228. Letter From the Chief of the Near East and Africa Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Roosevelt) to the Chief of Station in Iran ([name not declassified])1
It appears to be more or less decided that I shall proceed to Tehran for the culminating phases of TPAJAX. Ascham has made the reservation that if my presence should arouse undesirable publicity prior to culmination, I could still be withdrawn. Presumably [cryptonym not declassified] will agree to this.
It seems to me that I should arrive at about the same time that Roach2 does, since the course of his conversation with [cryptonym not declassified] is likely to present us with the necessity for making most crucial decisions. There should be time to consult headquarters about such decisions, but I would like to be able myself to receive a detailed first hand account of the conversation or conversations. According to present estimates, that would mean that I should be present in Tehran for something approximating three weeks. (My hope is that if all goes well, the time table could be speeded up, but obviously we cannot count on this.)
I have been giving considerable thought to the ways in which my visit might be handled and I would very much appreciate any views that you and others would care to offer. Perhaps you could send me a note [less than 1 line not declassified] giving any suggestions that you have. I will of course keep you fully informed on the timing of my movements.
It seems to me that we must decide at the beginning whether we are going to try to keep the visit more or less secret or, if that is considered to be a hopeless undertaking, whether we should not aim for the casual note from the very beginning. If the latter course is to be fol[Page 606]lowed, I do not think that I should start out by staying with KUCLUB personnel in the Compound. I should think it might be more logical for me to spend a little while visiting someone in Shimran and then perhaps move down to the Compound as a matter of convenience. I quite agree that I should not stay [less than 1 line not declassified]. I think it would be better if I did not stay in any one place too long and as long as I have only casual infrequent meetings with other than station personnel, there would be no reason for any one person to realize the length of my stay. A cultivated air of boondoggling might also help. Perhaps I should go, or at least appear to go, for a few days shooting. Perhaps illness would be the best arrangement for at least part of the time. I could arrive for a few days visit and then have to stay on because of sickness. I do think that, if we put our minds to this, between us we should be able to work out something that can make my stay relatively inconspicuous.
I believe that there is a slight and so far unacknowledged difference of opinion as to whether or not I am to be in direct contact with any principals during my visit. The request from [cryptonym not declassified] that I be made available for this assignment mentioned the desirability of having someone on the spot who could stiffen any characters who begin to waiver at the last minute. My own feeling and that of Ascham is that I should not see any of the locals, except in case of emergency where I felt that my own appearance in the picture could make a sufficient difference to warrant the risk. I would appreciate your views on this point also. Presumably we will overlap for a few days in Tehran and can discuss this matter then. Incidentally your departure could provide a perfectly plausible reason for my initial visit.
I trust you have come up with some constructive ideas as to how we can get rid of [cryptonym not declassified]. Head [less than 1 line not declassified] feels that this can be left to [cryptonym not declassified] but I think that [less than 1 line not declassified] may need some assistance. I feel also that if we could arrange for [less than 1 line not declassified] to be away during the days of decision, it would be most helpful. During our discussions [less than 1 line not declassified] we had not anticipated that [less than 1 line not declassified] would be present and I must admit that [less than 1 line not declassified] return came as an unexpected blow to me. We should also be giving some advance thought to [cryptonym not declassified] further travels. [2½ lines not declassified]
With best regards,