891.6363 Standard Oil/1

The Third Assistant Secretary of State (Merle-Smith) to the Persian Minister (Abdul Ali Khan)

My Dear Mr. Minister: I beg to refer to a recent conversation at the Department in which you explained the situation in the northern [Page 353] provinces of Persia with reference to petroleum concessions and in which you stated that your Government desires to have American companies seek petroleum concessions in these provinces.

In accordance with your request expressed in this conversation, I have taken pleasure in telegraphing the American Legation at Teheran to the effect that the Department believes that American companies will seek concessions in the northern provinces and that the Department hopes that American companies may obtain such concessions. I take pleasure also in informing you that an authorized representative of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey states in a letter to the Department that in principle his company would consider favorably a proposal to operate in northern Persia, if a satisfactory agreement could be reached with the Persian Government, and if investigation of the areas, from a geological standpoint, would lead his company to believe that there is a reasonable possibility of producing oil in commercial quantities.

I am [etc.]

Van S. Merle-Smith