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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 28, 1966

TRANSCRIPT OF THE OFFICIAL CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN ROMANIAN PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE CHIVU STOICA AND PRIME MINISTER ION GHEORGHE MAURER, AND SHAH MOHAMMAD REZA PAHLAVI

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    This document is a transcription of conversations between Romanian officials and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in which they discuss the conflict in Vietnam, and continued relations between Iran and Romania.
    "Transcript of the Official Conversations Between Romanian President of the Council of State Chivu Stoica and Prime Minister Ion Gheorghe Maurer, and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi," May 28, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANR, fond C.C. al P.C.R. – Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 76/1966, f. 1-13 (and 79/1966, f. 1-14). Translated by Larry L. Watts https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122575
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[…]

M. R. Pahlavi: Regarding the issues that at the current moment preoccupy the entire world, one of them is certainly Vietnam. In our opinion, it is necessary to establish an international organism with the necessary authority that can handle any threat to peace and, if some incidents or accidents occur, can take the required measures to defend the peace. But what is to be done at the moment on the problem of Vietnam? We have also seen, unfortunately, the inability of the United Nations. Mr. U Thant said: “I wash my hands of it,” because he truly could not do anything. Maybe all of the peace loving countries should study the problem attentively and find a practical solution…

[…]

Cde Chivu Stoica: Regarding international problems, you know that Romania is a socialist country. It has very developed ties of cooperation and collaboration with all of the socialist countries. This, especially, is due to the fact that the socialist countries have a common aim: the construction of new socialist societies.

Likewise, Romania maintains relations with other states as well, having different social regimes.  The relations of our country with all states are based on the principles of respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality of rights and non-interference in internal affairs of other states.

Thus also with Iran, Your Majesty’s country, Romania has good relations, on the basis of the same principles, and it militates for their development.

We agree with the idea enunciated by Your Majesty in connection with common actions for the resolution of the problems that currently preoccupy the entire world, among which, in the first place, is peace, the creation of a climate of détente. I wish to remind you in connection with this, that the Romanian government made proposals at the UN General Assembly in connection with regional agreements, which also enjoyed the support of the Iranian delegation.

I remind you, similarly, of our proposals for the creation of a denuclearized zone, as well as the proposals of our countries at the Conference for Commerce and Development in Geneva, with regard to the assistance for underdeveloped countries, about which Your Majesty also spoke.

We share, likewise, the opinion expressed by Your Majesty to examine together the issues over which we have common opinions and positions and to militate together for their resolution.

Your Majesty referred to the problem of Vietnam. This also preoccupies us in the highest degree, it worries us very much, because it could evolve and degenerate. It could produce unpleasant surprises not only for Asia but for the entire world.

Why did the Americans break the Geneva Accord? For what reason do they not respect it? Would they not win more politically, if the peoples of this zone were assured of their independence and sovereignty, if no one interfered in their internal affairs and they were given the possibility of deciding alone their destiny?

There are also other problems that concern the world and us especially: the problem of the existence of foreign troops on the territory of other states, the existence of military blocs, which constitute factors of tension and threat in their own way. The small peoples are not happy with the presence of these troops on their territory and with their grouping in blocs, because that constitutes the possibility of interfering in their internal affairs and of imposing upon them what they do not desire.

We think that if the relations between states, whether large or small, were based on equality of rights, on non-interference in internal affairs, on the respect of sovereignty and independence, if they would be, thus, relations of cooperation and understanding, of cooperation as such, the existence of these blocs, which appear so anachronistic, would no longer be necessary.

These blocs presuppose not only the regimentation of some peoples within them but also the imposition of many sacrifices and burdens that are hard to bear.

Given that, we consider that the time has come for these blocs, with all of the implications that follow, to be dissolved.

Thus, what Your Majesty has underscored also gains content in this way, that all of the peoples, conscientiously and with goodwill, participate in this advancement towards progress.

Of course, we are not free of blocs; we are part of the Warsaw Pact, which was created as a result of the existence of the North Atlantic Pact, but at the moment that NATO disappears, the Warsaw Pact will end as well.

We militate for the dissolution of these blocs and then the peoples of the world, free of any pressures and imposed sacrifices, can turn their attention also to the efforts for liquidating those great problems described by Your Majesty as “hunger.”

Cde. Ion Gheorghe Maurer: I believe there is a conclusion that stands out from this discussion, the conclusion that was clearly formulated by Your Imperial Majesty. We are decided in equal measure, both you and us, to do all that is within our power in order to develop the relations between our countries. This is a conclusion both just and happy, at the same time. From this results the necessity of having permanent embassies in our two countries. I believe Your Majesty is perfectly correct when he underscores the utility of the existence of such permanent missions.

