40. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Acting Secretary of State Richardson1


  • U.S. Action in Regard to Israel: Nuclear Program

The President has reviewed the record of our discussions and the studies produced in response to NSSM 40.2 Prior to his departure,3 the President:

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1. Approved the action described in paragraph B2 (“First Meeting”) of your paper “Scenario for Discussions with Israelis on their Nuclear Program”.4

2. Instructed that the discussion not be carried beyond that point until he has reviewed the record of your conversations.

3. Specifically withheld authority to link explicitly at this stage the delivery of conventional weapons to the Israeli response on the nuclear question.

4. Instructed that you are the only official authorized at this stage to discuss this subject with the Israelis, although the Under Secretary of Defense should, of course, be present as you have suggested.

5. Requested a full report on your discussions.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 337, Subject Files. Top Secret; Nodis; Sensitive. Drafted by Saunders.
  2. See Document 31.
  3. According to the President’s Daily Diary, President Nixon departed Andrews Air Force Base aboard Air Force One at 10:05 p.m. on July 22. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files) The President was headed to the mid-Pacific to greet the Apollo XI astronauts who were returning from the moon.
  4. Document 37.
  5. Printed from a copy that indicates Kissinger signed the original.