117. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Plans (Wisner) to Director of Central Intelligence Smith 1
- Plan for Arming Iranian Tribal Groups
1. Pursuant to your instructions of two weeks ago,2 the attached plan for arming Iranian tribal groups has been developed by the Near East Division with the assistance of other appropriate elements of the Agency. This is an emergency plan which is for implementation only in case of the collapse or Communist take-over of the Iranian central government. However, in order to be in a position to carry the plan into effect certain additional physical preparations, over and above those already taken, will be necessary. Because of the critical situation presently prevailing in Iran we are continuing with these preparations, including procurement of weapons and ammunition and the forward stockpiling of additional quantities thereof, but I should nevertheless appreciate receiving your guidance as to whether you desire to have this plan submitted to either the Project Review Committee or the Psychological Strategy Board. Certain basic features of the plan have already been extensively coordinated with the Departments of State and Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but in view of the size and amount of effort and facilities involved in this program, it has occurred to me that you may wish to have a further review of the plan by one or both of the bodies indicated.
2. You will recall that, at the suggestion of the State Department and with the concurrence of the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we approached the British Service with a proposal that a joint plan should be developed. The only reply which we have received as yet is to the effect that the Foreign Office considers that it is “premature” for the British Service to engage in any joint planning effort with us.3 We are still uncertain as to the underlying significance of this position of the British Foreign Office, but the fact remains that we are presently unable to coordinate our planning with any plans which the British Service may have in being or in contemplation for this eventuality.
Frank G. Wisner[Page 327]
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 79–01228A, Box 11 Folder 14, Iran 1951–1953. Secret; Security Information. Noted by the DCI on August 27.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 109.↩
- See Document 110.↩
- Not further identified.↩
- Document 109.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 109.↩
- Apparent reference to Annex D to the Iran Country Plan as of June 10, 1952. The “Country Plan for Iran” is undated, but in its final form probably dates from late December 1951. Drafted in the Office of Policy Coordination in the Directorate of Plans, a Country Plan aimed to describe OPC objectives and activities within a given country. The introductory remarks of “Operational Annex D” established the need for the United States Government to prepare for the contingency in which Communists might take control of the Iranian Government. It assumed that “in the event of general war, resistance to communist occupation of Iran will be conducted by the Qashqais and perhaps other tribes which are strongly antipathetic to communism and the Russians.” Therefore, the United States, through OPC, must provide enough assistance to the Qashqais to enable them to “sustain an effective guerrilla warfare campaign.” It behooved the United States to provide such assistance since it was rapidly becoming the only Western country capable to doing so. (Central Intelligence Agency, DDO–IMS Files, Job 80–01795R, Box 8, Folder 2, Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) History 21Dec51–27Dec51)↩
- In a covering note, Helms wrote: “Meeting with Director was held 28 August 1952 at which time he approved this plan. He gave certain oral instructions with regard to the arms to be acquired. The program is now being implemented by the NE Division.”↩