July 22, 1949
From the Journal of A. A. Gromyko, 'Reception of the Ambassador of Iran in Moscow Nader Arasteh, 21 July 1949'
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
Secret Copy Nº 2
22 July 1949
from the journal
of A. A. GROMYKO
RECEPTION OF THE AMBASSADOR OF IRAN IN MOSCOW NADER ARASTEH
21 July 1949
Today I received Iranian Ambassador Nader Arasteh at his request.
Arasteh passed me a list of issues which were raised with the Soviet Embassy in Iran by the Iranians at various times, and requested that their resolution be expedited (the list is attached).
I replied to Arasteh that I have to look into these issues and make necessary inquiries. At the same time I pointed out to him that a number of issues raised by us with the Iranians still remain unanswered and unresolved. In reply to my comment Arasteh said that he had set himself the goal of settling all issues which have recently arisen in relations between the USSR and Iran, beginning with the simplest issues.
The conversation lasted 10 minutes.
DEPUTY USSR MINISTER
OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Delivered to Cde. A. A. Gromyko by Iranian
Ambassador Arasteh on 21 July 1949
Mr. Minister, as Your Excellency knows, several issues between the Governments of Iran and the USSR have remained unsettled for some time for the resolution of which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran has repeatedly turned to the Soviet Embassy in Tehran and the Iranian Embassy in Moscow to the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs verbally and in writing. Unfortunately, up to now the corresponding Soviet bodies have not taken effective steps and these issues remain unresolved.
Considering the good will of Your Excellency and the especial interest of both Governments in strengthening the good-neighborly relations which exist, I would be quite happy if with my arrival in Moscow the necessary instructions were given concerning the adoption of rapid and effective measures for the fastest possible resolution of these issues, which would undoubtedly make a strong impression.
Here is the list of the unresolved issues:
1) in accordance with the 29 January 1942 payments agreement concluded between our Governments the National Bank of Iran is owed by the USSR State Bank
11,196,070.30 grams of pure gold
Based on point 2 of article 8 of this agreement, which says:
"At the expiration of this agreement of the creditor Bank has the right to demand the debtor Bank deliver the specified gold to the location of the creditor Bank at the expense of the debtor Bank."
the National Bank of Iran has repeatedly demanded the USSR State Bank deliver the specified gold and American dollars and hand them over to the National Bank of Iran. This issue has been the subject of correspondence and talks with the Soviet Embassy in Tehran and the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. However, this issue has not received its favorable resolution.
2) The Directorate of Railroads of Iran is owed the sum of 41,502,422.50 rials by the Transportation Directorate of the Soviet forces. At a meeting held in the Directorate of Railroads of Iran financial representatives of the Soviet Military Transportation Directorate signed a list of debts; however, later, referring to not having received permission, they refrained from signing the final Protocol of Debt Settlement. Thus, the indicated sum has not yet been paid.
3) Protocol Nº 57 of 19 July 1931 stipulates an agreement according to which the positions of Managing Director of the Soviet-Iranian Fishery Company and managers of several departments of this company would be occupied by Soviet citizens for 10 years, but Iranian subjects would be appointed to these positions upon the expiration of this period. However, as an exception and in order to ease the work of the Company, the Government of Iran agreed from year to year to the occupation of these positions by Soviet citizens until October 1947. In spite of repeated requests after this date by Iranian authorities to the appropriate Soviet bodies about the appointment of Iranian subjects to these positions this issue has unfortunately remained unresolved to this time.
4) During the war the appropriate Soviet bodies, without the permission of Iranian authorities, established radio transmitting stations in the ports of Bandar-e Pahlavi and Bandar Shah. In spite of the long period since the end of the war these radio stations have still not been removed and continue to operate contrary to point 3 of the International Agreement [Ustav] on Radio Stations concluded in Cairo. The Embassy informed the Ministry about this issue in note Nº 237 of 5 April 1948.
5) During the war without the permission of the appropriate Iranian bodies Soviet military authorities constructed buildings in Bandar Shah which the Headquarters of this port now need. Therefore the Ministry of Railways of Iran requests that these buildings be transferred to representatives of the Ministry. The Embassy notified the Ministry of this issue in note Nº 1524 of 14 October 1948.
6) In a note of 31 Farvardin 1327 (20 April 1948) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran informed the Soviet Embassy in Tehran that the Main Customs Directorate of Iran was owed the sum of 302,250,610.75 rials in customs duties and fees from 3.6.1320 through 10.11.1325 (25 August 1941 through 30 January 1947). This debt has not yet been paid, which the Embassy of Iran in Moscow informed the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs in detail in a series of notes, NºNº 711, 1384, and 541 of 12 June and 28 September 1948 and 14 June 1949. However, this issue still remains unresolved.
7) Not long ago the tug Almas was returned to Iranian authorities, but its barge has not yet been handed over, which the Embassy informed the Ministry through note Nº 917 of 14 July 1949. The request is to give orders about the handover of this barge to Iranian authorities of the port of Bandar-e Pahlavi.
8) The issue of expediting the return of 34 rail cars belonging to the Iranian Railroad was reported by the Embassy in its notes NºNº 252 and 535 of 18 April and 13 June 1949 addressed to the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However this issue has not yet been resolved.
9) The issue of the income tax from the Soviet-Iranian Fishery Company was touched on in Embassy notes NºNº 363 and 560 of 30 April and 15 June 1949. However, no steps have been taken by the appropriate bodies to pay this debt.
10) The Embassy informed the Ministry about the issue of the return of the two locomotives transferred for repair in the railroad repair shops in Tbilisi in a series of notes, NºNº 2037 and 552 of 23 January and 29 May 1948; and 2402, 376, and 538 of 4 February, 5 May, and 14 June 1949. However, these locomotives have not yet been returned to the Directorate of Railroads of Iran.
11) The Embassy notified the Ministry about the issue of the demand of the Directorate of Silkfarming of Gilan Province for payment to it of 1,082,991.60 rials in notes NºNº 325 and 534 of 22 April and 13 June 1949. But at the present time this sum has not been paid.
12) Embassy note Nº 877 of 9 July 1949 contains a request for the transfer to Iran of the sum of 77,195 rubles and 84 kopecks of the current account of the Directorate of Railroads of Iran. The request is to give orders to expedite the transfer of the designated sum to Iran.
13) The Soviet Government owes the Iranian Government for the use of the railroad and shipping of Iranian Azerbaijan, about which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran informed the Soviet Embassy in Tehran in note Nº 5769 of 5 November 1947. This issue has remained unresolved for two years.
The orthography and punctuation have been preserved.
A list of outstanding issues between the governments of Iran and the Soviet Union, delivered by the Iranian ambassador in Moscow to A. A. Gromyko. The issues include debts owed to the National Bank of Iran, the USSR's failure to remove wartime infrastructure and return Iranian property, and control of the Iranian fishing industry.
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