Relations with the Soviet Union were in disarray by late autumn 1945. Little progress had been made on disputes remaining from Potsdam, and new ones arose with dismaying frequency. Stalin at Yalta had agreed to support Chiang's government in China and to recognize China's "full sovereignty in Manchuria." These pledges had been ratified by Sino-Soviet treaties in August. Soviet behavior in Iran also appeared ominous. The Soviets had sealed off the northern provinces of Azerbaijan and Kurdistan, and reports indicated they were fomenting Communist-dominated separatist movements. Some Soviet policies could be justified on grounds of national security or reconstruction needs. But only individuals as optimistic as Joseph Davies could regard Soviet behavior with complacency. Soviet negotiators often had argued interminably over fine points in agreements. What Americans regarded as an act of unprecedented generosity must have struck the Soviets as a scheme to ensure their permanent inferiority.