891.00/2007: Airgram

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

A–9. One of the most important and controversial political topics today in Iran concerns the Majlis elections which are due to be held in August. Most high Iranian officials in their growing fear of communism (see my despatch No. 478 dated March 8, 194345) are apprehensive that as result of elections almost all of the 55 deputies from Soviet occupied zone and many from other areas will be Socialists or Communists. There is therefore, a widespread desire on part of politicians, merchants and representatives of entrenched classes to postpone elections. The British Minister told me frankly that he favors postponement; his stand is undoubtedly dictated by fear of increase in Soviet influence in Iran in detriment to long range British interests. Prime Minister informed me confidentially that Soviet Ambassador has urged him to have elections held as scheduled. Prime Minister expressed opinion to me that, while it may become necessary to postpone elections or even dissolve the Majlis, it is too early yet to consider such matters. Hekmat46 suggested to me solution based on postponement of Majlis elections and holding instead elections for the Senate, which is provided for by the Constitution but has never existed. Since Senate would be composed of 60 members of which 30 would be appointed by Shah and 30 elected, Hekmat feels that this expedient would accomplish dual purpose of satisfying people on score of elections and preventing serious Communist or Socialist gains in Parliament.

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I have expressed no views on subject because I feel it is unwise and dangerous to meddle in internal affairs of this kind. Personally I feel that democratic processes should continue in spite of the fact that interests of privileged Iranian classes or foreign powers may suffer.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Ali Asghar Hekmat, Iranian Minister of Justice.