888.2553/8–2852: Telegram

No. 213
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iran1

top secret

511. Pres and PriMin have decided that it is imperative that US and UK show world that good and fair proposal has been made to Mosadeq to provide basis for opening constructive negots settle oil dispute. You are therefore instructed to concert with ur Brit colleague and formally deliver to Mosadeq joint msg from Pres and PriMin. Dept favors adoption ur suggested drafting changes with additional change of placing last sentence of first para of proposal after first sentence that para. Text will then read:

“There shall be submitted to the ICJ the question of compensation to be paid in respect of the nationalization of the enterprise of the AIOC in Iran. The validity of the nationalization law shall not be brought into question by either party. The Court in deciding the question of compensation shall take into consideration claims and counter-claims of both parties. If it shld appear that the two parties in preparing their respective claims and counter-claims have different views with regard to the legal situation prevailing in Iran prior to nationalization, the Court shall be at liberty to decide for itself what that situation was.”

We do not know whether BritGov will agree and you shld be guided this respect by whatever instrs Middleton receives.2 Immed [Page 472] upon delivery msg to Mosadeq, text proposals and cover msg is to be made public in Wash, London and Tehran and you are instructed to so inform Mosadeq. In this connection advise Dept immed when appt made to see Mosadeq. You shld bear in mind fact that best timing for US publicity purposes wld be for you to see Mosadeq at 4 p.m. or later Sat Tehran time.3

In accordance with ur request Embtel 901 Aug 284 timing and method delivery msg are left to ur discretion. However Dept notes that ur desire make separate calls on Mosadeq was based on dangers “undesirable speculation”. Since full text proposals will be made public it may be more advisable for you and Middleton to go again together to reaffirm joint US–UK support this proposal.

Press conference will be held in Dept and all US informational media will carry text proposal and gen comment along fol lines:5

Proposal is fair and open proposition with no strings attached. Its gen broad character shows that it is intended primarily as wedge to break log jam of oil dispute.
Proposal has advantages of simplicity and generality of terminology and constitutes direct approach from US and Brit to Govt of Iran.
It shld enable Iran nation to fulfill its natl aspirations, and does, we believe, meet objections raised re previous proposals.
Proposal is wide enough to provide ample basis for opening constructive negots.
Proposal is result long and careful consideration of problem and frequent exchange of ideas between ourselves, Brit and Irans.

Dept does not intend to tell press msg was shown Mosadeq Aug 27 but if pressed we may have to confirm that proposals were discussed with him that day.

For Holmes: Pls pass substance foregoing to FonOff.

  1. Repeated to London. Drafted by Stutesman and approved by Jernegan.
  2. Ambassador Gifford reported on Aug. 29 that he had seen Eden that day, and that the Foreign Secretary had concluded that the suggested changes outlined in telegram 1434 to London and those previously proposed from Tehran were undesirable. Eden thought that any changes might strengthen Mosadeq’s belief that the original message was a trap, and that the United States and United Kingdom should not encourage Mosadeq to believe that he could summarily reject fair proposals put to him by the President and Prime Minister only to have them replaced by something more favorable. Eden also told Gifford that Middleton was being instructed to concert with Henderson regarding the delivery of the message. (Telegram 1180; 888.2553/8–2952)
  3. On Aug. 29 Ambassador Henderson reported that Middleton had received instructions to deliver the note unchanged, and that he and Middleton were trying to arrange an appointment to see Mosadeq either at 4 p.m. or after 7 p.m. local time on Aug. 30. (Telegram 918; 888.2553/8–2952)
  4. See footnote 2, supra.
  5. Secretary Acheson read a statement along these lines at his press conference on Sept. 3. For text of this statement, see Department of State Bulletin, Sept. 15, 1952, p. 405.