Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs ( Murray ) to the Secretary of State
Mr. Secretary: As the result of a lengthy conversation which I had yesterday with Major Ibrahim Arfa, an Iranian army officer now officially in this country, I have reason to believe that a means may soon be found to induce the Shah of Iran to restore Iranian diplomatic and consular representation in this country at a not too distant date.
Major Arfa, who is a person of keen intelligence and perception and who has, only recently, been fully restored to the Shah’s favor, had the following to say with regard to the possibilities of modifying the Shah’s hitherto relentless opposition to maintaining any sort of representation in the United States so long as this Government [Page 724] is unable to prevent the publication in the American press of any articles regarded by the Shah as derogatory to himself:
Major Arfa states that in his opinion the Shah would be profoundly impressed if he were made familiar with the details of the fruitless endeavor of the German Government to suppress criticism in this country directed at the German Chief of State.8 Particularly valuable, in the opinion of Major Arfa, is the fact that the suggestion is reported to have been made by the rigidly controlled German press that despite Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and press in this country, this Government should take the necessary steps to render impossible further attacks upon Mr. Hitler or any other foreign chief of state and that no notice was taken by this Government of this presumably inspired suggestion; and that, in withdrawing its present Ambassador in the United States, Mr. Hitler is sending to this country a new ambassador high in his confidence.
With the example of Germany’s action in the above incident and bearing in mind the profound admiration which the Shah has for remilitarized Germany and its autocratic leader, Major Arfa believes the Shah will be quick to realize that he has made a mistake in attempting to force the United States to his way of thinking and will act accordingly.
When I questioned him as to how such a presentation of the German situation could be brought to the attention of His Majesty, Major Arfa furnished me with the interesting and new information that at present in Iran all of His Majesty’s subjects are permitted to communicate, either by telegraph or by letter, directly with him and that there is no interference in the delivery of such communications. Such being the case, Major Arfa proposed to lay the full situation, in due time, before His Majesty in the form of a written communication.
I think it might be desirable if you care at sometime to receive Major Arfa, who is an officer of the highest integrity and who can, I believe, be of valuable assistance to us in terminating the present abnormal situation of our relations with the Iranian Government.