891.00/1–146: Telegram

The Ambassador in Iran (Murray) to the Secretary of State

top secret

1. Deptel 759, December 29,5 received December 31. I conveyed to Prime Minister6 this morning and to Shah7 this afternoon information [Page 291]regarding Moscow conversations on Iran and in particular regarding proposal to form Anglo-American-Soviet Commission to8 [advise and assist Iran govt in reestablishing satisfactory relations with provinces.

Prime Minister seemed entirely receptive to proposal and promised to bring it at once before Council of Ministers and to inform me of decision as soon as possible.

Hakimi expressed indignation at repeated references by Stalin to “hostile” government of Iran and observed that apparently only government that is entirely subservient to Soviet demands would be regarded by them as “friendly”. Prime Minister then referred to his repeated but rebuffed offers to discuss with Soviets anywhere and any time matters of mutual interest to two countries and added that if it would be helpful to his country in present situation, he would gladly resign. (In] later conversation with British Ambassador9 a few minutes after his return to Tehran he remarked rather gloomily that he “supposed there would have to be change of govt”.)

In audience with Shah he informed me of likelihood that Hakimi Govt would soon fall owing to withdrawal of support by a number of deputies in majority group (presumed to be under British influence) some of whom now accuse Hakimi of inability to deal with Russians and others of whom believe he has been too conclliatory.

Shah discussed with great frankness, as has been his wont in recent months, the distressing position in which his country now finds itself by reason of British interference in south and Soviet interference in north. He realizes fully that, while British interference doubtless has no such sinister motives as appear to inspire Soviet activities, the Soviets regard British activities with suspicion and may feel counter measures on their part justified.

With regard to proposed Anglo-American-Soviet Commission, Shah said he personally was inclined to view it with favor for particular reason that it would assure friendly and unbiased assistance of US. In view however of Molotov’s10 position that Soviet Govt could not deal with “hostile” Hakimi Govt, he said he wondered whether Soviet tactics would not be to insist in first instance on setting up of “friendly” govt (i.e. one that would meet all Soviet demands) whereafter Soviets would declare that they did not wish to participate in such commission that proposed to “interfere in internal affairs of Iran”.

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In reply to Shah’s misgivings, I stated that while, of course, there were risks of failure in any proposal of this kind, I was convinced that it was in Iran’s vital interest for govt to espouse the proposal thereby demonstrating govt’s willingness to resort to every reasonable remedy in order to relieve present strain in its relations with Soviets. Even if such measures fail, Iran would have given evidence of her good faith and have strengthened her case in world public opinion.

I added in conclusion that, as His Majesty was well aware, I have strongly urged since my return to Iran that govt here endeavor by every reasonable means to establish personal contacts with Soviet Govt through suitable emissaries if necessary and that in any case I earnestly hoped that if Hakimi is to resign due consideration will be given in selecting his successor to the great importance of his being competent to deal effectively with Soviets without, of course, sacrificing vital interests of the country.

Murray
  1. Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, p. 521.
  2. Ibrahim Hakimi.
  3. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
  4. The following bracketed portion was taken from the copy in the Tehran Embassy files because of garbling in the message as received in the Department.
  5. Sir Reader W. Bullard.
  6. Vyacheslav Mikhailovlch Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.