152. Telegram From the Embassy in Iraq to the Department of State0

1921. Rome for Jernegan. Deptel 1605.1 I called on Prime Minister Qassim this morning in order to attempt to clear his mind of any suspicion US either officially or privately working against him.

I opened conversation by referring to statements he made to Rountree on this subject (Embtel 1885)2 and stated Prime Minister had appeared to be particularly concerned about reports of American activity along Iraq–Iran border and among Kurds. I recalled that Rountree had emphatically denied US working in any way against present Government of Iraq and that he had said there were elements in Iraq who would resort to every conceivable device to create trouble between US and Iraq. I went on to say that Prime Minister’s conversation with Rountree had been fully reported to USG and that complete and thorough investigation had been made of reports of alleged US activity against Iraqi Government. I said I was now in a position to state categorically that there never had been and are not now any activities within or outside Iraq being conducted by any American, official or private, against the GOI.

Prime Minister said he was glad to hear this and wanted US–Iraqi relations to become increasingly strong and he would work to that end. We could be confident he would be on his guard against any elements desiring to make trouble between our two countries. He said perhaps some activities he had in mind had been undertaken by “private American groups” but in any event now that we had renewed assurances on subject he was confident any activity which had been carried on against his government would cease.

I returned to charge and said USG had thoroughly investigated reports and was completely satisfied no such activities had been carried out or are now in process. With that Qassim dropped matter and made further general remarks about his wish to consolidate relations with Iraq’s old friends and particularly US.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.87/12–2258. Top Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Rome. Jernegan was en route to Iraq.
  2. In telegram 1605, December 16, the Department informed Rountree that it had made a thorough check [text not declassified] in Washington and had been assured that “no activities inimical Qassim regime have been or are being undertaken at the direction of any American, official or private.” (Ibid., 611.87/12–1658)
  3. Presumably the reference is to Document 150. Telegram 1885 from Baghdad, December 16, does not contain an account of Rountree’s discussion with Qassim. (Department of State, Central Files, 787.56/12–1658)