Court and Spark
The Shah, Jealousy and Palace Intrigue (1954)

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | July 9, 2019                    


British Foreign Office Documents on Iran | 1951-1954



(THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HER BRITTANIC MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT)
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Printed for the Cabinet. January 1954


TOP SECRET

Copy No. 31


C. (54) 28
27th January, 1954

CABINET

RELATIONS BETWEEN THE SHAH AND HER MAJESTY’S EMBASSY AT TEHRAN


MEMORANDUM BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS


My colleagues may recall from the Tehran telegrams that, immediately upon his arrival, Her Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires was approached by two persons who claimed to represent the Shah. [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi] They told Mr. Wright [Denis Wright] that the Shah wished to deal on “high policy matters” direct with the British Embassy and not through Persian Cabinet Ministers. Mr. Wright replied that he could not negotiate secretly with the Shah without the knowledge of the Prime Minister or the Minister for Foreign Affairs, whom he later informed of the approach made by these unofficial intermediaries. The Minister for Foreign Affairs [Abdollah Entezam] was grateful for this frankness and said he would take the matter up with the Shah on the latter’s return to the capital.

2. The Shah has now returned and my colleagues may be interested to see the annexed letter from Mr. Wright describing His Majesty’s present feelings, which, as so often, are not such as to do him much credit. I have told Mr. Wright that I fully approve of his attitude in this matter.

A. E. [Anthony Eden]

Foreign Office, S.W.1.
        21st January, 1954.


__________________________________

ANNEX

British Embassy, Tehran,        
January 16, 1954


The Shah returned this week from the Caspian. [Caspian Sea] Henderson (the United States Ambassador) saw him the following day (January 14th) and told me that he found him in a difficult and rather sullen mood. [Loy Henderson] He gave the impression of being very jealous of Zahedi [Premier Fazlollah Zahedi] and of being peeved with me for exposing his Perron-Shahrukh intrigues to Entezam. [Ernest Perron, the Shah’s gay Swiss courtier, and Bahram Shahrokh, Director of Propaganda, a former radio announcer on behalf of Nazi Germany] Henderson thought, too, that the Shah suspected him of playing some part in the exposure.

At the same time the Shah showed some annoyance that we should be rushing ahead with the appointment of an Ambassador. Henderson naturally pointed out the very good reasons why we wanted an Ambassador here as soon as possible. This mood of the Shah, and particularly his jealousy of Zahedi and irritation with me, has been confirmed from secret sources also.

I don’t think we need take any of this too tragically, but it may mean that the Shah will not wish to see me in the immediate future, and of course I cannot insist. In view of this, after I have made my statement about the oil negotiations to Entezam, I propose seeing Ala, will make the same statement to him, and remind him of his earlier suggestion that I should see the Shah as soon as possible. [Hossein Ala, Minister of Court]


(Signed) D. A. H. WRIGHT.
[Denis Arthur Hepworth Wright]


[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]

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Related links:

Pierson Dixon, Henry Byroade Discuss Iran in Bermuda (Dec. 1953)

Loy Henderson Assures the Shah of British “Sincerity” (April 1954)

The Shah Is Unhappy Again (George Carroll to Hubert Humphrey, July 1966)



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