313. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Plans (Wisner) to Director of Central Intelligence Dulles1
- Financial and economic assistance to Iran; the views and position of Mr. Eugene Black, of the World Bank
1. Reference is made to the various memoranda held in reserve for the Director concerning the efforts of this Agency to stimulate (by all appropriate means) the interest and action of various US governmental and other officials to the end that sufficient and timely economic and financial assistance may be provided to the new Iranian Government.2 After some days of unsuccessful effort to reach Mr. Eugene Black, he finally called me on September 4 and we had a very carefully guarded conversation of which the following is the substance (although not the wording, since no identifying references were made). I opened the conversation by saying that because of my familiarity with his own past interest and efforts in “a certain country recently in the news,” I wondered what thought he was giving currently to the latest developments and whether he had any idea of sending one of his representatives there to take soundings. Mr. Black understood immediately and said that he had indeed been thinking about this matter and had taken a few actions, although he had not been approached by the State Department about it.
2. Mr. Black said that the World Bank could not, at the present time, entertain any request for a loan to Iran since it is a principle of the Bank to make loans only in those cases where there is solid assurance that the loan can be repaid. In the case of Iran obviously such a loan could not be repaid unless and until that country’s problems with the British were satisfactorily resolved.
3. Under the circumstances Mr. Black did not propose to send [less than 1 line not declassified] representative of the Bank to Iran, as this would undoubtedly give rise to speculation that the Bank was about to entertain a loan application, which might cause further embarrassment. However, with realization of how much assistance the Bank could render Iran, Mr. Black consulted the head of the Monetary Fund with respect to the willingness of the Fund to send a mission to Iran, if [Page 747]and when asked, to aid in solving the exchange problems which are sure to arise—and in fact have already come up—[2 lines not declassified]. The head of the Fund readily agreed, and Mr. Black is hopeful that this plan may go forward soon. [2 lines not declassified]
4. Mr. Black regards most favorably the man who has been named as the new head of the Central Bank of Iran. This individual (Nasr) has been Iran’s representative on the World Bank Board up until very recently, and is now on his way home to take up his new post. Mr. Black discussed with Mr. Nasr the desirability of the visit to Iran of a mission from the Monetary Fund and understands that Mr. Nasr will, in his new capacity as head of the Central Bank, request such a mission. While Mr. Nasr was on duty in Washington, Mr. Black personally took care to see that he met quite a number of key US officials such as Assistant Secretary of State Byroade, and persons of considerable importance in both the Treasury and the Federal Reserve System.