267. Editorial Note

At the 396th Meeting of the National Security Council, February 12, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles briefed the Council on “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security.” According to a memorandum of the discussion prepared by Gleason, on February 12, Dulles provided the following information on Iran-Soviet relations:

“The Director of Central Intelligence stated that a Soviet delegation had been in Iran for some two weeks to negotiate an agreement on a non-aggression pact. The membership of the Soviet delegation was potent. At first the Iranians had not told us much about the negotiations although the Shah may have originally encouraged the Soviet delegation to come to Iran. He may have believed that this would construct a good bargaining position vis-à-vis the U.S. In any event the Soviet-Iranian negotiations had ended very abruptly on February 10 The cause of the break was the refusal of the Soviet Union to accept an agreement with Iran which would permit that country to remain a member of the Baghdad Pact and to sign a bilateral agreement with the U.S. In the final session of the negotiations the Soviets had been insulting, abusive and even threatening. This may presage a breach of diplomatic relations with Iran. We should not take such a possibility, warned Mr. Dulles, too lightly.

“Secretary Dillon commented that the signing of the bilaterals between the U.S. on the one hand and Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan on the other might be delayed for some little time. He thought that the signature of the bilaterals might occur in two weeks time, the signatures being affixed separately in the capitals of the three countries.

“In any event, continued Mr. Allen Dulles, the Soviets are not likely to take lying down the refusal of the government of Iran to sign a non-aggression pact with the U.S.S.R. Iran has always been a sensitive area to the Soviet Union and we will do well to consider what actions the Soviet Union might take as a result of the breakdown of the negotiations and prepare to counter whatever steps the Soviets take. We will undoubtedly get strong pressure for support from the Iranian government. In outlining possible moves that the Soviet Union might take against Iran, Mr. Allen Dulles said that he did not expect them to undertake direct military action against Iran. Secretary Dillon said he would like to discuss the situation in Iran as a result of the departure of the Soviet delegation with Mr. Dulles and his associates.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)