71. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran1

167741. Subject: U.S.–Iran Cooperation. For Ambassador from the Secretary.

1. I believe we should now take the next step in the establishment of the Commission on Cooperation with Iran. When you see the Shah you should draw on the following:

2. I would have liked to have been able to visit Tehran earlier to reach formal agreement on our joint cooperation initiative with Iran,2 but to my deep regret other commitments have prevented me from [Page 222] doing so either during my extended stay in the Middle East or in conjunction with the Presidential visits to the Middle East and Soviet Union. During those visits my colleagues and I were gratified and strengthened by your firm support and deep understanding of our objectives.

3. At present I am tentatively planning a visit to the area in early fall3 and it might be possible, depending on your wishes, to convene the first meeting of the Commission on Cooperation at that time. Ambassador Helms will be kept fully informed of my travel plans as they develop.

4. In the months that have passed since a joint commission was first broached, I have come to believe that an economic commission does not adequately reflect the breadth of the relations between our two countries and that, if you approve, we should strive for a broader Commission on Cooperation which would encompass political, defense, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation as well. In this manner we would emphasize the importance each of us attaches to our ties. With this concept in mind, I have decided to act as U.S. co-chairman. We do not believe that absolute symmetry is required in national representation on the Commission and we would continue to welcome the Minister of Economy and Finance or any other official you choose to be Iranian co-chairman.

5. We wish to be responsive to any suggestions on the text of the proposed announcement (draft text below) and await Iranian views.

6. The timing and method of the public announcement will have to be worked on as well. One option would be to announce it at my first press conference following agreement on the text. A parallel announcement could be made in Tehran. Second, if the Shah considered it desirable and schedules permit, I would be pleased to invite Minister Ansary or whomever the Shah designates to the U.S. to discuss the initiative and sign the joint communiqué. Finally, we could await my visit to Tehran to announce the formation and first meeting of the Commission. I would appreciate the Shah’s views on the above and any other suggestions on this matter.

7. Draft text:

“The United States and Iran have long enjoyed close and harmonious relations, based on mutual respect, close interests, common aspirations, and a desire for peace and stability throughout the world. In a series of recent discussions the two governments have decided that it would be timely and mutually advantageous to deepen and broaden further the bonds of friendship between the United States and Iran. To [Page 223] that end they have agreed to form a Joint Commission to coordinate and promote intensified cooperation.

The Joint Commission will be charged with developing mechanisms to expand the existing close and mutually beneficial ties between the United States and Iran in the political, economic, cultural, defense, scientific and technological fields. The Joint Commission’s work will result in more regular exchanges of visits of Cabinet members and other high officials. It is also foreseen that study groups or committees will be formed under the commission to make recommendations on matters of mutual interest in the political, economic and defense fields. Through broad-ranging and frank discussions of such issues, the two governments expect to gain new knowledge and insights that will be of benefit to themselves and the world community.

A principal task of the Commission will be to identify programs that will contribute to the earliest possible achievement of Iran’s dynamic programs of social and economic development. Great attention will be paid to closer collaboration in scientific and technological fields, with special emphasis to be given to agriculture, new sources of energy and communications. Special priority will be given to cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including nuclear power generation. Building on the existing strong ties between American and Iranian business firms and other institutions, the Commission will investigate means to encourage a freer flow of trade and investment, cooperation in finance and further development of joint business ventures. The Commission will also be charged with intensifying the exchange and use of information, ideas and expertise between American and Iranian individuals and institutions in all fields of activity.

The Joint Commission will be chaired jointly by the United States Secretary of State and the Iranian (—). The Commission’s first meeting will take place in Tehran later in the year. In the meantime, discussions and planning for cooperation in specific fields will proceed and working groups will be formed to implement agreed projects.

The Governments of the United States and Iran are confident that as these and other programs of cooperation are carried forward, their historic friendship will assume new dimensions.”

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 603, Country Files—Middle East, Iran, Vol. VI, January 1974–. Confidential; Exdis. Drafted by Naas; cleared by Sober, Atherton, and Sisco; and approved by Kissinger.
  2. See Document 58.
  3. Kissinger did not visit Tehran until November.