Friendship & “Deep Concern” for Iran

Ike, Shah Trade Compliments After Oil Settlement

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | October 24, 2018                     

President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

When the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute that began in May 1951 finally came to an end on August 5, 1954, Pres. Eisenhower sent congratulatory letters to three individuals: the U.S. Ambassador, the Under Sec. of State, and the Shah of Iran, young Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Ike didn’t actually write anything, however, he merely signed off on them. The proposed letters were sent to him Aug. 3rd by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, along with a White House press statement on the Iran Oil Consortium Agreement. The Shah letter contains the tell-tale “concrete evidence” phrase favored by Dulles, who probably wrote every word of the three messages.

Although his location at the time was not indicated, Eisenhower was ‘writing’ from his beloved Georgia vacation spot, the Augusta National Golf Club.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower | Letters, Speeches, Etc.
U.S. State Department | Iran Documents (1951-1954)
Iran Oil Consortium | Archive of Documents (1953-1954)

184 ¶ Exchange of Letters Between the President and the Shah of Iran Concerning the Settlement of the Oil Problem.
August 5, 1954

Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Shah of Iran

Your Imperial Majesty:

President Dwight D. Eisenhower The important news that your Government, in negotiation with the British, French, Dutch and United States oil companies, has reached, in principle, a fair and equitable settlement to the difficult oil problem is indeed gratifying.

Your Majesty must take great satisfaction at the success of this significant phase in the negotiations to which you personally have made a valuable contribution. I am confident that implementation of this agreement, under Your Majesty’s leadership, will mark the beginning of a new era of economic progress and stability for your country.

Like myself, all Americans have a deep concern for the well-being of Iran. With them I have watched closely your courageous efforts, your steadfastness over the past difficult years, and with them I too have hoped that you might achieve the goals you so earnestly desire. The attainment of an oil settlement along the lines which have been announced should be a significant step in the direction of the realization of your aspirations for your people.

There is concrete evidence of the friendship that exists between our two countries and of our desire that Iran prosper independently in the family of free nations. We have endeavored to be helpful in the form of economic and technical assistance and we are happy to have helped in finding a solution to the oil problem.

I can assure Your Majesty of the continued friendly interest of the United States in the welfare and progress of Iran, and of the admiration of the American people for your enlightened leadership.

With sincere best wishes for the health and happiness of Your Majesty and the people of Iran,


• Source: White House press release dated August 5th, published under the heading "PRESIDENT’S LETTER TO SHAHINSHAH OF IRAN" in:
The Department of State Bulletin
Vol. XXXI, No. 790 • PUBLICATION 5564
August 16, 1954

Also included in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954. This book states incorrectly that the letter was “Released August 5, 1954. Dated August 4, 1954”. However, the date of the letter had to have also been Aug. 5th, as the consortium was not yet concluded on the 4th. In addition, the Shah referenced the 5th in the opening of his reply.

The Shah of Iran’s Reply To Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Mr. President:

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi I am deeply grateful for your letter of August 5th and appreciate the friendly feelings which have inspired it.

It is, indeed, a source of satisfaction to me that my government has been able to arrive, in principle, at a settlement of the oil dispute, which, in the light of present world conditions, appears to be as equitable a solution of a difficult problem as could have been reached.

Ever since nationalization of the oil industry, which corresponded with the aspirations of my people, it has been my constant endeavor to facilitate and hasten a fair agreement within the framework of the relevant laws.

You can rest assured that the valuable contribution which you personally, Mr. President, The American Government and your distinguished Ambassador, Loy Henderson, have made to this end is highly prized.

It is now my hope that the implementation of the agreement will not be long delayed.

With the attainment of this goal and with increased American assistance, I share your feeling that we may look forward to an era of economic and social development which will improve the lot of my people, as well as further consolidate the security of the Middle East.

I cannot sufficiently lay stress on the fact that American assistance to Iran has been most timely and helpful. My people reciprocate to the full the friendship of your noble nation.

Whilst renewing the expression of my gratitude for your cooperation, I tender warm wishes for the welfare of the American people under your wise leadership.


• Source: White House press release dated August 9th, published under the heading "The Shahinshah to the President" in:
The Department of State Bulletin
Vol. XXXI, No. 791 • PUBLICATION 5573
August 23, 1954

Also included in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954

• Released August 9, 1954. Date of reply not given.


Related links:

Sec. of State Dulles’ Suggestions to Pres. Eisenhower Re: Iran Oil Deal (Aug. 1954)

Eisenhower Commends Loy W. Henderson On Iran Oil Consortium (August 4, 1954)

Shah Congratulates Eisenhower on Inauguration, Asks For More Money (Nov. 1956)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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