261. Editorial Note

At the 394th Meeting of the National Security Council, January 22, the Director of Central Intelligence, Allen Dulles, briefed the Council on “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security.” According to a memorandum of discussion prepared by Gleason on January 22, Dulles provided the following information on Iran:

“Mr. Dulles pointed out that the Government of Iran has been telling the U.S. Government and the governments of other nations that Iran is considering a reappraisal of its national policy. Such statements may be preliminary to putting the Iranians in a stronger position at the forthcoming meeting of the Baghdad Pact allies. The Shah has complained that he has felt let down by the U.S. in recent weeks and is even said to be considering a 50-year Non-Aggression Pact with the U.S.S.R. The U.S.S.R. has offered such a pact if Iran refuses to sign the proposed bilateral agreement with the U.S.

“The Iranian Government is also professing great concern over the growth of Communist influence in Iraq fearing that Iraq is about to become a base for new Tudeh (Communist) Party activities designed against the regime in Iran.

“There was also, continued Mr. Dulles, the problem of the Kashgai situation in southern Iran. The four leaders of the Kashgai tribe have long been opposed to the Shah who has seized their property and driven the four leaders into exile, two in the U.S. These two in the U.S. have informed us that they are proposing to go back to Iran to work out some arrangement with the Kurds to weaken the Shah. The Kashgai tribe numbers approximately 300,000 and is a reasonably powerful group.

“Secretary Dulles asked to comment on the Iranian situation. He noted that Mr. Allen Dulles had spoken of the proposed Non-Aggression Pact between the U.S.S.R. and Iran in particular relation to the forthcoming Baghdad Pact meeting. Actually, the proposed Non-Aggression Pact bears a closer relation to negotiations between the U.S. and Iran on a bilateral agreement. Of course such bilaterals are a normal feature of U.S. relations with all foreign countries to whom we give military assistance. We had already drafted our proposed bilateral with Iran but the Iranians want commitments from the U.S. over and beyond the normal commitments of bilateral treaties as well as beyond the commitments authorized by the U.S. Congress. For example, they wish a commitment from us to come to the aid of Iran if there is indirect aggression against Iran from any source whatsoever, Communist or non-Communist. In a telegram sent yesterday [telegram 2309 to Ankara, January 21; Department of State, Central Files, 780.5/1–2159], continued Dulles, he had refused this proposal. He simply did not see how we can comply with what they want. He did not know what the final result will be but [Page 626] the situation is serious. The Iranian Government may decide that we will not give them what they want and actually turn to a flirtation with the Soviet Union. Even if this should be the case, the U.S. cannot assume further obligations to Iran in the absence of a treaty which would require Senate ratification but which would probably not achieve such ratification.

“Mr. George Allen expressed himself as delighted to hear that Secretary Dulles had decided to hold the line against these Iranian demands. It was his belief that it was in our best interests not to go any further to appease the Shah, who said Mr. Allen, was the best blackmailer he knew of.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)