The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 25—10:55 a.m.]
81. Department’s 42, January 21. I have discussed matter fully with General Ridley who is willing to accept post of Assistant Minister of War with full knowledge that it will not be possible for the American War Department to furnish the Iranian Government large quantities of military supplies. Ridley hopes, however, that it will be possible to provide Iran’s minimum military needs. He believes this is necessary to facilitate the passage of war materials through Iran.
I am in agreement with General Ridley’s decision. He has begun his mission with his feet well on the ground and has won the full confidence of the Shah,91 the Prime Ministe92 and War Minister.93 I am hopeful that he will be able to accomplish something substantial [along?] lines suggested by Department.
It is my personal view that Iran’s minimum military needs should be supplied for following reasons:
- It is essential for Iranian troops to be equipped to keep order because war goods for Russia cannot be easily moved through a starving or rebellious countryside.
- The Government has signified its intention of assisting countries occupied by the Allies; military supplies are basically as essential as civilian and
- Bringing in tiny amounts of military supplies may prevent necessity of later shipments of large amounts of civil goods. For example, small amounts of equipment for Iranian army might have made it unnecessary to bring in 45,000 tons of cereals this year; a few hundred tons now may save sending large tonnage of wheat and other goods next year by placing Iranians in position to organize internal security.