241. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles0

After the Shah of Iran had been with the President, in his office, at least an hour and 3/4, he left and the President immediately called the Secretary of State.

The President said that he thought the Shah was “fairly convincing.” In his talks with the Defense Department, the President suggested he get right up in front of the map and show them what he is going to do. The President said what he liked was his clear comprehension of the relationship between economy and military strength and that military strength must be gauged by economy. He pointed out the complete need for cooperation of the people of Iran with Arab neighbors and friends, and with the people of the West.

The Shah said that the people of Iran did not realize yet what the people of our country had done for them and so it was difficult to understand [Page 570] the advantage to his people of aligning with the free world. The Shah feels he, and we, can do much to tell them.

Dulles asked if he talked about number of divisions; the President said he gave him every opportunity to bring it up but he did not. The President emphasized we needed highly trained and effective units more than we needed numbers. There was some talk of major war, and the President said if 50 divisions went into Iran that would be a major war.

Captain Aurand will prepare notes—he will also give verbatim account to Defense before meeting tomorrow.1

The President told the Shah that the State Department psychological and political people would want to talk to him.2 He seemed to be very pleased. He presented a picture far from a fellow that was importuning.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. The time of this call is taken from another account of this telephone conversation prepared in Dulles’ office. (Ibid., Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations)
  2. See Document 240. The verbatim account has not been found.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 242.