155. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Iran (Helms) to Secretary of State Kissinger1
250. Ref: Tehran 249 and WH60016.2
1. Minister of Court Alam informed me January 6 that the Shah will not repeat not be contributing “for a while” financial assistance to Zaire for use in Angola. Alam gave further drops in consortium oil liftings as reason for Shah’s stance.
2. Have confirmed that exports of “Iranian heavy” are indeed “way, way down.” Experts here point out that “Iranian heavy” is overpriced relative to similar Persian Gulf crudes. The Government of Iran apparently refuses to adjust this price until it can get a unanimous agreement in OPEC as to what the price should be. Meanwhile, Arab producers like Iraq are not only shaving the price but are making deals “under the table” wherever possible. Therefore it is difficult to estimate when an adjustment in the price of “Iranian heavy” will bring about an increase in consortium liftings.
3. Warm regards.