24. Telegram From the Embassy in Iraq to the Department of State1

713. We have given careful consideration to desirability of US adherence at an early date to Iraq-Turk pact. Consensus is that we should do so for following reasons.

We are originators of northern tier concept and it is we who gave inspiration and encouragement which resulted in Iraq-Turk pact. Indigenous interest has now been adequately proved. Yet task of forging paper northern tier into effective northern tier defense organization has still to be accomplished and we do not see how this can be done without US adherence. Psychological value of our adherence now would also serve as potent centrifugal force in winning additional adherents including perhaps fence-straddlers such as Lebanon and Jordan.
Our adherence along with British would give this part of the world a telling example of how British and we are cooperating for common defense of free world. It would provide too a stimulus for Britain and US informally and quietly to resolve problem of our respective roles in area war plans and arms aid.
Our adherence is certain to enhance considerably overall US influence in area. This might eventually prove useful too in working towards Arab-Israeli settlement.
US adherence need not materially enlarge our commitments in the area. Thru membership in NATO we already have certain commitments. Similarly we are already extending military aid to Iraq and have let it be known that reasonable requests for stepping up this aid would receive our careful consideration. Our aid commitments therefore even after adherence could continue as at present. If on other hand we should ever find it desirable to increase our commitments we would in Iraq-Turk pact have the framework at hand within which we could.
US association with Iraq-Turk pact might well help allay current Israeli fears that pact may be used to her detriment. In adhering without accepting accompanying [garble] as British are thinking of doing Israeli doubts could be further dispelled.
US adherence would help allay possible fears which have not entirely disappeared from minds of Nuri and other Iraqi political leaders of possible Turkish irredentist designs on Mosul. If these fears whether they be real or imagined can somehow be exercised [exorcised?] effective cooperation in sphere area defense will be immeasurably facilitated.
Nuri showed great courage in taking initiative to align Iraq with Turkey and West risking much at home and in relations with Arab neighbors. We gave him considerable encouragement. We think we should therefore make some really significant move of recognition of his statesmanlike act as soon as possible. In our opinion early adherence would be most effective step we could take. It would meet wishes of, Nuri, palace, ex-Prime Minister and of a sizable segment of the Iraq people. It would of course be well received by Turk Government.
We have already publicly endorsed Iraq-Turk pact and privately expressed our disapproval of Egyptian-Syrian-Saudi arrangement as ineffective and ill-contrived area defense association. Our adherence to the Iraq-Turk pact would give substance to these words and would leave no one in doubt as to where we stand. At best such action might even cause Egyptian-Syrian-Saudi arrangement to die aborning. At very least our membership in Iraq-Turk pact would provide yet another link, when considered along with our air base agreement with Saudi Arabia, between the two apparently emerging rival defense organizations. British Suez Canal agreement with Egypt would constitute another such link. We might under such circumstances be able to exert an assuaging influence in Saudi Arabia with a view to seeking to bring the two groups into at least some sort of working arrangement.

Timing of US adherence it seems to us might well follow British adherence but there seems no good reason why it should have to await Iranian or Pakistani adherence as well. Indeed US adherence might serve to stimulate interest of Iran and Pakistan and expedite their adherence.

In view of considerations cited above I would urge upon Department that we adhere to Iraq-Turk pact as soon as possible.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 682.87/3–1655. Secret. Repeated to Ankara and London.