109. Memorandum for the Record1


  • State Guidance on Emergency Operations in Iran

1. Mr. Joyce called Messrs. [name not declassified] and [name not declassified] to his office this morning and subsequently took them to Mr. Jernegan’s office, together with Mr. Krentz, to report on a high-level meeting held last evening in the Department. This meeting was attended by the Secretary of State, the Under Secretary, Messrs. Bohlen, Byroade, Jernegan and Joyce. The meeting decided that:

a. It is the policy of the Department of State to maintain the present government in Iran so long as this government has the authority to govern, or until it appears certain that the government will be taken over by the Communists.

b. CIA should stockpile arms and other matériel as near Iran as feasible for possible use by friendly elements in the event of deterioration or collapse of the non-Communist central government. CIA will report to State the proposed site or sites for stockpiling and receive concurrence therein.

c. CIA should be authorized to plan [less than 1 line not declassified] for unconventional activities in the event of the deterioration or collapse of the non-Communist central government. The thought here was to make plans and external preparations to work with and through the principal tribes, notably the Qashquai and the Bakhtiari, and any other friendly elements which might be available. In response to CIA’s inquiry, the [less than 1 line not declassified] planning should relate only to the possible emergency and not to current unilateral Cold War operations. It is important to note that Mr. Jernegan made it clear that State is not at this time authorizing the actual implementation of unconventional operations but merely the planning and preparation therefor. Such plans and preparation are for the present to be conducted externally and are not to include any formal participation by the tribes. Our informal contacts with tribal elements will continue as in the past but without increased emphasis at this time.

2. Mr. Joyce said that he would like us to assume the responsibility for coordinating with the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of [Page 308] Staff the guidance given to us by the Department of State, reporting any comment in turn to the State Department.2

3. Mr. Joyce also said that we should keep the Department of State informed of the progress of our planning.

4. Mr. Jernegan suggested that it would be a good idea for CIA also to have available an unspecified quantity of gold sovereigns at some convenient nearby location, for possible use among the tribes if needed.

[name not declassified]3
Acting Chief, Division of the Near East and Africa
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 79–01228A, Box 11, Folder 14, Iran 1951–1953. Top Secret; Security Information.
  2. [text not declassified] accordingly met with Generals Magruder and Balmer later that day (July 31). Generals Magruder and Balmer read this memorandum and agreed that discussions [text not declassified] on “a program of unconventional activities for possible implementation in Iran” lay within the parameters of the CIA’s charter. On the subject of the procurement of arms for use by tribes in Iran, General Balmer indicated that the JCS had directed the Department of the Army to provide the CIA “appropriate assistance.” (Memorandum for the record by [name not declassified]; ibid., DDO–IMS Files, Job 80–01795R, Box 11, Folder 6, Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) History, 11Jul52–31Jul52)
  3. Printed from a copy with [name not declassified] typed signature.