET!

Inf/1076/983.

BULLETIN

for the members of the Political Committee

On  4  July  1983,  Comrade  János  Kádár  received  Soviet  Ambassador  Comrade Vladimir  Bazovsky at his request, who made the following oral statement on behalf of the Central Committee of the CPSU:

"Studying the situation in Iran, we consider it necessary to share with you some of our ideas concerning this matter.

It is well known to our Hungarian friends that in Iran harsh sanctions are instituted against the Tudeh Party. An intensive anti-Communist and anti-Soviet campaign has started to unfold, in which official personalities participate too. On the whole, the shift to the right of the Iranian regime is obvious. Some of  the right-wing religious and political circles, the influential pro-Western elements of the state apparatus and the army, the undisguised agents of the USA want to bring Iran back to the side of the West, to restore military, commercial and economic relations with it. They have set as their goal to undermine the  relations between Iran and the socialist countries, although they are going to do this selectively at first. One cannot but notice that all this mainly serves the interests of the USA, which endeavors to aggravate the situation in the region by all means, so that it may use it to its advantage.

Still, it seems to us that in Iran - including the influential Iranian leaders as well - there is readiness to maintain relatively normal relations with the socialist countries, including the Soviet Union. Objectively, this  course is strengthened by a number of factors which are related to Iran's present internal and international situation.

Our theoretical point of view concerning Iran is well-known and unchanged. The Soviet side has stated several times that they stand up for the development of normal, good neighborly  relations  with  Iran,   which  are  based  on  the  principles  of  equality,  non- interference in internal affairs and mutually advantageous cooperation.

Although in the past period the Iranian side has taken a series of hostile measures, we are pursuing a careful but, at the same time, determined policy, we endeavor to prevent the further deterioration of Soviet-Iranian relations.

Through our contacts maintained with the Iranians, we expound the idea that their unfriendly policy toward the Soviet Union causes harm to Iran, to the cause of the Iranian revolution in the first place.  It is doubtful whether a set-back in existing commercial and economic relations with the Soviet Union would  be in the interests of the Iranian people, especially if we consider the importance, from the point of  view of Iran, of the transit consignments passing through Soviet areas and the traditionally evolved economic relations between  our  country  and  the  Northern  Iranian  territories.  The Iranians  should  also comprehend  that  their  hostility  toward  the  Soviet  Union,  in  some  way,  influences  our practical relations with the parties participating in the Iranian-Iraqi war.

Of course, we cannot ignore the anti-Communist and anti-Soviet campaign stirred up in Iran, and we have to draw the appropriate conclusions. Among others, we consider it necessary to terminate special consignments [military materials] to Iran completely, including agreements signed earlier, let alone the signature of new ones.

It goes without saying, in case the Iranian side puts an end to their hostile activity toward the Soviet Union and they make steps to normalize relations, the Soviet side will be ready to develop cooperation in the various fields.

We think that Hungary, having good relations with Iran, could exercise some influence on the Iranian leadership, using its political connections and economic opportunities, in order to defend its own interests to some extent. It is possible that our Hungarian friends would consider it reasonable to use their Foreign Minister's planned trip to Tehran to this end.

We would be grateful if our friends informed us about their views concerning the issues outlined above.”

Budapest, 4 July 1983