293. Memorandum From Rob Roy Ratliff of the National Security Council Staff to Secretary of State Kissinger 1


  • U.S. Medical Treatment for Barzani

CIA reports that the Shah of Iran instructed his intelligence chief to arrange with CIA to accommodate Kurdish leader Mulla Mustafa Barzani’s desire to come to the U.S. for necessary vascular surgery (Tab A).2

CIA recommends that you approve this proposal. Acknowledging risks, the Agency believes there would be greater risks in trying to discourage the visit—that this would embitter Barzani and increase the likelihood that our aid to the Kurds might be revealed. On the other hand, the Agency sees some positive gains from his visit—it would engender some gratitude, and enable us to make a direct presentation to emphasize the desire for secrecy about our aid and to disclaim any knowledge of the Shah’s decision to settle with Iraq.

[1 paragraph (3½ lines) not declassified]


The proposed visit by Barzani for medical treatment is



  1. Source: National Security Council, Ford Intelligence Files, Subject Files A–L, IO 11, Box 12, GRF, Iraq/Kurds, 4 June 1975–26 September 1975. Secret; Sensitive; Outside System. Sent for action.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Kissinger initialed this option. A handwritten note at the bottom of the page indicates that McFarlane was informed on August 1.