246. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State0

304. During general conversation with Shah (Embtel 303)1 he said he hoped, as result of Iraq, our Embassy was being vigilant and keeping track of what was going on in Iran. This gave me opening I had been looking for since my arrival, and I told him that on specific instructions from Washington resulting from his comments to Secretary and Mr. Henderson on Qarani case, I had told Embassy staff on my arrival they should avoid all contacts with dissident and doubtful characters.2 Shah said this was going further than he intended (perhaps second thought after coup in Iraq). What he had in mind was that he did not want our military discussing intelligence and political matters with his military, because frankly if his military talked with us what would stop them from talking to Russians and British? I said in respect to American military individual whom he had mentioned specifically in Washington, he was under strict orders to avoid any possible conversation of this sort and that as he was due for transfer in about six months I thought in meantime I could keep him well under control. Shah expressed satisfaction and said that through [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] some of our more experienced political officers he hoped we would find out everything we could. [4 lines of source text not declassified]

In view of Shah’s present thinking re military intelligence, it seems to me American officials in State, Defense and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] will want to give consideration to ways and means of meeting their requirements through State [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] until such time as Shah willing to reestablish free relationship between all grades American and Iranian officers. Meanwhile, discreet and careful conduct on part of all will hasten this day.

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Re military buildup he said he was very pleased with General Hoy and cooperation his military were receiving, and added “Oh, if I only had a first class army.” When General Hedayat returns in day or so Shah will probably order review of his present defense strategy, as present plans are now constructed upon Northern Tier which includes a doubtful Iraq.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 788.00/8–158. Top Secret; Limit Distribution.
  2. Telegram 303, August 1, reported on a conversation Wailes had with the Shah that morning in which the Shah reiterated the main points of his long discussion with the Soviet Ambassador on July 31. The Soviet Ambassador claimed war was imminent because of Turkish plans to invade Iraq and charged that the United States was abetting the Turks. He also complained about Iranian troop build-up on the Iraqi border, urged the Shah to protest alleged U.S. overflights of Iran, and observed that there were too many U.S. tourists in Iran. The Shah implied to Wailes that he was firm, bordering on the disagreeable, with the Soviet Ambassador. (Ibid., 682.87/8–158)
  3. According to the minutes of the Country Team meeting of July 25, Ambassador Wailes informed members of the team that prior to leaving Washington he had been instructed by the Secretary that contacts with dissident elements in Iran were “not to be continued.” He asked that if any contact of the sort was to be made that it be cleared with him or Mr. Wilkins. (Ibid., NEA/GTI Files: Lot 60 D 533, Iran, Country Team Minutes, 1958)