February 28, 1957
M. Tarasov, 'Report about the Visit of a USSR Supreme Soviet Delegation to Iran from 20 January to 1 February 1957'
[faded CPSU CC stamp:
11 March 1957
Subject to return to the
CPSU CC General Department]
to Cde. M. A. Suslov
Distribute to CPSU CC Presidium members and candidate members, CPSU CC Secretaries, members of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Cde. P. P. Lobanov, and Cde. V. T. Latsis
5 March 1957 [signature]
to Cde. Ponomarev
to M. Suslov
to the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium
I am sending a report about the visit of a USSR Supreme Soviet delegation to Iran.
28 February 1957
Authenticated by L. Yaropol'skaya
I have familiarized myself with the information
Sector Chief [[I. Kozlov]]
19 March 1957
[two illegible signatures]
22 March 1957
1 March 1957
about the visit of a USSR Supreme Soviet delegation to Iran from 20 January to 1 February 1957
A delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet visited Iran at the invitation of Tagi-Zade, Chairman of the Senate of Iran, and S. F. Hekmat, Chairman of the Majles. This was a return visit for the visit to the Soviet Union by an Iranian parliamentary delegation from December 1955 to January 1956.
The USSR Supreme Soviet delegation included: Cdes. I. K. Abdullayev, Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijan SSR Council of Ministers; Sh. M. Arushanyan, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR; N. F. Ignatov, Chairman of the Moscow Oblast' Executive Committee; M. I. Kuchava - Deputy Chairman of the Georgian SSR Council of Ministers; A. Muradov, Secretary of the Ashkhabad Oblast' CPSU Committee; M. P. Tarasov, Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (leader of the delegation); P. M. Tarasov, Assistant Professor of the Chelyabinsk Medical Institute; L. A. Teben'kov, steelworker of the Izhevsk Metallurgical Plant; F. Ye. Titov, Secretary of the Ivanovo Oblast' CPSU Committee; I. M. Filippov, Chairman of the Crimean Oblast' Executive Committee; A. M. Shkol'nikov, Secretary of the Voronezh Oblast' CPSU Committee.
The delegation arrived in Iran on 20 January and was there until 1 February 1957.
The delegation was met at Mehrabad Airfield in Tehran by: Tagi-Zade, Chairman of the Senate of Iran; Bushehri, Vice-Chairman of the Majles; Senators Sayed, Samii, Bayani, Jam, Ahi, Jahanbani, Mahdavi, Lesani, Sharif Imami, and Sabeti; Majles Deputies Mohammed Ali Masudi, Tajadot, Akbar, Panahi, and Safari; Minister of Culture Mehran; Chief of the Main Police Directorate Division General Moqaddam; Director of the MFA Political Department Majdi; Director of the Propaganda Directorate Moin'yan; and other officials. The delegation was also met by N. M. Pegov, the Soviet Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Iran, and Embassy officials. Numerous representatives of the public of Iran and representatives of the local and foreign press also gathered at the airfield.
Tagi-Zade, Chairman of the Senate of Iran and delegation leader M. P. Tarasov exchanged friendly welcoming speeches. Tagi-Zade said in particular that they were very pleased with the arrival of the Soviet parliamentary delegation in Iran and would do everything possible for it to be good for them in Iran. Firmly shaking the hands of delegation members the people who met the delegation wished it a pleasant and useful stay in Iran, and expressed the hope that this visit would serve the cause of strengthening the friendship between the peoples of the USSR and Iran. Delegation members were presented with bouquets of live flowers by schoolgirls from Tehran primary schools.
At noon delegation members visited the Marble Palace and signed the book of honored visitors of Shahinshah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Shahinya Soraya Pahlavi, and after lunch they visited the city of Ray and laid a wreath on the tomb of Reza Shah Pahlavi.
At 4 P. M. delegation members of the USSR Supreme Soviet met with Senate Chairman Tagi-Zade, and with Majles Chairman Hekmat at 5 P. M. At these meetings delegation leader M. P. Tarasov read and presented the text of a message from Chairman of the Soviet of the Union of the USSR Supreme Soviet P. P. Lobanov and Chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities of the USSR Supreme Soviet V. T. Latsis to the chairmen of the Senate and Majles.
The message expressed gratitude to the parliament of Iran, the Senate and the Majles, for the gracious invitation to the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet to visit Iran, and also the hope that this trip will be a new step along a path to achieving still greater mutual understanding and strengthening the foundations of the friendship between the Soviet Union and Iran. "In its activity to lessen international tension, maintain, and strengthen peace in the entire world, the USSR Supreme Soviet has proceeded and proceeds on the recognition that in the parliaments which adopt laws determining the fate of their own countries there lies great responsibility to preserve peace and international security. The USSR Supreme Soviet is always ready to favorably consider an initiative and proposals of the parliament of Iran in this noble cause", it said in the message. Senators and Majles deputies were present when the message was delivered.
