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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Iran,   pp. 718-766 PDF (18.1 MB)

Page 729

  It so happened that the post office was choked with mail which had
just come in from the passes at the time of the death of Davar, the
Minister of Finance. It is possible, therefore, that the Shah desired
to prevent the dissemination in this country of printed matter dealing
with this occurrence. It is also possible that when the Shah became
angry with the French owing to articles in the French press that
were considered offensive, he recollected that he had had similar
trouble with the American press and to some extent also with the
Egyptian press, the British press, the Swedish press, the Iraqui press
and, some years ago, with the German press, and decided that the
western press was hopeless and that the only thing to do was to cut it
off altogether.
      At the same time, if the corps as a whole should prove to
feel strongly about the question, it would be difficult for us not to go
along in view of the fact that our provocation is greater than that of
the other members: our mail matter has been held up for ten months,
theirs a month and a half only.
  The foregoing states the situation in its simplest terms: the prohibi-
tion against the delivery of second-class matter from the United
States has been extended to that coming from all countries, except
that some of it is delivered after being opened and censored.
  Respectfully yours,                         GORDON P. MERRIAM
     The Charge in Iran (Merriam) to the Secretary of State
No. 1023                                 TEHERAN, March 26, 1937.
                                               [Received May 13.]
  SIR: I have the honor to refer to the Legation's despatch No. 1003
of February 26, 1937, with respect to the delivery of second-class mail
matter in Iran.
  The general prohibition against delivery lasted for about two weeks
only. At the end of that time publications were again received from
all countries but the United States. The situation thus reverted to
the pre-French crisis status with the exception that while American
publications which had been mailed out from various European and
Near Eastern countries were delivered prior to the French trouble,
after it they were no longer delivered. Apparently the Imperial Police
had discovered this method of evading the restriction. As a conse-
quence, the Legation has not been receiving Departmental and other
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