Memorandum by the Acting Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling)52
Attached is a memorandum of a recent conversation53 held in the Near Eastern Division with Mr. Young of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, at which the possibility and desirability of the resumption of the Board’s educational work in Iran were discussed. The matter is now being considered by the Board, and we expect to hear from it in the near future.
Mr. Murray has discussed this matter orally with Mr. Berle54 and stated that the idea of the re-entry into Iran of this American educational mission, which up to June 1940 had been active for more than a century, has Mr. Berle’s enthusiastic endorsement.
It will be recalled that the President’s message of September 2 to the former Shah55 took note of the British and Soviet declarations that they have no designs on the independence or territorial integrity of Iran, and stated that this Government maintained its traditional attitude with respect to the basic principles involved. It is our understanding that the President signed this message, which was drafted in the Department, in a spirit of thoroughgoing approval.
As you are aware, the actions of the Russians in the Iranian territories which they occupy have given rise to distrust on the part of this and the British Government which has already been made known to the Soviet Government. This Division considers that the re-entry of our educationalists into Iran would afford an additional clear indication of our desire and intention to support free institutions in that country.