Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

Dr. Ali Akbar Daftary, Chargé d’Affaires of Iran, called on me Friday, August 25, by appointment, and, acting under instructions from his Government, made the following statement orally to me in connection with the recent decision of the Iranian Government to take over all foreign educational institutions in Iran:

“The decision of the Imperial Government of Iran has been taken only with the idea of unifying the school system in the whole country, and has not been taken only with respect to American schools, but includes all foreign schools, i. e. also the French and English schools.

“The Imperial Government of Iran not only has no complaint about the behavior of the American Mission, but their services in the educational and humanitarian field have been highly appreciated.

“Despite the decision already taken in the matter, in order to comply with the wish expressed by the United States Government, it has been ordered, that the execution of this decision be postponed for one year, i. e. that the Direction of the School during the school year ending in Spring 1319 (1940), remains entirely in the hands of the American Mission so that during this period there would be enough time to take the necessary steps for the transfer of the schools.[”]

Dr. Daftary had the above statement with him only in the Persian original and read it to me in English translation. After he had finished, I asked him whether he had been specifically instructed to convey the communication orally and he replied that he had. At my suggestion, however, he agreed to let me have, informally, a translation of the text, which appears above.

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I thanked Dr. Daftary for the courteous remarks of his Government regarding our educational institutions in Iran and reiterated my appreciation of the prompt manner in which the Iranian Government had responded to our request that the execution of the decision of the Government to take over the schools might be postponed until the end of the coming school year, thus affording full opportunity for discussion between the Government and the Mission Board of all questions of every kind relating to the properties and their personnel.