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119. Memorandum of Conversation1

PARTICIPANTS

  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Iran.]

[Kissinger:] The Shah is showing great reservations about us, our role in the Middle East, our military supply to them. Your meeting with him is very important. He has got to know we will be with him in a pinch, because he is very capable but very ruthless. You must be very frank with him—about a Qaddaffi [type] takeover in Saudi Arabia, for example. No one knows that Nixon promised him support for an Iranian operation against a new regime.2

President: Are we moving along on our joint programs?

Kissinger: We are up from 15 to about 24 billion now. We have to figure out how to buy the oil. The best way we have figured is to give non-interest-bearing notes to be paid in three years—that saves us the interest. The other is an oil-for-arms swap, but our government is not structured well that way.

President: That sounds simpler. We are in the throes of putting together an RFC which could be a device we would use.

Kissinger: That is another way. I think you should clinch a deal. If we could get 500,000 barrels a day over what we have, that would be the first cracking of the cartel. If we could get it for $7–8 a barrel.

President: That would be a boost to the economy.

Kissinger: We may have to promise a fixed price for several years. Then the people will complain the price may drop. I don’t think that will happen, when the recession ends.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Iran.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 11. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–4, Documents on Iran and Iraq, 1969–1976, Documents 200, 201, and 204.