891.6363 Standard Oil/425: Telegram
The Chargé in Iran (Engert) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:45 p.m.]
6. Legation’s 5, January 8, 9 a.m. Prime Minister told Lawrence this morning that the Iranian Government had decided not to grant any oil concessions to any company “in view of the uncertainties of the international situation while the war lasts”. Lawrence states he gained the impression that the Soviets had increased their demands but I am inclined to believe that the Iranian Government wishes to avoid appearance of submitting to Soviet pressure by granting a concession outside northern areas.
Prime Minister was very apologetic and added that his Government would ordinarily welcome Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and would in any event consider its present application as giving it priority if and when the Government should decide to grant a concession.