273. Defense Intelligence Notice Prepared in the Defense Intelligence Agency1
An Accord To End Outstanding Disagreements Has Been Concluded.
The Shah and Iraqi Vice President Saddam Husayn al-Tikriti reportedly met twice during the OPEC Summit Conference in Algiers2 for frank, lengthy talks concerning the relations between their countries. These talks, following mediation efforts by Egypt and Jordan, were arranged by Algerian President Houari Boumediene and were conducted in his presence. The resulting joint communiqué issued yesterday represents significant concessions by both parties and indicates agreement on a definitive demarcation of the land frontier southward from the junction with Turkey; definition of the common border in the Shatt al-Arab River on the basis of the channel median line or thalweg; reestablishment of security along the border; and a commitment to “maintain strict and effective control over their joint borders in order to put a final end to all acts of subversion wherever they may come from.”
The Foreign Ministers of Iran and Iraq are scheduled to meet with Algerian Foreign Minister Bouteflika on 15 March in Tehran to make arrangements for a mixed committee to work on implementing the terms of the accord. Algerian representatives will be invited to attend committee meetings and the Algerian President will be called upon to provide “fraternal assistance” as necessary. To underscore their sincerity, the Shah and Saddam Husayn agreed to exchange official visits in the future.
The agreement represents a dramatic first step toward the normalization of relations, but implementation could be a long drawn out and acrimonious process. It is likely that both parties will warily watch for any indications of duplicity and will not hesitate to break off the committee’s work if such behavior is perceived.
The apparent amity expressed in Algiers is probably causing great concern to Kurdish leaders who are dependent upon Iranian support for the continuance of the rebellion against Iraq. It also represents a significant development in the context of the Arab-Israeli confrontation [Page 745]since normalization could eventually free the Iraqi army from its preoccupation with the Kurds and enable it to deploy the majority of its forces against Israel. Finally, the official announcement that both parties agree that the area should be safe from any foreign interference could portend a forthcoming joint effort to eliminate any Western or Soviet presence in the Persian Gulf
Sources: Emb Algiers, 2042 6 Mar 75;3 Various Press 6 Mar 75
- Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–78–0058, Box 65, Iran 000.1–299, 1975. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. A typed note at the top of the first page reads: “This Notice is designed to provide intelligence in support of future decisions with respect to security policy or posture.”↩
- The OPEC summit meeting was held in Algiers March 4–6.↩
- Not found. A summary of the Algiers Accord was sent to Kissinger in telegram Tosec 73/50649, March 6, which repeats telegram 619 from Algiers. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, D750079–0199) Kissinger left Washington on March 6 and was in the Middle East March 8–23 to negotiate an Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreement.↩