Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Afairs (Murray)26


[A few sentences of remarks by the Shah made to the British Chargé, Daniel W. Lascelles, are here omitted.] … there are unfortunately [Page 360] grounds for the Shah’s resentment against us arising from the President’s visit to Tehran last December.27

As you will recall, when the President arrived in Tehran the Shah made a courtesy call upon him and expected that the call would be returned. The Shah and Iranian officialdom felt deeply offended when, for reasons that are not clear, it was not found practicable for the President to return the call or even to drive by the Royal Palace on his way to the airfield to return to this country. The Iranians felt all the more resentful over what they regarded as an omission in elementary courtesy, since Marshal Stalin took particular pains to pay a personal visit on the Shah, with whom he remained for two hours. The Iranians were particularly struck by the fact that Stalin came to the Shah’s palace without guards or attendants.

An additional reason why the Iranians became offended with us was the announcement made by the President, after his return, that there had been a plot, during his stay in Tehran, to kill the distinguished visitors. The Iranians interpreted this remark to mean that they had instigated such a plot which, as they pointed out, would have violated all laws of hospitality which are highly cherished in Iran.

Wallace Murray
  1. Addressed to the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State (Stettinius).
  2. For documentation on the Tehran Conference between President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and Soviet Premier Stalin, November 27–December 1, 1943, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, pp. 457 ff.