891.00/1837: Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

61. Referring to Department’s No. 57, March 6, I today discussed this matter with Prime Minister82a along lines suggested by Department. Soheily received my suggestions with apparent sympathy although he refused to commit himself to a definite line of action and promised early consideration by Cabinet. The Foroughi Cabinet he revealed had discussed it but failed to take action because of confused internal political situation and due to example of Egyptian Cabinet which was understood to have failed in connection with expulsion of French Legation. He was of opinion that it would be difficult to get Majlis’ consent to expulsion of Japanese because Japanese have managed to obtain some support among the Deputies. He made it clear that he values American friendship highly, desires to cooperate with us and will therefore seek a pretext to expel Japanese. He expressed regret that American Government has yet taken no action in matters which concern Iran so vitally, i. e., furnishing of food, supplies83 and advisers.84 He stated rather pointedly that he would be in a much stronger position in matter of expulsion of Japanese if he could go to Majlis with some concrete evidence of American help.

I gained impression that Soheily wants to be helpful but is afraid his fledgling Cabinet is too weak to weather the political storm which might ensue unless he can discover a suitable pretext. It seems clear too that he thinks in terms of quid pro quo and wishes to be assured that tangible American aid will be forthcoming. After lapse of a reasonable time I will again approach him on the subject.

  1. Ali Soheily was Prime Minister March 7–July 28, 1942.
  2. For correspondence concerning food and supplies, see pp. 120 ff.
  3. For correspondence concerning advisers, see pp. 222 ff.