367. Memorandum of Discussion at the 299th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, October 4, 19561

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and items 1. “Status of U.S. Military Program,” 2. “Recommendations of the Report to the President of the Technological Capabilities Panel of the Science Advisory Committee, ODM,” and 3. “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security.”]

4. United States Policy Toward Iran (NSC 5504; Progress Report, dated July 25, 1956, by the Operations Coordinating Board on NSC 55042)

Mr. Jackson summarized briefly the main points made in the OCB Progress Report. He added that certain members of the OCB seemed to feel that the report was a little too much on the pessimistic side though certainly the manner in which the Iranians were handling their financial and economic problems was far from satisfactory.

Secretary Humphrey said that some small problems had arisen in the current negotiations with Iran for new loans. He believed that these problems could be ironed out without real difficulty however.

Admiral Radford said that he was inclined to doubt whether the Progress Report was too pessimistic on the basis of what he knew of the current situation in Iran. He cited the most recent Soviet offer to provide Iran with just about any kind of assistance it desired.3 Admiral Radford also pointed out that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had lately revised the Iranian armed forces structure on the basis of recommendations made by the Chief of our Military Assistance Advisory Group in Iran. Essentially, this revision cut out some of the heavy arms which had earlier been programmed as U.S. military assistance to the Iranian armed forces.

The National Security Council: 4

a.
Noted and discussed the reference Progress Report on the subject by the Operations Coordinating Board.
b.
Noted that, in accordance with NSC Action No. 1486–e,5 the NSC Planning Board will review the policy on Iran, in the light of the [Page 851] report on Iran6 prepared by the Interdepartmental Committee on Certain U.S. Aid Programs (NSC 5610).7

[Here follows item 5, “United States Policy Toward Italy.”]

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Gleason on October 4.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 359.
  3. As reported in telegram 505 from Tehran, October 1. (Department of State, Central Files, 661.88/10–156)
  4. The paragraphs that follow constitute NSC Action No. 1615, approved by the President on October 8. (Ibid., S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)
  5. For text of NSC Action No. 1486–e, approved by the President December 8, 1955, see vol. x, pp. 6264. It directed the review of assistance programs in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Vietnam, Formosa, and Korea.
  6. Document 358.
  7. NSC 5610, “Report by the Interdepartmental Committee on Certain U.S. Aid Programs,” August 3, 1956. (Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351)