237. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Iran (Helms) to Secretary of State Kissinger1

104. Ref: WH32502.2

1. Morning of October 16 consulted with Shah via Court Minister Alam on contents of ref. Shah feels strongly, as do I, that it would be mistake to ask Kurds to take action which would induce strong Iraqi military effort against them. We have armed Kurds for defensive purposes and their forces are in no sense equipped to come out of their mountain terrain and attack on the plains. If they were to get chewed up militarily, it would deprive the Shah of his “Kurdish card” and he does not want to see that. Further, do not believe that Kurdish military adventure would do much to relieve pressure on Israelis in Syria.3

2. New subject: Delivered contents of WH32501 to Alam for Shah morning of October 15.4 Shah’s only comment was that he has been [Page 669] warning for some time of effect in area if Soviet arms were to be decisive in another military victory.

3. Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–1977, Lot 91D414, Box 3. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only; Immediate. Sent with the instruction to deliver at opening of business October 16.
  2. In backchannel message WH32502, October 15, Kissinger sent Helms a message from Barzani’s headquarters asking the administration’s view of an Israeli suggestion that the Kurds try to gain territories in Kurdistan while Iraq was busy with the war. Kissinger requested Helms’s personal judgment on the matter, as well as the Shah’s. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 425, Backchannel Files, 1973, Middle East/Africa)
  3. Kissinger replied in backchannel message WH32507, October 16, concurring with Helms’s and the Shah’s judgment and noting that the Department of State would advise Barzani accordingly. (Ibid.)
  4. Document 40.