701.9111/523: Telegram

The Chargé in Iran (Merriam) to the Secretary of State

31. My telegram No. 30, April 6, noon. This morning Soheily said he had delayed until day before yesterday discussing idea of special [Page 360] envoy with his Minister waiting more favorable atmosphere. The Minister received the idea very favorably but desired further information on the following points:

Rank of the envoy. He desires an ambassador extraordinary.
Approximate wording of the letter of credence and of any formal message to be presented to the Shah.
Impervious assurance that the envoy would have as his sole mission the improvement of existing relations, that he would not be permanently assigned as Minister to Iran nor act in any way as trade representative as a certain Belgian Ambassador at Large had done.
The impression must not be conveyed that the mission has been sought by Iran.

He was informed that the Legation would be glad to present the matter for the Department’s consideration and that no difficulty was anticipated over the considerations mentioned under 3 or 4 above as the Legation’s ideas were in complete accord with those of his Minister.

It was strongly emphasized to him that the purposes of a special mission might at any time be vitiated owing to the supersensitiveness of the Shah to irresponsible press articles but both Soheily and the Minister with whom he immediately conferred in this respect thought His Majesty could be handled successfully. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that an assurance that a special mission would be well-received by the Shah should be obtained before it is authorized.