No. 8
Editorial Note

At its 87th meeting on March 21 the National Security Council considered NSC 107. The Council noted the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, contained in a memorandum to the Secretary of Defense dated March 19, which had been circulated to the Council, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of Defense Mobilization under cover of a memorandum by Lay dated March 20. The Joint Chiefs had no objection, from the military point of view, to the use of the draft statement of policy on Iran in NSC 107 as an interim working guide, but they noted that the impact of recent events in Iran and possible international consequences might serve to invalidate certain premises on which the draft statement of policy appeared to be based, particularly with regard to actions of and correlation with the United Kingdom in Iran. They therefore recommended that the Council review the policy when the situation had clarified sufficiently to warrant it and, in any event, not [Page 24]later than July 1. The Council then noted the following views of the Joint Secretaries (Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force) as submitted by the Secretary of Defense:

“The Joint Secretaries recommended that NSC 107 be rejected in its entirety.

“The heart of NSC 107 is paragraph 5 and 6; what to do in case of internal subversion in Iran and what to do in case of a Soviet attack, respectively.

“Neither paragraph faces up to the question. They are safe innocuous statements of generalities which do not indicate anything except watchful waiting.

“A policy document for Iran must bluntly face the facts. If we cannot do anything we should say so. If we can take concrete steps in either contingency we should specifically so state.

“Until a complete study as to specific manner and means by which we can protect the interests of the West in Iran has been completed we should not attempt to establish a national policy with respect to that country, particularly in view of current developments.”

Finally the Council adopted NSC 107, which was subsequently transmitted to President Truman, and agreed that, if the President approved the statement of policy, the Department of State should transmit to the Council monthly progress reports on the implementation of that policy until the situation in Iran became clearer. The Council also directed the NSC Staff to review the statement of policy, if the President approved it, whenever the situation in Iran had clarified sufficiently to warrant such review and in event not later than July 1, 1951. (NSC Action No. 454)

Lay, in a memorandum dated March 26, informed the Council that the President had on March 24 approved the statement of policy in NSC 107 and had directed its implementation by all appropriate executive departments and agencies of the U.S. Government under the coordination of the Secretary of State. He informed the Council that the Department of State was being requested to transmit monthly progress reports and the NSC Staff was being directed to review the policy as agreed at the Council meeting on March 21. Copies of the Joint Chiefs’ memorandum, the Joint Secretaries’ views, and the record of action (NSC Action No. 454) taken by the Council at its meeting on March 21 are in the S/PNSC files, lot 62 D 1, NSC 107 Series.