33. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Iran (Helms) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

86. 1. At large dinner on August 18 given by Queen Mother in his honor, Shah asked me to join him for brief discussion since he was immediately returning to Nowshahr for another week before settling down in Tehran.

2. Shah touched briefly on Afghan note about arrest in Pakistan of Baluchi leaders. This is covered in normal State channels.

3. I told him that I had made recommendations to you about support of Kurds and that you wanted his reaction plus his own indication of how much increased help Iran would give. (Tehran 085)2 We agreed that Agency chief here would handle this with him since both have dealt with details of this matter in past. Shah will receive him promptly at Nowshahr. It clear that Shah wants to inform Barzani shortly of U.S. and Iranian decisions and will summon him to Tehran for this purpose.

4. Shah reminded me that both you and Defense had promised him recommendations on the proper mix of F–14 and F–15 aircraft he should purchase. I indicated that such studies take time but that I would inquire of you when some response might be expected.

5. We agreed to talk about contingency plans for Saudi Arabia and Jordan when he returns to Tehran. He said that you had mentioned this matter to Amb. Zahedi but that he had told Zahedi he would handle with me. Incidentally, there was something in Shah’s manner which made me concerned that he may be overreading this exercise. The Oriental mind can rapidly conjure up elements which do not neces[Page 139]sarily exist, and I feel that it behooves me next time around to put this in proper perspective. The last thing we need is some ill-advised move or inquiry which might get back to Saudis. It is hazardous enough to deal with the Shah himself and what might become his temptation to do some leaking for his own political purposes.

6. Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 425, Backchannel Files, 1973, Middle East/Africa. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 229.