284. Memorandum of Discussion at the 430th Meeting of the National Security Council0

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda items 1–3.]

[Page 663]

4. U.S. Policy Toward Iran (NSC 5821/1;1OCB Report on NSC 5821/1, dated December 11, 19592)

Mr. Harr summarized the reference OCB Report on the subject, referring particularly to the present economic situation in Iran and to the U.S. aid program. The President said the land reform program in Iran appeared to be very good and was being financed on a favorable basis. Mr. Harr said the OCB Report had been completed about the time the President was making his visit to Teheran. The operational decisions made and contemplated with respect to Iran, that is, the intended reduction of U.S. assistance and the probable reaction by the Iranians that downward revisions would represent defaults on what they consider to be U.S. commitments, caused the OCB to recommend that the report be brought to the attention of the National Security Council. He realized that the report might be outdated by subsequent decisions.

The President said the Shah wanted to abandon some of his conventional forces and substitute modern weapons for them. The Shah wanted to build five fighter fields capable of taking fighter planes superior to F–84’s, and wanted a central field for light bombers. The Shah also desired Honest Johns, Corporals, and Nikes. The President reported he had suggested that the Shah build the airfields and the Shah had agreed except for the reservation that he would need technical equipment from abroad.3 The President had complimented the Shah on his interest in modernization of his forces and had asked him to send a statement of his proposals to Washington where it could be studied. The Shah appeared to be frightened of Iraq.4 The President said he had told the Shah that there should be no neighborhood wars in the area. Mr. Dulles said the Shah was not frightened of Iraq as such, because Iran was stronger than Iraq, but was worried lest Iraq go Communist. The President agreed that the Shah was worried about Iraq only because of the possibility that Iraq might go Communist.

The National Security Council:5

Noted and discussed the reference Report on the subject by the Operations Coordinating Board.
Deferred consideration of the need for review of NSC 5821/1, pending study by the Department of Defense of recent Iranian views regarding the missions and composition of Iranian armed forces.

Note: The action in b above, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Secretary of Defense.

[Here follow agenda items 5 and 6.]

Marion W. Boggs
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Boggs on January 13.
  2. Document 257.
  3. Not printed. (Department of State, S/PNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, Iran, U.S. Policy Toward, NSC 5821/1 and 6010)
  4. See Document 281.
  5. On January 6 and 7 White House Assistant Staff Secretary John Eisenhower prepared for the President a synopsis of State and Intelligence material on the related issue of Iranian-Iraqi relations, especially the Shatt al-Arab controversy, and concluded that the danger of an Iraq-Iran military conflict was remote. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries)
  6. Paragraphs a and b and the Note that follows constitute NSC Action No. 2170, approved by the President on January 7. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)