The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union ( Henderson )
11. Your 22, January 15, 6 p.m.3b For Henderson from Bullitt. The substance of your telegram under reference has been brought to the attention of the Secretary of State and other interested officials of the Department, and you are authorized to communicate with the Iranian Chargé d’Affaires in the following sense:
This Government has always entertained and continues to entertain most friendly sentiments toward His Majesty Reza Shah as well as His Majesty’s Government and people and has much appreciated the confidence reposed in the United States in times past by the people of Iran as exemplified on numerous occasions too well known in Iran to require recital. The American Government and people have furthermore followed with admiration the great progress made in Iran under the leadership of Reza Shah, who is reviving the national spirit of a race that occupied a great place in history.
With regard to the unfortunate incident at Elkton, which this Government profoundly deplored, His Majesty is presumably fully informed of the prompt and energetic steps taken by this Government [Page 348] and the Governor of Maryland to make amends, with which the Iranian Government has declared itself satisfied. This Government regrets, however, the necessity of pointing out in this connection that the incident itself would and could have been avoided if the Iranian Minister had respected American laws or if, after having violated them, he had exercised the tact and discretion which His Majesty undoubtedly expects of his representatives in this country.
As regards the attitude of the American press toward Djalal, over which this Government has no control whatsoever, it is again a cause for regret to point out that such discourteous comments as were made regarding him resulted without doubt from his failure to assume at the time of the incident an attitude of dignified reserve rather than the contrary. It should be emphasized however that regardless of such comments as those referred to above, it would appear that the Iranian Government is in error in believing that there was any American “press campaign of deriding all things Iranian.” The Department, which has followed closely all press comment on the incident, has observed no such disposition on the part of the American press and believes that no such feeling exists in this country. There does however exist here a widespread feeling against any disposition on the part of foreign diplomatic representatives in this country to regard their diplomatic immunity as a license to violate any American laws or regulations, and it was this feeling, rather than any criticism of Reza Shah or his country, that was reflected in the press accounts and editorial discussions of the incident.
This Government desires in conclusion to assure the Iranian Government that it intends to employ its best efforts to safeguard and strengthen the many ties of friendship and sympathetic understanding that have long united the two peoples and earnestly hopes His Majesty is animated by the same purpose. [Bullitt.]
- Not printed.↩