No. 41
Editorial Note

On July 13, the Harriman Mission, composed of W. Averell Harriman, William M. Rountree, Walter Levy, and General Landry, Air Force Aide to President Truman, left Washington. For text of the official remarks made at the departure by President Truman, Secretaries Acheson and Marshall, and Harriman, and a statement by McGhee concerning the relation of the mission to the oil dispute, see Department of State Bulletin, July 23, 1951, pages 130–131. On the following day Harriman stopped in Paris where his wife joined him. In Paris he talked with Hugh Gaitskell, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, along the lines of the conversation with Ambassador Franks on July 12. (Memorandum of conversation, supra ) (Telegram 295 from Paris, July 15; 888.2553/7–1551) The mission arrived in Tehran at 11 a.m. on July 15 and was greeted by an estimated 10,000 pro-Communists demonstrating in front of the American Embassy against the AIOC and the arrival of the mission. (Despatch 197 from Tehran, August 13; 888.2553/81351)

On July 16 Harriman had his first discussion with Mosadeq and on the next day presented his letter of introduction to the Shah. From July 17 to 27 the various members of the mission and Ambassador Grady discussed possible solutions to the oil dispute with Iranian officials and members of the British Embassy staff. By July 27 these talks had seemingly reached an impasse and Harriman, Rountree, and Levy flew to London to discuss the issues directly with the British Government. The negotiations in London proved successful and on July 31 the three members of the mission returned to Tehran, reporting that the British had agreed to send a delegation to Iran headed by Richard Stokes, Lord Privy Seal. (See Document 65)

While the Stokes Mission was in Tehran, August 4–23, Harriman and his staff remained at the disposal of British and Iranian officials, endeavoring to keep the discussions between them from breaking down. With the suspension of the Anglo-Iranian talks on August 23, Harriman informed Mosadeq that he would leave for Washington on August 25, since he could no longer provide any useful service in the dispute, but stated that he would return if he could assist in the resumption of the talks.

From Tehran Harriman flew to Belgrade for talks with Marshal Tito on August 25 and 26. (Telegram 1058 from London, August 27; [Page 93] Foreign Relations, 1951, volume IV, Part 2, page 1842) He then stopped at Paris on August 26 before arriving in London on August 27. In London he again talked with the British about the Iranian situation before returning to Washington by September 1. (See Document 78)