In the evening delegation members were at a concert of Soviet artists in Philharmonic Hall. The concert was attended by many senators and Majles deputies, members of the government, and other prominent state and public figures of Iran, who liked the performance of the Soviet artists very much.
On the morning of 25 January the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation was present at an open meeting of the Iranian Senate.
When delegation members were seated in the meeting room Senate Chairman Tagi-Zade declared that, "According to a previously planned time members of the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation have come to visit a Senate meeting and our duty is to give them a welcome and wish them happiness and joy. The head of the delegation wishes to make a statement in the Senate and will be glad for this". Senator Jemal Imami unexpectedly asked for the floor and it was given him. This caused some embarrassment and bewilderment among many senators since no rules or procedures provided an opportunity for senators to speak about the presence and participation of foreign representatives in the Senate, and also the fact that during the Senate's existence there had not yet been one case where any foreign delegation had had an opportunity to speak from the Senate podium.
In addition, it ought to be borne in mind that several days before the arrival of the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation in Iran there were discussions in the press and in other circles unfriendly to the USSR that the delegation would be obstructed in the Senate and Majles.
Climbing to the podium Jemal Imami made a speech with the following content: "I would like for my part to bid our dear guests welcome. I spoke first about this because in the country of these gentlemen, that is, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I am depicted as a demon and considered an implacable enemy of the Soviet people, whereas not only I and the Iranian people do not harbor a hatred of the great Soviet people, but we also wish to win the friendship and good will of this great people. We hope that mutual understanding and friendship exist between our neighbor and our country, but expect from these gentlemen that just as we regard their patriotism with delight, they will not interpret our patriotism as servility to imperialists and capitalists and permit us to be such patriots as they are themselves. They should be assured that on that day when they, the rulers of the Soviet Union, display their own benevolence they will win the sincere friendship of the Iranian people and even the issue of the defense pacts will fade away of its own accord. This is all that I wanted to say. Although right now it is not a suitable season, we nevertheless will apply efforts for the gentlemen to have a good time and take back with them good memories about Iran". During the speech Jemal Imami shouts were repeatedly heard from the room - "right, bravo, right".
Then Senate Chairman Tagi-Zade gave the floor to delegation leader M. P. Tarasov. Turning to the senators, he passed warm greetings and the best wishes of the USSR Supreme Soviet to all of them and expressed gratitude personally on his own behalf and on behalf of delegation members for the cordial and hospitable sentiments shown the Soviet delegation in Iran. Touching on the settlement of the financial and border issues between the two countries he noted that there are broad opportunities for mutually advantageous economic cooperation and an expansion of trade between the USSR and Iran if, of course, a mutual desire is displayed for this. In conclusion M. P. Tarasov stated that the Iranian people are a peaceloving people. The same as other peoples, they yearn for peace, progress, and an increase of their standard of living. He concluded his speech with a wish for success in the development of their national economy and an increase of their welfare for the hard-working Iranian people, declaring that the Soviet Union wants to see Iran a strong, independent, and flourishing peaceloving country, our good neighbor.
In a speech in reply Senate Chairman Tagi-Zade said that personally and on behalf of the senators he expresses great satisfaction with the arrival of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet in Iran and he personally and on behalf of the senators he declares that if the Soviet Union takes one step along the path of the establishment of friendly relations between the two countries they are ready to take two steps.
In the afternoon accompanied by a group of senators and Majles deputies, senior MFA officials, the director of the national bank, and also Soviet Ambassador in Iran N. M. Pegov, the delegation inspected the valuables stored in the national bank of Iran. On shelves in the repository was the Soviet gold which was given Iran to cover debt. As the delegation was informed, these valuables are a reserve to ensure the stability of the Iranian currency. After the inspection of the valuables Naser, the director of the national bank, held a reception in the delegation's honor. The reception passed in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
In the evening a reception was given at the Derbent Hotel (Shimran) by the head of the city of Tehran in the delegation's honor. More than 800 people were present at the reception, including almost all the senators, Majles deputies, members of the government, the minister of the court, prominent public and political figures of the country, representatives of the Iranian press, and also Soviet Ambassador in Iran N. M. Pegov, and officials of the Embassy and of other Soviet organizations in Tehran. The reception lasted for three hours and also passed in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
At 1100 on the 22nd of January the delegation was present at a Majles meeting. At this meeting delegation leader M. P. Tarasov made a welcoming speech of approximately the same content as in the Senate. The deputies listened to his speech with great attention and it was repeatedly supported by applause, unusual for the Majles. Majles Chairman Sardar Faher Hekmat said in response: "Dear Head of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Mr. Tarasov and esteemed gentlemen, members of the delegation. In the name of the Majles I express appreciation and gratitude for the friendly statement of the head of the delegation of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The development of relations and mutual understanding, the result of the historic trip of His Majesty the Shahinshah to the neighboring and friendly country, has great significance. I am confident that during its stay in Iran the respected Soviet parliamentary delegation will be convinced of the fact that the Iranian people have always wanted to have sincere and friendly relations with neighboring countries, in particular with a big country, the Soviet Union. The Iranian people want peace and are supporters of the establishment of good relations, complete trust, and mutual understanding between all countries of the world, and want all problems and issues between peoples to be settled in a spirit of good will and negotiations. There is no doubt that the visit of the respected delegation to our country will have good results in strengthening the foundations of friendship. I hope that our guests are having a good time on this trip and will return to their country with good memories of our dear Motherland. There is no doubt that this trip of the respected delegation will be very useful and effective in strengthening the good relations between the two countries and between the two peoples". Hekmat's speech was repeatedly interrupted by deputies' shouts of "right".
