305. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iraq1

246. Beirut for Allen. Embtel 321.2 You may inform Nuri:

US has long shared his concern over Communist influence in Syria. For his private information we expressed our views regarding dangers of Communist penetration to GOS some months ago. We also discussed with SAG.
As we have previously made clear, we take most serious view potential consequences Soviet-Egyptian arms deal. Assistant Secretary Allen made special trip to emphasize to Nasser implications his action (Deptel 2273). US is now concentrating its immediate efforts on narrowing or limiting extent Soviet-Egyptian relations, primarily by pointing out to Nasser disadvantages of Soviet penetration and advantages flowing from Egypt’s relations with the West. Because of Nuri’s continually cooperative attitude, we wish him understand what we are trying to do in present situation.
In the light of this approach, US believes precipitate intervention by Iraq in Syrian affairs would have unfortunate consequences. Such move would antagonize Egyptians, increase Saudi apprehensions and play into hands Israeli activists.
US maintains normal relations present Syrian government. US understands Communist threat has lessened since election and has hopes present Syrian government can contain threat.
The US desires keep informed on Syrian situation and appreciates any further information Nuri may have which would seem to require re-appraisal our present analysis.

You should discuss with your British colleague and concert your approach to Nuri.

FYI In view well known personal identification of Nuri with Iraq–Syria union idea and our present friendly relations with Iraq foregoing cast in moderate terms in order avoid impression curt rebuff but, should you feel that seriousness of our attitude not understood by Nuri, you may strengthen your presentation. Impression which we wish create is that we appreciate Nuri’s frankness in [Page 546] consulting us but for number of reasons feel his suggestion would have effect of exacerbating rather than improving an already serious situation.

You may, at your discretion, wish to expand thought in paragraph 3 to indicate any form of union between Iraq and Syria would, in effect, bring Iraq to borders of Israel and involve it more directly in many complications arising from Arab-Israel conflict. Among complications would be US preference not to extend grant military assistance to Israel or Arab countries which border directly on Israel.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783.00/10–455. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Newsom and Wilkins; cleared with Dulles in draft; and approved by Hare who signed for Dulles. Repeated to Beirut, Damascus, Ankara, London, and Jidda, and pouched to Paris.
  2. Supra.
  3. Telegram 227 to Baghdad, October 2, repeated to a number of Middle Eastern and other posts, contained guidance for U.S. diplomats discussing the Soviet-Egyptian arms deal with host governments. (Department of State, Central Files, 774.56/10–255)