In Memory of Abbas Ali Khalatbary Foreign Minister of Iran
Visit to Morocco April 27 - May 1, 1978

A year later he was executed!
khalat-p.jpg (4339 bytes)
Abbas Ali Khalatbary


His Excellency Abbas Ali Khalatbary was for many years Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran. He came to Morocco on an official visit together with his wife upon the invitation H.E. Mr. M'Hamed Boucetta then his counterpart in Morocco. I was gratified to see the Foreign Minister for I always had a fondness for him and his family. Khalatbary had climbed the long and arduous ladder of the diplomatic career and that gave him an indisputable authority and a thorough knowledge of the mechanism of that ministry. That was a weighty task - for the importance of Iran on the world arena as well as international affairs grew daily and dramatically at the time. He signed the Arvand Rud Agreement with Iraq and that was quite an achievement (see below)

As all his collaborators can attest, Khalatbary was a workaholic, a true dynamo. He translated in an accomplished manner the very thought of Iran's Foreign Policy which was based on collaboration with all countries regardless of their political tendencies. In his many trips abroad, Abbas Ali Khalatbary enhanced Iran's image of prestige and influence worthy of its fabulous past and outstanding prominence during the last regime. One could felicitate oneself to have such an efficient person in a key position of Iran.

I will add here, that besides an obvious austere official side, the Foreign Minister knew how to be the perfect host who charmed people and friends alike with his vast erudition, refinement and an impeccable knowledge of French and English. His comportment with colleagues was always correct even with those who for one reason or another tried to upset him. I knew Khalatbary from the time of my teens when I was studying in France and he was a diplomat at the embassy. His hobbies included riding, tennis, classical music both Persian and Western, and reading. When visiting France, Khalatbary went to bookshops and bought as many volumes as he could carry, mostly books on history as well as the latest French novels. Librarians thought he was "Messmer" the French Prime Minister with whom he had a striking physical resemblance and asked for his autograph.

His visit to Morocco was the last time I saw Khalatbary. Rest in peace - little could I imagine at the time that he would be executed just a short year later. This became the fate of many - what a tragedy and what a devastating waste of good people and talent for our beloved Iran.
Farhad Sepahbody - Arizona 2001

khal-ger.jpg (16872 bytes) khal-pez.jpg (15517 bytes)
(1974-76) Above right with the German Delegation - I am at the left of Khalatbary - Left, with the Spanish Delegation,
Iraj Pezeshkzad, (glasses) author of  smash hit "Our Uncle Napoleon" is next to the FM. I was then head of the Economic Dpt. and
have a paper in my hand, what was it? Did a photographer take a picture of the text? Relax, it was just the program of their visit.

Khalatbary's Curriculum Vitae
Born: 1913
Marital Status: Married - 4 children
Education: Graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences - Paris 1936 -- Doctorate of Law - Paris 1938.
Career: Joined Government Service 1940 -- Joined diplomatic service 1942 - Raised to rank of Ambassador since 1961. Minister of Foreign Affairs since 1971.
Details of Career:
Service in the Ministry of Finance as of 1940
Staff member of Protocol Dpt. Ministry of Foreign Affairs as of 1942 - - 1944 Acting Chief of Third Political Dpt. (European Affairs) and Protocol Dpt. -- 1945 Second Secretary at the Embassy of Iran, Bern, Switzerland. 1947, First Secretary, Embassy of Iran, Warsaw. -- 1950, Acting Chief,  Dpt of International Organizations. 1951, Chief of that Department. -- 1957 Counselor at Embassy of Iran Paris. 1958, Chief of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
1959 Counselor of Embassy in Warsaw and later Bucharest. -- 1961 Ambassador to Poland and later Secretary General of CENTO, Ankara 1961. 1967, Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. -- 1969 Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs. - Minister of Foreign Affairs 1971. -- Leader of Iranian Delegation to the 26th, 27th and 28th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization. Head of the Iranian Delegation to the 3rd. Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Jeddah 1972. -- 1974 Head of the Iranian Delegation to the 2nd. Islamic Summit, Lahore and Jiddah. Head of the Iranian Delegation to the Iran-Iraq Treaty 1975.

