74. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1

6989. Subj: Iranian Concerns About Interrelationship of US Arms and Oil Policies.

1. I have received the following letter from Iranian Foreign Minister Khalatbary today (August 20).

“You may recall that during our meeting this morning, I referred to what appears to be a sort of concerted campaign through the publication of articles and even editorials about the national armaments programme of Iran on the one hand, and statements made by Senators and Congressmen on the same subject on the other hand, thereby entertaining doubt about the real armaments requirements of Iran or the wisdom of the U.S. Government in cooperating with Iran to fulfill its national armaments programme. I would like once again to express my hope that this campaign is not aimed at bringing pressure to bear on the Imperial Government of Iran regarding the price of oil.

You kindly expressed the view that it was not, in your opinion, a concerted campaign but rather the personal views of Senators, Congressmen and journalists which have no connection with the official views and policies of the U.S. Government, and you undertook to inquire about this and inform me subsequently.

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Now, my purpose in writing this letter to Your Excellency is to draw your attention once more to what seems to be a concerted campaign on the part of certain circles to bring pressure to bear on Iran (in this case, through the national armaments programme) with respect to the price of oil.

I would appreciate it if you could kindly inform me of the results of your inquiry at the earliest possible date. With warmest personal regards, A.A. Khalatbary, Minister for Foreign Affairs”

2. Comment: I did not as Khalatbary suggests undertake to inquire about whether there was a concerted program to question Iran’s armaments policy as a means of bringing pressure on the GOI to lower oil prices because: (A) Khalatbary seemed satisfied with my response at the time and (B) the issue did not seem to loom large in our conversation as a whole. I speculate therefore that Khalatbary reported our conversation to the Shah who instructed him to press me further.

I think it would be sufficient to reply to Khalatbary that I have reported this matter to the Department and that it has confirmed that my earlier response to him is entirely accurate. Should the Department have any additional thoughts, however, I would be glad to pass them on.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, D740229–0193. Confidential.
  2. The Department approved Helms’s response to Khalatbari in telegram 184045 to Tehran, August 22. (Ibid., D740231–0726)