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

No. 557

Sir: I have the honor, in continuation of my series of despatches on the work of the various American advisers to the Iranian Government, to enclose a progress report31 prepared by Major General Ridley, adviser to the Iranian Army, and to comment briefly on the work of the Ridley Mission.

The Ridley Mission has come through the period of establishment and adjustment well on its feet. It has weathered the storm of disillusionment so apt to overcome foreign advisers in Iran in these difficult days. It has not succumbed to the feeling of futility, engendered by the colossal proportions of the tasks to be accomplished with limited means and little political support, which advisers must constantly fight. It has, in short, all the indications of developing into a successful mission.

General Ridley, as the enclosed report shows, has sized up his task with intelligence, bearing in mind the difficulties which lie in the way, and has put in a great deal of work in laying the foundations for [Page 528]improvements in the Iranian army. The success with which his mission has met are due to a great extent, however, to his personal qualities. He has kept the American members of his mission loyal and hard at work by his effective leadership and example. He has won the support of the Minister of War, the Shah, and other leaders by his evident ability and sincerity. He has impressed those with whom he has contact by his simplicity and dignity. Above all, he has not fallen into the error of some of our advisers of boasting and gossiping about official matters.

As General Ridley points out in the last paragraph of his report, only future developments will prove whether the many obstacles will prevent the successful achievement of his task. In any event, his ground work is being carefully done.

Respectfully yours,

Louis G. Dreyfus, Jr.
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