761.91/7–1745: Telegram

No. 1327
The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State
secret

39. During personal conversation between Ambassador Murray and Shah of Iran July 13, Shah expressed frankly his growing concern-over Iran’s future, emphasizing his fear as to Soviet intentions towards Iran. He stated he is greatly disturbed over entire question of Russian policy towards Iran, and feels incapable of appointing strong premier because of inevitable Soviet opposition. Iran accordingly is forced to submit to rapid succession of weak and ineffective governments.

British Ambassador to Iran,1 according to Murray, telegraphed Foreign Office July 11, expressing opinion that Russians are apparently making determined effort to obtain dominant position in Iran prior to withdrawal of forces.

Ambassador Murray states it is impossible not to be alarmed at present situation and ruthlessness of Russian tactics. He compares present Soviet official and press attitude towards Sadr Government to Soviet policy towards Saed Government last autumn, and believes Soviet is determined to have favorable cabinet in office during course of forthcoming elections.

These statements indicate progressive deterioration of Iranian internal affairs, which is being hastened by intense Soviet-British rivalry in Iran. This rivalry is producing critical internal schism in which exercise of effective Iranian administrative control and rehabilitation of economy are impossible.

Since continuation or development of this situation is prejudicial to Iranian sovereignty, Allied solidarity, and international security, you may wish to discuss entire Iranian problem fully and frankly at Conference. (See four background memoranda on Iran prepared by [Page 1390]Department for Conference2 and in particular memorandum entitled “Anglo-Soviet Rivalry in Iran.”)

[Grew]
  1. Sir Reader Bullard.
  2. See vol. i, documents Nos. 628 and 629. The other two memoranda, entitled “Anglo-Soviet Censorship in Iran” and “Russian Access to the Persian Gulf”, are not printed.