888.2553/7–2951: Telegram

No. 62
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Embassy in Iran 1

top secret

34. Eyes only for Grady. From Rountree. I am taking urtel 90, rptd Wash as 4242 immed to Amb Harriman at Chequers where he is lunching with PriMin. In meantime fol comments relate to Mossadeq’s statements regarding Brit acceptance of three points of Cab minute:

As indicated in Harriman’s telegram July 24 from Tehran to Wash and London3 setting forth Iran proposal, he was auth by Iran Govt to do the fol:

Advise Brit Govt of Iran Govt’s formula for arranging mtg as quoted in first para that tel;
Inform Brit Govt of Cab minute which, because of manner in which it was being transmitted, wld in no sense bind Brit shld they agree to make statement principle of nationalization on behalf of AIOC;
Advise Brit that “Iran Govt is prepared to negotiate manner in which law will be carried out insofar as it affects Brit interests”.

In accordance this understanding Brit have been informed of Iran Govt minute and position, but have been told that minute is not binding upon them in relation to exact meaning of recognition of principle of nationalization. They also have been told Iran Govt prepared to negotiate manner in which law of March 20 will be carried out insofar as Brit interests affected.

Foregoing for use as needed pending Mr. Harriman’s reply which will be telegraphed soonest.4

  1. Repeated to the Department as 582 eyes only for Secretary Acheson; the source text is the copy in the Department of State files.
  2. Supra .
  3. Document 52.
  4. At 5 p.m. on July 29 Harriman cabled Grady that he fully agreed with the substance of this telegram and that he could not agree to any change in the understanding between himself and the Iranian Government as outlined by Rountree. Subsequently, at 2 a.m. on July 30, after receiving the text of the Iranian draft reply (footnote 5, supra ,) Harriman again cabled Grady stating that he did not feel he could transmit the Iranian reply to the British since it was not responsive to the cordial reply proposed by the British, and informed Grady that he was returning to Tehran on July 31 to discuss the matter with the Iranians. (Telegrams 35 and 36 (repeated to Washington as 583 and 584) from London to Tehran; 888.2553/7–2951 and 7–3051)