The Ambassador in Iran (Henderson) to the Department of State1
3431. 1. Court source extremely close Shah told Embassy Attaché yesterday evening that Shah on insistence Mosadeq planning leave country very soon.…
2. I had lunch with Ala today. He had just received phone call from Shah who apparently was disturbed at leaks re his departure plans. Shah had asked Ala impress on me secrecy. Ala said Shah had told him that if his plans should become known prematurely, developments might take place which would prevent his departure. I asked Ala if Shah seriously intended leave. He replied in affirmative; arrangements were being made for Shah to broadcast message to people at about 4 p.m. February 28 stating reasons for departure. Shah would leave by car 5 p.m. accompanied by Queen, two servants, several guards. Gharagozlu, master ceremonies, and wife would proceed Baghdad by plane March 1 to join Shah’s party. After visit in Spain Shah and Queen plan go to Switzerland for winter sports and medical treatment. I believe despite message allegedly sent me by Shah he really intends leave Saturday evening.
3. Ala says it extremely important that so far as possible press US be influenced to take line that there no great political significance in Shah’s departure. Speculation comparing Shah with Farouk would weaken Shah’s position. No real parallel. Mosadeq has given word of honor he will not undermine Shah in latter’s absence and Shah believes Mosadeq. They are lunching together today.2