Thus, neither in the Senate nor in the Majles was there any kind of obstruction but on the contrary, a good, businesslike, and friendly situation was created.
Some pro-American newspapers expressed their chagrin about such a reception of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet, pointing to the fact that US Vice President Nixon was refused his request to speak in the Senate.
The complete text of the speech of the leader of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet in the Senate and Majles was placed in almost all Tehran newspapers and magazines the next day.
After visiting the Majles the delegation inspected the Tehran state tobacco mill. Two thousand five hundred manual laborers and office workers work at the mill and produce 25 million cigarettes a day. It is one of the largest light industrial enterprises in Tehran and is supplied with German and American equipment. The cloakrooms, shower, dining hall, and medical aid station are well-built. The delegation was informed that this mill was built, equipped, and put into operation under Reza Shah in one year. The management, manual laborers, and office workers displayed special interest in the delegation's visit to the mill and gave it a cordial reception. In a conversation with delegation leader M. P. Tarasov one of the manual laborers of the mill declared that he views the arrival of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet as the establishment of friendship between the peoples of Iran and the Soviet Union for all time. Bidding farewell to the management, manual laborers, and office workers of the mill delegation members thanked them for the cordial reception and wished [them] health and successes in [their] work.
The delegation visited Tehran University on the afternoon of the same day. The rector of the University, Doctor Eqbal, is the minister of the Shah's court, greeted the delegation and suggested that some departments of the University be inspected. The delegation inspected the technical, legal, and medical departments. The students greeted the delegates with applause. After the inspection of the departments the University rector held a reception at which the professors and instructors of the University, prominent senators, Majles deputies, cultural and public figures, and representatives of the press, a total of about 500 people, were present. During the inspection of the departments the rector of the University gave no explanations and tried for the delegation not to have any opportunity to meet or, what is more, to talk with the students. The fact stands out that among the students of the University the number of women and students from other countries is extremely insignificant.
On the morning of 23 January the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation flew to the city of Isfahan accompanied by Senators Akbar and Hedayat; Majles deputies Doctor Ahi and Sagat-ol-Islami; Majdi, the Chief of the Iranian MFA 2nd Political Department; Abtin, the Chief of the Senate Chancellery, and also three officials of the Soviet Embassy in Iran. The delegation was met at the Isfahan airfield by official representatives of the city authorities. After tea at the office of provincial Governor-General Zolfagar the delegation was shown the historic mosques of the city, the Shah Abbas Palace, and the Jul'fa Armenian Church. The delegation also made a small excursion around Isfahan.
After this the governor-general held a big reception at the officer's club in the delegation's honor. During an exchange of speeches at the reception provincial Governor-General Zolfagar said, "I welcome the dear guests on arrival in the historic city of Isfahan with all my heart. The people of Isfahan are very glad that a group of prominent leaders of a neighboring country friendly to us has come to our land to view our historic city. Please Almighty God give our dear guests success and health. I hope that the friendly and sincere ties between our two peoples and countries will strengthen with each day. Taking advantage of the situation I wish health to Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Voroshilov and Bulganin". At the end of the reception the governor-general presented delegation members with items of Isfahan work as souvenirs. The delegation leader also presented a gift to the governor-general.
After the reception the delegation headed to the city of Shiraz by plane. At the airfield in Shiraz, decorated with Iranian and Soviet flags, the delegation was met by official representatives of the local authorities. A tea was held in the city council for the delegation at which provincial Governor-General Ram and other officials were present. The delegation was housed in the best hotel of the city, the Park-Saadi hotel.
