361. Preliminary Notes on the Operations Coordinating Board Meeting, Washington, July 26, 19561

[Here follow items 1 and 2.]

3. Progress Report on Iran

Mr. Rountree, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs, was present and presented the Progress Report on Iran.

[Page 841]

Mr. Rountree reviewed developments in Iran in some detail, commenting particularly on the Shah’s visit to Russia and on the political and economic conditions in the country. The Chairman remarked that it was difficult to know what to do in Iran until we had determined our overall policy in the Near East. On the other hand, it was difficult to know what to do in the Near East until we know the course which Iran would follow. He expressed the hope that Defense might soon clarify the military objectives and requirements in the area as requested some time ago by the President. Mr. Lay commented that policy regarding Iran would probably be reviewed by the Planning Board after study of the Prochnow Report.2 There was some discussion to the effect that the paper was too pessimistic in tone. Mr. Dulles commented that there was nothing new in Iran to justify exceptional gloom; the problems in Iran were inherent in the country and he considered that a more cheerful tone should be expressed. Mr. Rountree commented that the paper as written was not overly optimistic as regards the future. The future of Dr. Mosadeq was discussed and Mr. Rountree, stating that we had this very much in mind, reported that three courses of action seemed to be under consideration in Iran:

Mosadeq might be sent to Switzerland;
He might be exiled to his village with appropriate guards; and,
He might be rearrested on some new charge.

Mr. Gray inquired whether consideration was being given to US adherence to the Baghdad Pact. Mr. Rountree stated that the matter was under constant review but that our position had not changed and that it was still considered inadvisable to adhere to the Pact at this time.

Subject to editorial revision, the Board concurred in the paper and ordered it forwarded to the NSC.

[Here follows item 4.]

  1. Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 62 D 430. Secret. Drafted by Arthur L. Richards.
  2. Document 358,