888.00 TA/8–3153: Telegram

No. 359
The Ambassador in Iran (Henderson) to the Department of State1


534. 1. Warne and I accompanied by Paul called on Prime Minister this morning to discuss various aid problems.

2. Re publication exchange letters between President and Zahedi we said it had been our idea withhold publication until we had more definite information re amount aid which in addition Point IV aid might be available. We had feared that publication matter might give rise to speculation in press and otherwise re amount aid to be given; that public expectation would be unduly aroused; and that when it was learned how much aid could be given, result would be disappointment. Delay in publication letters however appeared to be resulting in uneasiness among Iranians that US might be hesitating to grant aid and might not have decided give support Zahedi Government. We therefore wondering whether it would not be advisable have exchange published within next day or two. Iranian [Page 776] Government might be able make some announcement or take some other steps to prevent false hopes being aroused re amount. We know US Government was making special effort to find funds for rendering such aid. Nevertheless in view reduced aid funds made available by Congress, US Government would probably not be able give as much at this time as it would like and as Iran really needed. Prime Minister said he agreed announcement of exchange of letters should not be delayed much longer. He would discuss matter with Shah and let us know whether Shah was agreeable to publication. We said we would like at least 36 hours notice so letters could be released simultaneously in Washington and Tehran. We also made certain informal suggestion as to statements which government might make when issuing announcement which would tend prevent Iranian hopes from becoming too extravagant.2

3. Exchange of letters re TCI aid: We told Prime Minister we prepared exchange letters with him at once re extension TCI aid to Iran during present fiscal year (Deptel 640, August 283). Early exchange would be advisable so that Iranian and TCI experts could begin at once drawing up programs. We would leave it to Prime Minister to decide whether it would be preferable for this exchange to be published almost immediately after publication of exchange between President and Prime Minister or whether publication might be delayed until we able announce amount aid which might be extended in addition to TCI aid. Prime Minister said he would prefer have this exchange published as soon as possible after effected in order show Iranian public both US and Iran losing no time in solving aid problems. He would order Radji, deputy chief planning organization, who was acquainted with exchanges this kind to meet Warne this afternoon in order review drafts.4

4. Prime Minister again expressed confidence US realized desperate need Iran for financial assistance sufficient not only to meet budgetary needs but to enable government to engage in immediate [Page 777] impact program which would cause masses of country to believe government’s promises were not mere empty words.

  1. Repeated to London. Passed to FOA.
  2. On Aug. 31 the Department informed Henderson that rumors were spreading in Washington that Iran requested assistance from the United States, and that no answer was forthcoming. To stop these rumors, the Department instructed Henderson to try to secure Iranian agreement to release of the letters exchanged between the President and Prime Minister as soon as possible. (Telegram 665; 888.00 TA/8–3153)

    Ambassador Henderson replied on Sept. 3 that the correspondence had been released to the press in Tehran on Sept. 2. (Telegram 576; 888.00 TA/9–353) The texts are printed in Department of State Bulletin, Sept. 14, 1953, p. 349.

  3. Not printed. (888.00 TA/8–2853)
  4. The agreement, dated Sept. 3, provided $23.4 million in technical and economic aid to Iran during fiscal year 1954; see Department of State Bulletin, Sept. 14, 1953, p. 350. On Sept. 5, President Eisenhower made available an additional $45 million in emergency assistance to Iran; see ibid.