By: Mir M.Hosseini
The first American Minister Plenipotentiary to Persia was Samuel Benjamin whose mission started in 1883. It was Benjamin who first drafted the diplomatic code used by the American legation in Persia.
After two years, he was succeeded by Fredrick Winston, who was appointed by US President Grover Cleveland on Nov, 20, 1885. Cleveland was a committed non-interventionist who had campaigned in opposition to expansion and imperialism.
Right after Spencer Pratt was appointed as the third US Consul General in Tehran on August 3, 1886, Naseroddin Shah decided to open a permanent representation in US and he appointed Hossein Gholi Khan Nouri as Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to US. Because of a gaff he made in New York, he was later nicknamed (Haji Washington) Washington.
Justin Perkins was the first American citizen to reside in Iran as a Presbyterian missionary in September, 1833.
Because of its anti-colonial history, the United States was seen as a respectful state unlike Britain and Russia who were engaged in a dirty scenario called the Great Game since 1813 to divide the Greater Iran. Iranians supporting the Constitutional Monarchy Movement viewed the U.S. as a third balancing force in their struggle to break free from British and Russian dominance in Iranian affairs while American industrial and business leaders were supportive in modernizing Iranian economic and administrative infrastructure.
Today there are no formal diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States. Due to poor relations between the two countries, instead of exchanging ambassadors Iran maintains an interests section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C., while the United States, since 1980, has maintained an interests section at the Swiss embassy in Tehran.