701.9111/552: Telegram

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

24. Your 33, May 9, 5 p.m. You should seek an early occasion to impress upon Soheily that there was no misunderstanding whatever of the representations which Kazemi made to Mr. Hornibrook on March 15. Mr. Hornibrook’s report on this matter confirmed by your despatch 743, March 17,10 makes it perfectly clear that Kazemi envisaged an amendment of the American Constitution with a view to restricting the freedom of the press. It should be unnecessary to remind the Iranian authorities that this Government cannot even discuss with any foreign government such a wholly unwarranted suggestion.

You should also impress upon Soheily that the Department’s decision that no useful purpose would be served by following your suggestion regarding the sending of a special envoy to Teheran was not based upon any pretext but upon the nature of Kazemi’s representations referred to above.

In this connection the Department desires that in any further conversations on this subject between you and Iranian officials you adhere closely to the substance of the Department’s instructions and refrain from any speculative interpretation of the Department’s views such as that contained in the first sentence of paragraph 3 of your telegram under reference.

For the time being at least the Department proposes to give no further consideration to the matter of sending a special envoy to Teheran. Inasmuch as you presented the suggestion in the first instance as coming from the Legation and in view of Kazemi’s insistence respecting our Constitution, the Department perceives no reason why the present authorities at the Foreign Office should feel any embarrassment in regarding the matter of the special envoy as closed.

Department does not understand your reference to the situation as being “precarious” because of certain American press comments made subsequent to the Iranian withdrawal. If you refer to the situation of our mission in Iran your grounds for such a statement should be made clear without delay.

[Page 364]

For your confidential information and general guidance, the Department is not inclined to view with any particular concern the mere withdrawal of Iranian representation in Washington provided the Iranian Government continues normal relations with our Legation at Teheran. That Government’s intention to continue such relations was reported in your telegram No. 26, March 29, 5 p.m. Your relations with the Iranians should therefore be cordial and scrupulously correct and you should carefully avoid giving any impression that you fear that any developments such as press comments in this country might alter the status quo. You will of course report promptly any contrary disposition on the part of the Iranian authorities.

  1. Not printed.