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278. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to the Station in Iran1

DIR 16224. Ref TEHE 717.2

1. In view Ambassador Henderson’s return and in light of indications contained in ref, State Dept and ourselves most anxious receive benefit your views after full discussion which we assume already taking place between you and Ambassador Henderson.

2. State Dept has indicated following tentative stand:

This view on basis evidence available to it is that operation has been tried and failed and we should not participate in any operation against Mossadegh which could be traced back to US and further compromise future relations with him which may become only course of action left open to US.3

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3. British position which we understand should shortly reach you in more detail via CIA official summarized below:

We must regret we cannot consider going on fighting with prospects as stated by US official (“operation not quite dead”)4 and with no fresh supporting evidence.

4. In view foregoing and in absence strong contrary recommendations from you and Ambassador Henderson, operations against Mossadegh should be discontinued.

5. Questions re details liquidation, possible future action and fulfillment commitments will follow your answer to this message. One such question which you might be able answer soon is: What kind of activity do you consider essential to protection of security of preceding actions, including key personalities having knowledge of most details, and also for preservation of such assets as can be saved for future use.

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.
  2. Document 273.
  3. In a telegram from Washington to the Foreign Office, August 17, British Ambassador Sir Roger Makins wrote that “Bedell Smith told me today that latest developments made it necessary for the Administration to take a new look at policy towards Persia. He thought it would be necessary to cultivate good relations with Mussaddiq. Perhaps American technicians might be sent. Whatever his faults Mussaddiq had no love for the Russians and timely aid might enable him to keep Communism in check.” (British National Archives, Prime Minister’s Files, PREM 11/514)
  4. Apparently a paraphrase of the opening sentence of telegram TEHE 715, August 17: “Project is not yet quite dead in that Zahedi Gilanshah (Iranian sources) and Farzanegen determined to press action.” (Central Intelligence Agency. Transcribed specifically for the Foreign Relations series from microfilm in the Central Intelligence Agency that no longer exists. See “Sources” chapter.)