224. Memorandum of Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles 0

[Here follows brief discussion of unrelated matters.]

I spoke of the visit to Tehran1 and of the disgruntlement of the Shah with reference to the military situation. The President seemed to think that we might perhaps give more in the way of M47s and perhaps a more modern air squadron. At this point, General Twining joined us and the President expressed his views to Twining, who said he would try to get a positive reaction to me at Tehran by Friday. The President said he thought that we should make it clear to the Shah that if Iran was to have a larger military establishment it must conduct its fiscal affairs better so the cost of maintenance would not be shifted to us.

I then spoke of the Baghdad Pact Meeting and gave the President the memorandum requesting approval of ten million dollars to complete the telecommunications project.2 The President gave such approval and initialed the memorandum as evidence thereof.

I then showed the President the departure statement which I planned to make. The President suggested the omission of the first part of the third paragraph dealing with the “threat”. At that point we sent for Jim Hagerty, who reported that the statement had already been [Page 532] mimeographed and given to the press. In view of this fact, it was agreed that I should make the statement as it had been mimeographed.3


Addendum re Iran4

I said to the President that it might well be important to be able to give the Shah rather explicit assurance as to the readiness of the United States, on request, to use armed forces to assist Iran if it should be attacked by the Soviet Union. We re-read, at this point, the relevant portion of the Middle East Resolution.5 Any such assurance should, I said, be predicated upon the continuance of the present close relations of Iran with the United States and with other members of the free world, particularly of the Baghdad Pact. The President said he saw no objection to giving such assurance under such conditions.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, Meetings with the President. Originally classified Top Secret, but that classification was crossed out and “Personal and Private” was substituted. Drafted by Dulles. The meeting was held at the White House.
  2. Prior to attending the Baghdad Pact meeting at Ankara, Turkey, January 27–30, Dulles visited Morocco on January 23 and Iran from the evening of January 24 to the morning of January 26.
  3. For documentation on the Baghdad Pact meeting and U.S. support of pact members’ telecommunications, see Documents 53 ff.
  4. The draft statement was not attached to the source text, but it is printed as a White House press release, January 22, in the Department of State Bulletin, February 10, 1958, p. 210. In the statement Dulles reiterated U.S. support for the Baghdad Pact and in the third paragraph stated: “The United States is fully conscious of the threat to the area which comes from the north. Formerly it was the threat of Czarist imperialism. Now it is the threat of Communist imperialism, again expressed only yesterday by the Soviet Union.” The Soviet Union charged on January 21 that the purpose of Dulles’ trip was to compel the Baghdad Pact countries to accept U.S. missile bases, which the Soviet Union described as “sacrilege.”
  5. This addendum was prepared as a separate document but is filed with the source text.
  6. For text of the Middle East Resolution (“Eisenhower” or “the American Doctrine”), March 9, 1957, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1957, pp. 829–831.
  7. Initialed for Dulles by Joseph Greene.