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

3058. Subj: Shah’s Visit to Washington.

1. At audience on April 5, the [Shah] confirmed that the date of his State visit to Washington had been moved up to May 15 in order to permit two days of official functions before the weekend. He mused out loud about the trip wondering whether it could produce something constructive and tangible or whether it would simply be a pleasant visit for the Empress and himself with President and Mrs Ford. In reply to my question, he identified three areas which might be on agenda for discussion: (A) The terms to which Iran must agree in order to purchase nuclear reactors in the United States. The Shah expressed the view that the present terms were not clear, and he wondered why this should be the case when Iran has signed the Nonproliferation Treaty. In other words, he is obviously bridling under what the USG now believes he must agree to in order to buy nuclear plants from the United States. (Note: We yet to receive formal GOI response to our proposal (Tehran 2862)2 but this may give us some clue as to what it will be.) (B) Arms deliveries from the United States. The Shah is concerned about what he regards as an increasing inclination by the United States to cut off arms deliveries to various countries. He finds this worrisome. He comments that he realizes it would be unlikely for the United States to do this to Iran, but he did point out, somewhat acidly, that the United States was becoming like the Soviets. He then said that the Soviets had reneged on the delivery of some special radar-operated anti-aircraft guns which the GOI had ordered and had been promised. He obviously will be looking for some convincing reassurances on this point. (C) Swapping of oil for quantities of goods. The Shah stated that Secretary Kissinger had said he was favorably disposed during their talk in Zurich3 on con[Page 334]sidering the swapping of oil at fixed prices for goods from the United States at fixed prices. The Shah said he had also discussed this matter with Mr George Shultz.4 His idea is that the United States take a greater supply of oil from Iran, thus permitting an arrangement whereby it takes an increasing amount of goods from the United States.

2. The Shah may have other items for discussion in Washington, but the foregoing is all he mentioned before our talk was ended by the arrival of Senator Javits.

3. Understand there some general thinking in Washington about relating one or another specific developments growing out of Joint Commission activities to Shah visit. Please advise what these might be and how/when Shah to be clued in.

Helms
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, D750119–0617. Secret; Exdis.
  2. In telegram 2862 from Tehran, March 30, the Embassy reported Etemad’s unofficial objections to points of the draft agreement on nuclear cooperation, including the necessity of agreeing with the United States on where the reprocessing of spent fuel would take place and the limitation on the import of enriched U.S. uranium. Telegram 3306 from Tehran, April 11, transmitted an informal note from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran with comments on the draft agreement. In telegram 3445 from Tehran, April 15, the Embassy stressed that agreement on the nuclear energy issue was critical to the success of the Shah’s visit. (All ibid., D750110–0785, D750126–0578, D750131–0310)
  3. See Document 103.
  4. See Document 100.