Discussion With Ali Akbar Akhavi

Point 4’s William Warne to Henderson (May 1953)

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | September 30, 2020                  

William E. Warne, Director of the Point Four U.S. technical assistance program in Tehran, sent this telegram to Amb. Loy Henderson about his conversation with the Minister of the Economy, Ali Akbar Akhavi.

U.S. State Department Documents | IRAN

207. Memorandum From the Director of the U.S. Technical Cooperation Administration Mission in Iran (Warne) to the Ambassador to Iran (Henderson) [William E. Warne to Loy W. Henderson]

Tehran, May 20, 1953.


William E. Warne, Director, Point Four in Tehran Dr. Ali Akbar Akhavi, Minister of National Economy, asked me to call on him today. He had heard that I was to go with you to Karachi, though I have not spread it around.

There were several things about Point 4 operations that he wished to discuss, such as a request from him and the Prime Minister for an American adviser for the Iranian Insurance Company, but I gained the impression that, in the main, he wanted to say some things that he hoped I would repeat in Karachi. I believe, also, that he said to me about what he earlier had said to you.

In brief, these are the points he made:

1. This is the time to help Iran, and if Dr. Mossadegh is given assurance of help he will put the Tudeh down. [Communists]

2. The Prime Minister cannot fight on two fronts, the pro-British elements who are opposing him, and the Tudeh, so he has felt that he has had to tolerate the Tudeh. He knows that the Tudeh also are enemies, but right now they are not fighting him.

3. If the Prime Minister were given the resources he would and could easily take in hand both groups of opposition, the pro-British and the Tudeh.

4. The anti-American activities come from what Dr. Akhavi describes as the extreme right and the extreme left. He says there are very few leading this movement and we should not be alarmed by it.

5. Dr. Akhavi believes that the extreme rightist are the representatives of corruption and pro-British influence. They lack the moral stamina to overcome Dr. Mossadegh. Zirazadeh, he says, spends much money but none of his own. [National Front deputy Ahmad Zirakzadeh] Dr. Baghai, the same, though not so blatantly. [Majles deputy Mozaffar Baghai]

6. Those who have not experienced the effects of British Imperialism may not be able to appreciate the depths of the hatred in Iran of it, but it is the one incontestable fact that makes Tudeh and the middle parties compatible at all.

7. If Iran is helped to become strong through the development of her resources, she will stand like a bastion of the free world in the Middle East because she is not involved in the Israel-Arab fight and is not conjoined with any neighboring country or its problems.

William E. Warne

[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]

• Source: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, Iran, 1951–1954 (2017)

“Source: National Archives, RG 469, Records of U.S. Foreign Assistance Agencies 1948–1961, Mission to Iran, Executive Office Subject Files (Central Files) 1951–1961, Box 7, Folder 6, 350. Secret; Security Information...Printed from a copy that indicates the original was signed.” — U.S. State Department Office of the Historian

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