10. Letter From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Affairs (Sloan) to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command (Adams)1

Dear General Adams:

The Shah of Iran in a letter of 7 January 1964 (Enclosure 1)2 expressed dissatisfaction with the present Five-Year Military Assistance Program. He went into considerable detail explaining the ever increasing Arab threat and used this as a basis for requiring more and better military equipment. He suggested that the President appoint someone to discuss with him urgent matters of interest to Iran and the United States.

The President in his reply (Enclosure 2)3 indicated that the basic factors that led to the Five-Year Military Plan have not significantly changed and that we have not seen any major change in the Arab situation.

The President informed the Shah that Ambassador Holmes and General Eckhardt were ready to discuss the full range of his political and military problems and that you would be coming to Iran and would be glad to join them in discussing the questions raised in his letter.

In your discussions with the Shah you should:

Avoid making any statement to the Shah which could be interpreted as a U.S. commitment of future grant military assistance.
Advise the Shah that the U.S. will continue to assist Iran in planning for the improvement and modernization of its military establishment.
Explain to the Shah that the amount of future Grant Aid to Iran will depend upon congressional action and that the trend is to reduce grant aid and shift to cash and credit sales.
Volunteer to review Iranian requirements developed by the Iranians in coordination with the Country Team.
Reiterate the U.S. evaluation of the Arab threat.

The Department of State has prepared a political evaluation of the situation in the Middle East as it affects the Iranian military policy. This together with a Defense Intelligence Agency evaluation,4 which will be [Page 24] forwarded separately, may be used at your discretion in your discussion with the Shah.

Please submit a report of any impressions you may have after you talk with the Shah and any recommendations you may consider appropriate concerning our future policy toward Iran.


Frank K. Sloan 5
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 68 A 306, 091.3 Iran, 24 March 64. Secret. Drafted by Colonel M.R. Preble of ISA/NESA.
  2. Attached to the source text; see Document 2.
  3. Attached to the source text; see Document 8.
  4. The Department of State evaluation was not found. A copy of the Defense Intelligence Agency evaluation entitled “The Capabilities of Arab Countries Singly or in Concert to Threaten the Security of Iran” is in Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 68 A 306, 092 Iran, 25 March 1964. The DIA estimate concluded that only Egypt, Syria, and Iraq were expected to possess organized forces capable of significant military action against Iran during the next 3 years, and that current circumstances made concerted military action against Iran unlikely.
  5. Printed from a copy that indicates Sloan signed the original.