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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa

Iran,   pp. 890-998 PDF (41.6 MB)

Page 997

,extremely valuable, for if there were insuperable bbstacles you would
probably be aware of them.
  In the second place, it is most useful to have your remarks regard-
ing the comparative importance of Iran and Turkey and that the
:strategic importance of Iran is fully appreciated. You may feel that
I should- have known this all along, but without some indication, I
,could not be certain, in view of our military aid to Turkey and the
difficulties we face here in connection with our arms credit proposals
to Iran.
   As for the best manner of assisting Iran, I am in very much the same
 frame of mind as you, which is to say, one of uncertainty, General
 Grow, whose opinion I value most highly and whom I regard as one of
 the most effective American officials I have seen in action abroad, feels
 strongly that I should recommend a fifty million dollar grant to Iran
 .immediately, without further ado. Both the Shah and thePrime
 Minister have requested direct aid several times, as you have noted
 from our telegrams, land your letters ,seem to indicate that if the Em-
 ,bassy had recommended it strongly, without any equivocation, there
 might have been a chance of enactment.. Yet I have assumed the re-
 ,.ponsibility of cOnsistently  nd.Astubbornly, if you wish, declining to
 recommend it, and have insisted that an indication by the Majlis of a
 desire-to receive our assistance is necessary. I have given the matter
 a great deal of thought, and have been constantly faced with the
 realization that I might be blocking consideration of a direct aid pro-
 gram to Iran. It is primarily for this reason that I have recommended
 that General Grow be called to Washington. I want him to express
 his views fully to everyone concerned there, for I want to, be certain
 that his point of view gets an adequate hearing. Perhaps I am too
 hesitant in this matter. Perhaps, if Ed Wilson,2 for example, had fol-
 lowed the same policy as strictly in Turkey and had insisted on a
 request from the Turkish Parliament, no aid-to-Turkey program might
 have been enacted. I don't know. At the same time, I remain con-
 vinced-that we should require the Iranians to stand up and say clearly
 whether they want our assistance or not, before we make any further
 move. The best way I know to get a clear-cut expression is for the
 arms credit to go before the Majlis. I am well aware that the Majlis is
 not a representative body in our sense, and that a large number of
 extraneous considerations would enter a debate over purchase of Amer-
 ican arms. However, the Majlis is the nearest thing to an expression
 of Iranian opinion there is, and we are on much safer grounds in stick-
 ing to our guns.
   'Edwin C. Wilson, Ambassador in Turkey.

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