891.001/4–648: Telegram

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


355. After presentation of letters, had private audience with Shah lasting nearly hour and half (Embtel 354, April 61). Shah emphasized at great length and seemingly with sincerity his desire to improve social justice and standard of living of masses in Iran. He showed great resentment over invocation 1921 treaty for military occupation Iran in 1941, claiming that there were only half the number of Germans in Iran than in Turkey and that no possible menace to USSR existed as foreseen in 1921 treaty.

He regards future with deep pessimism and evidently foresees Russian invasion Iran at no very remote date. He did not believe Iranian Government in exile, either in Washington or elsewhere, would serve any useful purpose. He is determined to keep Iranian flag flying somewhere in Iran. Under no circumstances can he foresee possibility of [Page 133] defending frontiers of Iran against aggression but apparently is hopeful of remaining somewhere within country. He is impressed and encouraged by firmness and clarity of American policy but very fearful that anything US may do for Iran may be “too little and too late”. He said “if only we could have half the tanks and munitions that US is sending to Turkey”.

He talked at length about necessity of increasing agriculture and mineral wealth of Iran.

I found Shah for his age (28) mature, well informed, and intelligent. I got impression of a young man of good preparation, courage and conviction.

Sent Department 355, repeated London 28, Department please pass Moscow 21.

  1. Not printed.