No. 398
Editorial Note

On December 23, the National Security Council, at its 177th meeting, listened to a report by Vice President Nixon on his trip to the Far East, South Asia, and Iran. With regard to the situation in Iran, the Vice President made the following statements:

“During our visit to Iran, I formed a high opinion of Zahedi. He is a strong man. He said an interesting thing: ‘As you look toward Persia, don’t treat us as beggars, but as respectable relatives who have come on hard days.’ I think the Shah is beginning to have more guts. We talked about putting young people in positions of power. If the Shah would lead, things would be better. He said to me, ‘When the oil thing is settled, I will lead.’

“We have one of our finest Ambassadors in Iran—Loy Henderson. So far as the oil situation is concerned, the cartel suit must be dropped, or a way found to postpone the suit or get us out of the situation. Loy Henderson talked about prices and stabilization, and said that if the private companies won’t stabilize prices then the government must. If not, the stable countries may go down the drain.

“The other problem in Iran is the problem of the British. They should get on the team out there. The Iranians are being extremely tolerant and liberal, and the British are showing the same intransigeance as always. Henderson is privately very pessimistic about a [Page 855] settlement in Iran unless somebody topside in Britain puts the screws on.

“…if we don’t get a settlement it will cost us a hundred to a hundred and fifty million per year as long as the oil thing is unsettled. We must either settle it or else. I think that if the oil situation can be settled, chances for real progress in Iran are remarkable. Now that Mossadegh is out of the way things should be a lot better.” (Memorandum of discussion; Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file)