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

1771. 1. At Mosadeq’s request Warne and I called on him this morning. He opened conversation by expressing deepest appreciation of work which Point IV under Warne’s direction was accomplishing in Iran. He said his various ministers who were cooperating with Point IV had unanimously expressed to him their appreciation of what Point IV was doing and admiration and affection for Warne. They were convinced that Warne and Point IV personnel were really friends of Iran and doing all they could to assist Iran and Iranian people. Warne thanked PriMin, pointing out that he had always received full cooperation from ministers in Mosadeq’s Cabinet and from other Iranian officials. He described certain recent activities of Point IV and assured PriMin that spirit of cooperation between Point IV and members Iranian Govt and Iranian officials could not be better.

2. PriMin said there were two matters in particular which he would like to discuss. He hoped that we would understand that he was raising them because of his earnest desire that work of Point IV be successful in Iran. Point IV was so closely interwoven with present Iranian Govt that its failure wld not only damage Iran but it wld damage present Govt and its success wld be of benefit both to Iran and to Iranian Govt.

3. Mosadeq referred to salaries being paid Iranians employed by Point IV. According to his info scale salaries was higher than that of Iranian Governmental employees. This difference was giving rise to cer[Page 390]tain amount resentment and jealousy. He hoped that Warne could take steps to bring Point IV salaries into harmony with those paid to Iranian Governmental officials and employees. If Warne could successfully take these steps it might prevent development of friction which could seriously injure work of Point IV in Iran.

4. Warne said that he had already gone into this matter and in fact had asked a committee to make further investigations and recommendations. In meantime he inclined believe there was really no great disparity between Point IV salary scales and those of Iranian Govt. It shld be borne in mind that (a) Point IV employees were required to give full time to Point IV work; they put in longer hours and were not permitted to accept other employment or resort to other means of adding to their income whereas many Iranian Govt officials and employees were in a position because of their short working day to augment their salaries by engaging in other types of work. (b) Point IV employees had been carefully selected and in general had higher qualifications than average Iranian Governmental employees. Most of them for instance were bi-lingual. Some of them upon entering Point IV had been given [more?] responsible positions than those which they had occupied in the Govt. It was understandable therefore that number were receiving higher salaries. Nevertheless he prepared go further into matter and take steps adjust certain salary scales which might seem out of line with Iranian Governmental salaries.

Mosadeq said he was not insisting that income of Point IV employees shld necessarily be reduced. He hoped that their salary scales cld be put on same level as that of Govt employees and that such addl amts as they might receive be paid in form of overtime, bonuses for special qualifications, etc. Salary scales might be published in order to counter exaggerated rumors.

5. Mosadeq said he wished discuss another problem of delicate nature. Before doing so he wanted to make sure that Warne agreed with him that extremely close cooperation between Point IV and Iranian Govt was necessary in interest of both organizations. When Warne expressed agreement, PriMin said unfortunately there were some Point IV employees hostile to Iranian Govt who were using their position to work against Iranian Govt. Most prominent of them was Ardeshir Zahedi, who was in a key position and who, according to statements made to Mosadeq by prominent member Majlis in presence of several Natl Front leaders, was engaging in activities hostile to Govt Iran. It was not necessary for Mosadeq to point out that Zahedi was son of and undoubtedly under influence of Gen. Zahedi, who had been connected with Brit and who had been carrying on activities aimed at overthrow of Mosadeq. Presence man like Zahedi in Point IV wld strengthen propaganda which certainly would be instituted by mbrs Tudeh and [Page 391] other enemies US to effect that US was now taking place of Brit in intriguing for overthrow present Iranian Govt.

