701.9111/616a

The Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to The Chargé in Iran (Merriam)

My Dear Mr. Merriam: I think you may be interested to know that while the Secretary was in Buenos Aires during the recent Pan- American Conference there2 Nadir Arasteh, the Iranian Minister at that post, called upon the Secretary and made every effort to show his friendly attitude. The conversation naturally turned to the present strained relations between the United States and Iran and the Minister expressed his emphatic view that Iran could not afford to go on, as at present, without proper representation in this country. The Secretary concurred in the Minister’s views and added that he had done everything in his power to prevent the present impasse. The Secretary furthermore told the Minister that he had the impression that the true facts of the case had never reached His Majesty’s ears. Otherwise it was impossible to believe that all of the Secretary’s conscientious endeavors to remove His Majesty’s misgivings would have been in vain. The Minister said he was of the same view and that he contemplated making an early trip to his country at which time he would make a further effort to clear up the misunderstanding.

During the course of conversation the Minister referred somewhat vaguely to the desirability of our making some “gesture” in order to smooth matters over. I gathered that the Secretary did not pursue that phase of the matter and apparently left the Minister under the impression that we had made all the gestures that could properly be expected of us under the circumstances.

While you might, if you think it would be helpful and if the occasion presents itself, make reference to the fact that a conversation took place between the Secretary and the Iranian Minister in Buenos Aires [Page 719] regarding the present state of our relations with Iran, it would seem undesirable to refer to any of the details of the conversation, which will doubtless be reported fully by Mr. Arasteh.

Sincerely yours,

Wallace Murray
  1. The Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace, December 1–23, 1936.