Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations (Murray)25
The attached memorandum is a summary of the thoughts of NE26 and myself regarding the general bases and direction of our policy toward Iran, which we should like to submit for your consideration. If you approve, we shall guide our actions accordingly and shall send appropriate instructions to our Minister at Tehran. I have also in mind the possible desirability of asking the planning organizations under Mr. Pasvolsky27 to give special attention to Iranian problems along the lines indicated.
Briefly, the memorandum sets forth the following points:
- The past and present attitudes of Great Britain and Russia toward Iran, together with the current weakness of the Iranian Government and disorganization of the country’s internal structure, justify fears that Iran may prove a danger point when we come to the post-war settlement.
- The best hope of avoiding trouble in this regard lies in strengthening Iran to a point at which she will be able to stand on her own feet and in assuring both of the interested Great Powers that neither one need fear the acquisition by the other of a predominant position in Iran.
- The United States is the only nation which may be able to render effective assistance to Iran without rousing the fears and opposition of Great Britain or Russia, or of the Iranians themselves.
- Since we have a vital interest in the fulfillment of the principles of the Atlantic Charter28 and the establishment of foundations for a lasting peace throughout the world, it is to the advantage of the United States to exert itself to see that Iran’s integrity and independence are maintained and that she becomes prosperous and stable.
- Therefore, the United States should adopt a policy of positive action in Iran with a view to facilitating not only the war operations of the United Nations but also a sound post-war development of the country which would eliminate the need or excuse for the establishment of any sort of “protectorate”.
- Addressed to the Assistant Secretary of State (Acheson), the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle), the Under Secretary of State (Welles) and the Secretary of State. Notation by John D. Jernegan of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs: “Approved by the Secretary and Mr. Welles. 2/17/43.”↩
- Division of Near Eastern Affairs.↩
- Leo Pasvolsky, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State; also chairman, Committee on Special Studies.↩
- Joint Declaration by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, August 14, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367.↩
- Bertel E. Kuniholm.↩
- For correspondence on this subject, see pp. 437 ff.↩
- For correspondence on the Iranian arms plants, see pp. 628 ff.↩
- For correspondence on the American adviser program in Iran, see pp. 510 ff.↩