363. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Iranian Ambassador (Amini) and the Under Secretary of State (Hoover), Department of State, Washington, August 13, 19561


  • Suez Canal Conference

Dr. Amini called at his request to convey through Mr. Hoover to the Secretary a message from the Shah. The Shah wished to thank Mr. Dulles for his message concerning the Suez situation.2 He realized the great importance of the London conference and earnestly hoped that it would lead to a peaceful solution of the problem. The Iranian Delegation had been instructed to support the American Delegation in finding such a solution.

Commenting personally, the Ambassador said that this matter was one of great importance to Iran, particularly since any difficulties in the Near East inevitably would hurt Iran. He said that if Nasser were a wise man there would be no problem but unfortunately his actions had not demonstrated wisdom. One of the main factors was that if Nasser should win in this issue his ambitions would be greatly increased.

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Mr. Hoover thanked the Ambassador for his message and said that we would greatly value the cooperation of the Iranian Mission in London. He handed Dr. Amini a copy of the principles which might govern a settlement of the issue, as suggested by the US, British and French.3 He said that he wondered whether Dr. Amini would agree that it might be possible to devise a formula with respect to the Suez, similar to that employed in Iran, particularly with respect to the collaboration of a number of countries in assuring the efficient operation of the Canal without requiring “denationalization” by the Egyptian Government. This would, or course, require some kind of international guarantee.

Dr. Amini responded that he thought this might work. He was particularly impressed with the possibility of several small countries such as Switzerland, Holland and certain Near Eastern states, assuming a major role in this regard.

Dr. Amini inquired about the possibility of a pipeline being run from Iran through Iraq and Turkey to the Mediterranean. Mr. Hoover discussed in general terms the highly tentative thought which had been given to this possibility.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–1356. Secret. Drafted by Rountree and approved by Hoover.
  2. Reference is to a personal message from Dulles to the Shah, transmitted to Tehran in telegram 211, August 3. Dulles expressed his pleasure that the Iranian Government had been invited to the London Conference, and concluded: “Your Government can, I am confident, exert an important and constructive influence, and I trust you will do so.” (Ibid.)

    Foreign Minister Ardalan attended the first London Conference; For his public statement, see Department of State, The Suez Canal Problem, July 26–September 22, 1956, pp. 127–130 and 187.

  3. Apparent reference to the joint statement of August 2. For text, see vol. XVI, p. 126.