Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by Mr. Gordon P. Merriam of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

Mr. Young asked to speak to Mr. Parker,57 who was out of the office, so I offered to take the message.

Mr. Young said that he and Dr. Dodds had just concluded an interview with Mr. Schayesteh, the Iranian Minister. The interview had been far from momentous. The Minister first informed them that following his conversation with Mr. Murray, he had cabled to Tehran stating that American help in educational matters might again be forthcoming and that perhaps Iran could again profit thereby. He had received a reply from Tehran to the effect that all American educators had now left Iran, and that if they now desired to return, the Iranian Government desired to know who would be going back and what their plan was.

Mr. Young said that this response of the Iranian Government tended to put the matter on an undesirable footing. He said that he and Dr. Dodds told Mr. Schayesteh that the Presbyterian Board had no idea whatever of pressing the matter, of taking any advantages of Iran’s present position, or even of making any request to be permitted to return. Before going back they would want a clear indication that their return was desired and requested by the Iranian Government. In view of what had happened before, the Iranians would have to convince the Board that its educators would be welcomed.

The upshot of the interview was, according to Mr. Young, that Mr. Schayesteh said he would again telegraph to his Government stating that the Presbyterian Board would be receptive to a proposal that it resume educational work in Iran, that some of its educators were still on the ground in Iran, and suggesting that the Iranian Government enter into negotiations with the American Mission in Iran, which was empowered to enter into such negotiations.

  1. W. Leonard Parker, Division of Near Eastern Affairs.