216. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • General Cabell (DDCI); Ambassador Loy Henderson; Mr. Frank Wisner (DD/P); Mr. Kermit Roosevelt (CNEA); Mr. John Waller (CNEA/4)


  • Outline of Preliminary Operational Plan in Implementation of Project TPAJAX


  • Briefing of Ambassador Henderson With Regard to Subject in Order to Solicit His Views Prior to Mr. Roosevelt’s Forthcoming Discussions [less than 1 line not declassified] in London

Mr. Roosevelt reviewed the preliminary operational plan which had been prepared by [cryptonym not declassified] officials and KUBARK representative [less than 1 line not declassified]. A summary of the plan as presented by Mr. Roosevelt is hereto attached.2 Ambassador Henderson interjected his views and comments as Mr. Roosevelt described specific aspects of the plan. Significant remarks made by Ambassador Henderson during the course of the conversation are summarized below:

1. With regard to the Plan’s basic premise that [cryptonym not declassified] will cooperate actively:

Ambassador Henderson stated categorically that this premise was fallacious; that [cryptonym not declassified] could not be relied upon to give the required backing to [cryptonym not declassified] when the time for action comes unless extreme pressure were exerted on [cryptonym not declassified]. The Ambassador suggested that such pressure might even have to take the form of an actual or implied threat that ODYOKE and [cryptonym not declassified] would consider replacing [cryptonym not declassified] by one of his brothers if [cryptonym not declassified] did not take the leadership in removing [cryptonym not declassified]. Ambassador Henderson added that we had ample evidence of [cryptonym not declassified] inherent weakness and reluctance to play a strong role in Iran; and the time may have arrived when we should give serious consideration to his replacement. In this connection, Prince Abdul Reza, as possible successor to the throne, was discussed. The advisability of feeling out [cryptonym not declassified] regarding the replacement of [Page 584] [cryptonym not declassified] with the best available successor, was also discussed.

2. The Ambassador expressed concern that without [cryptonym not declassified] active and energetic cooperation or possibly even with it the Iranian Army could not be relied upon to play the major role assigned it by the preliminary plan. The Ambassador repeatedly and forcefully made the point that it would be highly advisable to enlist in some way the participation of the Amini brothers—(Brigadier General Mahmud Amini, Gendarmérie Chief and possible future Chief of Staff; and Abul Ghassem Amini, Minister of Court) since the latter has a firm hold on the Army. In this connection, the Ambassador recalled his own reports from Tehran in which he described approaches made to him by Minister of Court Amini [less than 1 line not declassified].3 From this and from available intelligence reports, the Ambassador felt that the Aminis [less than 1 line not declassified] would be susceptible to an ODYOKE approach despite their alleged loyalty to [cryptonym not declassified]. Ambassador Henderson felt that both the Aminis [cryptonym not declassified] were wavering in their support of [cryptonym not declassified] and would break completely if it were politically advantageous for them to do so.

3. With regard to Stage 1 in Acquiring [cryptonym not declassified] Cooperation in TPAJAX (I–B–1(a))

Ambassador Henderson stated that in a conversation with [cryptonym not declassified] just prior to departing from his post he had told [cryptonym not declassified] that ODYOKE and [cryptonym not declassified] were in agreement that [cryptonym not declassified] should not remain in office and that both ODYOKE and [cryptonym not declassified] were supporting [cryptonym not declassified] solidly.

4. With regard to Stage 2 in acquiring [cryptonym not declassified] cooperation: Special U.S. representative to [cryptonym not declassified] (I–B–2):

A. Ambassador Henderson commented that it would be extremely difficult for the special ODYOKE representative—whoever he may be—to gain an audience with [cryptonym not declassified] as required by the plan without others present.

B. Considerable discussion followed with regard to choice of a special U.S. representative. Among those names mentioned in the conversation were General Zimmerman, former Chief of the U.S. Military Mission, Iran; General Schwartzkopf, former head of the U.S. Military Mission to the Iranian Gendarmérie; Ambassador George Allen; Mr. George McGhee, former Assistant Secretary of State; [name not declassi[Page 585]fied] and Mr. Kermit Roosevelt. No decisions were reached although General Schwartzkopf’s name was given most favorable consideration. Appropriate cover for General Schwartzkopf was also discussed and the suggestion was made that he might visit other Middle Eastern countries as well as Iran [1 line not declassified].

5. With regard to Stage 2: Statement to [cryptonym not declassified] that no aid will be forthcoming so long as [cryptonym not declassified] remains in power (I–B–2(d)):

Ambassador Henderson pointed out the inconsistency of our Point Four program to Iran with our political objectives to remove [cryptonym not declassified]. He recalled specifically that he had advised against TCI’s $3,400,000 Village Council program but he added that it was too late now to stop this program without risking possible serious retaliatory moves by [cryptonym not declassified].

