788.5 MAP/1–3050: Telegram

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


163. Tomap. Following is résumé my two hour audience with Shah Saturday:

While Shah started off firmly decided both bilateral MAP discussions and negotiations take place Tehran, after long conversation he finally acquiesced that both discussions and negotiations should take place Washington (ReDeptel 77 January 24).1
Re conduct discussions and negotiations, I mentioned that Prime Minister Saed had suggested he might head brief mission to US (Embtel 114, January 21 and Deptel 90, January 25).2 Shah was most unenthusiastic. Name of Razmara then came up (Embtel 124, January 23)1 and Shah made it clear he is entirely disinclined have Razmara visit US at present. He added three very good intelligent younger senior officers being sent to US on a look-see mission and it was feasible have one or more these officers take over discussions and negotiations. Names of officers will be sent later.
Shah indicated he has no intention permit General Mazhari3 conduct MDAP discussions or negotiations.
I promised, provided Department approves, send Secretary Embassy Wagner4 to Washington since he is entirely cognizant point of view here.
During conversation Shah emphasized and re-emphasized necessity bilateral agreement should be formulated in such a manner that it would not require submission to Majlis. He believes requirement Majlis approval would afford only a sounding board for demagogic, subversive oratory and recalled difficulties in Majlis when surplus arms program was presented. I agree entirely matter must be kept out of Majlis and I acquiesced his request we seek good legal advice how this may be achieved. This we are doing.
With regard to general question military aid to Iran, Shah again brought up question of Turkey. He said IIS was handing out a billion dollars, of which Turkey was receiving a great deal. He was very curious to know why Iran was in such a different and minor category. He quoted figures on the Turkish military budget and compared these with Iranian military budget, emphasizing great disparity between the two. At same time he emphasized complete inutility of Iranian military expenditures under present circumstances and stated Iranian army was utterly useless to defend Iran against foreign aggression or to enter into any formal strategic plan. He thought NME of US should make up its mind whether it was taking Iran seriously or not. If things were as serious as billion dollar aid would suggest he felt Iran should occupy more important place in US strategic thinking
I showed Shah radio bulletin5 summary North Atlantic bilateral agreements signed January 27. He questioned only provision regarding supply to US of raw and semi-processed materials available in sigNATOry country and in short supply in US. He inquired whether we would demand petroleum and stated US Navy in Mediterranean was now obtaining oil from AIOC and indicated US Government was somehow involved in AIOC. I assured him US Government had no connection whatsoever with AIOC and if Navy was gettting oil from AIOC it was through purely commercial channels. His remarks this regard were indicative widespread misapprehension which exists in Iran.
Shah stated that Ambassador Ala had recently been called to Department and told that he, Shah, intended double army and greatly increase military budget and that Department emphasized to Ala its great interest in economic development Iran rather than primary importance being attached to military. Shah stated Department had been misinformed. I assured Shah most definitely Department [Page 459] had not been misinformed by Embassy, nor had NME been misinformed by either General Evans or Colonel Drury.6 Shah went on to say present TO of army was 150,000 and actually it had about 138,000. He hoped bring army up to 150,000 then, add to, and under army force of frontier guards of about 30,000. (Significant ARMISH not consulted or even informed this regard.) As for army budget he was thinking in terms of 3.5 billion rials as compared with present 2.4 (approximately) billion rials. Latest military budget figures mentioned by Shah is sizeable reduction from General Razmara’s original estimate 4.5 billion rials (Embtel 55 January 11).7 Reduction appears to be result strong pressure brought on Shah and Minister Finance Golshayan8 by Prince Abdorreza who told Dooher last night he will continue efforts to bring military expenditures more in harmony with Iran’s limited resources.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Brig. Gen. Mohammad Mazhari, Military Attaché of the Iranian Embassy in the United States.
  5. Joseph J. Wagner, Second Secretary of Embassy in Iran.
  6. Department of State Wireless Bulletin, January 27, 1950, p. 1. For documentation on the signing of Mutual Defense Assistance Agreements between the United States and eight other NATO countries on January 27, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  7. Col. Frederick W. Drury, Senior Military Attaché of the Embassy in Iran.
  8. Not printed.
  9. Abbas Qoli Golshayan.