Learn about the beta

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

3342. 1. Ardeshir Zahedi, son of Zahedi who severed relations with Point IV several months ago at request Prime Minister, called on Commander Pollard, Naval Attaché, at latter’s residence last evening. They are old friends and have maintained friendly contact during last two years. During course evening Ardeshir outlined to Pollard present differences between Shah and Mosadeq and said it possible father would become Prime Minister within few days. He stated that there had been two groups working for successor to Mosadeq. One group had supported Ali Mansur, other Zahedi. Mansur group several days ago had decided to throw in its lot with Zahedi. Also supporting Zahedi were Kashani, Baqai, leading officers of armed forces, et cetera. Zahedi was determined that before he would take over power an organization should be perfected and plans would be laid to maintain law and order so that incidents of last July would not (repeat not) be repeated. Zahedi thought he would have support of Shah but he was not (repeat not) sure. He would act, however, regardless of Shah’s attitude. Ardeshir added that his father had always been friendly to US and Western world and must depend on good will, particularly of US, for success his government. His father had several candidates for each portfolio in his proposed Cabinet and would if named Prime Minister give Shah op[Page 449]portunity to express his preferences in that list. General already had good informal contact with court. If US should have in mind any personalities who might make good Cabinet members he sure his father would be glad consider them.

2. Pollard thanked Ardeshir for giving him this information and pointed out that it was US Government policy not (repeat not) to interfere in any way in internal affairs Iran.

3. This morning Ardeshir again saw Pollard for few moments. He said that his father was at time participating in meeting for purpose deciding what measures should be taken to guarantee public security in case General should become Prime Minister. During this meeting they would select officer for position Chief of Staff. Ardeshir also indicated that his father expected come in by constitutional means and would obtain overwhelming support of Majlis. In order not (repeat not) to strain relations with Kashani in early days his government he did not (repeat not) propose to ask Shah to dismiss Majlis and call for new elections. He would prefer, if possible, to work at least temporarily with present Majlis.

4. Ardeshir also had brief conversation yesterday with Warne. He told Warne that his father might become Prime Minister in next few days. Although his father would be anxious to settle oil problem at early date it would not (repeat not) be possible in view internal political situation for him to do so immediately. He probably would need some kind financial assistance from US before he would be in position to settle oil dispute. It might be fatal for him to settle oil dispute at once and then receive financial assistance because he would be charged with selling out country.

5. Both Warne and Pollard realize delicacy of situation and have stated they will use circumspection in any relations they may have with Ardeshir. Pollard, however, had agreed to see Ardeshir for few moments shortly after noon today.

Henderson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1950–1954, 788.00/2–2353. Top Secret; Security Information; NIACT. Repeated to London. Received at 12:15 p.m.