891.6363 Standard Oil/431: Telegram
The Chargé in Iran (Engert) to the Secretary of State
[Received 1:35 p.m.]
108. Your 52, May 8, 4 p.m. Yesterday I had an opportunity to ask the Minister of Finance whether the subject had come up recently and I gathered from his reply that the Prime Minister—as stated in the third paragraph of my 68, April 4 , 1 p.m.56—continued to be interested even though there had been no negotiations with an American company since the Legation’s 11, January 17, 11 a.m. It seems likely that either the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance mentioned the matter to the Soviet Ambassador and received the answer reported in my 100, May 5, 9 a.m. The most significant thing about it is of course that while last January (see Legation’s 5, January 8, 9 a.m.) the Soviets objected only to American concessions in the north, they now would object to them in other parts of Iran as well.
Incidentally, the Minister of Finance in referring to the latest victims of German aggression said textually, “and European neutrals are not the only neutrals that are in danger. We ourselves have evidence of it every day. Our northern neighbor is now deliberately seeking excuses for intervention”. The Department will recall a similar conversation I had with the Minister as long ago as last November (see my 152, December 157).