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

1907. 1. Two days ago Kashani sent message asking me to call on him. I did so Nov 8. Our conversation somewhat disjointed and inconclusive since after one hour another appointment compelled me leave. I shall see him again evening Nov 10.

2. It not yet clear just why he wanted see me unless he wished give impression to friends or enemies or both he was in touch with US. He started conversation by saying policies US Govt ruining his health and damaging Iran and if continued might lead to third world war, destruction modern civilization, and ruin US. He was Iranian and his love for Iranian people transcended all considerations. At same time he was Moslem and believed precepts of Koran promised salvation for world. [Page 399]He as the leading figure Moslem world was issuing call for internatl Moslem conference take place soon in Iran thru which he hoped create Moslem world unity. United Moslem world would devote itself to combatting aggressive communism, tyrannical imperialism, and colonialism. He needed US help in his enterprise which if successful would prevent another world war. If US was really working for peace and against oppression it should give him help.

3. When I asked him what kind help he needed he said he was not asking for money. What he wanted was for US to come out openly against imperialism and colonialism as it had come out against communism. If US should remain silent in face of imperialistic and colonial policies of UK and France, opponents of imperialism and colonialism could only draw inference that US was partner of imperialist and colonial powers. I told him US was against imperialism and against kind of oppression of colonies which was usually referred to as colonialism. Main objective US at present, however, was to obtain maximum unity of forces of free world in combatting internatl communistic aggression which was greatest threat world peace. This unity could not be obtained if one mbr free world wld publicly attack other members of free world for certain practices or policies which it did not happen to approve. In present world situation US was of opinion it could contribute most to cause of peace by endeavoring through persuasion and by private conversations to prevail upon other free countries to desist from policies or practices which might seem contrary to spirit of UN. Kashani said only real way to combat imperialism and colonialism was to come out publicly against them. If US should not openly take sides in this struggle he would denounce it just as much as he intended to denounce countries guilty of imperialism and colonialism. He gave number alleged illustrations of US partnership with imperialism and colonialism and oppression in general, touching particularly on Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Palestine. He said US partnership with imperialist powers in exploiting weaker peoples not in keeping with principles to which US maintained it adhered. Turning to Iran he wanted to know why if US was not taking side of imperialism it was supporting Brit blockade by boycotting Iranian oil. It was difficult to explain to excitable and unreasoning person like Kashani why Iranian oil was not being sold to US. I did my best however do so.

4. In spite of his intemperate language Kashani seemed to be in personally friendly mood and from time to time softened conversation with jokes and anecdotes. I do not know what he intends to discuss during our next conversation. He may be more specific in indicating kind of help he would like have. Few days ago Busheri, former mbr Mosadeq’s cabinet who is on friendly terms with Kashani, intimated to me that Kashani wld be happy if US cld help finance cost of transport of [Page 400]some of delegates to Moslem conference. Kashani thus far however has not given any indication that he desired such aid.

Henderson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 84, Tehran Embassy Files, 1950–1952, classified general records, Box 42. Secret; Security Information; Limited Distribution; Noforn. Drafted by Henderson. Repeated to London. The telegram is the Embassy copy as approved and has no time of transmission.