891.6363 Amiranian/70: Telegram

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

75. My 71, June 15, 10 a.m. Now that the news is at last generally known some extremely interesting observations are reaching me from Iranian official and foreign diplomatic sources which I am summarizing below. I am of course denying in conversations any false reports.

The American interests were bought out by the British.
The Soviet Government forced the Iranian Government to terminate the concession.
The American Government obliged the company to withdraw because of the Mexican situation.
Ditto because of the impending outbreak of a European war.
The Iranian authorities had put great obstacles in the way of the company and the American Government was also annoyed by the continued absence of Iranian representation in the United States.
The company found no oil whatever and the concession was worthless.

Present indications are that the Iranian Government would prefer not to give the concession to any other foreign company and to exploit itself such oil as may exist for the purpose of supplying railroad and local industries. Germans are extremely active in trying to obtain a [Page 757] concession and the French (see my 123, December 3, 11 a.m.45) are also interested. It is generally believed that the Soviets would literally not permit the concession to go to German interests.

Italian Minister tells me that the withdrawal of Americans is a great disappointment to his Government as it had hoped to supply its East African possessions through the American company instead of paying about pound sterling 100,000 a month to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. I have suggested that Bahrein and Arabia might perhaps serve the same purpose.

  1. Not printed.