• U.S.

IRAN: US for Limbo

2 minute read
TIME

U. S. to Limbo

As Iran’s tall, autocratic King of Kings Reza Shah Pahlavi, 58, gets older, his temper gets shorter. Less & less can he bring himself to humor the outlying world beyond his vast desert land, larger than Germany, France and Great Britain combined but with a population of only 15,000,000. Last year he curtly notified the diplomatic corps in Teheran that New Year’s Day is March 22, told his envoys abroad to put a stop to the outlandish practice of calling Iran Persia. Last November the King of Kings was hopping mad over the outrage committed on the person of his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the U. S. Ghaffar Khan Djalal by some uncouth “Marylanders” in an unheard of place called Elkton (TIME, Dec. 9 et seq.). When his car was stopped for some thing called “speeding,” the Khan and his beautiful, blonde English wife naturally struck aside the peasant constable. The Khan had been manacled and haled before a Justice of the Peace who had somehow had the discernment to recognize his high Iranian caste and release him.

Not at all satisfied by an apology from Maryland’s Governor Harry Whinna Nice and the dismissal of the constable (later stealthily re-hired), the King of Kings three months ago recalled the Khan Djalal. Last week the King of Kings ordered the Iranian Legation in Washington and the Iranian Consulates in Manhattan and Chicago permanently closed, thus thrusting the U. S. into diplomatic limbo. This action was authoritatively attributed to the Persian potentate’s ire at what he considered the disrespectful and humiliating treatment of himself and his country in the U. S. Press.

Last year the U. S. sold Iran $4,339,000 worth of machinery, bought $3,635,000 worth of rugs, furs, gum, quince seeds and pistachio nuts. That this business might be picked up by Britain was curiously anticipated by the London Sphere, which three weeks ago, ran on its second page a studio portrait of the King of Kings and a caption lifted intact from the Iran Government handouts which describe that monarch as born “of a very noble Persian family … of the purest element of the Iranian race.”

Reza Shah Pahlavi was born a peasant, began his career as a Cossack trooper.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com