888.131/2–2750: Telegram

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

secret

329. As reported Weeka February 24,1 government resigned Thursday night.2 As expected Prime Minister Sa Ed was charged by Shah with formation new government.

Yesterday in Majlis, four deputies, including Sa Ed’s ex-political under secretary, Keshavarz Sadr, opened strong attack on Prime Minister charging him with violation of constitution by postponing opening of Sixteenth Majlis beyond three months from date of closing of previous Parliament. Deputy Abbas Islami then introduced impeachment motion against Prime Minister which was placed on agenda by Majlis President Hekmat.3

It is not impossible impeachment may have been instigated by Sa Ed himself. He operates smoothly, and I am sure he has little desire form new government in view Shah’s decided attitude that AIOC renegotiation must be presented to Majlis forthwith and as is.

Talked with outgoing Minister National Economy, Dr. Taqi Nasr, at length yesterday. He apparently expects reenter government.4 He said that Minister National Economy would become head seven-year [Page 480]plan organization. Present head Iran’s Supreme Council Ali Mansur, would, he thought, go to Ankara as Ambassador replacing Dr. Ghani. He regarded this as most unfortunate since he feared Mansur would leave nothing undone to undermine US position in Turkey. Nasr went on to intimate that Dr. Mosharraf Nafici is playing very dubious role as managing director of plan. He also was critical of what he called “Ebtehaj–Ala5 axis”. He thought Ebtehaj would be obliged to leave Bank Melli.

Re overseas consultants, Nasr asserted their work is being sabotaged right and left, and that their recommendations are being scoffed at and disregarded in ministries. He stated very bluntly that if collaboration between foreign advisers and Iran Government is desired, only means of obtaining such collaboration would be to invest advisers with executive authority. Same belief was expressed to Dooher yesterday by Prince Abdorreza and to me a few days ago by Foreign Minister Siassi.6

I discussed with Nasr proposal by Foreign Office that US Government grant moratorium on arms credit payments (Embtel 324, February 25).7 I suggested that such proposal, if officially made at this time, would be most unfortunate.8 Moreover, if such request coincided with large capital expenditures of foreign exchange for exploiting unknown oil resources, Iran might find justification difficult.

During discussion of general inadvisability of raising oil question here at this time, Nasr strongly insisted that in its economic development planning Iran should place immediate and primary emphasis on alleviation of condition of masses rather than on long-range projects. He too expressed great concern over progress being made by Tudeh Party and indicated that only immediate economic measures could relieve situation.

Sent Department 329; repeated Moscow 25, London 24, Department pass Moscow; Department inform Army, Navy, Air.

Wiley
  1. Not printed.
  2. February 23.
  3. Reza Hekmat, President of the Iranian Majlis.
  4. Dr. Taqi Nasr was retained as Minister of National Economy in the Cabinet presented to the Shah by Prime Minister Saed on February 26.
  5. Hussein Ala was named Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ali Gholi Ardalan Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet presented to the Shah by Prime Minister Saed on February 26.
  6. No record has been found in Department of State files of this conversation between Ambassador Wiley and the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Akbar Siassi.
  7. Supra.
  8. No explanation has been found in Department of State files of the Embassy’s change of attitude toward a moratorium; cf. supra. The Department strongly endorsed the Embassy’s discouragement of a request for a moratorium (telegram 224, March 2, to Tehran, 888.131/2–2550).