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

No. 191

Sir: Reference is made to your telegram no. 81, January 23, 1943 regarding the proposal of the Iranian Government that Major General [Page 513] Clarence S. Ridley should be appointed Assistant Minister of War of Iran. The substance of your telegram was communicated to the War Department, which also received word direct from General Ridley.

The War Department has now informed the Department that it would prefer to have General Ridley remain for the time being in his present status as an adviser and does not wish to acquiesce in his appointment as Assistant Minister of War. In making this decision, the War Department is believed to have been influenced by a fear that by accepting an official position in the Iranian Government, General Ridley might become subject to criticism, from Iranian and other sources, in connection with Iranian Army affairs which he would not have sufficient authority to control, since he would be subordinate to the Minister of War, the Prime Minister, and the Shah. The Department understands, however, that the War Department might be willing to reconsider its decision provided the Iranian Government feels strongly that the appointment is essential and you and General Ridley concur.

There is enclosed a copy of a self-explanatory memorandum of a conversation with the Iranian Minister regarding this matter.96

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
  1. Memorandum dated February 6, supra.