6. Warne said he had been conscious of fact that presence Zahedi in Point IV might give rise to criticisms. PriMin would recall that Zahedi had been lent to Point IV by MinAgriculture over year and half ago; that Zahedi’s father at that time was cooperating closely with Natl Front and was subsequently MinInt in Mosadeq’s Cabinet; and that only recently had Zahedi’s father come out in opposition to present Govt. Point IV was not political organization; practically all of its personnel had been lent to it by various agencies of Iranian Govt with approval of Iranian Cabinet mbrs. It had been his policy not to remove Point IV personnel thus employed unless there was no longer need [for] their services, or unless they shld be found to be incompetent or engaged in improper activities. Zahedi had been under special supervision in view father’s present opposition to Govt and no evidence of improper activities had thus far been found.

7. I told PriMin he shld be able as experienced administrator to understand that if employees of Point IV shld obtain impression that whenever some mbr of Majlis or other influential Iranian shld make unsubstantiated charge against them, they would be discharged, morale whole organization wld be lowered and it will be difficult for Point IV to operate effectively. PriMin replied it might well be impossible to prove subversive political activities of Point IV employees engaging in them because these personnel might succeed in concealing such activities. In certain instances it shld be clear without proof that individual employees were disloyal to Govt and that their continued presence in Point IV was harmful to Point IV and Iran.

8. I said that Warne and I had discussed problem Zahedi shortly after latter’s father had come out in opposition to Govt. We had decided it wld be unfair to discharge him unless we cld find some evidence of his involvement but that he shld be kept under close observation. Thus far we had not detected any improper activity on his part. In response my question Mosadeq said that at present he had no complaint against any other Point IV personnel.

9. Warne said he desired to cooperate closely with Govt and asked PriMin if he wished that Zahedi’s connection with Point IV be severed completely or that Zahedi merely be moved to some technical post where he wld not have wide contacts and where his presence in Point IV wld not attract undue attention. PriMin replied that in view of what we had said he preferred that no action be taken at present re Zahedi. He wld investigate charges which had been made and wld let us know results later. He added with smile that perhaps General Zahedi might [Page 392] find it advantageous in present situation again to become supporter of Govt. In that event there need not be so much concern re son.2

10. Mosadeq referred to visits of Point IV officials to northern Iran. He said that Russians had been protesting to him at presence Americans in North and he was afraid that they might also insist upon Soviet nationals being allowed engage in activities in that area parallel those of Point IV. He therefore hoped that Point IV work in northern Iran wld be carried on from Tehran exclusively by Iranian officials. Mosadeq apparently was not aware that Point IV offices were operating in North. He seemed particularly interested in Azerbaijan. We explained to him that Point IV office had been opened in Tabriz many months ago; that American Point IV personnel were directing its activities; and that these activities were being carried on for most part through Iran Govt agencies. We pointed out that thus far there had been no serious repercussions because of presence of US Point IV personnel in Azerbaijan. Mosadeq finally stated he wld not insist upon withdrawal these officials but he hoped that they wld carry on their work quietly and not attract undue attention to themselves. He also again expressed hope no high Point IV officials wld visit northern Iran since such visits wld be sure to cause sharp Soviet reaction. Soviet Union likely to bring further embarrassing pressure on him. It might even instigate acts of violence against Point IV residents or visitors in northern Iran. It wld be disastrous to Iran if any Point IV officials in northern Iran shld suffer physical injury. Warne said that neither he nor any visiting high Point IV officials wld go to Azerbaijan without first consulting with PriMin.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 469, Records of U.S. Foreign Assistance Agencies 1948–1961, Mission to Iran, Executive Office Subject Files (Central Files) 1951–1961, Box 4, Folder 4, Point IV—General—1952. Secret; Security Information; Priority. Drafted by Henderson. This telegram is the Embassy copy as approved and has no time of transmission. Warne’s account of this same meeting, October 30, was sent to the Department in despatch 347, November 2. (Ibid.)
  2. In telegram 1893 from Tehran, November 7, Henderson reported the following: “Mosadeq sent word to me today that after careful investigation Zahedi he convinced latter had been engaged in activities incompatible with his duties employee TCA and shld be separated from that organization. “Accordingly, Warne is informing Zahedi today that he is being removed at least temporarily from role active employee.” (Ibid.)