891.24/280: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

5640. Your 6257, November 7.

We are instructing our Minister Tehran to propose immediate publication of wheat announcement as amended. We assume Foreign Office has sent similar instructions to British Minister Tehran.
By telegram dated November 7, 1 a.m., Minister Dreyfus reports British Minister is now recommending that wheat announcement be made conditional upon following Iranian undertakings: (a) Iran must support war effort, give assurances that hoarding laws will be enforced, guarantee supply of Iranian currency to United Nations, institute price control, institute control of press, and maintain internal security; (b) Iranian cabinet must seek full powers from Majlis for 6 months or year; (c) Allies to have right to call upon Prime Minister to modify cabinet as they see fit.
Dreyfus believes these demands would be unacceptable to Iranians and would result in fall of cabinet. Ensuing situation would probably compel Allies to set up alternative puppet government, undertake military occupation of Tehran, or both.
Department maintains its previously expressed view that any action leading to fall of cabinet would be unfortunate. Please so advise Foreign Office and explain our conviction that advantages of Allied military occupation of Tehran or establishment of puppet government would be more than offset by adverse reaction of Iranian people and other Moslem peoples. Even if another cabinet could be formed without undue Allied interference, we fear that repeated changes cannot fail to increase general disorder and undermine public confidence in government.
Accordingly, we are instructing Dreyfus that wheat announcement may be made, in his discretion, without attaching any conditions precedent. It is our understanding that this is desire of Foreign Office. If Dreyfus considers it desirable, however, we are authorizing him to suggest that Prime Minister seek full powers from Majlis, and we are likewise giving him discretion to urge strict fulfillment of Anglo-Iranian financial agreement.
Please inform Foreign Office that we are much disturbed by apparent tendency on part of British authorities Tehran to make repeated changes in bases of negotiation during a period of crisis such as the present. It is our view, and we gather from your telegram under reference that Foreign Office takes same position, that the wheat situation should be cleared up without further delay, leaving other problems to be worked out in the more favorable atmosphere which should be created by the announcement agreed upon. We feel the more strongly about this matter because of the added responsibilities being assumed by United States in Iran through operation by our Army of supply routes to Russia and furnishing of numerous American advisory missions, notably the financial group to be headed by Dr. Millspaugh, which will need the willing cooperation of a stable Iranian Government with popular support.
We would not object to Russian participation in announcement and in Road Transport Committee, provided Soviets assume corresponding obligations and provided such participation does not in any way delay issuance of wheat announcement.
We would appreciate explanation of reasons causing British Government to favor four-power currency board. As stated in our 5534, November 5, we feel that Anglo-Iranian agreement of May 26 should be adequate to cover British needs if it is fulfilled by Iranians.
We shall advise appropriate authorities regarding contemplated shipment 20,000 tons wheat, and we should appreciate being kept currently posted on developments in this connection. We understand, however, that Middle East shipping programs are primarily decided in London and assume Foreign Office is taking necessary steps at that end.