On the morning of 24 January the delegation viewed the Namazi Hospital, and the tombs of the poets Hafez and Saadi, and then went to the city of Takht-e Jamshid, where it viewed the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis. After viewing the city a dinner was given in honor of the delegation in the Takht-e Jamshid Hotel.
When visiting the hospital in Shiraz the delegation was told that it was built at the expense of one important Iranian capitalist. The hospital is well-planned, without any extravagances, but with great conveniences for serving patients, skilled examination, and treatment. There are also good conditions here for academic work. There are also good conditions here for scientific work. The hospital's equipment is American. Attached to the hospital is a chemical, bacteriological, and biochemical laboratory. The hospital has a good decontamination center. The food units is well-equipped and the food preparation is mechanized. There are many Americans, Frenchmen, and Germans among the medical personnel. Majles Deputy Doctor Ahi and the chief doctor of the hospital, who accompanied the delegation, assured the delegation that treatment in this hospital was affordable for everyone, that the people who are not able to pay are treated for free. They were exaggerating this. It is necessary to pass an examination in order to get into the hospital, for which 600 tumans are collected. In addition, each day of treatment costs a patient 50-60 tumans. Naturally an ordinary person cannot dream of this hospital, for the salary of a worker is 250-300 tumans a month. At the delegation's request a record card of a paying patient was shown as an example. However, a record card was not found for a non-paying patient, although the delegation was shown one Iranian patient who said that they did not take payment from him for treatment; among the remaining patients were Britons and Americans.
At the request of delegation member P. M. Tarasov the surgical clinic of Professor Mir in Tehran built 20 years ago was also shown. Opposite a hospital this clinic is located in a stone building and it has a quite neglected appearance. The large number of visitors who, as was said, are patients headed for inpatient treatment catches the eye. There are clean and festering patients in one ward. The professor complained of antiquated equipment and the deterioration of the instruments, stating that there are often complications in the hospital during operations on ulcer patients in connection with the lack of modern equipment.
In Shiraz the delegation was shown a sugar mill and a textile mill, and then the delegation made a small excursion around the city and viewed the city bazaar. About 500 workers are at the sugar mill, doing mostly manual labor. They work in two shifts, and the salary is an average of five or six tumans a day. None of the workers are women. There is equipment of German and Czechoslovak origin. There is old equipment with very low productivity at the textile mill. It is dark and dirty at the mill. Of the total number of 500 workers about 50% are children and adolescents from 12 to 14 years in age. A worker's salary is three or four tumans a day. In the evening the delegation was at a reception held in the Shiraz city council.
The delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet returned to Tehran at noon on 25 January. At 1800 on the same day the delegation was received by Minister of the Court Doctor Eqbal. He warmly greeted the delegation members, and then talked with the delegation leader.
The delegation was accompanied by Soviet Ambassador in Iran N. M. Pegov, Senators Akbar and Samii, Majles Deputies Safari and Ahi, and Director of the Second Political Department of the MFA Majdi. In the evening a dinner was held in the Park Hotel restaurant in honor of the delegation.
On the morning of 26 January the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet was received by the Shahinshah of Iran.
The people from the Senate and Majles who accompanied the delegation said that the Shahinshah would spend no more than 10-15 minutes on this reception and it would be limited to official greetings. However, they were mistaken. An unforced conversation with the Shah lasted more than an hour. The delegation presented the Shah with a box with views of Moscow in memory of his visit. When accepting the box he quite warmly said that these places, which remained in his memory in connection with the stay in the Soviet Union, were familiar and dear to him. The Shah received the delegation in his residence in a mirrored room. He was dressed in civilian clothes. Meeting the delegation at the doors, the Shah greeted each of them, giving them his hand, courteously pointing to each where he needed to sit. When greeting the delegation he expressed satisfaction that the delegation had been in several cities of Iran. He then expressed great regret, "that we Iranians cannot receive a delegation of the great Soviet Union so luxuriously as our parliamentary delegation was received in the Soviet Union and as I and the Shahinya were received".
The leader of the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation expressed appreciation to the Shahinshah for the cordial reception and gratitude to the Majles and Senate, which had invited the delegation to visit Iran and had provided it with an opportunity to view the city and some enterprises of the country. Taking advantage of the occasion, the delegation leader also passed a greeting to the Shahinshah from Cdes. Voroshilov, Bulganin, Khrushchev, and Mikoyan. The Shah, in turn, asked that greetings be sent to Voroshilov and his wife, Bulganin, Khrushchev, and Mikoyan, then saying that he had spent interesting days in meetings with them in the Soviet Union.