6. Stage 2: Statement to [cryptonym not declassified] that ODYOKE [cryptonym not declassified] financial aid would be forthcoming to a successor government (I/B/2–(f)):

Ambassador Henderson stated that this was an extremely important point and that ODYOKE must be fully prepared to render such aid. He stated that ODACID should prepare itself immediately to make specific financial commitments although he pointed out that such commitments are difficult to make since congressional action would probably be necessary.

7. With regard to Stage 2: Statement to [cryptonym not declassified] regarding the head of a successor government (I–B–2 (d)):

Rather than request [cryptonym not declassified] to suggest the head of a successor government as called for in the preliminary plan, Ambassador Henderson urged that the special ODYOKE representative to [cryptonym not declassified] should take the initiative in stating that [cryptonym not declassified] ODYOKE desires [cryptonym not declassified]. Ambassador Henderson pointed out that otherwise [cryptonym not declassified] who basically fears a strong Prime Minister such as [cryptonym not declassified] would name an individual like [cryptonym not declassified].

8. With regard to Stage 2: Statement to [cryptonym not declassified] that an acceptable oil settlement must ultimately be offered by a successor government (I–B–2(g)):

Ambassador Henderson warned that the terms of such an oil settlement must be clearly defined to us by [cryptonym not declassified] prior to the advent of a new government and such terms must be at least as favorable as those heretofore presented by [cryptonym not declassified]. Ambassador Henderson stated that [cryptonym not declassified] is mainly motivated by financial considerations and might well [Page 586] seize the opportunity presented by [cryptonym not declassified] fall to present an oil settlement unfavorable to Iran.

9. With regard to Stage 2: Warning to [cryptonym not declassified] not to discuss the approach by the special ODYOKE representative with anyone.

Ambassador Henderson pointed out that [cryptonym not declassified] security is poor and that in all likelihood he could not refrain from discussing ODYOKE’s approach with close advisors, most of whom are untrustworthy from our point of view.

10. With regard to arrangement with [cryptonym not declassified]: Discussions with [cryptonym not declassified] concerning quasi-legal method of succeeding to premiership (II–B–1).

Ambassador Henderson pointed out that [cryptonym not declassified] if he cooperated at all, would insist that [cryptonym not declassified] replace [cryptonym not declassified] by legal procedures. Specifically, not only would the Majlis have to give a vote of censure or non-confidence to [cryptonym not declassified] but would have to grant a vote of inclination to [cryptonym not declassified] before [cryptonym not declassified] would issue the royal firman naming him Prime Minister.

11. With regard to relations with religious leaders: Fedaian should be encouraged to threaten direct action against pro-[cryptonym not declassified] deputies.

Ambassador Henderson urged that no assassination be included in the [cryptonym not declassified]/ODYOKE plan.

12. With regard to Press and Propaganda program: Successor government Press Chief should be prepared to publicize ODYOKE and [cryptonym not declassified] official statements on the new government. (IV–E).

Ambassador Henderson suggested that such statements should not be made by [cryptonym not declassified] or ODYOKE too quickly after the successor government takes over lest it reveal ODYOKE/ [cryptonym not declassified] implication in the plot.

13. With regard to relations with Tribes: Major problem is neutralization of [less than 1 line not declassified] (VIII–B).

Ambassador Henderson felt that [less than 1 line not declassified] who currently support [cryptonym not declassified] would present a serious problem. He stated that the [less than 1 line not declassified] leaders, who are closely allied with the Amini brothers (Brigadier Amini, possible new Chief of Staff and Minister of Court Amini) should be included somehow in the plan or otherwise bought off, so that they would contribute to the undermining of [cryptonym not declassified] rather than the support of the latter. Ambassador Henderson pointed out that the [less than 1 line not declassified] were already wavering in their support of [cryptonym not declassified] and could probably be manoeuvered into the opposition ranks providing they felt [cryptonym not [Page 587] declassified] cause was a lost one, and if they stood to benefit politically by cooperation with the opposition.

14. With regard to Mechanics of Quasi-legal overthrow: Exploitation of illegal printing of money as grounds for Majlis crisis precipitating [cryptonym not declassified] ouster (IX–B–2).

Ambassador Henderson stressed that it would be inadvisable to attack [cryptonym not declassified] on the grounds of illegally printing money and to publicize the decreased backing of the Iranian currency caused thereby, unless [cryptonym not declassified] ODYOKE were prepared to grant considerable aid to the successor government.

John H. Waller
Chief, NE–4 (Iran)
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 80–01701R, Box 3, Folder 7, TPAJAX Vol. I. Top Secret; Security Information. Drafted by Waller on June 8.
  2. Not found attached, but see Document 214.
  3. An apparent reference to Henderson’s meeting with Amini and Khosro Qashqai reported in Document 200.