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278. Backchannel Message From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to Secretary of State Kissinger1

WH50370/Tohak 55. From Ambassador Helms, Tehran 1188.2

1. Please pass the following letter which [less than 1 line not declassified] has just received from General Mulla Mustafa Barzani, which reads as follows:

“His Excellency Dr. Henry Kissinger

Secretary of State

Washington, D.C.

March 10, 1975

Your Excellency:

Having always believed in the peaceful solution of disputes including those between Iran and Iraq, we are pleased to see that these two countries have come to some agreement in Algeria. However, our hearts bleed to see that an immediate by-product of this agreement is [Page 752]the destruction of our defenseless people in an unprecedented manner as Iran closed its border and stopped help to us completely and while the Iraqis began the biggest offensive they have ever launched and which is now being continued. Our movement and people are being destroyed in an unbelievable way with silence from everyone. We feel Your Excellency that the United States has a moral and political responsibility towards our people who have committed themselves to your country’s policy. In consideration of this situation we beg Your Excellency to take action as immediate as possible on the following two issues.

1. Stopping the Iraqi offensive and opening the way for talks between us and Iraq to arrive at a solution for our people which will at least be face-saving.

2. Using whatever influence you have with the Iranian friends to help our people in these historically tragic and sad moments and at least in such a way that our people and Peshmergas could maintain some livelihood and perform at least partisan activities in Iraqi Kurdistan until our problem is also solved within the framework of the over-all Iranian-Iraqi agreement.

Mr. Secretary, we are anxiously awaiting your quick response and action and we are certain that the United States will not remain indifferent during these critical and trying times.

We have also written in detail on these issues a memorandum to His Imperial Majesty.

Please Mr. Secretary, accept our highest expressions of appreciation and good wishes.

/S/ Mustafa Barzani” End text.

2. Since the Iranians clearly have on their hands, and we to a lesser extent on ours, an obviously distressed and disconsolate Barzani, it may be desirable for you to send him some kind of comforting message,3 otherwise, and maybe anyway, we will get a batch of unpleasant publicity which we may be able to avoid, [less than 1 line not declassified]. I recommend that the subvention to the Kurds be continued [3½ lines not declassified].

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger–Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 19, Kurds (3). Secret; Eyes Only; Immediate.
  2. Not found.
  3. See Document 281.