99. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran 1

292. For Ambassador. Appreciate deep thought and effort devoted Embtel 330.2 Keenly aware political problems you point up. Fear however there is misunderstanding nature of situation we now face. Following factors must be accepted as valid and determinative:

The highest authority has directed that the U.S.G. proceed as a matter of urgency to develop alternative facilities for those now in Pakistan. The question of economy in government, while always pertinent, is in this case clearly subordinate to the protection of critical U.S. national security interests.
Top U.S. intelligence authorities concerned, supported by most competent technical experts in U.S.G., have reviewed requirements and capabilities this field in detail and have concluded that Iran is technically most suitable site for relocation major portion collection activity now in Pakistan. Geographic and other factors related to target areas have been thoroughly taken into account.
Same top U.S. intelligence authorities know well nature and scope present sensitive operations in Iran. While uniquely valuable in its own right, Iranian facilities cannot compare with operations in Pakistan. Assumption that there is little being done in Pakistan that is not already adequately being done in Iran is not correct.
Question of adequacy existing [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] facilities in Iran in terms US [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] communications needs now under study here but is separate from that with which we now seized except insofar as new [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] facility might [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] intelligence collection personnel.

We can assure you that no one here has any desire to burden you with additional problems in Iran. We now face, however, the possibility of exclusion from Pakistan at short notice and even if we weather the present crisis, the future viability of the facilities there is in grave doubt. Our job is to try to determine (A) what could be done in Iran right now should we suddenly be excluded from Pakistan and (B) what can be done in the months ahead to prepare the way for a more gradual transfer of at least some of the activities now carried out in Pakistan to Iran.

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Department and White House must therefore ask in the most urgent terms your immediate further consideration in the context set forth above of the questions put in Deptel 193,3 including the specifics requested in the last two paragraphs of that message.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL IRAN-U.S. Top Secret; Sensitive; Priority; [distribution indicator not declassified]. Drafted by Spain and Curl; cleared by Talbot, and in substance by Bracken and Komer; and approved by Hughes.
  2. Reference is to telegram 332, September 10, (Document 98), initially transmitted incorrectly as telegram 330.
  3. Document 94.