US-UK Messages To Mossadegh
George Middleton’s Letter to Foreign Office (1952)

The Mossadegh Project | May 11, 2022                      


British Foreign Office Documents on Iran | 1951-1954



(THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HER BRITTANIC MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT)
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CONFIDENTIAL

COPY NO. 64

C. (52) 333

13th OCTOBER, 1952.


CABINET

PERSIA

Note by the Secretary of State
for Foreign Affairs


In connection with recent developments in Persia my colleagues may be interested to read the attached text of a letter, dated 6th October, from Her Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires at Teheran [George H. Middleton] to the Foreign Office.


A. E. [Anthony Eden]

Foreign Office, S.W.1.
        13th October, 1952.


__________________________________

LETTER DATED 6th OCTOBER FROM HER MAJESTY’S CHARGE D’AFFAIRES AT TEHERAN TO THE FOREIGN OFFICE.


As you will have realised from my telegrams, the United States Ambassador and I presented our respective messages to Musaddiq separately. [Loy Henderson] Henderson felt that it would be exceeding his instructions if we were to have a joint interview with Musaddiq and in any case he considered that we should each have a better opportunity of discussion if we were alone with Musaddiq. [Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, Iranian Premier] In view of the time factor I could not consult you and therefore accepted Henderson’s view.

With reference to the last sentence of paragraph 4 of Washington telegram 1883 of the 3rd October, I know for a certainty that it is not Henderson’s view that if Musaddiq goes the change must necessarily be for the worse. We both fear that as things are it is only too likely that Musaddiq would be succeeded by Kashani or a stooge of the latter, which would indeed be a change for the worse. [Ayatollah Kashani] But we both still hope that some alternative prime minister may yet be found, possibly a Bushiri, a Zahidi or even a Makki, who might be more amenable to reason. [Javad Busheri, Fazlollah Zahedi, Hossein Makki] We both agree too that the longer Musaddiq stays in power the greater will become the hold of the Tudeh Party on the country. Perhaps Acheson was speaking strongly for the sake of argument. [Sec. of State Dean Acheson] But I am sure that his views as expressed in the Washington telegram would not have the unqualified endorsement of the American Ambassador here.

I am sorry that we had to abandon the detailed refutation contained in your telegram No. 4135 of the 2nd October to Washington. In this case again Henderson told me that he could see no harm in our making known our legitimate point of view. If matters are brought to a crisis and Musaddiq decided to break off diplomatic relations, I hope that we may yet be able to use the refutation. I suggest that, mutatis mutandis, I might be allowed to issue it as a personal statement before leaving. [latin: with the necessary changes having been made]

In the twenty-four hours since the message was published there has been no discernible reaction from the Persians. As I have reported by telegram, moderate opinion considers that the door is still open. But we are still waiting to hear from the extremists and I fear that anti-British agitation is inevitable. If it becomes too strong, Musaddiq may find himself forced to make the break.


[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]


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Related links:

Sec. of State Dean Acheson’s Letter to Premier Mossadegh (Oct. 5, 1952)

Prospects For Survival of Mossadeq Regime in Iran | CIA, Oct. 14, 1952

Relations Between the Shah and Her Majesty’s Embassy at Tehran | Denis Wright (1954)



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