888.2553 AIOC/6–151

No. 26
President Truman to Prime Minister Mosadeq1


I express to you the serious concern of the Govt of the US at the controversy between Iran and Grt Brit concerning operations of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. The US is a close friend of both countries. It is anxious that a solution be found which will satisfy the desires of the Iranian people for nationalization of their petroleum resources, and at the same time will safeguard basic British interests and assure the continued flow of Iranian oil into the economy of the free world.

I am convinced that both the Iranian and British Governments are willing and anxious to work out arrangements which will achieve these objectives. It is clear that they can be achieved only if the Iranian Government is willing to discuss with representatives of Great Britain all of the outstanding issues, without confining their talks merely to technical details. I earnestly hope that the Iranian Government will, in its efforts to carry out its nationalization program, do so by friendly negotiation.

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I am sure you can understand my deep concern that in this situation no action be taken impeding a settlement, which is of great importance to the whole free world. I am confident that a solution acceptable both to Iran and Great Britain can and will be found. I sincerely hope that every effort will be made to accomplish this objective.2

  1. On June 1 Ambassador Grady reported that due to a mistake at the Embassy in Tehran, the message to Attlee (supra) had been delivered to Prime Minister Mosadeq at 11:30 that morning. (Telegram 3084 from Tehran; 888.2553/6–151) As soon as this became known the Department of State and the Embassy in London expressed to the British their sincere regrets at the error, and the Department of State undertook the drafting of a substitute message from President Truman to Prime Minister Mosadeq.

    The text of the substitute, printed here, was transmitted to Tehran at 7 p.m. on June 1 in telegram 2267 with the instruction that Ambassador Grady ask Mosadeq to substitute it for the message to Attlee and retain the latter for his private information only. A copy of the substitute message was also sent to London for delivery to the British. Ambassador Grady decided that it would be unwise to attempt to withdraw the Attlee message since Mosadeq had already released it to the press, and on June 3 he delivered the substitute. Mosadeq expressed his appreciation for the impartiality of the United States in sending both sides essentially the same plea to open negotiations and released the text of the second message to the press. (Telegrams 3100 and 3109 from Tehran, both dated June 4; 888.2553 AIOC/6–451) Further documentation on the delivery of the messages, the regrets expressed to the British, the drafting of the substitute note, and its delivery to Mosadeq is in files 888.2553/6–151 through 6–451 and 888.2553 AIOC/6–151 through 6–451.

  2. Mosadeq responded on June 11, thanking President Truman for his interest and concern, but pointing out that the negotiations over nationalization were the exclusive responsibility of the Iranian Government and the AIOC, not the British Government. (888.2553 AIOC/6–1151)