The Chargé in Iran (Engert) to the Secretary of State
Teheran, March 21, 1938—9 a.m.
[Received 11 a.m.]
[Received 11 a.m.]
27. Department’s 11, March 4, 7 p.m.7 The following are my considered views regarding the situation:
- There seems to be no immediate prospect that the Iranian Legation in Washington will be reopened. The President’s telegram was submitted to the Shah as suggested in my 23, March 8, 11 a.m. and the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs now informs me that the only answer His Majesty made was an order to prepare a cordial reply. When I expressed disappointment he said that the matter was very delicate and His Majesty could not be hurried.
- The Acting Minister then said (although I had never mentioned such a possibility) that if the United States Government could send an economic mission here in connection with the proposed trade negotiations the reopening of the Legation would be facilitated. In reply I inquired whether it would not be just as easy to send some one to negotiate in Washington and incidentally open the Legation. He replied emphatically that such a step was out of the question. I gained the distinct impression that they would like to use the arrival of an American trade delegation to represent it to the Shah as a special mission and make him feel that he had won his point after all.
- I then reminded the Acting Minister that owing doubtless to the absence and later the illness of the Minister for Foreign Affairs I had never received a reply to my note of last October which contained the substance of the Department’s 50, October 5, 4 p.m.8 nor to my oral inquiries based on the Department’s 8, February 10, 6 p.m.9 He made an evasive answer and promised to look into the matter. I told him that there would obviously be no use sending a trade delegation, even if the American Government contemplated such a step, unless we first obtained definite assurances regarding the points raised in my inquiries. I personally doubt whether such assurances can now be expected in the near future.
- Murray’s letter of February 4th10 not yet received, was it sent by pouch? Standard draft for trade agreements mentioned in Department’s telegram 8 also not received.