171. Telegram From the Embassy in Iraq to the Department of State1

486. Ref: Deptel 343.2 Kurds have told us Iranians urging them resume fighting (Embtel 458)3 but they understand Iranian motives. We have already told Kurds they should avoid appearing act as agents of others or entangling themselves in interests of others (Embtel 362),4 and would be unwise listen to those who want resumption hostilities (Akins’ memcon with Aqrawi, Dec. 8).5 Masud Mohammad and Aqrawi understood what we meant. Should note that in my October 24 talk with ForMin (addendum to Embtel 362) this was the one point made to Masud Mohammad which I did not reveal to Subhi Abd al-Hamid.

Emb officer plans see representative Ibrahim Ahmad faction December 17 and representatives Mulla Mustafa and new political bureau December 19. Without mentioning any specific plot he will refer to their earlier statements that Iranians trying stir up Kurds; he will tell them we think Kurds have wisely resisted Persian blandishments and we hope they will continue remain calm and try work out solution with GOI—many of whose members favorably disposed toward Kurds; we think Kurds cause will be severely damaged in Iraq if Kurds appear to act as agents for interests of others.

Must bear in mind that Kurds need supply line through Iran and can only be attracted by Iranian offers of material assistance, which they also need. These factors will decline in importance only if GOI shows good faith and proves willing enter into genuine negotiations.

If GOI so acts, Kurds likely eschew participation in Iranian-managed plot although some city-based Kurdish nationalists might act independently. Aqrawi believes (and says Mulla Mustafa shares his belief) that Nasser wants peaceful settlement and that almost any conceivable successor regime—particularly military dictatorship—would be less conciliatory than present one. But if GOI does not soon indicate willingness open negotiations Mulla will conclude, as most Kurds have already, that GOI has been acting in bad faith since last February. He will not then need foreign encouragement to resume revolt. While [Page 347] impossible estimate when this conjuncture will arrive, Kurds will not stand still forever.

If war starts would be too much to expect Kurds could be dissuaded accepting Iranian supplies and money including variety of strings Iranians might choose attach. Annoying Nasser or alienating Arabs—many of whom have lack sympathy for Kurds would be least of Kurdish worries. Once war recommences, current limitations on Kurdish objectives might well disappear, in which case would become international with serious implications.6

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 IRAQ. Secret. Repeated to Tehran and Ankara.
  2. Document 170.
  3. Dated December 8. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 2-2 IRAQ)
  4. Document 167.
  5. Not found.
  6. Telegram 350 to Baghdad, December 16, agreed that the Embassy should continue to urge restraint on all Kurdish factions and warned it to avoid appearing to give credence to Kurdish claims that Iran was urging them to resume fighting. (Ibid.)