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

1590. 1. Abol Qasem Panahi called on Richards yesterday stating that he was emissary of Qavam. After reviewing what he described as “rapidly deteriorating situation” Iran, Panahi stated that many people now felt that Mosadeq could not retain position as Primin for long after his return from US. If he failed return with agreement permitting early resumption oil production his political opponents would brand his mission a failure. On other hand any likely agreement would involve arrangements with British and this would leave Mosadeq open to charges having sold out to British.

2. Panahi then stated Shah had been seeing Qavam and, while Qavam’s shortcomings well recognized, Shah now prepared accept him as next Primin in absence any more promising candidate.

3. Qavam had indicated to Panahi that he would have no dealings with Russians; and that he would have minimum dealings with Brits. However before taking next steps Qavam wanted to be assured he would be acceptable to US were he to be called to power.

4. Panahi was told Emb could not indicate opposition to or support of any specific person or political party. However it was believed US would cooperate with any political leader coming into power on platform which indicated he would (a) support the constitutional government of the country, (b) take steps to revive oil industry on basis sound economic considerations, (c) oppose Russian expansion and infiltration, and (d) would be willing collaborate with US and other like-minded Western powers to achieve these ends.

5. Point also made to Panahi that Emb would hope any new Govt would enlist support young, respectable and forward-looking leaders for positions of responsibility. Panahi stated Qavam already lining up likely candidates for number key posts and he thought they would meet specifications we had in mind although there was “poverty of leaders” in Iran.

6. Foregoing is of considerable interest as coming from Qavam and as indication thinking of considerable number Iranians. Richards’ handling of matter has my approval.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 84, Tehran Embassy Files, 1950–1952, classified general records, Box 32. Secret. Drafted by Richards. The telegram is the Embassy copy as approved and has no time of transmission.