After a January 17 meeting on Iran between United States and British officials led by Paul Nitze and Ambassador Makins, the following exchange took place:
“After the meeting, Sir Roger Makins and Mr. Nitze had a private conversation. Mr. Nitze expressed concern that the United States and the United Kingdom had been drifting further apart on the Iranian question during the last few months. He said that if the United States had this responsibility, that fact should be established in order that the United States could conduct itself in a responsible manner. The United Kingdom Government seemed to be becoming convinced that the United States was excessively catastrophic in its appreciation of the Iranian situation. On the other hand the United States Government was becoming convinced that the United Kingdom foresaw no solution for the Iranian situation, had given up hope and had in fact dumped in the United States lap the responsibility for whatever action might have to be taken to prevent Iran from going over to the Communists.
“Sir Roger Makins said that he understood this point. He went on to say that while he did not wish to mention the matter before [Page 328] the other British representatives, the British Government at the request of the Secretary would appoint an outstanding person to deal with the Iranian matter on a continuing basis. He said, however, that the problems involved in selecting the individual and giving him the necessary briefing would involve some delay before he is available to consult with United States representatives.” (Memorandum of conversation, January 18; 788.00/1–1752)