Delegation members told where they had been and what they had seen during these days in Iran. The Shah asked what comments the delegation had about its stay in Iran and what it would have liked to improve the lives of the Iranian people. Delegation members replied that friendship between our neighboring countries was needed above all and that they of course ought to wish the Iranian people an improvement in the culture and standard of living. To this the Shah said that he thinks that the Iranians do not need to be carried away and satisfied with the fact that many remarkable monuments of antiquity have been built in Iran. Whereas earlier such monuments could be built, nevertheless right now the Iranian people have to build much to improve their culture and everyday life, to lift the country's economy. In this connection he expressed great satisfaction with the construction of hydroelectric power stations on the Atrek River and others, and that the construction of railroads continues, which reduces the distance between our countries. The Shah expressed the idea that the basis of improving the economy of Iran is the construction of electric power stations in regions bordering the Soviet Union in order to get more electrical energy and water, without which Iran cannot exist, and that it is also necessary to further expand the cultural ties between our countries.
He said that during his stay in the Soviet Union he was struck by the friendship of the peoples of the Soviet Union, their unity, especially the Russians. "I saw many remarkable choirs and song and dance ensembles and even ordinary people who gathered together and already a happy song and dance began". This made a very great impression on him. The Shah also directed attention to the fact that physical culture delegations ought to be exchanged, mentioning in the process that it had been reported to him that military organizations are planning an exchange of physical culture collectives between Iran and the Soviet Union. He also noted that the disputes about unsettled border issues had lasted a long time. This produced some irritation among some circles in Iran. Now everything is going well. The Shah concluded, "Of course, we can do much for one another", but noted at the same time that "you are a stronger and economically more developed country, and we are less developed in this respect, but we will always be good neighbors".
After the meeting with the Shah of Iran the delegation headed to [Keraj] and viewed the central state experimental livestock farm and the Razi central state biological [research] center there. The delegation was warmly greeted at the farm and then Naseri, the Minister of Agriculture, accompanied [the delegation]. In a welcoming speech he expressed great satisfaction that the delegation had arrived to view the agricultural institutions of Iran. Adl', the General Director of the Main Directorate for the Development of Animal Husbandry, reported some information about the experimental livestock farm and engineer Ahi, the farm director, showed its farm. The experimental livestock farm has 80 Swiss cattle, 800 merino sheep, 2500 chickens, and 1200 hectares of land. The farm has its 20 branches in the provinces. Doctor Rafii, the director of the biological center, showed the laboratory and the departments in which scientific research work is being done and serum and vaccines are being produced. During lunch delegation member A. M .Shkol'nikov expressed gratitude for the warm reception given by the Iranian people and officials. Speaking in reply, Doctor Rafii, the director of the biological center, said that the visit of a delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet is a great honor for them and thanked the delegation for the warm and friendly sentiments exhibited toward them and raised a toast to the health of the leaders of the Soviet Union, members of the Soviet parliamentary delegation, and to lasting and eternal friendship between the two peoples, of Iran and the USSR. In the evening members of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet were present at a concert in the Tehran Philharmonic Hall where artists of Tehran theaters performed.
In the morning of 27 January the delegation visited the historic and ethnographic museum and familiarized themselves with the representing the culture and daily life of the Iranian people in ancient and modern times. In the repair shop and museum of fine arts where the delegation also went, the remarkable accomplishment of carpet work called attention to itself.
At 4 P. M. the delegation was received by Prime Minister of Iran Hosein Ala at his residence. Greeting the delegation members, Ala said that he was pleased with the arrival in Iran of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet. Ala then said that an exchange of various delegations would promote an improvement of relations between the countries, in particular the trip of the Shahinshah to the Soviet Union was a remarkable contribution to the cause of the establishment of good-neighborly relations between the two countries. Ala continued, ["]Now, carrying out the Shah's wish, we have to continue the exchanges of cultural, athletic, and trade delegations and develop cooperation between our countries["]. Speaking with delegation leader M. P. Tarasov about a recent TASS statement, Ala said that he can only repeat what the Shahinshah once said, namely that Iran will not offer a base to foreign countries and will not participate in measures directed against the Soviet Union.
After the conversation with the Prime Minister of Iran the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation was received by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ardalan, who also expressed satisfaction that the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation had come to Iran on a friendly visit and that he had an opportunity to receive it. In addition, in the conversation with delegation members Ardalan said that the goal of the Iranian government is peace and that it is striving for the establishment of good relations with the Soviet Union. The Shah's trip to the Soviet Union, he then said, opened a new chapter in the relations of the two countries, Iran and the Soviet Union. Replying to a question about the work of the Ankara Conference in which he took part, Ardalan avoided a specific account, saying just that only opinions about peaceful issues were exchanged there.
In the evening delegation members attended the viewing of films in the Tehran movie theater. It needs to be noted that cinematography is poorly developed in Iran, but in Tehran there are many large movie theaters in which mainly foreign pictures are shown, predominantly American. Soviet films have great success in Iran and enjoy popularity.
