91. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1

1470. Personnel Ceiling—Iranian Armed Forces. Emb A–590,2 Deptel 1124,3 Embtel 1468.4 In accordance 1962 agreement, personnel of Iranian Armed Forces had to be reduced to 160,000 “within two or three years.” This was achieved March 1, 1965. However, events subsequent to 1962 have, in our view, made a higher ceiling necessary. Based on the following considerations, Country Team therefore again recommends that ceiling be established at 172,000 for period of 1964 Memorandum of Understanding. We consider such ceiling necessary to success of modernization program.

Principal reason for need to increase ceiling is fact that July 4, 1964 Understanding provides for additional equipment and units which must be manned and supported. In particular additional personnel requirements are necessary for new airborne battalion, Hawk battalion, increased number of aircraft, AC&W equipment, additional tanks and reorganization of 8th Armor Division, new patrol frigates and other equipment.

In addition, IIF has undertaken greater responsibilities in connection Literacy, Health and Development Corps and vocational training program. These responsibilities, added to requirements for modernization program, render 1962 personnel ceiling obsolete.

ARMISH/MAAG and IIF have completed comprehensive and detailed joint study of manpower requirements, including TOES/TDS. Study encompassed all possibilities reducing non-essential units while instituting modernization program. Starting point of study was IIF estimate of 188,000 for new ceiling. As result of study, this figure reduced to 172,000, and Shah has reluctantly concurred in lower figure. It could be reached by yearly increments through 1969. We do not think further personnel survey necessary. ARMISH/MAAG will continue insure ceiling reflects essential requirements. Stress will be placed on bringing only trained manpower into regular forces and elimination of unfit from present personnel.

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In conclusion, as stated above and in A–590, we believe ceiling of 172,000 justified and necessary and recommend its approval.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 19–3 US–IRAN. Confidential. Repeated to DOD and CINCSTRIKE.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 88.
  3. Document 88.
  4. Dated June 22. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 19–3 U.S.-IRAN)
  5. Telegram 43 to Tehran, July 16, authorized the Ambassador to exchange notes with the Iranian Government amending the September 19, 1962, and July 4, 1964, Memoranda of Understanding so as to increase the agreed personnel ceiling of the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces to 172,000. (Ibid., DEF 6 IRAN)