787.5/6–1053: Airgram

No. 1392
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iraq 1


A–242. With reference to the Embassy’s despatch 693 of March 25, 1953,2 the Department suggests that the personal and confidential memorandum from the Iraqi Foreign Minister to the American Ambassador be replied to along the following lines:

The United States Government welcomes the statement by the Government of Iraq of its intention to strengthen its defenses and, in keeping with the principles of Articles 51 and 52 of the Charter of the United Nations, to unite with other countries of common interest in finding suitable means, including regional organizations for common defense, against external aggression.

The United States Government notes that the Iraq Government considers that only through assistance from the United States and Great Britain can the Iraq Government achieve its desired ends. The United States Government has noted with satisfaction the improvement which the Government of Iraq, in cooperation with [Page 2350] Great Britain, has already effected in its defenses and hopes that this useful cooperation will continue. The United States Government on its part is prepared to assist the defense efforts of the Iraq Government as it had indicated by its note dated October 27, 1952 (408(e)).3

The United States Congress now has before it for consideration a proposal that Mutual Security legislation for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 1953, should include authority to provide grant military assistance to Greece, Turkey and Iran and to “other countries in the area of the Near East and Africa”. As the Government of Iraq is no doubt aware, the Congress of the United States in authorizing Mutual Security Programs in the past has emphasized its purpose “to strengthen the mutual security and individual and collective defenses of the free world,” and has sought to encourage the development of cooperative defense arrangements on the part of the nations of the free world.

The United States Government regrets that it is not possible at this time to give a definite reply to the request of the Government of Iraq for arms and training assistance for the purpose of strengthening the Iraqi defense forces. The Government of Iraq may be assured, however, that its request is receiving careful consideration and it is hoped that mutually satisfactory arrangements can be reached at an early date.

  1. Drafted by Funkhouser and Daspit and cleared by NEA and, in draft, by S/MSA.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 3, Document 1388.
  3. Not printed.