137. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1

731. Rome for MacSweeney. Reference Embassy telegram 709.2 Summoned to audience with Shah I found Mirza and all four Muslim [Page 319] Pact PMs and Foreign Ministers who individually and collectively bluntly stated that now US elections were over and President Eisenhower triumphantly re-elected there appears to them to be no reason why US should not join Baghdad Pact immediately. They felt elections had amply endorsed President’s courageous stand on Israel invasion Egypt.

While Shah opened session by appealing for US to join, it was Menderes who explained in detail his understanding our reasons for not joining hitherto which he felt were now invalid: (1) US no longer under obligation guarantee Israeli territorial integrity because of (A) Israel’s attack on Egypt and (B) her pretensions as announced by Ben-Gurion to territorial expansion. (2) Heretofore US public opinion has not been prepared for US adherence Baghdad Pact but now clear BP is instrument for peace in Middle East area. (3) No necessity trying appease Egypt or Syria which had aligned themselves with Communist camp. (4) Conversely every reason encourage non-Communist Arab nations join Pact since they would find it in their own best interests once they realized Pact, as exemplified by action taken here today, was instrument for peace and stability. (5) Menderes could not understand why when US had been guiding genius for NATO and SEATO and foster father BP US had thus far deferred formal adherence although BP was essential link between those two pacts.

Shah at this point interposed that failure join Pact created impression US lacked confidence in Iran as keystone northern tier. Menderes wound up saying that at conclusion their conference all PMs (leaving tonight) had posed question next step and had agreed US adherence BP most important in view Soviet menace.

Suhrawardy re-emphasized points made by Menderes and urged immediate US decision. He stressed importance bringing Iraq and Saudi Arabia closer together, an action in which he felt US could be most effective. Example US joining BP would be very influential determining Saudi attitude. He pointed out Mirza after returning briefly Karachi check situation would proceed, following informal visit Iraq, [Page 320] to Saudi Arabia in effort persuade King Saud importance Baghdad Pact. He also mentioned Lebanon as country where US influence could be asserted favor adherence.

In conclusion all participants again stressed belief most important step which could be taken for security Middle East was US adherence BP immediately and this was psychological moment for such action. As I was leaving, Pakistan Foreign Minister Noon stated “you will realize that all of us in Middle East are afraid of Russians and US cannot let us down. It must join Baghdad Pact”.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/11–956. Secret; Niact. Repeated Priority to Karachi, Baghdad, Ankara, Paris, London, and Rome.
  2. Telegram 709, November 6, contained a report which Chapin had received from the Shah and Pakistani President Mirza on the November 5 meeting in Tehran of Iranian, Iraqi, Pakistani, and Turkish representatives. At the meeting, the four countries completed a draft communiqué calling for an immediate cease-fire, withdrawal of all Israeli troops behind the Israeli border and the withdrawal of British and French forces, a guarantee of Egyptian territorial integrity, and a definitive settlement of the Israeli border along lines projected in 1947. Final acceptance of the comminiqué, Chapin reported, would be made after the arrival of Pakistani Prime Minister Suhrawardy on November 6 and Turkish Prime Minister Menderes on November 7. The Shah and Mirza emphasized to Chapin that the United States should join the Baghdad Pact at an early date and urged the United States to exert every possible pressure on the United Kingdom to accept the proposals. Mirza stated that if the British should refuse to accept, not only would the Baghdad Pact break up, but he would seriously advocate Pakistani withdrawal from the Commonwealth. (Ibid., 684A.86/11–656) The final four-power communiqué, issued on November 7, conformed to the outline indicated in telegram 709 from Tehran. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1956, pp. 677–678.