891.6363/4–749: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iran 1


342. Conversations with reps Brit Emb2 re offshore oil reveal fol agreed points:

Brit agreed [with] principles US has passed to SAG. If SAG ask Brit for opinion, Brit will indicate agreement. Brit desire be informed earliest possible by Amer Emb Jidda or Dept (1) text of proclamation when known and (2) proposed release date. Emb Jidda shld, of course, provide info release date all addressees this cable.
Iran: Amb Wiley will speak informally to Iranians as soon as release date Saudi Arabian proclamation known. Brit do not wish to exclude possibility Amb Le Rougetel speaking to Iranians fol Wiley. Le Rougetel must be prepared to answer Iran’s questions and wld reply along lines taken by Wiley, He will not volunteer advice or comment. If IranGov inquire directly whether US and UK discussed question in advance, reply will be affirmative and refer to obvious interest Brit-protected Sheikhdoms touching SA mainland. Agreed both Ambs must seek middle ground between (1) implication to Iranians of US–UK collusion for purpose imposing plan upon other littoral states which wld either commit Iran to precedent or affect adversely Iran interests now or in future, and (2) implication of rift or possibility thereof between US and UK which might be capitalized by some elements in Iran.
Kuwait, Bahrein and Qatar will now be informed confidentially by Brit that Saudis expected act shortly and that Sheikhdoms will be advised when to issue own proclamation. Brit propose latter date be approx three days fol SAG action.
Re Iraq, agreed Brit will inform Iraqi forthcoming proclamation but will not make ref, unless asked directly, to US Govts advice to SAG. US Amb Baghdad will only answer specific questions by Iraq Govt (Baghdad’s 119, Mar. 18 and Deptel 107, Mar. 23).3 Brit Amb will be instructed inform Iraqi soon as Brit have firm info date on which Saudis will act. On Dept suggestion, Iraqi will not be informed earlier than one week before Saudis issue proclamation since longer period wld provide interval for rumors to develop in Iraq and for tension to develop between Iraq and Saudis.
Brit will inform Sultan of Muscat generally re developments when Brit Polit Resident Bahrein next Dhofar. Brit will make clear US interest in Sultan’s being informed. Remaining states having special relations with UK will be informed after SAG issues proclamation and will be advised later action they shld take.

  1. This telegram was repeated to Jidda, Baghdad, Cairo, and London.
  2. These conversations were held with E. E. Jones, the Petroleum Attaché of the British Embassy, on March 28 and April 4 (memoranda of conversation by Mr. Kitchen and Mr. Sanger, 891.6363/3–2849, 890.0145/4–449).
  3. Neither printed; but see footnote 3, p. 118.