On the morning of 28 January the delegation viewed the Golestan Palace and also a school and museum of fine arts.
After a lunch in the delegation's honor a reception was given in the Chamber of Commerce of Iran. In his speech at the reception Nikpur, the Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce, expressed hope for a reconsideration of the 1940 Trade Agreement which, in his opinion, is holding back the further development of trade relations between the two countries.
In the evening a big reception was held by N. M. Pegov, the Soviet Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Iran, on the occasion of the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation's visit in Iran. Almost all senators and Majles deputies headed by Chairmen Tagi-Zade and Hekmat, members of the government, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Ardalan, Minister of the Court Eqbal, leaders of the Iranian army, prominent public and cultural figures, representatives of business and commercial circles, journalists, foreign ambassadors, and envoys were present at the reception. The reception passed in a warm and lively atmosphere. In conversations with the leader of the delegation, delegation members, and the Soviet ambassador many government figures of Iran expressed the hope that the arrival of the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation in Iran will be an effective factor in strengthening the good-neighborly relations between the two countries.
On 29 January the delegation viewed the industrial exhibit of the Ministry of Industry of Iran and also a store which sells Soviet automobiles. It ought to be noted that our ZIM, Pobeda, and Moskvich enjoy a good reputation in Iran. They speak especially well of the Pobeda as of a suburban taxi. As a shortcoming, many Iranian merchants and drivers note that it is inferior to other makes in outer appearance, especially the paint. One could hear comments of such a sort that for some reason only black ZIM vehicles are sent to Iran, whereas vehicles with a bright color are more practical for climatic reasons. Iranian car dealers addressed a request to the delegation for an opportunity to grant them a credit when buying Pobeda cars inasmuch as they sell them in Iran with the payment spread out over 18 months.
Then the delegation familiarized itself with the activity of the Trade Bank of Iran, and viewed the editorial office and printing plant of the national newspaper, Ettelaat. Senator Abbas Masudi, the editor of the newspaper, gave explanations. He was very interested in the newspaper business in the Soviet Union.
At noon a luncheon was held in the delegation's honor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran. Prime Minister Ala and also other prominent government leaders of Iran and senior MFA officials were present at the luncheon. Our Ambassador in Iran N. M. Pegov and some Embassy officials were present at the luncheon from the Soviet side.
On the evening of the same day a big reception was held in honor of the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation at the officer's club of Tehran by the chairmen of the Senate and Majles. Tagi-Zade and M. P. Tarasov exchanged speeches at the reception. Then the head of the delegation presented valuable mementoes to Chairman of the Senate Tagi-Zade and Majles Chairman Hekmat (silver tea services with enamel). The reception passed in a warm and friendly atmosphere. After the reception Tagi-Zade, Hekmat, many senators, and deputies escorted the delegation to the hotel and were with them a long time.
The delegation was detained for two days in Tehran because of unfavorable weather.
On the morning of 30 January the delegation viewed the structures of the Tehran water pipeline, and on 1 February delegation members were invited to Majles Deputy Panahi's as guests. Several senators and deputies were present at a lunch he held.
On 1 February the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation left for Moscow. Senate Chairman Tagi-Zade, senators, and Majles deputies saw off the delegation at the airfield. Soviet Ambassador in Iran N. M. Pegov and Embassy officials also saw off [the delegation}.
x x x
During the 10 days the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation was in Iran every day all the Iranian newspapers and magazines placed large reports about this issue in big headlines and also photographs, on the first pages. The visit of the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation to Iran was mainly viewed favorably by the press, and the press expressed a hope that this visit would serve the cause of improving relations between the two countries.
For example, in an editorial devoted to the arrival of the Soviet delegation in Iran, the largest-circulation newspaper in Iran, Ettelaat, wrote on the 20th of January, "We hope that the representatives of the Soviet parliament who are right now our guests and the guests of our Majles and Senate, will return to their homeland also satisfied, and that the memories about this trip which they take away with them will be a valuable guarantee of the development of friendly and good-neighborly relations between the two countries, Soviet and Iranian".
"After the historic trip by the Shahinshah to the Soviet Union", wrote the magazine Omide Iran on the 20th of January, "and the exchange of various delegations between Iran and the Soviet Union, the trip of the parliamentary delegation to Iran is considered a new effective step along the road to an improvement of Iranian-Soviet relations".
The daily morning paper Farda in an article on the 25th of January entitled "Iranian-Soviet Relations" wrote, "The arrival of the Soviet parliamentary delegation in Iran, the warm reception given by prominent government leaders to our northern neighbor in the Majles and Senate, and the friendly speeches which the sides exchanged, in particular the serious statement of the head of the Soviet delegation, Tarasov, demonstrated the existence of friendly and unbreakable ties between our two peoples and, at the same time, created conditions for the strengthening and expansion of these relations in the future. There is no doubt that this trip will yield quite good results".
