190. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iraq 1

168758. Baghdad 1696 and 1719.2

Dept concurs subjects you intend discuss in your April 6 meeting with Pres Aref. We have discussed with Mobil your intention raise IPC problem and company concurs in full confidence your judgment. If opportunity arises discuss idea of settlement (para 2 Baghdad 1696) you should not give Aref impression company would accept settlement significantly different from that defined 1965 agreement. Dept believes would be most useful your examining oil problem with President in effort determine his thinking on subject and make sure he understands efforts IPC made accommodate Iraqi requirements.
Dept would also be interested any comments President might make concerning his recent Tehran visit. For example, what steps are now being taken or what steps does he think should be taken as result visit to further improve relations between two countries. In this connection you might also mention that we impressed wisdom his efforts build bridges of good will with his neighbors.
You should also inform him USG pleased with improvement US/Iraqi relations and would welcome any comments he may have as to future trends these relations.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 15-1 IRAQ. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Houghton, cleared in substance by Country Director for Iran Theodore L. Eliot, Jr., and James E. Akins (E/OR/FSE), and approved by Davies.
  2. In telegram 1696 from Baghdad, April 3, Strong reported that he would meet with Aref to discuss U.S.-Iraqi relations, Kurdish affairs, and the IPC problem. He hoped to use whatever prestige he had to promote on a personal basis the idea of an Iraqi settlement with the IPC (the Iraq Petroleum Company—a consortium of foreign firms in which British, French, Dutch, and U.S. companies held various shares). The Ambassador asked the Department to advise him of anything it wished him to take up with Aref. (Ibid.) In telegram 1719 from Baghdad, April 5, Strong reported that he was meeting with Aref on April 6 and would appreciate having the authorization he had requested. (Ibid.)