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69. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1

3715. 1. During last 6 months Emb has been approached on numerous occasions by friends Qavam (Paris tel to Dept 5970, March 28)2 with purpose endeavoring extract from Emb assurances that US Govt wld take various steps effect establishment gov headed by Qavam or at least wld look with favor upon such govt if set up. Some these emissaries have urged I press Shah interevene with Majlis or Senate in order bring about replacement Mosadeq by Qavam. Others have merely asked that we give assurances that if Qavam shld become PriMin his govt wld be viewed with friendly eyes by US and US wld be prepared render substantial financial or econ assistance to his govt. Practically all these friends of Qavam have assured Emb that Qavam wld be friendly to West, particularly to US. Within recent weeks some of them have gone so far as say that if he shld come to power he wld take steps place Iran openly on side West and bring Iran into Mid-East command. Some of them have also informed Emb that his health is greatly improved and that he is planning return almost immediately Iran.

2. Shah continues be antipathetic to Qavam in spite claims Qavam’s friends that his attitude re Qavam has altered during recent months. During my talk with Shah on Mar 20 he told me again he did not (rpt not) trust Qavam and dismissed possibility latter’s return to power. Ala also told me several days ago he distressed at stories that Princess Ashraf was mtg Qavam and was conspiring to make him PriMin. We understand most of royal family, particularly Queen Mother, Princess Ashraf and Prince Abdor Reza favor Qavam and are critical of Shah’s attitude. We believe most Iran politicians at present do not (rpt not) consider Qavam as likely candidate for PriMin in view Shah’s opposition.

3. Altho Qavam is old and perhaps to extent decrepit; altho some his closest advisers have bad reputations re personal honesty and polit integrity; and altho he is by no (rpt no) means inspiring leader; nevertheless, we inclined believe that of all candidates who thus far have been mentioned as possible successors to Mosadeq, he wld probably be most effective PriMin from point view of restoring stability in country and of working out arrangements which, if Brit wld show more reasonable attitude, wld result in revival oil industry and improvement Iran’s [Page 226]financial position. He might even venture launch some much needed econ reforms which his followers say he has in mind.

4. Emb has been uniformly replying to approaches made to it by friends Qavam to effect US Govt pursues policy of non-interference in Iran internal affairs. US Govt therefore cannot (rpt cannot) support one candidate for PriMin against another. If however Qavam shld come to power, US Govt wld hope to have friendly relations with his govt and with him. US Govt recalls the pleasant relations which it had enjoyed with Iran during period Qavam was PriMin and wld hope that similar relations wld exist if he shld again come to power.

Henderson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1950–1954, 888.00/3–3152. Secret; Security Information; Priority. Repeated to Paris. Received at 12:55 p.m.
  2. Document 68.