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262. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to Director of Central Intelligence Colby1

SUBJECT

  • Response to September 7 Message to [of] the Shah

It will be appreciated if you could arrange to convey [less than 1 line not declassified] the following response to General Nassiri’s message of September 7, 1974:2

“Please inform his Imperial Majesty that Secretary Kissinger has carefully considered the proposal concerning Iraqi oil installations which General Barzani placed before his Imperial Majesty the Shah.

“Secretary Kissinger strongly believes that a Kurdish attack on the Kirkuk oil installations would be a serious mistake. It is very doubtful that such an attack would cause any significant lessening of the Iraqi attacks on the Kurds; to the contrary, it could generate even stronger and more concentrated attacks designed to break the Kurdish resistance quickly if at all possible. Moreover, the Iraqi might ascribe the attacks to Iran or believe them Iranian inspired. In such a case, there is a strong probability that the Iraqi would mount retaliatory attacks against the important and exposed Iranian oil installations at Abadan. The Soviet Union also might be tempted to increase its support for Iraq in ways which would be further damaging to the Kurdish cause.

“In view of these factors, Secretary Kissinger recommends that General Barzani’s proposal not be approved.”

Ambassador Helms should be apprised of this reply.

Brent Scowcroft
Lieutenant General, USAF
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL–152, Iran, Chronological File, 6 May–23 September 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only.
  2. The message, attached but not printed, includes a message from the Shah that Barzani had requested 240 Katyushka rockets with which to bombard Iraqi oil installations at Kirkuk.