30. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran1

2228. Subsequent to receipt useful info contained urtel 2449 Apr 17,2 reports from another Gov agency have indicated an apparent considerable increase of Brit activity recently among tribal elements, especially Qashqai segments, possibly designed to promote separatist tendencies among groups in southern Iran.

In view importance this subj Emb is requested, using own, CAS and Amconsul Isfahan sources, submit tele report on recent and current Brit activities in southern Iran. Report shld not be confined purely tribal matters but include Brit activities among traditionally pro-Brit leaders of settled population.

Request ur views whether there is any possibility in event IranGov attempts seize AIOC properties by force that there wld be resistance and/or uprising of any sort on part native Iran elements.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1950–1954, 888.2553/4–1751. Secret. Drafted on May 26 by P.J. Halle and C.V. Ferguson, cleared by Freeman, and approved by Rountree.
  2. In telegram 2449 from Tehran, April 17, Ambassador Grady discussed the significance of alleged British contacts with tribes in southern Iran reported in CIA PD 888, April 18. Grady reported that the British had traditionally maintained contact with southern Iranian tribes both to protect their oilfields and to provide contingency options in the event of a breakdown in central government authority or a Soviet invasion of Iran. (Both telegram 2449 and CIA PD 888 are appended to an April 24 memorandum from Assistant Secretary McGhee to H. Freeman Matthews, “Tribal Situation in Iran”; ibid., 888.2553/4–2451) Based on the above information, President Truman “thought that there was nothing further to be done about the matter.” (Memorandum of conversation between Acheson and Truman, May 7; ibid.)