788.11/1–2450: Telegram

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


134. Pass Armed Forces. In conversation with Shah last evening he expressed deepest concern over developments in China. It is clear that he is most apprehensive of British and other recognition Communist regime China. States Afghanistan is flirting with Russia and that attitude of Nehru vis-à-vis Russia is more than obscure. He expressed himself as most apprehensive of Communist encirclement of Iran, with possible disastrous consequences for this country.

He went on to say that a very important part of Iranian budget was dedicated to military expenditures. But without US assistance [Page 447] these expenditures were fruitless; no effective military force to resist aggression could be built up. He repeated that his military views had received complete agreement on his visit to Pentagon.1 It was now time, he thought, that US should decide whether or not Iran constituted integral part in defense program. If so, planning should be worked out on a constructive basis and the plan should be executed. He attaches greatest importance to proposed visit General Collins2 to Tehran. General Collins was absent when Shah was in Washington. Suggest General be given background before he comes here, which should be after March 15, re Embtel Tomap 133, January 24, 2 p. m.3

  1. Regarding the Shah’s assertion that his military views had received complete agreement on his visit to the Pentagon in 1949, the Department of State informed the Embassy in Iran as follows: “In connection Iran milit plans we note Shah’s insistence on ‘approval’ given his strategic plan at time of his call on JCS at Pentagon (urtel 134 Jan 24 second para). FYI, ‘approval’ consisted of perfunctory statements by Gen Bradley and others that Shah knew conditions in Iran better than we cld but that on basis our limited knowledge it appeared Shah’s plan was sound and probably best that cld be devised under circumstances. See Memo of Conversation on Nov 18, 1949. There was no question of formal JCS approval or any commitment, even implied, for US support of plan.” (Telegram 109, January 30, to Tehran; 888.10/1–3050) For a report on the meeting of the Shah with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon on November 18, 1949, see the editorial note, Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vi, p. 581.
  2. Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.
  3. Not printed.