The Secretary of State to the Legation in Saudi Arabia


190. Jidda tel 343, May 16.1 Dept agrees Jidda’s reasoning that first offshore proclamation shld be by sovereign state rather than sheikhdoms. Also considered highly desirable its terms conform points of US proclamation already presented SAG as applicable Persian Gulf. In view possibility contemplated Iran proclamation may not adequately conform (Jidda [Dhahran] tel 165, May 141), Dept believes Emb Jidda shld strongly urge SAG take action quickly. Emb shld in its discretion inform SAG US understands Iran planning action and that it would seem in best interests SAG to take first action.

If SAG reply indicates it will take action soon, then program for approaches to Iran by US followed by UK and to Iraq by UK as previously contemplated cld be followed. Although we believe SAG will see advantages of its enunciating acceptable principles for PG prior to any other littoral state, nonetheless if reply indicates SAG unable or unwilling act soon, consideration may have to be given by US & UK to advisability approaching Iran independently of SA’s plans for purpose encouraging Iran adopt equitable principles in any action it contemplating.2

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. This telegram was repeated to Tehran, Cairo, London, and Baghdad. Ambassador Childs reviewed the situation with the Saudi Arabian Foreign Office in the light of telegram 190. He emphasized “again danger of delay, advantage initial action being taken by SAG and possibility untoward action [by] Iran”. The Ambassador was given copies of draft decrees representing the latest versions of ARAMCO annexes 2 and 3 as set forth in airgram 23, March 2, to Jidda, p. 111 (telegram 357, May 21, 5 p. m., from Jidda, 890.0145/5–2149).