India on Iran at UN Security Council

Top Secret CIA Bulletin: October 11, 1951

The Mossadegh Project | June 6, 2023                   

CIA Documents on Iran, Mossadegh, 1953 Coup | 1951-1954

An excerpt from a CIA bulletin on current world events: two items on the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute at the United Nations.

CIA Documents | IRAN 1951-1978

11 October 1951

Office of Current Intelligence


5. Security Council may further postpone meeting on Anglo-Iranian dispute:

British UN delegate Jebb is seeking delay of the next UN Security Council meeting in order to ascertain whether Turkey, India and Yugoslavia would co-sponsor the draft resolution on the British-Iranian oil dispute recommended by the United States and Great Britain. [Gladwyn Jebb] After he was informed that Brazil, India and the US would prefer to postpone the meeting, Jebb agreed that if the necessary seven votes were obtained by 12 October he would inform London that he proposed to request a meeting for 15 October.

Comment: The draft resolution calls for early resumption of British-Iranian negotiations in accord with the principles of the International Court provisional measures, or alternatively for a mutually acceptable settlement consistent with the principles of the UN charter. Since India, Turkey and Yugoslavia apparently desire to see negotiations resumed, they may co-sponsor the resolution. Postponement of the Security Council meeting, however, may offer some hope for reaching a negotiated settlement.

6. India’s attitude toward the Anglo-Iranian dispute:

A high Indian official has informed the US Charge in New Delhi that India approved Britain’s step in taking the Iranian oil question to the UN Security Council. He also asserted that India had previously assured Britain of its support for any Security Council move calling upon Iran to cancel the order expelling British nationals from Abadan. India could not, however, support a proposal upholding the International Court of Justice interim decision in detail, since India considers the latter to have been superseded by certain agreements reached during the course of Harriman’s mediation efforts. [Averell Harriman]

Comment: The International Court ruled that no measure should be taken to hinder the operations of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, and that the management of that company should continue to direct operations under a five-man Board of Supervision including members chosen by both Britain and Iran.

India’s desire to insure regular delivery of its oil supplies, 95 per cent of which are imported, may outweigh its natural inclination to defend Iran’s assertion of national sovereignty.

India might therefore be persuaded to vote for a resolution calling for negotiations leading toward the resumption of oil operations under some type of temporary management.

[large excised area here]

• Declassified by the Central Intelligence Agency on April 2, 2019.

[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]


Related links:

Amb. Walter Gifford on Iran vs Britain at Security Council (1951)

Last Call for Britain? | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 13, 1951

Scare That Failed | Herald and Review (Decatur), Oct. 6, 1951

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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