Henry Byroade provides his superior, H. Freeman Matthews with a moderately lengthy memo on Great Britain's desire to promote a coup against the Mosaddeq government. He notes that the idea first came up in a paper the British presented to the Americans on October 8, 1952. Since then, three meetings had been held but the conclusion was that the prospects were not hopeful. The lack of a viable substitute for Mosaddeq and the risk of a Tudeh counter-action were among the reasons. Another very interesting argument is the fact that the U.S. at the time has plans to try to prop up Mosaddeq in some way in the event the British continue to be unsupportive of an oil deal. This is a new piece of evidence on the open question of whether the U.S. government genuinely sided with the Iranian prime minister against their principal ally, or simply paid lip service to the idea. Byroade offers a list of his own doubts about the coup proposal but still recommends that Matthews meet with British Minister Sir Christopher Steel to hear him out.
1952-11-26State Department, Memorandum of Conversation, Byroade to Matthews, "Proposal to Organize a Coup d'etat in Iran," Top Secret, November 26, 1952
This report gives the background and details of the Iranian oil dispute and subsequent nationalization of oil resources, beginning in Section II with the DArcy Concession and the formation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. When the British government became a major shareholder there were accusations of systematic Violation of the DArcy Concession. In the 1920s the Armitage-Smith Agreement was reached, which was the first time royalties had been paid to the Iranian government. Section III gives the next chapter in the history, with the 1933 Agreement. The exploitation of Iranian resources under colonial policy is described in Section IV. Sections V and VI give the reasoning behind the nationalization of the oil industry, along with problems that this caused. Section VII concludes the report, followed by appendices.
THE interest shown by the public in the recent happenings in Persia, and a desire to place on record, while the memory is still green, a detailed account of the remarkable series of events which resulted in the writer's expulsion from the post of Treasurer-general of Persia in January of this year, are responsible for this book. The facts are taken from, the most authoritative sources available, supplemented by a private diary kept by the writer during the entire period of his sojourn in Persia. To this story have been added only such historical references and explanations as seemed necessary to give a clear understanding of recent events, and such comments as the writer felt justified in making. I was deeply disappointed at being forcibly deprived of the opportunity to finish my intensely interesting task in that ancient land ; but such rancor or bitterness as I may have felt at the time of my departure has certainly disappeared, and the cor- dial reception given me on the occasion of my visit to London, last February, and subsequently by the press and my countrymen in America, has so amply repaid me for any inconvenience or annoyances that I suffered during the last two months of my service at Teheran, that no sting whatever remains. Only the pen of a Macaulay or the brush of a Verestchagin could adequately portray the rapidly shifting scenes attending the downfall of this ancient nation,— scenes in which two powerful and presumably enlightened Christian countries played fast and loose with truth, honor, decency and law, one, at least, hesi- tating not even at the most barbarous cruelties to accomplish xiv FOREWORD its political designs and to put Persia beyond hope of self- regeneration. In the belief that the real interests of humanity and the bet- terment of international relations demand that the truth be told in cases of this kind, I have written down the facts with a blunt- ness which perhaps, under other circumstances, would be subject to criticism. The Constitutionalists of Modem Persia will not have lived, struggled, and in many instances, died entirely in vain, if the destruction of Persian sovereignty shall have sharpened some- what the civilized world's realization of the spirit of inter- national brigandage which marked the welt-politik of the year 1911.