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

3597. 1. We agree in general Secretary’s evaluation Iran political situation (paragraph one Deptel 2337 March 7 repeated London 5959).2 We think, however, there still some possibility Shah has not “largely and permanently disappeared.” Despite aura passivity which envelopes him, struggle for his survival and contacts between him and opposition still continuing. Although clear-cut victory for Shah not likely, there may be compromise which would leave him with certain vestige influence. Many army officers very disturbed by continued inaction on part Shah. Nevertheless all of them have not given up idea making some move on his behalf even though without his advance consent or knowledge.

2. As we see situation from Tehran we also agree with Secretary’s outline our future policy re Iran as expressed to Eden. In view fluidity Iran situation we may be compelled as Secretary points out to play to extent by ear.

Henderson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1950–1954, 788.00/3–853. Top Secret; Security Information. Repeated to London. Received at 8:09 a.m.
  2. Telegram 5959 to London, March 7, reported that Secretary Dulles, in a March 6 meeting with President Eisenhower and Eden, “expressed view situation so dangerous and unpredictable might be necessary act promptly and U.S. wld have to have considerable measure discretion as to what it did. Eden repeated plea that U.S. measures adopted to ‘maintain a state of friendly stability in Iran’ should be unrelated any purchase of oil or activation of the refinery. Eden reemphasized that bitter resentment wld be aroused in U.K. by presence American technicians in Abadan.” Telegram 5959 is printed in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. X, Iran, 1951–1954, pp. 702–703 (Document 314). The record of the meeting is printed ibid., vol. VI, Part 1, Western Europe and Canada, pp. 918–919, (Document 382).