The presence of the delegation at sessions of the Majles and Senate, and the visits and conversations with the Shah, Ala, Ardalan, were covered especially widely in the Iranian press. The evening and many morning newspapers placed the complete text of M. P. Tarasov's speech in the Senate and Majles; in addition, this speech was broadcast on Tehran radio. The text of P. P. Lobanov's and V. T. Latsis' message to the chairmen of the Senate and Majles was also published in full.
However, a number of hostile articles and materials were also published during the stay of the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation in Iran. For example, the evening newspapers Poste Tehran and Kayhan, some magazines, and morning newspapers placed anti-Soviet articles on their pages in connection with the stay of the delegation.
In connection with M. P. Tarasov's statement at the airfield Poste Tehran placed an article entitled, "Our Guarantee". The author of the article assessed Tarasov's statement that the trip of the Soviet delegation to Iran "will serve the establishment of still closer relations between the Soviet Union and Iran" as an issue "without fundamental importance". The newspaper wrote, "This (statement - editor) is insufficient to support the views and aspirations of the people". The newspaper continued, "If we have concluded the Baghdad Pact, then [we] did this because we have an insufficiently general and vague words and promises". Recalling again the Azerbaijani events and, as usual, "the interference of Soviet officials in Iran" and also making some other accusations, the paper wrote, "The Soviet leaders should have already understood that their actions have not only not produced any results in the Middle East in the last several years, but have also created a more unfavorable situation. The problem is that the peoples of the Middle East are glad at the fall of colonialism and to the same degree display concern about any act which would open the way to Communism. The Eisenhower Doctrine, which will undoubtedly influence the Middle East, arose as a result of the incorrect judgments and mistakes of the Kremlin". The statements of this newspaper are not accidental. It is not the first to heap abuse on the Soviet Union and the countries of people's democracy (especially in connection with the events in Hungary).
The newspaper Kayhan, the magazine Teherane Mosavvar, and also the newspapers Tolyu, Atesh, Sahar, Farman, and others known in Iran for a hostile attitude toward the Soviet Union also published similar articles on the 22nd and 23rd of January.
In an article entitled, "Mr. Tarasov, tell the leaders of the Soviet government…", on the 22nd of January the newspaper Atesh in an exceptionally hostile tone full of such phrases like "The Soviet government both under the tsars and under the Communists has always been our worrisome neighbor, violent and aggressive", "The espionage of officials of the Soviet Embassy", "The Soviet Embassy in Iran officially interferes in the internal affairs of Iran and even has assumed the leadership of the Soviet fifth column and spy organizations", etc., wrote:
"We are very glad for Mr. Tarasov's statement that the Soviet government wishes to have friendly relations with Iran. However, Mr. Tarasov, in order for Bolshevik pupils in Iran not to be immediately disappointed in Soviet policy, he included in his speech with special adroitness the phrase, "The Government of the Soviet Union, based on the Leninist principles of foreign policy…" Let the Bolsheviks and old hirelings, servants, and spies know that the foreign policy of the Soviet government is based on the policy of Lenin. What is Leninist policy? It is a striving to advance Communist principles in the whole world by possible ways. Until the Soviet government adheres to this policy we cannot believe the news of Soviet well-wishing and have the right to doubt and express pessimism".
An editorial published in the newspaper Sahar on the 26th of January was especially full of malice toward the Soviet Union and attacks against the delegation. The author, Soleyman Anushirvani, begins the article with the following phrase: "Mr. Tarasov, what will you do with the rooster's tail (a rooster's tail means the trace left after some mistake, that is, when a person hides a rooster, but its tail remains visible, a sign of falseness of words). You have probably complimented the deputies for listening to the cursing of Moscow Radio". In the article it says, "The delegation of deputies of the so-called Soviet parliament, headed by Mr. Tarasov, have come to Iran. Every day at some meeting he talks in one form or another about the Soviet Union's interest in friendship with Iran, expatiates on economic and political cooperation…Every day he showers hyperbolic courtesies and empty and nonsensical promises about the good intentions of the Soviet Union with respect to Iran. When doing so he imagines that these words and promises which we hear addressed to us and others, the consequences of which we have seen, will actually deceive us and we will believe this lie".
Denying the possibility of expanding Iranian-Soviet relations and viewing M. P. Tarasov's statement about the Soviet Union's desire to have good and friendly relations with Iran as a deception and hypocrisy, the author of the article writes in conclusion: " Enough, Mr. Tarasov! The Iranian will not be deceived. We know that you want the friendship of Iran, but with an Iran which will be called Iranistan and will become one the unfortunate Soviet republics. You are an enemy of an independent and free Iran and you consider anyone who travels the road of preserving the independence of Iran an enemy and traitor. That's how you think and reason".
