No. 346
Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Smith) to the President

top secret

The attached message1 is self-explanatory and will give you the Iranian situation in a nutshell. The move failed because of three days of delay and vacillation by the Iranian generals concerned, during which time Mosadeq apparently found out all that was happening. Actually it was a counter-coup, as the Shah acted within his constitutional power in signing the firman replacing Mosadeq. The old boy wouldn’t accept this and arrested the messenger and everybody else involved that he could get his hands on. We now have to take a whole new look at the Iranian situation and probably have to snuggle up to Mosadeq if we’re going to save anything there. I daresay this means a little added difficulty with the British.

  1. According to information on the source text, the message attached for the President’s consideration was telegram 92, supra.