151. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Iran (Helms) to Secretary of State Kissinger1
244. Reference WH52538.2
1. Went carefully over ref message with Shah in early evening audience December 21.
His initial reaction was to ask whether you would meet with Ansary before Christmas. (My inquiry as to what he meant led to semantic exchange during which it became clear that he was speaking of “Christmas holiday period”.) He then went on to say that if his government gets sufficient funds, he would like very much to help. He wants to know from us how much Saudis will contribute so that he can “complement” their amount and thus conceivably bring it up to the [dollar amount not declassified] required. (Please advise.) Shah commented that he would give the funds to Zaire and never ask that government what it did with the money. He would notify us what he had done but since he did not want to embarrass the USG with the Congress or the public, he would keep such notification entirely private. “After all,” he said, “Jack Anderson might get ahold of the information if we notify you officially.” This was stated with smile but the additional comment, “Please communicate what I have just said to the Secretary.”
2. Shah told me he had had conversation in last few days with Soviet Ambassador Erofeev during which Angola situation had been discussed. Erofeev regaled Shah with Russian recognition of MPLA and standard Soviet line. In response to query, he told Shah that Cubans were “volunteers.” Shah embarrassed Erofeev by saying to him, “Oh I see. Those Cubans have their planes and big weapons at home with them at all times and carry them with them wherever they go.” Shah concluded by saying “I took the same position as your government on the situation. I said just what you have read to me and in almost the same words.” (He was referring to the language in paragraph 3 of ref message.)