40. Project Outline Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

Project [less than 1 line not declassified]

1. References

a. NSC 10/2.2

b. CIA Report No. CSO–B–19395, dated 10 August 1950 attached.

c. Memorandum from Chief, Contract Division, 0/0 for AD/OPC attached, dated 20 March 1951.

d. Memorandum from Chief, Contract Division, 0/0 for AD/OPC, attached, dated 11 May 1951.3

2. Problem and Objective

Penetration of tribal areas in general, and Southwestern Iran in particular, has long been a problem for OPC. The Qashqai tribe, reputed to be the strongest tribe in Iran, inhibits a large area in Southwest Iran that is of particular importance in the development of an escape and evasion network and as a base for guerrilla warfare activities. Due to the extreme sensitivity of this area, it has been closed to travel of foreign personnel by the Iranian Government. The restrictions imposed have made the area practically inaccessible to OPC personnel and thus far we have been unable to supply satisfactory cover for penetration of the area.

a. The Objective

The object of this project is the penetration of Southwestern Iran for the purpose of initiating a program of escape and evasion and establishing drop zones, landing strips, sabotage targets, safe houses, and supply routes to and from the Persian Gulf; guerrilla warfare potentialities and recruitment possibilities of the inhabitants of the area will be analyzed and exploited.

[Page 120]

3. Proposal

Several factors have now been combined which give OPC an opportunity to penetrate the area under discussion. They are: [7½ lines not declassified].

[2 paragraphs (22 lines) not declassified]

Benefits accruing to OPC from implementation of this project are: Placement of OPC agents in a hitherto inaccessible area; opportunity to observe and evaluate the potential value of the tribesman to OPC in resistance and guerrilla warfare activities; opportunities to establish escape and evasion networks, safe houses, and drop zones; and, the furtherance of good relations between the Qashqai Khans and tribesmen and the United States as a means of assuring Qashqai cooperation in the event of a Soviet invasion or the establishment of a satellite government at Tehran.

4. Risks

[1½ lines not declassified] it is not believed that a great deal of risk is involved in this project. The advantages listed above seem to outweigh any risk by OPC and the financial arrangements appear to be secure. Since the Qashqai are direct benefactors of this project, the possibility of their revealing the source of funds is extremely remote.

5. Current Status

[1 paragraph (7 lines) not declassified]

6. Budget Data

[2 paragraphs (25 lines) not declassified]

[Omitted here is additional budgetary detail related to the project.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 58–00070R, Box 12, Folder 496, OPC Operational Project Outline, Reel 96. Top Secret. According to an attached clearance sheet, the plan was developed by [name not declassified] and approved by Acting ADPC [name not declassified], August 2. Wisner added his approval on August 6 with the following condition: “Approved—Subject to clear understanding that this does not now involve a commitment of the amount in excess of [dollar amount not declassified]—and may not do so until approved by PRC of the survey to be made.”
  2. National Security Council Directive 10/2, dated June 18, 1948, charged the CIA with developing a covert action capability. NSC 10/2 is printed in Foreign Relations, 1945–1950, Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, pp. 713–715 (Document 293).
  3. None of the documents listed as attached was found attached.