701.9111/469: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Iran ( Hornibrook )

1. Your 2, January 7, 11 a.m. Full details and documents regarding Djalal’s arrest and subsequent action by this Government were transmitted in Department’s instruction No. 167 of December 12 forwarded via Cairo and Baghdad pouch on Steamship Excalibur due at Alexandria Janury 9. Pouch should reach Baghdad within the next few days and presumably will be forwarded via British courier.

In case the Iranian Government approaches you officially in the matter before you are in possession of full details, you should explain that fact. You should however state that as soon as this Government was informed of the incident the Secretary of State expressed his personal regrets to the Minister and urged the Governor of Maryland [Page 347] to take immediate steps to bring about the dismissal and punishment of the offending police officers. This action was taken without delay. In a letter received at the same time from the Governor he requested the Secretary to convey to the Iranian Minister an expression of his sincere apologies. In communicating these sentiments to the Minister the Secretary added his formal regrets on behalf of this Government.

The Department considers that the amends made for this unfortunate occurrence were adequate in every respect and that they in fact exceed the action that might have been considered necessary under the circumstances.

In view of the fact that the Minister has been instructed to state that his Government considers the incident closed, the Department approves of your having ignored the press tirade on this subject and wishes you to continue to assume an attitude of reserve unless the Iranian Government takes the matter up with you officially.

With reference to this Government “obtaining public retraction from certain American newpapers” you should of course, if the need arises, point out that freedom of the press is guaranteed in this country by the Constitution.