87. Backchannel Message From Secretary of State Kissinger to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1

Hakto 80. 1. Please give orally the following report to the President from me. Do not leave a copy of the report and please emphasize its extreme sensitivity.

2. Begin report:

I have just finished over four hours of talks with the Shah. I will send you a complete report tomorrow. However, I wanted you to know that the Shah told me that at the next OPEC meeting he will recommend a slight cut in oil prices, to be maintained through 1975. The cut, taking into account inflationary trends, will amount to a 20 percent to 25 percent reduction in prices over a two year period.2

The Shah emphasized that this cut is conditional on our maintaining absolute secrecy. Therefore, I must stress the sensitivity of this information. End report.

3. Warm regards.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL–153, Iran Trips, 1–3 November 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Immediate; Exclusively Eyes Only.
  2. In a checklist for Kissinger’s talks with the Shah, November 1, the Department summarized the strategy for achieving lower oil prices by “trying to get him to lower slightly or at least freeze prices by appealing to his statesmanship (and his ego), suggesting that he work in partnership with the United States on regional and world political and economic issues, indicating an interest in his pet economic ideas, and painting a picture of the dangers to the West and even to the ability of the US to cooperate with Iran (i.e. Congressional opposition) should the oil-price trend continue.” (National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–1974: Lot 91D414, Box 3)