888.2553/2–1852: Telegram

No. 161
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Embassy in Iran1


174. From Nitze [and] Linder. FonOff called us in this morning to express their concern about Garner’s planned departure. They feared (a) if he left Senate forces might lose impetus. (b) That if and when he returned in characteristic Iranian fashion negots wld start from the beginning rather than from where they left off. Probably underlying UK position was fear that with Garner’s departure no further progress could be made, while Irans awaited Brit further concessions.

We took line Garner was essentially honest broker who had to be judge of when he had exhausted all possibilities at this stage of negots. Moreover Irans were entitled expect that Garner wld now endeavor do his best with Brit otherwise Iran suspicion that Garner really Brit agent wld in their eyes be confirmed. Also Garner’s duties in bank made it impossible for him to be away too long a period.

Brit accepted our position and as result have discussed their msg to Middleton with us which we understand will make fol points:

Garner is not breaking off negots.
He has a much clearer understanding of the views of the Persian Govt.
He is hopeful that the bank may be able to arrange an interim settlement.
He must now also find out the views of HMG in a similar way.
He is leaving a part of his mission behind to maintain contact with the Persian Govt until he returns to continue discussions.
Since he wishes to respect the confidence of the Persian Govt and similarly the confidence of HMG, he is unable to disclose any details of the proposals under discussion, and he believes that any such disclosure wld not be in the best interests of all concerned.

To these we assented with clear understanding, however, that your judgment shld be substituted for ours in respect of desirability of any or all of this and of course that since this was Garner’s announcement we cld not do more than advise. We recognize that most important points are already agreed namely (I) above and that Garner leave in friendly spirit with initiative his, as to when he returns.

  1. Repeated to the Department as telegram 3583, which is the source text.