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

239. 1. Emissary Qavam, in whom I have confidence, came to see me this morning to ask if I could visit Qavam July 19, 10:00 a.m. He said Qavam’s first problem was financial. Qavam would like settle oil problem as soon as possible but he must move with decorum and caution in order not (rpt not) to outrage sensibilities of country. In meantime there are heavy back payments due in governmental salaries and new pay day falls on July 20. Qavam hopes that US will find some way to help tide government over financially until he has had opportunity settle oil problem and otherwise get Iran’s house in financial order.

2. I asked emissary if Qavam thought of possibility obtaining temporary loan from Bank Melli through issuance of limited amount of notes against currency coverage. Emissary said matter was being given consideration but consent of Majlis must first be obtained and it would be impolitic for Qavam’s first approach to Majlis to be request for lowering of currency coverage. In any event at least month would elapse before necessary legislation could be passed and notes made available to government.

3. I told emissary I would be glad discuss matter with Qavam in our talk tomorrow but Qavam should know in advance that I in no (rpt no) position to make commitments about financial aid. This aid involved number factors, some rather complicated. I asked if Qavam was making similar approach to Brit. Emissary replied he thought probably Qavam would send message some kind to Brit. Emb today but it would not (rpt not) be possible to begin serious discussion re oil with Brit. until machinery had been set up and certain amount time consuming preparations made.

4. My informant told me that he was with Qavam last night at time news received that Majlis had taken vote in his favor. He said within ten minutes after results of Majlis vote had been received, Gen. Kupal, Chief Police, called on Qavam and expressed his joy that Majlis had decided in his favor and stated his desire to do everything possible to insure that change in government would lead to no (rpt no) disorders. Few minutes later Mil Governor of Tehran appeared on similar mission. While these two officers were still with Qavam, Ala Min. Court telephoned on behalf of Shah, informing Qavam that decree naming [Page 267]him Prime Minister would be issued and that in meantime Qavam should at once assume responsibilities of Prime Minister. Qavam turned from telephone to officers and told them that he expected them to maintain complete law and order in Tehran. They were to act with restraint. Nevertheless, they should make it clear that no (rpt no) disturbances of any kind would be tolerated. Simultaneously, Qavam gave orders that radio should inform public of his nomination as Prime Minister and of his determination that law and order should be maintained in Tehran and throughout country. According to my informant, certain manifestations which were being planned by various groups in Tehran were hurriedly abandoned. Tanks were sent to quarters of city where trouble might be expected. Both Chief Police and Mil. Gov. assured Qavam that they were confident that with his backing they could maintain order in Tehran with no (rpt no) difficulty.

5. According to my informant, he had long private talk with Qavam early this morning during which Qavam discussed foreign policies and indicated, as he had on previous occasions, that Iran’s destiny lay with Western world and that it was his intention cooperate closely with West powers and gradually bring Iran into full and unequivocal alignment with West.

6. According my informant, Qavam by no (rpt no) means jubilant at his appointment. Instead, he feels great weight of responsibilities and is looking particularly to US for cooperation and understanding during trying period which is ahead.

7. According to informant, Qavam called on Shah at 9:30 this morning and spent over an hour in conversation with latter. Upon his return he told informant that he thought Shah really had begun to trust him and intended work with him loyally.

8. My informant stated that Cabinet probably not (rpt not) be selected until July 19 or 20. Qavam has decided to retain Portfolio FA temporarily for self. It also likely, according to informant, that Ala will go as Amb Wash and Sen-Ti will be Min. Court. These matters, of course, must be coordinated with Shah.

9. After leaving Embassy, informant repeated our conversation to Qavam who sent him back to me with message to effect that receipt financial aid was of utmost urgency; that he really should have it today (rpt today) or tomorrow. It would be misinterpreted if he would ask Brit. for such aid before opening oil negotiations and therefore US was only hope. He asked if US really interested in saving Iran it move with unprecedented speed.

Henderson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1950–1954, 788.13/7–1852. Secret; Security Information; NIACT. Repeated to London. Received at 9:24 a.m.