Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Phillips)

I sent for the Iranian Chargé d’Affaires this afternoon and referred to my last conversation with him on Saturday morning when I told him that I would look into the matter which he had presented to me and would advise him whether any action could be taken by the Government against the New York Daily Mirror. I said that I was now satisfied, although I regretted this fact very much, that there was nothing in our laws that permitted the Government to take any step vis-à-vis the Mirror; however, as we were anxious to show the Shah every consideration in this case, we had not abandoned hope that something could be done to elicit some expression of regret or correction by the Mirror itself; we had today asked a third person, who was in a position to approach the Mirror independently to see what could be done in the circumstances; I wished it understood, however, that this action on our part was not to be taken as a precedent; as the Chargé d’Affaires well understood, some of our papers had been guilty of indignities against the chiefs of other states, viz., Japan, the King of Rumania, the Queen Mother of Rumania, Hitler, Mussolini; unfortunately, they had all been caricatured at one time or another, and it was even possible that something might be said in the future which would not be pleasant reading to the Shah himself; we could guarantee nothing, but in order to show our friendly feelings toward Iran and the Iranian people we were making this special effort in this particular case.

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The Chargé d’Affaires expressed much appreciation of our efforts in his Government’s behalf; he expressed the hope that the Mirror would not publish the letter which he himself had written to the Mirror two or three days after the incident; the incident having progressed as far as it had, the publication of his letter now would probably not be considered sufficient by the Shah; he hoped, therefore, that some expression by the Mirror itself would be given.

William Phillips