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

I telephoned today to the Iranian Minister to tell him that we were continuing to look into the question of the airplanes which his Government had desired. I told him that, as he probably knew, several other Government departments had to be consulted in this matter and I was sorry to say that we still had nothing definite we could tell him. I added that it was hoped that we would have something definite next week and that Mr. Murray would probably get in touch with him at that time to arrange a conference between officers of the Department and the Minister and Major Chaltchi.47

The Minister said he sincerely hoped that something could be done to meet the wishes of his Government in its present circumstances. He went on to say that he thought it was most important to point out that at the time he had presented his letters of credence to the President the latter had emphasized his belief that Iran must continue to exist and must defend itself against possible aggressors. According to the Minister, the President had added that this Government would help in any way it could to assist Iran in defending itself. The Minister [Page 646]said he hoped that the President’s views were known to the military authorities and that those authorities would bear those views in mind when arriving at a decision in regard to airplanes for his country.

I told the Minister that in my discussions with interested people here in the Department I had found every disposition to assist the Iranian Government as much as we could. At the same time I pointed out that, as he must realize, we had our own defense problem and other considerations which must be borne in mind. The Minister stated that he fully realized this, but he felt that we could spare at least a part of the planes which the Iranian Government desired since that small number could not possibly affect our own defense problem. I again assured the Minister that we were all working with the utmost good will to help, and although the situation was difficult we had hopes that something could be done to assist.

  1. Head of the Iranian Aviation Mission in the United States.↩