43. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Nixon1

Dr. Kissinger has sent you the following report on his meeting with the Shah:2

“I briefed the Shah, after giving him your letter,3 on the efforts we have been making since the beginning of the crisis to bring about a ceasefire and in recent days to stabilize it so that we can move on to full peace talks between the parties. As you might have expected, the Shah’s reactions were very positive and he said: ‘Splendid work’.

“He is entirely in agreement with our view that the oil embargo should be lifted.4 He has agreed to send an emissary to both Sadat and Faisal in order to underscore his deep belief that the oil embargo is not in the long-term interest of the Arabs and the region. He stressed the importance of making progress towards a fundamental solution of the Arab/Israeli dispute and he welcomed the current plans for peace negotiations to be opened during the first week in December and the general understanding we have already achieved on both the procedures and the substantive approach in the opening phase of the conference.

“He reported that he and Bhutto in recent days had been discussing the idea of an Islamic conference to offset the planned Arab summit but he apparently has had second thoughts and has come to the judgment that quiet diplomatic efforts are much preferable to the rhetoric of any such conferences.

“He was full of praise that you faced head on the recent Soviet threat to take unilateral action. He considers such Soviet brinkmanship [Page 156] both dangerous and irresponsible. He expressed his views about Soviet policies and designs in the Persian Gulf and in the Subcontinent along lines familiar to you, and his resolve to resist is every bit as firm as he expressed it during his last visit to Washington.

“He indicated that he is working closely with Pakistan, and he does not like the direction which Afghan policy seems to be taking at the present time.”

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 603, Country Files—Middle East, Iran, Vol. V, May–December 1973. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. Briefing material for Kissinger’s visit is ibid., Box 1188, Harold H. Saunders Files: Middle East Negotiations Files, Secretary Kissinger’s Middle East Trip, November 5, 1973–November 9, 1973.
  3. The letter from Nixon to the Shah, dated November 5, described U.S. diplomatic efforts in the Middle East and expressed Nixon’s hope for a lasting settlement and assurance of receiving the Shah’s aid. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 IRAN)
  4. On November 6, Carl Marcy, Chief of Staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote to Eagleburger, asking why Iranian oil production had not been increased to compensate for Arab cutbacks. Eagleburger replied on behalf of Kissinger on November 12: “We are informed that there is indeed a plan to increase production there from the present level of 5.6 million barrels per day. However, it will not be until 1976 that Iran’s full production potential of 8 million barrels per day will be reached.” (Ibid., PET 12 IRAN)