741.91/83: Telegram

The Minister in Persia ( Caldwell ) to the Secretary of State

169. Public sentiment decidedly adverse to recent agreement remains unchanged. Yesterday afternoon a number of ex-Cabinet officers and citizens visited Prime Minister [voicing] their indigna[nt] protestations. Numerous indignation meetings have taken place, some provincial cities closing bazars as an act of protest.

[Page 702]

Russian Legation actively opposing treaty, now desiring open door policy for Persia. They will probably never again pursue former encroachment policy here and now only desire to guard against possibility of similar policy from Great Britain and to protect present frontiers. Many Persians honestly believe that treaty marks an end of Persian independence; others say that it effects agreement with which it is carried out, but are suspicious of British policy here.

Prime Minister has issued a long communiqué attempting justification of policy pursued. Present Foreign Minister and other members of the Cabinet have told protesting Persians that America had already refused to aid Persia.

British Minister considers matter great local triumph but other Englishmen fear a bad effect [on] reputation abroad may result therefrom.

This Legation of course refrain[s] from expression of opinion pending Department’s instruction, though often pressed therefor.