M. P. Tarasov, the leader of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet, personally expressed his bewilderment concerning this article in order not to inflame the situation or officially raise the issue through the Embassy to Minister of Foreign Affairs Ardalan, who said that he did not know about the article since he had not read it. After some time the delegation leader was informed that the editorial board of the newspaper had been arrested and the newspaper closed. On the 30th of January an official report was given in the newspapers Dad and Farman that at the order of the military governor a ban had been placed on the newspaper Sahar, which had published an article insulting M. P. Tarasov, the head of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet in Iran.
Great attention was paid to the stay of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet by foreign diplomatic representatives in Tehran. As some Iranian press organizations think, the diplomatic representatives of foreign countries accredited in Tehran closely followed the stay of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet in Iran. "According to report of the magazine Sepid va Siyakh the Americans devoted special attention to this issue". This magazine wrote on 27 January, "They are concerned by the reactions concerning the stay of the Soviet deputies in Iran["]. The Associated Press agency transmitted a special report about this issue which caused foreign organizations to worry. This agency, the magazine continued, reported: "Tarasov was given greater honors than Nixon since Tarasov spoke in both houses, whereas Nixon was not allowed this".
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It need to be noted that during the stay of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet in Iran it was constantly accompanied by senators and Majles deputies. A senator, Majles deputy, or senior official of the Senate or Majles was attached to each delegation member, who was everywhere with the delegation. In addition, the delegation was constantly "protected" by a large number of policemen, gendarmes, and secret agents.
The police were everywhere the delegation went, at enterprises, in institutions, in educational institutions; matters were so organized that no one from the outside could get there and such a situation was created which essentially deprived delegation members of an opportunity to deal with ordinary people. For example, in Shiraz ranks of soldiers and policemen were placed at a distance of half a kilometer from the airport along the road leading to the city, which prevented residents of the city from greeting and welcoming the delegation.
During the visit to the tobacco mill and the university in Tehran some delegation members gave workers and students "Peace to the World" badges and other things. These souvenirs were accepted with great joy and, if policemen were not nearby, dozens of hands were thrust forward with the hope of receiving these badges. But was it worth it for a policeman or gendarme to notice how badges were taken away from the workers and students[?]
The fact that our cameramen were not provided an opportunity to take pictures everywhere without hindrance was characteristic. In particular, it was prohibited to photograph such places as Iranian bazaars; when this was being done the police explained this by a fear that the material would not be used in Iran's interests.
The delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet did not manage to familiarize itself with the state of agriculture in Iran. This can be judged just from some statements by individuals in discussions with delegation members. In the city of Shiraz, for example, one of the agronomists present at a reception at the governor-general's complained of the difficult conditions in Iranian agriculture and ended his discussion bitterly with the words "Agriculture in Iran is below the level it was 400 years ago". And, really, the villages through which the delegation had to pass seemed poor.
The main commerce in the cities of Iran was concentrated in special commercial streets and in private hands. There are large covered bazaars which occupy some quarters. There are many restaurants and cafes. There are special American restaurants. There are very few large stores. Stores and markets are filled with all possible goods; however, the majority of them are imported from the US, Britain, France, and West Germany. In spite of the large quantity of goods, there are few buyers since the prices for the goods are high. A good man's suit costs 1000-1500 tumans, overshoes 150-200 tumans, an ordinary man's shirt, 20 tumans, and a kilogram of meat, five to eight tumans.
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The visit to Iran by the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet promoted the establishment of friendly contacts with influential circles of Iran, government and public figures, and representatives of commercial circles, and helped many of them to be convinced that the Soviet Union wishes to live in peace and friendship with Iran, and that it wishes to expand and strengthen economic, trade, and cultural ties with Iran not in word, but in deed.
During the stay of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet in Iran the voice of the Soviet man reached the worker and peasant of Iran. For example, one of the Iranian workers sent the delegation a letter with the following content: "Greetings, Russian comrades! I have heard from the people and have read in the newspapers that Russian comrades will be in Tehran. I want and I say: Iran and the USSR are two friends, the people of Iran and the people of the USSR are good comrades. They will forever be friends, and not enemies. We love the Russian comrades. Worker Abdulfazl Azmude".
The trip of the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet to Iran has unquestionably played its positive role and will undoubtedly promote the further strengthening of friendly ties and relations between Iran and the Soviet Union.
28 February 1957
This report focuses on the delegation of the USSR Supreme Soviet that visited Iran in for several days in 1957 and describes all aspects of the visit in great detail. The conclusion at the end of the trip was that it had been a positive experience and would go far in strengthening the friendship between the two countries.
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