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[Page 549]

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

4311. 1. I have met Amini, new Acting Minister Court twice briefly since his appointment. First April 30 at reception Embassy and second afternoon May 2 Iraqi Embassy. On latter occasion I congratulated him on and wished him success in new difficult position. He replied task exceedingly difficult. He found himself in most awkward situation. I said I could understand. I personally had highest regard for Ala, his predecessor, who had been my friend for many years. I had deep respect and affection for Shah and I exceedingly fond Mosadeq whom I considered one of great men Middle East. Amini said he in same position. I told him I would be pleased call on him at his convenience. He replied he would welcome opportunity talk with me and would be glad see me even though there was no (repeat no) protocol requirement that chiefs of diplomatic missions call on Minister Court. I took hint and said perhaps he and his wife would like have tea some afternoon with wife and self. He indicated that would be preferable but I did not (repeat not) set date.

2. May 3, Chief CAS informed me Khosro Qashqai had told him he understood Chief would like have chat with Amini and he had arranged for him see Amini discreetly same evening. Chief had replied he had not (repeat not) indicated desire see Amini but would be glad meet him. I approved meeting.

3. Chief informs me during discussion in presence Qashqai Amini stated differences between Shah and Mosadeq should be settled soonest. Present situation of suspense weakens court, excites opposition and benefits only Tudeh. Basis of settlement of differences will have important bearing on future Iran. If this settlement is to benefit Iran and be permanent it should be in harmony with US policies. It impossible Iran remain neutral. Iran must be committed to West and only logical association is with US. Said before advising Shah regarding terms settlement he must know (question A) what US policy is regarding Iran particularly regarding Mosadeq? Amini continued that as soon as differences between Shah and Mosadeq settled Amini will suggest Shah visit Caspian. Afterwards he wishes arrange Shah go abroad. [Page 550]He would like suggestions regarding country which Shah might visit, preferably one with monarchical government. (Question B)

5. [sic] Re question B, chief said choice country for Shah visit could best be determined by court itself. It would seem, however, that important factor to be taken into consideration was what reaction Iranian public opinion would be. He would ask Ambassador whether Embassy might be able assist in arranging invitation.

6. In reply question C, chief stated in his opinion US would not (repeat not) favor attempt effect change in regime. In view geographical position Iran and internal political pressures change of regime would be hazardous venture which might seriously jeopardize Iranian independence and social stability. Shah could be sure US would not (repeat not) condone move this kind. Chief remarked he sure Khosro would agree attempt change regime might be fatal to country. Khosro who on previous occasions in past had commented to members Embassy staff “Shah must go” and he “favored republic” said on this occasion he not (repeat not) against Shah provided latter behaved as “their Shah” and not (repeat not) like “Prime Minister”.

7. Amini asked if it possible have answers his questions by May 6 or latest May 8.

8. After departure Amini chief informed Khosro it would be preferable for all concerned if next interview could be between Amini and chief alone. He hoped Khosro would take initiative in suggesting this to Amini since he did not (repeat not) wish Amini gather impression chief trying arrange private meeting without Khosro’s knowledge.

9. Amini has raised some delicate questions which in my opinion should be carefully considered before reply given. Several days ago Shah through trusted source sent message to me he did not (repeat not) have full trust in Amini and Embassy should not (repeat not) fully credit Shah certain views which Amini might express on Shah’s behalf. Understand Amini has made progress of late in obtaining Shah’s confidence. Fact that Amini carried on this conversation in presence Khosro who although Amini’s close friend one of most vindictive enemies of Shah might indicate Amini playing some kind of game, Khosro undergoing change attitude or Amini naive.

10. After discussion appropriate members staff and some thought, I shall make recommendations re type answers to be given. My present thinking is Amini’s position so unclear it might be preferable in answering question A state US refraining from intervening in Iranian internal affairs and, therefore, not (repeat not) supporting any particular person. It has great respect for Mosadeq and wishes cooperate with him in correct manner during time he Prime Minister. It also regards Shah as factor for stability in country which should not (repeat not) be weakened. Re economic aid we might point out extremely difficult so [Page 551]long as situation re oil remains unchanged obtain support US public opinion for substantial economic aid to Iran. Re question B, we might say in case Shah should desire US assistance in arranging for some friendly country invite him for visit, US Government willing do what it can although it not (repeat not) convinced it in interests Iran for Shah leave country in present circumstances. Re question C, US Government of opinion any attempt effect change in head of state or form Iranian Government might produce situation instability dangerous to Iranian independence.

11. Leave to discretion Department extent to which this conversation should be brought to attention UK.

Henderson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1950–1954, 788.00/5–453. Top Secret; Security Information; Priority. Received at 9:39 p.m. At the top of the page is a handwritten note that reads: “Tehran given instructions Deptel 2823 5/5. Brit Emb informed. Emb London informed by airgram.” Telegram 2823 to Tehran is ibid., 788.00/5–553.