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103. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford1

Secretary Kissinger asked that I pass the following report to you.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Iran.]

“Today I completed a wide-ranging four-hour talk with the Shah in Zurich2 which was very satisfactory in all major respects. It is clear from this talk that the Shah continues to attach primary importance to close U.S.-Iranian relations, that he has the breadth of a world statesman who not only understands clearly and appraises realistically the global scene but has a clear vision as to where Iran fits into the scheme of things and the direction he wants Iran to move.

“The most important part of the conversation was his reaction to our approach to the producers/consumer dialogue, the question of a floor price on oil, and the need for long-range cooperation between producers and consumers. He has some very interesting ideas regarding possible U.S.-Iranian long-term cooperation which I will want to discuss fully with you upon my return.

“I gave him a full briefing on where matters stand in the Middle East, and he supports fully the present step-by-step approach. He also indicated he is prepared to assure Israel regarding supply of oil should it decide to give up the Abu Rudeis oil fields as part of the next step in an agreement with Egypt. As you know, the Shah in recent weeks has also stepped up his diplomacy in the Arab world. He is very impressed with Sadat and is convinced that he wants to go the route of peace, not war.

“His principal preoccupation is with Iraq. He says Kurdish resistance is weakening, and that they ‘have no guts left.’ In response to an Iraqi overture, he is planning on meeting with its strong man, Saddim Hussain. The Shah said he cannot accept an autonomous Kurdish state which would be under the dominance of a Communist Iraqi central government. He is suspicious that the Iraqis will stimulate some incidents along the Iraqi-Iranian border which could lead to an internationalization of the Kurdish question and its being brought before the United Nations Security Council, which he would consider most unhelpful. In short, he seems tempted to try to move in the direc[Page 311]tion of some understanding with Iraq regarding the Kurds, but is understandably skeptical that much is possible. In the meantime, he intends to continue his support for the Kurds.3

“With the Soviet Union he is working out a complicated three-way gas deal which includes the Federal Republic of Germany, the Soviets and Iran. His principal purpose is to make the Soviets as dependent as possible on Iran for its natural gas.

“With respect to the Pan American deal, he reaffirmed he has no intention of trying to take over control of the company, which he says he could not do even if he wanted to since he does not have the management. He believes that it will be necessary for both the United States and Iran to put in some additional money to get Pan Am on its feet.

“He discussed the subcontinent at some length and was very pleased that we had taken the decision to renew military supply to Pakistan. He is making clear to the Indians that Iran would not stand idly by if there were an attempt to dismember Pakistan. At the same time, he is telling Bhutto that, while he supports Pakistan’s territorial integrity and independence, Iran would not support aggressive action by the Paks.

“He is very much looking forward to meeting with you later this year, and he described Iranian-American relations as ‘never better.’4

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Iran.]”

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger–Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 19, Kurds (3). Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent for information. Ford initialed the memorandum.
  2. Atherton provided Kissinger with briefing materials for this February 18 meeting on February 8. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P850126–0909)
  3. According to a memorandum from Rodman to Kissinger, February 12, 1976, Kissinger attempted to talk the Shah out of abandoning the Kurds when they met in Zurich on February 18. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger–Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 19, Kurds (2))
  4. Kissinger’s report was also sent to Helms in backchannel message WH50246, February 21. (Ibid., Backchannel Messages, Box 4, Mideast/Africa, Incoming 3/75)