For our part, we are ready to realize this as quickly as possible. Our diplomatic representatives are already ambassadors, but they must have a residence in the respective country, such that contacts between our governments and peoples become more fluid and could contribute to the development of relations between the two countries, given the existence of a common desire that animates the two countries to develop relations. There are many common issues in the political domain and, especially, that of approaching them in such a way such that peace becomes stable, so that it is established with greater vigor. From this perspective, there are many possibilities of political collaboration within the framework of some organisms that comprise more countries and even by each one at home. You have underscored the broad framework of our relations. This conclusion is a happy one and I believe that it is the duty of the Romanian side to underscore its entire satisfaction toward this manner of viewing relations within an extremely varied framework. It is not just a matter of official visits, which undoubtedly have an indisputable importance, there are, however, many possibilities for one to go to the other, to build closer ties in our relations, to discuss, to clarify and even to arrive at some decisive points of view in important actions.

We wanted to express these ideas to Your Imperial Majesty and to the eminent personalities who have accompanied you, underscoring the profound character of the analysis of the most important current issues that could be resolved.

We have the possibility of discussing these issues in all of their aspects and other that will arise and, in this way, we will have done something good for our countries, for our peoples and for the entire world.

M. R. Pahlavi: I also desire the same thing. Mr. President of the Council of State spoke about uselessness of military blocs; this is very true, however, before general disarmament there must exist an international authority that should safeguard peace. Europe is your domain. It is said that NATO was formed after the Berlin blockade, it is said that the Warsaw Pact was formed after the constitution of NATO, but I know what happened in my country and I say this to you now especially, when our relations with the neighbors to the north are excellent.

After the war, however, in spite of a treaty, the Russian troops did not withdraw from our country and they thus made it so that one of our provinces should declare its autonomy and, in fact, that it should separate from our country.

In the First World War Russia was a Tsarist and in that moment my country was very weak; each country, England, Russia, Germany, and Turkey did what it wanted. Each one came.

In the Second World War Russia was socialist. It, together with England, an imperialist country, and America, a capitalist country, all agreed to put the fist in our back and they came to our country and they again did everything they wanted. They exploited a poor small country in time of war, they cut down our forests; they took our provisions… It is better not to speak of these things.

The danger is that great powers permit themselves to ignore the rights of smaller powers. They say with a superior and condescending air that they are right in everything that they recommend to us. I consider the existence of other even smaller countries does not in the least mean that the people who live in them are inferior. The right of people is indivisible. Here is a domain in which the countries that are not as large can show and impose the decision that the respect for the rights of peoples is something that cannot be contravened in any way.

In 1956 I made a visit to the Soviet Union. Absolutely everyone there told me: “We regret what happened, but it was because of Stalin.” The reality is that it is not good to arrive to such a situation in which you blame someone else, in the same way enabling the other side to say that it was the fault of Johnson.

Cde. Chivu Stoica: The issue of independence, sovereignty and non-intervention is an issue that must interest everyone, the respect for the right of each people to freely dispose of its destiny. Your Imperial Majesty is perfectly correct.

M. R. Pahlavi: As I had the pleasure to discuss yesterday evening with the President of the Council of Ministers, the smaller countries, if they had greater solidarity, could help the great powers to avoid the erroneous step they are taking.

Cde. Ion Gheorghe Maurer: These are extremely important issues that must be addressed and discussed profoundly. We will undertake a campaign of visiting numerous countries. In several weeks we will visit Turkey and Denmark, there will also be other visits. On the other hand, I am certain that Your Majesty will not limit himself to Romania and there is the possibility to broach these issues in a calm and constructive manner.

I think there are multiple possibilities of action for the small countries, may possibilities that do not refer to material force but to moral force, I could say intellectual force. I could say, a certain disposition to better understand international relations, a certain sense of compromise, a more profound consideration for the interests of others and somewhat more respect for the interests of others. I could say, everything that the great powers currently lack in their relations with others. From this point of view I have great faith in the possibilities that are now open to the small countries, the countries that cannot aspire to world domination nor even to the domination of a part of the world. They must aspire only to the domination of their territory, that is, to be masters in their own home.

Cde Chivu Stoica: It necessary, after Your Majesty returns from the provinces, we will continue this exchange of opinions.

The Romanian side proposes that a communiqué be issued in connection with the meeting and the exchange of opinions.

M. R. Pahlavi: Certainly; our foreign minister will be tasked with studying together with the representatives that you will have the goodness to designate for editing this draft.

Cde. Chivu Stoica: On our side our foreign minister will collaborate with your minister.

For today we conclude our discussions and we warmly thank Your Imperial Majesty for the attention accorded to the discussions and issues raised.

M. R. Pahlavi: I thank you, Mr. President of the Council of State, for according us the possibility of expressing our opinion and engaging in this exchange of points of view and, especially, of seeing that animated by common sentiments of peace and fraternity between peoples, our thoughts are very close, one to the other, and I express the hope that, all of us can in the future do something constructive in the domain of peace and understanding between peoples.

Cde. Chivu Stoica: We are in complete agreement.

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