108. Summary of Protocol1

Summary of U.S.–Iran Protocol Negotiation

In meetings of the five Joint Commissions of the U.S.–Iran Joint Commission this afternoon and in a final negotiating session with Mehran and others tonight, we have agreed on the text of the joint Protocol and the Technical Cooperation Agreement.2

A deadlock has developed in the negotiation of the Agreement on Cooperation in the Civil Uses of Atomic Energy.3 We still have some hope that this will be resolved later tonight so that this Agreement can be initialed tomorrow. Meanwhile, we have put a positive cast on the language regarding nuclear energy cooperation in the Protocol, despite [Page 321]the lack of complete agreement. At issue is whether the USG will commit itself now to make available the technology for establishing a nuclear fuel fabrication and reprocessing facilities in Iran when the Iranians are ready to handle this technology or, rather, to “give consideration” to doing so. Our nuclear energy people do not want to cross this bridge until the situation actually arises. To do so would be an exception for Iran which would be difficult to explain on the Hill and in international meetings on nuclear technology proliferation which are now being planned.

In the Protocol, we agree to the following measures:

1. To set a target of $12.5 billion in total U.S.–Iran trade, excluding oil and military goods, in the next five years.

2. To sell Iran dual purpose nuclear power and desalinization plants with a total capacity of 8,000 electric megawatts ($5 billion to $6 billion) over an unstated period of years.

3. To provide (through UEA or otherwise) U.S. enriched uranium fuel sufficient to meet Iran’s needs. This is linked with Iran’s prospective announcement that it will invest about $1 billion to provide 20 percent of the financing of the proposed UEA plant.

4. To note, but not give U.S. endorsement to, Iran’s current consideration of major joint ventures with U.S. companies to establish petrochemical plants and an oil refinery.

5. That Iran will contract with U.S. companies to establish 20 factories in Iran to build prefabricated housing units and to construct 100,000 apartments and other housing units over the next five years. (Estimated contract totals: $300 million.)

6. That Iran will contract with U.S. companies to construct and staff five Iranian hospitals with a total of 3,000 beds. (Estimated contract totals: $300 million.)

7. That U.S. companies will participate in building major infrastructure projects including roads and ports. (Potential: $1.5 billion)

8. That they will cooperate in a wide range of agricultural development projects, including production of fertilizers and agricultural machinery, development of demonstration areas to use modern American technology in food production in the presently under-developed area of Iran, construction of agricultural port facilities and related agribusiness projects. (Potential: $2 billion.)

9. To undertake a broad program of technical cooperation, including development of vocational education, science and technology projects.

Ansary is considering compromise language that we proposed to Mehran on the issue of prior consultation regarding significant investments. They had stoutly refused all day to agree to include any such [Page 322]commitment in the Protocol, contending that this would be discriminatory in that the USG has no such commitments from Germany or Canada.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL–152, Iran, Chronological Files, 4 January–23 March 1975. Limited Official Use. Robinson sent this summary to Kissinger under cover of a March 3 memorandum that reads: “Attached hereto is a summary of the Protocol on which agreement has now been reached with the Iranian representatives.”
  2. The U.S.–Iran Joint Commission met for the second time in Washington March 3–4. The communiqué issued on March 4 and the Technical Cooperation Agreement that Kissinger and Ansary signed are printed in the Department of State Bulletin, March 31, 1975, pp. 403–405. On March 2, Atherton provided Kissinger with briefing material for the meeting. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P850125–0920) A draft of the joint minutes of the meeting, which summarized the work of the five joint commissions during January and February, was transmitted to the Embassy in Tehran for Ansary’s consideration in telegram 45184, February 28. The telegram noted that the language on investment and nuclear cooperation was “highly negotiated.” (Ibid., Central Foreign Policy Files, D750070–0294)
  3. In telegram Tosec 31/50004 to Kissinger in London, March 6, Robinson reported on his follow-up meeting with Ansary and Zahedi, noting that the nuclear power plant program would require the conclusion of an “Agreement for Cooperation in the Civil Uses of Atomic Energy.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL–152, Iran, Chronological Files, 4 January–23 March 1975)