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124. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1

1309. 1. Rumors unconfirmed but nevertheless disquieting since some of them appear fairly circumstantial continue to circulate re growing cooperation between Kashani and Tudeh. Yesterday afternoon we were informed by one source that 90 minutes previously long negotiation between Kashani–Tudeh had come successful conclusion. Tudeh promised give Kashani full support (perhaps including monetary). Kashani would within near future endeavor by parliamentary methods to become Primin. In such capacity he would expel US military advisers, close US Consulates, and curtail activities of other Americans at least in North Iran. He would also endeavor organize anti-western front in Moslem world along lines of “anti-imperialist leagues” of bygone days in which many prominent Asian leaders, including Nehru, had participated. This source not thoroughly tested and its info may be incorrect. Nevertheless in view Kashani’s recent activities and statements we cannot dismiss this story entirely. We are therefore seeking confirmation.2

2. Arab Minister told me last night that several days ago Kashani in presence visiting religious leader from Minister’s country had strongly defended Tudeh as loyal Moslem organization; Kashani had maintained he would not be happy until he had rid Iran and other ME Moslem countries of westerners who had been interfering too long in Moslem affairs; and that he had assurances that if necessary he could obtain aid of thirty million Moslems in Soviet Union to help him in this work.

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3. Pak Amb who is ardent Shiah continues postpone leaving Iran for his new post at Ankara. He is showing tendencies to become progressively fanatical in support of Kashani. Two evenings ago in conversation with Yugoslav Min and myself he maintained Tudeh was composed Moslems; therefore could never be under communist control; US and UK responsible for present situation Iran and had only themselves to blame if Kashani would find it necessary look north for support. When I raised question re US responsibility he said US had not made sufficient efforts to change attitude UK. He insisted his Govt fully supported his views re partial responsibility US for situation here and, becoming more excited, he said he prepared issue public statement at once to that effect. He expressed pleasure Zafrullah had welcomed invitation Kashani to ME Moslem Conference and said all Moslems must stand together during this trying period.

4. My impression is that Arab diplomats here in general have no admiration for Kashani but fear that in their various countries there might be anti-western or leftist Moslem groups who will support and attend his projected conference despite attitude their respective govts.

Dept please rpt Moscow.

Henderson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 84, Tehran Embassy Files, 1950–1952, classified general records, Box 42. Secret; Security Information. Drafted by Henderson. Repeated to London and Karachi. The telegram is the Embassy copy as approved and has no time of transmission.
  2. In telegram TEHE 152 to CIA, September 26, the Station in Tehran reported that Kashani now planned to attempt the overthrow of Mosadeq and to replace him with General Fazlullah Zahedi. The Station reported further that “Kashani since return from Mecca has met frequently with Mossadeq opposition leaders and has been successful in getting their backing against Mossadeq. Kashani has given certain promises to them that he will not adopt hostile attitude toward them or Shah. In source opinion, Mossadeq opposition motivated mainly by desperation and following reasoning. (1) Kashani only person capable ousting Mossadeq. (2) They can either do business with Kashani or at least latter would represent force easier to cope with than that of Mossadeq.” The Station made no mention of the Tudeh until later in the telegram, when it commented that “in Field opinion that whether or not any secret agreement between Kashani and Tudeh, latter would not be adverse to Kashanis replacement of Mossadeq. De facto Tudeh support of Kashani at least until latter in power is strong possibility.” (Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 89–00176R, Box 1, Folder 15, Political Activities—Iran)