Publications: "L'Iran et le Pacte Oriental."
Hobbies: Reading, Horse riding.
Iranian Decorations: Homayoun First Class, Taj Third Class. (Recipient of Numerous Foreign decorations).

khalat-cable.jpg (18545 bytes)
Above a mysterious telex from Prime Minister General Azhari. The situation in Iran was troublesome
and that worried Khalatbary who usually kept his cool. I will write about it and also the warnings
of King Hassan II on the worsening situation, beware of Carter he had said. ( from my personal files )


A Khalatbary Legacy:
One of the many bones of contention between Iran and Iraq was the Arvand Rud separating the countries. That was a sequel of British interference in the region since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire by which free passage to Iranian ships was denied. Some Iranian generals urged to use force and go all the way to Baghdad to settle the matter. However the Shah and Khalatbary favoured a diplomatic solution and the matter was solved peacefully and diplomatically. The Agreements regarding Arvand Rud (aka Shatt-ul Arab) is as follows:
"United Nations Bilateral Agreement: Registration 14907 IRAN and IRAQ Agreement Concerning the Use of Frontier Watercourses":

Signed at Baghdad on 16 December 1975.

The Imperial Government of Iran and the Government of the Republic of Iraq, Guided by the spirit of the Algiers Agreement of 6 March 1975, desiring to strengthen the ties of friendship and neighbourly relations between their respective countries, and with a view to ensuring the optimum contiguous and successive watercourses in the best interest ofboth states, have agreed as follows: Article 1: The provisions of thisagreement shall apply to the watercourses listed below: A) contiguous watercourses which follow the frontier line between the two countries; B) Successive Watercourses whioch intersect the frontier lines between the two countries. Article 2: The two contracting parties have agreed that:a) The waters of Bnava Suta, Qurahtu and Gangir Rivers shall be dividedinto two parts equally between the two countries. This division shall bemade at appropriate places, upon which the two patrties shall agree; b)The waters of Alvend, Kanjan, Cham, Tib and Duverij Rivers shall bedivided between the two countries on the basis of the reports of the 1914 Comission on the Delimitation of the Iranian - Ottoman frontier and inaccordance with the custom. c) The flow of contiguous and successive watercourses not listed in paragraph (a) and (b) above shall be divided between the two countries, in accordance with the provisions of this agreement.Article 3: The two Contracting Parties shall establish a permanent joint technical commission composed of an equal number of experts from both states to conduct technical studies and to supervise matters relating to contiguous and successive watercourses. The studies shall deal with such issues as the preparation of joint projects and the establishment of anyhydrometric installations and stations that the two parties may deemuseful or the improvement of the existing installations and stations.Article 4: The Commission referred to Article 3 of this Agreement shall study possible ways of improving the use of contiguous and successive watercourses, and to this end, it shall indicate, within one hydrological year, from the date of signature of this Agreement, what proportion of the flow of the watercourses referred to in Article 2, paragraph (b), of this Agreement shall be alotted to each contractingparty. It shall also indicate within two hydrological years from the dateof signature of this agreement, the most appropriate procedures for making optimum use of the flow of the watercourses referred to article 2,paragraph (c) above.Article 5: The two contracting Parties undertake to assure the normal flow of the water available in the contiguous and successive watercourses in accordance with the terms of divisions set forth in this agreement. Each Contracting party undertakes to refrain from using the contiguous and successive watercourses for purposes that are contrary to theprovisions of this agreement or detrimental to the interests of the other Contracting Party. Article 6: Any disputes which may arise concerning the interpretation or application of this agreement shall be settled by the two Contracting Parties in accordance with the procedures described in article 6 of the treaty concerning the state frontier and neighbourly nations between Iranand Iraq, signed on 13 June 1975 at Baghdad.Article 7: This agreement shall be ratified by each of the Contracting Parties, in accordance with its internal legislation and shall enter into force on the date of exchange of instruments of ratification. Done at Baghdad, on 16 December 1975. For the Imperial Governmet of Iran  For the Government of Republic of Iraq.
Abbas-Ali Khalatbary  (Iran)
Saadoun Hamadi

Much more soon including Khalatbary's last speech at the United Nations.

Back to Index