273. Telegram From the Station in Iran to the Central Intelligence Agency1

TEHE 717. 1. While initial attempt failed several significant facts remain:

A. Firmans established new govt and dismissed old. They are in effect. Mossadeq has actually conducted a revolution. Legally Ambassador is not accredited to him but to Shah who has dismissed him.

B. Economic situation will continue to worsen.

C. Mossadeq strengthened at moment. Period probably last two months.

D. Army still basically Shah.

E. Tudeh will occupy more important position than ever.

F. Impossible to woo Mossadeq toward U.S. COL will remain in ground and Tudeh will thrive.

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G. Army will be in turmoil. Riahi will attempt throw out all possible rivals. Army will steadily resent constant reshuffling which now greatly intensified.

H. Religious leaders now desperate. Will attempt anything. Will try save Islam and Shah of Iran.

I. People apathetic toward Mossadeq call for mob reaction. Fear loss of Shah and Tudeh takeover.

J. Shah waiting to see if U.S. supports his first courageous action.

K. Amny [Many], many yyes [eyes] now look to U.S. to save them.

L. Past Dept. of State policy can only end in loss of Iran.

2. Situation will worsen, while dictatorship strengthens.

3. Dept. of State seems willing to pull démarche and throw arms around Mossadeq who cannot be veered.

4. U.S. long range Middle East interests require firm continuation Eisenhower policy.

5. Nothing can be gained by selling the Shah, constitution, army, Islam, down drain.

6. Recommend in strongest terms CIA express firm belief in constitution policy of opposition. In long run that policy will be vindicated or all lost.

7. Will discuss above with Ambassador Henderson this evening.

8. Ref para one DIR 160462 and 16048:3 Particularly in view [Berry’s] conversation with Shah do not see how we can in good conscience refuse Shah advice and encouragement.4

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency. Secret. Transcribed specifically for the Foreign Relations series from microfilm in the Central Intelligence Agency that no longer exists. See “Sources” chapter. All brackets are in the transcribed text.
  2. In telegram DIR 16046 to Tehran, August 16, the DCI informed Roosevelt that the Department of State was firmly opposed to any American attempt to contact the Shah. (Ibid.)
  3. See footnote 2, Document 269.
  4. See Document 271.