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

740. Following is Embassy comment SNIE 34–58.1 Emb agrees with SNIE except for points listed below which are reflected in Embdesp 176, Sept. 4, 1958:2

(a)
Unless Iraq used as base anti-Iran activities even at cost Iraqi national interests, unless Shah assassinated, or unless hitherto invisible leadership talent is employed against Shah, Emb believes Shah can remain in power indefinitely though precariously.
(b)
There is real possibility that general econ advances combined with politico-psychological reforms toward which Shah is hesitantly moving may reorient important elements urban middle class and decrease pressure on regime. This possibility provides grounds cautious optimism that regime may with luck and skill consolidate its position and is not inevitably doomed.
(c)
With gradual recovery from panic emotions following Baghdad coup, recent mass promotions security forces, accomplished and [Page 596]upcoming changes in top military command, and continuous rechecking security records top officers, armed forces probably do not represent immediate threat to regime, although officers are far from solidly loyal and could still turn against Shah if skillful leadership were to appear.
Wailes
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 788,00/10–1158. Secret.
  2. Document 249.
  3. In despatch 176 the Embassy assessed the current and future political situation in Iran. (Department of State, Central Files, 788.00/9–458)