The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. A statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Title IV of the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351 et seq.), added by Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991.

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government, including facts which contributed to the formulation of policies and records providing supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The statute confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

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The volume presented here, compiled and prepared in 1986 and 1987, meets all the standards of selection and editing prevailing in the Department of State at that time. This volume records policies and events of more than 30 years ago, but the statute allows the Department until 1996 to reach the 30-year line in the publication of the series.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a triennial subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the final 3 years (1958–1960) of the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This subseries comprises 19 print volumes totaling more than 16,000 pages and 7 microfiche supplements presenting more than 15,000 additional pages of original documents.

In planning and preparing this 1958–1960 triennium of volumes, the editors chose to present the official record of U.S. foreign affairs with respect to the Middle East in three print volumes and a microfiche supplement. This volume (volume XII) was planned as a companion to volume XI, which provides extensive documentation on U.S. relations with Lebanon and Jordan. The crises in Lebanon and Jordan that led to the introduction of U.S. and British troops into those countries were closely tied in the minds of U.S. policymakers to the overthrow of the pro-Western monarchy in Iraq on July 14, 1958. Decisions made by the Eisenhower administration with respect to Jordan and Lebanon affected U.S. policy toward the Middle East and approaches to individual countries.

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The original research, compilation, and editing of this volume were done in 1986 and 1987 under the Department regulation derived from Secretary Kellogg’s charter of 1925. This regulation prescribed that the Foreign Relations series include “a comprehensive record of the major foreign policy decisions within the range of the Department of State’s responsibilities,” presuming that the records of the Department of State would constitute the central core of documentation presented in the series.

The Department of State historians have always had complete and unconditional access to all records and papers of the Department of States: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized (lot) files of the policymaking levels; the files of the Department of State Executive Secretariat, which comprehend all the official papers created by or submitted to the Secretary of State; the files of all overseas Foreign Service posts and U.S. special missions; and the official correspondence with foreign governments and with other Federal agencies. Any failure to include a complete Department of State record in the Foreign Relations[Page V]series cannot be attributed to constraints or limitations placed upon the Department historians in their access to Department records, information security regulations and practices notwithstanding.

Secretary Kellogg’s charter of 1925 and Department regulations derived therefrom required that further records “needed to supplement the documentation in the Department files” be obtained from other government agencies. Department historians preparing the Foreign Relations series since 1954, including the editor of this volume, fully researched the papers of President Eisenhower and other White House foreign policy records. These Presidential papers have become a major part of the official record published in the Foreign Relations series.

Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from other Federal agencies including the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency. All of this documentation has been routinely made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the consent of these agencies and the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Department of State historians have also enjoyed steadily broadened access to the records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Joints Chief of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Selective access has been obtained to the records of several other agencies in order to supplement the official record of particular Foreign Relations volumes.

Completion of the declassification of this volume and the final steps of its preparation for publication coincided with the development since early 1991, by the Central Intelligence Agency in cooperation with the Department of State, of expanded access by Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from among those records still in the custody of that Agency. The Department of State chose not to postpone the publication of this volume to ascertain how such access might affect the scope of available documentation and the changes that might be made in the contents of this particular volume. The Department is, however, using this expanded access, as arranged by the CIA’s History Staff, for compilation of future volumes in the Foreign Relations series.

The statute of October 28, 1991, requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of all the major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the United States Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. These new standards go beyond the mandate of the prior Department of State regulations [Page VI] for the preparation of the series and define broadened access to the records of other government agencies. The research and selection of documents for this volume were carried out in 1986–1987 in accordance with the existing Department regulations. The editors decided not to delay publication to conduct the additional research needed to meet the new standards, but they are confident that the manuscript prepared in 1986–1987 provides a fully accurate record. The List of Sources, pages XIII–XVIII, identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of this volume.

Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, Volume XII

The documentary selection presented here focuses on the diplomatic and political, economic and, to a lesser extent, military aspects of U.S. foreign policy. The emphasis is upon policy deliberation and formulation within the Eisenhower administration. Only the the most significant reports and intelligence assessments have been printed when it seemed clear that they played an important role in the policy process. The records printed from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas, are indicative of Presidential and White House interest in regional issues, Iraq, Iran, and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. Although the Eisenhower Library material formed the record of high-level interest, the decimal files and decentralized lot files of the Department of State are the foundation of this volume and they comprise the overwhelming majority of source citations. This leading role of the Department of State reflects the influence of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles within the Eisenhower administration’s foreign policy process and the fact that the Department was the most important point of contact for the Arab world.

The central emphasis of this volume is the political and diplomatic effort by the Eisenhower administration to confront and eventually to come to terms with radical Arab nationalism as personified by President Abdul Gamal Nasser of the United Arab Republic and Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim of Iraq. At the same time the volume illustrates U.S. concern with encouraging the more pro-Western Middle East monarchies, Saudi Arabia and Iran, to enact policies that would protect them from such radicalism. Another important goal of this volume was to present representative documentation on high-level U.S.-British diplomatic consultation on the Middle East, a region of traditional British influence. This theme appears most vividly in the documentation on British protected states, such as Kuwait, but it underlies most of the volume. In addition, much of the documentation presented in this volume reflects the Eisenhower administration’s concern about the influence of the Soviet Union in the region.

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U.S. oil policy also plays a crucial role in U.S. relations with many of the countries in this volume. It is one of the themes of the regional compilation and underlies the relationship with Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser, extent Iran. There is related documentation on Middle East oil in Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, Volume IV, Foreign Economic Policy, in the compilation on U.S. Policies Regarding Strategic Resources and International Commodities. Military questions, especially the United States role in the Baghdad Pact (later, Central Treaty Organization) and military assistance to Iran, form an important theme of this volume.

This volume does not document U.S. intelligence operations in the Middle East. Key assessments by the U.S. intelligence community, however, were an important part of the policy process, as the documents printed indicate. This volume was compiled before the development in 1991 of procedures to expand access by Department of State historians to the records of the Central Intelligence Agency. As those procedures were being established, the declassification and final preparation for publication of this volume concluded. The Department of State chose not to postpone the publication of this volume to allow for assessment of relevant material in the Central Intelligence Agency’s files. Instead, the editors decided to rely upon material they had obtained, with the cooperation of the Central Intelligence Agency, in the records of the Eisenhower Library as well as that which was available in Department of State files. The Department of State is making good use of these new procedures, which have been arranged by the CIA’s History Staff, for the compilation of future volumes in the Foreign Relations series.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Incoming telegrams from U.S. Missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in Foreign Relations series follows office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Obvious typographical errors are corrected, but other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The [Page VIII] amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. The amount of material omitted because it was unrelated, however, is not accounted for. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first unnumbered footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. The source footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other firsthand accounts have been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Declassification Review

The declassification review process for this volume resulted in the withholding from publication of 6.2 percent of the documents originally selected. Deletions dealt in most cases with U.S. reports and information on intelligence and clandestine operations. In the case of Iraq, the Department of State felt the need to protect some information on the nature and details of intelligence gathering on the Qassim government. In the compilation on Saudi Arabia there were numerous excisions, some of them extensive, and two documents were denied in full. They concerned mostly internal relations within the Saudi Government. Although the material presented here is not as complete or definitive as the editor would like, the basic outline of U.S. policy is accurate and the record is not distorted.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably [Page IX] could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security and law. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, in particular David Haight, who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume.

Under the supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon, Edward C. Keefer compiled and edited this volume, the research for which was performed by M. Paul Claussen, Nina J. Noring, Carl N. Raether, and Bret Bellamy. General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie supervised the final steps in the editorial and publication process. Gabrielle Mallon prepared the lists of names and abbreviations. Rita M. Baker and Vicki E. Futscher performed the copy and technical editing and Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Natalie H. Lee, Chief) oversaw the production of the volume. Breffni Whalen prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs