891.51A/1155: Telegram

The Chargé in Iran (Ford) to the Secretary of State

394. Reference summary of Iranian note transmitted my immediately preceding telegram. Despite Saed’s assertions, Department is, ‘Of course, aware that Iranian Government has not fully cooperated [Page 409] with advisers. Some of Millspaugh’s greatest difficulties have arisen with members of past and present Cabinets. Furthermore, Prime Minister has been notably weak in his defense of Millspaugh and other advisers against press and Majlis attacks and has permitted these attacks to get completely out of hand. He is himself badly informed and undoubtedly shares some of views of the attackers.

With respect to statement that Iranian Government does not regard advisers as political buffers, I refer Department to my telegram 116, February 21.

I believe Saed’s note indicates two things:

It confirms my impression that he is afraid to face Majlis and press without having brought about some change, however slight, to appease them. He will probably grasp at any straw of compromise, even though meaningless, that will save his face. (As yet no suggestion has been brought forward to which Millspaugh will agree.)
Iranian Government does not wish to push matters to point at which Millspaugh and part or all of his staff would leave. My feeling which, however, does not amount to conviction, is that if Millspaugh stands firm, both Saed and Majlis will ultimately back down, although much unpleasantness may occur in meantime.

Department has made its position clear to Iranian Government and for the moment I feel there is no further move we could profitably make. I am strengthened in this opinion by fact that rather distorted information regarding our note has been permitted to become public and has called forth press and Majlis criticism on ground that it constitutes interference in internal affairs of Iran. In any event, Dr. Millspaugh is away on short visit to Shiraz and Isfahan; and I think we should have further consultation with him before considering any new action.