The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Iran (Engert)
87. Your July 29, noon, and August 26, 9 a.m. Please deliver to the Minister of Foreign Affairs the substance of the following. The Department has been in repeated contact with the proper authorities of this Government in regard to the desire of the Iranian Government to purchase pursuit and bombing planes. The authorities here are doing their best, in the most friendly spirit, to arrange to meet Iranian requirements, but they are bound to place the defense needs of this country above all other considerations.
Specifically, it appears that Iran desires the latest type of pursuit plane designed for a certain engine. Iran has been given the first priority in delivery thereof consistent with our national interests. No [Page 655]delivery date can now be set, but it is hoped that it will soon be possible to set an approximate date which, however, would be subject to later developments.
There are several types of pursuit planes accepted by our armed forces and being currently produced for them in regard to which the delivery question is less difficult. In view of the situation described above, the Iranian authorities would apparently be well advised to consider them.
The Iranian authorities require further specifications on bombers before deciding on the type desired. The American authorities are in process of obtaining them. Until Iran decides on the type the delivery question cannot be given consideration.
Iran desires to secure a license to manufacture a certain type of pursuit ship, but would purchase engines and various parts here. It will be necessary for the Aviation Mission to ascertain from the manufacturers and from the American authorities the delivery prospects, particularly for the engines, whereupon the question of licensing will be decided.