178. Telegram 64317 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran1 2

For Charge

Ref:

  • Tehran 2080
1.
You may of course assure Ambassador Radji that we would wish to cooperate in every way possible in refuting scurrilous charges against Princess Ashraf. Therefore in principle we would be willing to provide official US statement from appropriate authority regarding facts of matter. To best knowledge of State Department there has never been any official recommendation by any US Govt agency that Princess Ashraf not be permitted to enter US. We believe record of her visits to this country including unique reception by the President at the White House in 1970 is ample and vivid testimony of high esteem with which she is regarded.
2.
Foregoing notwithstanding, we seriously question whether such a statement would serve any useful purpose. Presumably its acceptance as evidence in a lawsuit would require an opportunity for it to be challenged by the defense. This could conceivably require written or verbal testimony by the US official. Developing the matter to this extent could, we suggest, give it a notoriety totally out of proportion to the value of the testimony itself.
3.
As we understand it, Princess Ashraf has documentary evidence which would prove irrefutably that she was not [Page 2]involved in the incident described by Le Monde and other newspapers and which is specific subject of her suit. Any statement from us therefore appears to be peripheral at best to her main purpose. Suggest therefore, drawing on foregoing, that you attempt to persuade Amb Radji that embroiling USG in this matter in way suggested would not be helpful.
4.
FYI as you aptly note, it would be extremely embarrassing if it were to become public knowledge that Ashraf had requested such a document and we were to discover, although we have no present knowledge, that by some remote chance some USG official acting on unconfirmed reports had at one time made a statement which could have been construed as a suspicion that Princess Ashraf might have in some way been involved in illegal activities. We are therefore extremely reluctant to pursue investigation of this possibility unless you consider it essential. End FYI.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 IRAN. Confidential. Drafted by Miklos; cleared by Stephen M. Boyd (L/NEA), John S. Brims (S/S); and approved by Davies.
  2. Davies replied that while in principle the Department would be pleased to help exonerate the Princess, official U.S. involvement was likely to draw more attention to the matter.