391.1164/88: Telegram

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

42. Your 87, August 21, 2 p.m. In view of the important issues involved and in the light of previous experience, the Department has insistently urged upon the Presbyterian Board the desirability of sending a special representative from the United States at the earliest possible moment to negotiate a settlement with the Iranian authorities. While admitting that many complicated questions would be involved in such a settlement and that the time yet remaining in which to complete negotiations is in fact none too long, the Board states it is unwilling to make a decision in this matter until it has consulted the missionaries in Iran. For your confidential information, the Board has indicated that it is not convinced of the necessity for this “most unusual” step and that it believes a satisfactory settlement can be arrived at by members of the Mission now in Hamadan and Tehran.

Please confer at once with the missionaries and inquire whether, in their opinion, it would not lend prestige to the negotiations and tend to expedite an agreement as to the compensation involved if the negotiations were headed by a responsible representative of the Board especially sent to Iran for the purpose. The Department would be glad to have you telegraph the results of your conference, adding an expression of your own views on the subject.