Tehran Embassy Files, Lot 59 F 17, 400 MDAP 1950

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


Dear John: I have received your letter dated February 15, 19501 in which you recommend that there be a reconsideration of our policy regarding Iran on a very high level and that the United States be prepared to offer Iran much greater assistance, both economic and military than is contemplated at present.

I have discussed the Iranian situation with the appropriate Department officers2 and I would like to assure you that the question of United States policy towards Iran is under constant and urgent study. I understand that the Department’s position regarding our aid programs for Iran has been fully reviewed for you in several communications during the past few weeks and I do not believe I have anything further to add at present. We are aware of the delicate situation in Iran and have examined and shall continue to examine [Page 507] what the United States can do to help within the limits set by Iran’s reasonable requirements and our own resources.

While the amount of military assistance to Iran is not as great as the Department would have desired for either the present or the coming fiscal years, it is a continuing program susceptible to enlargement and the Department does not look upon it from a long range point of view as “token aid”. The question of other forms of assistance to Iran is under constant review and, as you were recently advised, we are exploring the possibility of an Export-Import Bank loan to Iran should the need arise.3 The possibility of extending grant aid to Iran creates, as I am sure you will agree, an extremely difficult problem since, despite its internal budgetary and currency difficulties, Iran at the moment still appears to possess sources of foreign exchange which would make it extremely difficult for the Department to justify aid of this nature much as it might like to do so for purely political reasons. This possibility, however, is also receiving the attention of the Department and you may be confident we shall not overlook any reasonable opportunity of accomplishing our aims in Iran.

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
  1. Ante, p. 470.
  2. For documentation on the Secretary’s discussion of Iran with Department of State officers) see the memorandum of conversation, March 1, by Mr. McWilliams, p. 482.
  3. The editors have not found documentation on the Department of State advising Ambassador Wiley about exploring the possibility of an Export-Import Bank of Washington loan to Iran. The possibility of such a loan was set forth in the letter, March 23, from Tehran by Mr. Rountree to Mr. Jernegan (p. 491), This possibility may have been discussed with Ambassador Wiley during Mr. Rountree’s visit to Tehran; see footnote 1, ibid.