891.51A/580: Telegram

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


385. I will seek to clarify in near future question of whether Iran Government definitely wishes continue negotiations for employment of additional Americans already requested. Saleh after several days of hide and seek has been persuaded by Prime Minister to continue as Finance Minister. He will be given 30 days leave to regain health and think things over. I am sure Saleh means well and feel his action or remarks should not be held too strongly against him. Kuniholm16 with whom Saleh had conversation referred to in my 355, April 6, is of opinion Saleh spoke in extreme irritation inspired by dispute with Millspaugh and probably himself was not sure which Americans he had in mind. He was probably passing on views of certain corrupt and grasping deputies and politicians who are against adviser program because have much to lose with kind of regime advisers contemplate. …

As a result of my frank conversations with Prime and Foreign Ministers17 and Shah I already perceive some improvement in situation outlined my 355. Prime Minister informs me that in special Cabinet meeting Ministers unanimously agreed that Iran’s only hope lies in the American advisers and that the Cabinet will cooperate with them. Shah called me on Monday to discuss the situation and reiterated in the warmest terms his approval of the adviser program. [Page 522] He declared he personally would like to go beyond signing the United Nations Declaration,18 make an alliance with the United States and enter the war with Iranian troops. I have heard on good authority, however, that the Shah is averse to Millspaugh’s curtailment of army budget because this threatens his control of army on which his hopes of maintaining himself in power are based.

On whole I do not believe there has developed any strong or widespread feeling against Americans here. I have always foreseen development of present kind of selfish opposition and am hopeful it can be controlled or removed by use of firm but kindly pressure.

  1. Bertel E. Kuniholm, on temporary duty at this time as Second Secretary of Legation in Iran.
  2. Ali Soheily and Mohammad Saed, respectively.
  3. Signed at Washington, January 1, 1942, Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, p. 25. For correspondence relating to the question of the adherence of Iran, see pp. 428 ff.