No. 34
Prime Minister Mosadeq to President Truman1

Dear Mr. President: The special interest you have shown on various occasions in the welfare of our country in general, and in the recent oil question in particular, and the personal message you were kind enough to send me on 3 [1] June 1951,2 prompt me to inform you that the Imperial Iranian Government has been duty-bound to put into force the law enacted by the two Houses of Parliament concerning the nationalization of the oil industry all over Iran and the modus operandi of that law in the quickest possible time.

Notwithstanding the urgency of the matter, the measures for the enforcement of the law were taken in a very gradual manner and with extreme care and caution, both in order to ensure the success of the preliminary steps, and also in order to bring about an understanding between the Government of Iran and the former oil company, and to give ample time to the latter for negotiations between their representatives and this Government.

The Imperial Iranian Government was ready in all sincerity to make the best possible use of this opportunity and it paid great attention to this matter especially in view of your kind message and the friendly mediations of the US Ambassador in Tehran, and agreed with the request of the former oil company for the extension of the time limit originally fixed for these negotiations. Thus no measures were taken during 45 days after the enactment of the law.

The Imperial Iranian Government had repeatedly announced its readiness to enter into negotiations with the representatives of the company within the limits prescribed by the law fixing the modus operandi of its enforcement, and to discuss willingly various problems such as the question of the probable losses to the former oil [Page 78] company and the sale of oil to the former purchasers, etc. The Government, therefore, welcomed the arrival of the representatives of the former oil company, but it was found with great regret that the representatives of the former company wished to submit proposals which were contrary to the text of the laws concerning the nationalization of the oil industry and which made it unable for this Government to continue the discussions.

Since the Imperial Iranian Government has decided to prevent any stoppage, even for one day, in the exploitation of oil and its sale to the former purchasers, it has repeatedly announced its readiness to employ all foreign experts, technicians and others in the service of the oil industry with the same salaries, allowances and pensions due to them, to provide them with all encouragement, to leave untouched the present organization and administration of the former oil company, and to enforce, so far as they may not be contrary to the provisions of the law, the regulations made by that company.

It is, however, noticed with regret that former oil company authorities have resorted to certain actions which will necessarily cause a stoppage in the exportation of oil; for, firstly, they are encouraging the employees to leave their services, and are threatening the Government with their resignation en masse; secondly, they force the oil tankers to refuse to deliver receipts to the present Board of Directors of the National Oil Company.

Although the Iranian people have prepared themselves for every kind of privations in their resolve to achieve their aim, yet there is no doubt that the stoppage in the exploitation of oil machinery is not only damaging to us but it is also damaging to Great Britain and to all other countries which use the Iranian oil—a grave and serious matter which should be borne in mind by the authorities of the former oil company.

There is no doubt that the Government of Iran will take every effort with all the means at its disposal to prevent any stoppage, even temporarily, in the flow of oil, but it would be the cause for great regret if any stoppage occurred as the result of the resignation en masse of the British employees, or any delaying tactics in loading and shipping of the oil products because of the refusal on their part to give the receipts required. In such an eventuality the responsibility for the grave and undesirable consequences which might follow will naturally lie upon the shoulders of the former oil company authorities.

It must be mentioned at this stage that in spite of the public fervor in Iran there is no danger whatever to the security of life and property of the British nationals in Iran. Any spreading of false rumors on the part of the agents of the former oil company [Page 79] might, however, cause anxieties and disturbances; whilst if they acted in conformity with the expectations of the Iranian Government, there will be no cause whatever for any anxiety, for the Imperial Iranian Government has the situation well in hand.

Owing to the age-long and continuous cordial relations existing between the peoples of Iran and the US, I am confident that no disturbance will ever occur in that happy relation, for the world regards the great and esteemed American nation as the strong supporter of the freedom and sovereignty of nations—a belief evidenced by the sacrifices of the great-hearted nation in the last two World Wars.

Such reflections have moved me to lay before you, Mr. President, the recent developments in Iran, and I am quite sure that the free nations of the world and specially the Government of the friendly nation of America will not hesitate to support us in achieving our national ideal.

I avail myself of this opportunity to offer you, Mr. President, the expressions of my highest consideration and my most sincere wishes for the prosperity of the great American nation.

Mohammed Mosadeq
  1. Transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 3466 from Tehran, June 28, in which Grady also reported that it had been handed to him by Foreign Minister Kazemi that morning and that the Iranian Government was releasing it to the press at 6 p.m. Tehran time.
  2. Document 26.