176. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iraq1

193. Embtel 255.2 Following summary of conversations FYI and Noforn. It is uncleared and subject to amendment upon review.

1

-a. During October 8 conversation with Secretary,3 Prime Minister raised Kurdish question. While recognizing matter basically internal [Page 353] problem, noted there were also external aspects to it. Said GOI willing look at Kurdish peoples as nation, however he predicted there would never be Kurdish state including all Kurds. PM suggested progress might be made on problem if US and UK would advise Shah unwisdom his policy.

b. Secretary reiterated US supports territorial integrity Iraq and asked PM try understand limited influence US has in such matters. He cited India-Pakistan as example.

c. In response Secretary’s question whether he might consider making discreet probes to learn whether there is mutual desire friendship between Tehran and Cairo, PM claimed Shah has exaggerated fear President Nasser. Nasser would like cooperate with Iran. Iran’s provocations cause him react. PM contrasted Shah’s professed fear Nasser’s ambitions with Shah’s ambitions among Arab territories in Persian Gulf. Secretary suggested Iranian Foreign Minister Aram might be engaged in dialogue but PM responded it unrealistic think anyone but Shah could change official attitude toward Egypt and Arab world. He thought only advice from friendly powerful governments could persuade Shah.

d. As first civilian PM Iraq in many years, he felt atmosphere of stability. Secretary said US has elementary interest in welfare and territorial integrity Iraq adding we have no national ambitions in Iraq and that we ready explore ways assist Iraq on road to development.

e. PM raised particular program in which he personally interested, namely building University Baghdad into great institution. Secretary said Department would be glad review possibility US assistance on some aspect of University scheme.

f. PM agreed worthwhile examine possibilities investment guarantee agreement.

2

-a. In talk with Vice President October 15,4 Bazzaz conveyed President Arif’s highest regards to President and wished speedy recovery from operation. Stated Iraq after series revolutions is developing and in evolutionary stage as member Free World. Present government is non-aligned. Past governments had interpreted non-alignment badly. Present GOI socialistic but not Marxist or Communist. Recognizes role private enterprise.

b. Bazzaz stated Nasser only Arab world leader who effectively combatting communism and Marxism. Key to good relations with Arabs is good relations with Nasser.

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c. PM alleged Iran encouraging disturbances northern Iraq for purely destructive reasons. Shah’s problem is his attitude towards Nasser. US should use good offices convince Iran stop aiding Kurds.

d. Finally PM urged US persuade British adopt better attitude toward South Arabia.

e. VP stated PM was speaking to sympathetic mind. Social reform in US occurs within structure mixed economy. VP emphasized distinction between communism and socialism. Real secret of freedom is right express and exchange opinions.

f. VP noted he had visited UAR and had talked with Nasser as well as having brought message from President Kennedy.5 We have differences but it is US policy try find ways agree. Recently in response strong feeling on part American people Congress reacted against Nasser. President, Vice President and Secretary had to work hard to reverse Congressional decision in order keep flow food continuing to Egypt. We appreciate frank words such as PM’s, however Nasser also needs frank talk.

g. VP did not comment on Kurdish situation, saying he was uninformed details. Finally Vice President referred question British and South Arabia to Assistant Secretary Hare.

3

-a. In call on Under Secretary Mann October 15,6 PM contrasted his own modern liberal interpretation of socialism with rigid views his predecessors. He eschews slogans and doctrinaire theories. Under Secretary said he could agree with PM comments, adding economic doctrines devised hundred years or more ago not applicable today without modification.

b. In response Under Secretary’s question re US-Iraqi economic relations, PM said Iraq’s policy is true non-alignment, that GOI would examine every case on own merits and according Iraq interests but there would be good opportunities for US cooperation and assistance.

c. Under Secretary raised claims US firms pending in Iraq. Bazzaz’ response provided Deptel 168 (to Baghdad).7

d. PM reiterated idea re US assistance in building new university. It would cost $30-35 million. Iraq able repay in 7-8 years. Mann said he would look into matter.

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e. Bazzaz raised Kurdish problem in economic sense as drain on Iraq’s finances. He mentioned building loan program and said existing Iraqi institution needs capital. GOI might request $7-8 million loan from US. Mann said he would also look into this.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 7 IRAQ, Confidential. Drafted by Dinsmore; cleared by Staff Assistant Howard V. Funk of M, in substance by John E. Rielly in the Vice President’s Office, and Deputy Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs Harrison M. Symmes; and approved by Davies. Repeated to Cairo and Tehran.
  2. Dated October 25. (Ibid.)
  3. The Secretary’s conversation with Prime Minister Abd al-Rahman Bazzaz took place at the United Nations. Memoranda of conversation recording their meeting are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 66 D 347, CF 2547. Bazzaz became Prime Minister of Iraq on September 21, 1965.
  4. The Prime Minister’s October 15 conversation with Vice President Humphrey is recorded in a memorandum of conversation ibid., Central Files 1964-66, POL 7 IRAQ.
  5. For information on Humphrey’s meeting with Nasser on October 22, 1961, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Document 131.
  6. The Prime Minister’s October 15 conversation with Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Thomas C. Mann is recorded in a memorandum of conversation. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 7 IRAQ)
  7. Dated October 18. (Ibid., E 7 IRAQ)