Diplomatic discourtesy

I was assigned to Norway as Minister-Counselor, most of the time acting as the
Chargé d�Affaires of our embassy in Oslo in the late 1960's. We had highly amiable diplomatic relations with Norway. Trade was flourishing, and there were no special ups and downs in our tires.

In the latter part of my stay, the effects of adverse mass media propaganda against our country was becoming apparent. One day, the embassy received a request from the Iranian armed forces' Parchin Laboratory, established by the French in Iran, to purchase five kilos of smokeless gunpowder.

We sent the request through proper diplomatic channels to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, asking for their help in issuing the embassy with proper permission to purchase the gunpowder from their Tonsberg weapons factory.

A few months passed and I was summoned to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry to meet with the Economic Joint-Secretary. I met the gentleman in his office. After exchanging the usual diplomatic courtesies, he said he was sorry to inform that the Norwegian Government would not comply with our request to purchase the smokeless gunpowder due to the fact that Iran was a belligerent country!

I was shocked to listen to his insulting words, not only about this special case, but also because of his wholesale accusations against Iran. I rudely interrupted him, stood up, and without hiding my repugnance, I told him: “Your Excellency, will you be kind enough to point out just one example of our belligerency in the last 150 years? Moreover, do Norwegian authorities believe the Iranian armed forces are about to start World War III with that puny amount of powder?”

Without waiting for an answer I also added: “Your statement is so outrageous that my government will not accept it. And for your information, Sir, during my very long diplomatic service in many countries, I never had such an outrageous, irrelevant, and snappish statement thrown at my face from any foreign ministry official, especially from a friendly country such as Norway. I can guarantee Your Excellency that we will get what we want from your neighbors.”

The Joint Secretary was thunderstruck and started sinking down in his armchair. With that I left his room without taking my leave.

Dear compatriots, this was yet another example showing the extent of adverse mass media propaganda against our country. It influenced the high authorities of a friendly country to such a degree that they dished out sham accusations without realizing the harmful consequences on the good relations between our two nations.

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