891.00/1876: Telegram

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

2417. Your 2811, May 20. Department agrees that an American military mission to Iran would be desirable and is consulting the War Department on this subject.

If War Department agreement is obtained, we contemplate making a voluntary offer of such a mission to the Iranian Government. It is felt that this procedure would be advantageous as showing the positive, affirmative interest of the United States in Iranian affairs. [Page 236] We believe that meanwhile the British Government should not approach the Iranian Government in the matter.

Department believes the Iranian Government is disposed to respond more readily at this time to suggestions which come direct from the United States than to proposals originating with or transmitted by the British Government.

An officer to take charge of the quartermaster and finance services of the Iranian Army has now been selected by the War Department and his name has been submitted to the Iranian Government. In addition, the Iranians have recently requested two American officers to serve as military aviation and engineering advisers. Department has recommended favorable action on these requests, which are under consideration by the War Department. It is assumed that these officers could be incorporated later in any mission which may be sent.

The Iranian Government has also presented formal requests for assistance in obtaining an American financial adviser, an expert in rubber cultivation, and a police officer to reorganize the urban police of Iran. (This latter officer is in addition to the police expert previously requested, who is needed for the rural gendarmerie.) Steps are being taken to locate suitable men for these positions.