14. Memorandum From Commander John J. Shanahan to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor)1


  • General Adams’ Visit with the Shah of Iran
General Adams held a rather extensive conversation with the Shah of Iran during his current visit to the MEAFSA area.
A number of significant points contained in the attached tabs2 follow:
The Shah states that the situation in the Middle East has deteriorated since November. He cites:
Pak-Indian relations.
Turkey-Greece problem.
UK withdrawal from bases in Malta and Cyprus.
Bases in Libya are threatened.
Recent strengthening of Arab unity.
Forecast Arab aggression against Israel in 2 or 3 years.
The Shah expressed hope that the April meetings in Washington would make useful progress; felt CENTO was not accomplishing much in a military way because of Pak attitude and US not being a member. Gen. Adams expressed confidence that meetings would be productive and US interest was intense in seeing that CENTO succeeds.
Shah stated Iran has more to fear from Soviet-supported Arabs than from Soviets.
Shah described Iran’s future as bright because of current development of vast resources, and the social and economic reforms that are being implemented. He estimated the country’s income from oil by 1970 would reach $1,200 million annually. Accordingly, Iran, the Shah pointed out, should play an increasingly important role in US strategic planning.
The Shah expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of his military defenses. (I suggest that up to this point it was all a build-up.)
Defense of oil-rich Khuzistan and the port of Bandar Abbas has been neglected. Gen. Adams agreed to study plans for the defense of these areas.
Need to continue the modernization program.
He is prepared to purchase weapons insofar as the economy will permit.
Desires a replacement for his rifles, wants more BARs and MGs in order to replace the non-standard artillery.
His artillery battalions have only 2 batteries of 4 guns each. Gen. Adams agreed there should be 3 batteries per battalion.
The M–47 tank was rapidly becoming non-supportable and should be replaced with the M–60. Gen. Adams pointed out that he felt sure the US would make available a lightweight tank in the near future, and therefore it might not be wise to expend sizeable amounts on the M–60 and find it out of date. The Shah agreed that perhaps it would only be necessary to replace the M–47 with the M–60 in 2 battalions. Gen. Adams agreed to attempt to determine the dates these conversions could take place. (Tab B, Gen. Adams has directed that this info be available upon his return from the current trip.)
The Shah expressed approval of the F–5 but also pointed out that his F–86’s should be replaced with something superior to the F–5. The C–47’s must also be replaced by C–130’s.
The Shah also felt our air section of the MAAG should be increased, and headed by a Brig. General. Gen. Adams said he would see what could be done. (A BG as head of the MAAG air section has been recommended by the JCS.)
The Shah restated the requirement for an additional airborne battalion.
There is little doubt but that Gen. Hedjazi will raise much of the foregoing while he is here. The Shah will do likewise during his visit in June. It seems we should try to draw Gen. Adams into the Washington conversations with Gen. H. as much as is possible. This appears especially [Page 29] true since Gen. Adams will have Gen. H. at his headquarters on 26–27 April.
J.J.S. 3
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Robert W. Komer Files, Iran, November 1963–December 1964. No classification marking.
  2. Attached to the source text are April 6 cables from General Paul D. Adams, Commander in Chief, U.S. STRIKE Command, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to Major General Perry B. Griffith, Chief of Military Assistance, STRICOM, reporting on his April 5 audience with the Shah in Tehran.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears the typed initials of Commander John J. Shanahan, member of the JCS Chairman’s staff group.