23. Despatch From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1
Transmitting a Memorandum Entitled “Estimate of the Political Strength of the Mossadeq Government”.
There is transmitted herewith for the consideration of the Department a memorandum entitled “Estimate of the Political Strength of the Mossadeq Government” which has been prepared by Mr. Stutesman and Mr. Cuomo of the Embassy staff.[Page 81]
I am confident that the Department will find the enclosed memorandum of considerable interest. The enigmatic Dr. Mosadeq is to exert considerable influence in Iran in the immediate future. The skill with which he conducts the affairs of the government, and the political course which he follows will probably determine the future not only of the vitally important oil resources of this country, but perhaps of the country itself.
Mosadeq is a dramatic demagogue who appears to be without particular wisdom or background for government. These very factors make his presence at the head of the government especially important. He has qualities which, while not commending him to the world, may establish his place firmly in the minds of the people as a popular leader.
I am inclined to doubt the statement in the memorandum that Mosadeq “has the confidence of the majority of Iranians”. The majority of the Iranians are illiterate and uninformed and are concerned only with their daily living. Inside the principal towns the name of Mosadeq is probably little better known than was that of Razmara, Mansour, or Saleh. It is nevertheless true that Dr. Mosadeq does command a large following of the more articulate in the cities and from this he derives his strength.
For the time being we should, I believe, show a willingness positively to cooperate with the Mosadeq Government, as is suggested in the concluding paragraphs of the memorandum. The Ambassador intends to follow this policy unless the Department instructs to the contrary.
For the Ambassador:
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1950–1954, 788.00/5–451. Secret. Drafted by Richards. Attachment drafted by Stutesman and Cuomo. Sent by pouch.↩