Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling)

Participants: Mr. Schayesteh, Minister of Iran.
Mr. Murray4
Mr. Alling

While calling on another matter today, the Iranian Minister presented the attached note5 requesting on behalf of his Government the services of a high ranking American officer to take charge of the Finance and Army Supply Divisions of the Iranian War Department. In presenting this note the Minister stated that, although he had not been so informed by his Government, he inferred from the nature of the code in which his instructions were sent him that the occupying forces in Iran were not aware that his Government proposed to engage such an American officer. He said that he desired to urge the necessity of sending such an officer to Iran at the earliest possible moment. He felt that the officer in question could have great influence in the Iranian armed forces, which he said numbered between 200,000 and 300,000 men, many of whom were well equipped. Of the officers in the Iranian Army nearly eighty percent had been educated in the best European military academies in France, Italy and Germany. With proper direction he felt that the Iranian Army could be made a formidable force. He believed that American influence in Iran, exerted through political measures such as those which he had proposed in regard to a declaration concerning the future independence of Iran,6 and influence by the proposed “Intendant General” could bring about a large measure of cooperation with the Allied cause by the Iranian Army to the benefit of all concerned. Mr. Murray stated that he would take up immediately with the appropriate authorities the question of obtaining an officer such as was desired by the Iranian Government.

  1. Wallace Murray, appointed Adviser on Political Relations, March 13, 1942.
  2. Supra.
  3. See pp. 263 ff.