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Sources

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant U.S. diplomatic activity. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government engaged in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support cooperate with the Department of State historians by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. Most of the sources consulted in the preparation of this volume have been declassified and are available for review in the National Archives and Records Administration.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series have complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and the Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversation between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. The Department’s indexed central files through July 1973 have been permanently transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland (Archives II). Most of the Department’s decentralized office (or “lot”) files covering the 1969–1976 period, which the National Archives deems worthy of permanent retention, have been transferred or are in the process of being transferred from the Department’s custody to Archives II.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of Presidents Nixon and Ford, and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained at the Presidential libraries and the Nixon Presidential Materials Project include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from the Department of State and other federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Henry Kissinger approved access to his papers at the Library of Congress. These papers are an important source for the Nixon-Ford sub-series of Foreign Relations.

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Research for this volume involved special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Ford Library, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all the material printed in this volume has been declassified, some of it has been extracted from still classified documents. The staffs of the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, and the Ford Library are still processing and declassifying many of the documents examined for this volume, and they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication.

Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XXVII

From 1973 until 1976, policymaking towards Iran was shaped most directly by Henry Kissinger, wearing his dual hats as National Security Advisor, to November 1975, and Secretary of State, from September 1973. The resignation of President Richard M. Nixon and succession of Gerald R. Ford in August 1974 only deepened Kissinger’s influence. As a result, the three best sources for the roles of Kissinger and the two presidents he served in shaping U.S.-Iranian relations begins with the Department of State Central Files (Record Group 59) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the NSC Iran Country files in the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, and the National Security Adviser, Middle East and South Asia Presidential Country Files at the Ford Presidential Library. In the absence of formal relations, records on Iraq are more sparse; U.S. involvement in Iraq was largely confined to the administration’s aid to the Iraqi Kurds in their opposition to the government in Baghdad. The Kurdish support is covered in the NSC records of the Nixon Project and the Ford Library, including Backchannel cables between Helms and Kissinger, but is best documented in the closed CIA files.

In June 1973 the format of Department of State central files was changed from the paper Subject Numeric files to the electronic State Archiving System (SAS). Historical documents from this system have been transferred to the National Archives and are part of the on-line Access to Archival Database (AAD). With respect to the Central Files, then, this guide can point to useful collections in the Subject Numeric files only for the first six months of the second Nixon administration; the AAD must be keyword-searched for individual documents, which are not organized into collections. For all the topics below, a separate search needs to be performed on the AAD to ensure comprehensive research.

For general U.S.-Iranian relations, the POL IRAN and DEF IRAN collections housed in the RG 59 Central Files at the National Archives are a good place to start. The POL IRAN files include documents on high-level meetings between the Shah and U.S. officials. POL 7 IRAN contains memoranda of conversation from the Shah’s July 1973 visit to the United States. The POL 13–2 IRAN, POL 13–10 IRAN, and POL 29 [Page XV]IRAN files document mounting unrest among Iranian students. There are useful documents on the Shah’s Iranian U.S.-based opposition in POL 30–2 IRAN, while the POL 23–8 IRAN files contain many documents on terrorism. Terrorism is also a concern of the DEF 9 US collection, and the extensive U.S.-Iranian arms sales negotiations are in the DEF 12–5 IRAN and DEF 19–9 US-IRAN files. The drawn-out disputes over oil prices can be found in PET 6 IRAN. The views on U.S.-Iranian relations of local officials on the ground, including the growing crisis of the Iranian economy and the expanding presence of U.S. business, military, and technical advisors on Iranian soil, are documented in Department of State diplomatic post files, located in Record Group 84 at NARA, and in the Department’s Lot Files. The records of the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs’ Office of Iran Affairs (Lot 76D169) have some useful documents on the subject of student protest. The records of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Lot 91D414) and (E5403) have a few documents on oil price disputes and on Kissinger’s November 1974 and August 1976 visits to Tehran.

In the absence of formal ties, the documentary record on U.S.-Iraqi relations is much thinner. However, the U.S. Interests Section in Baghdad, established in 1972, produced a number of interesting reports. These and other materials on general U.S.-Iraqi relations are in POL IRAQ–US and POL 17 IRAQ–US. Internal Iraqi developments are documented in POL 2 IRAQ and POL 12 IRAQ. Meetings and communications with Kurdish leaders are in POL 7 IRAQ and POL 13–3 IRAQ. Documents on U.S. views of Iran-Iraq relations can be found in POL IRAN–IRAQ. PET 15–2 IRAQ provides helpful material on the IPC-Iraqi agreement, and POL IRAQ–USSR is the collection for Iraqi-Soviet relations. Material on the plight of the Iraqi Jews is located in SOC 14 IRAQ. POL 32–1 IRAQ–KUW covers problems in Iraqi-Kuwaiti relations. Military sales to Iraq are in DEF 12–5 IRAQ. Finally, there are few but excellent communications from the Head of the Interests Section to the Department in Lot Files 76D452, 76D453, and 78D61. Kissinger’s contact with the Foreign Minister of Iraq is in the Kissinger Lot File (E5403), as is Kurdish aid.

In the National Security Council files at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Iran Country Files are the obvious place to begin research on Iran. The Iran Country Files hold documents on general U.S. relations and specifically on arms sales; U.S.-Iranian co-production; U.S.-Iranian communications on Arab-Israeli relations; U.S.-Iranian cooperation after the oil embargo; and oil disputes. The Backchannel Files are critical, since the Ambassador to Iran, Richard Helms, used the channel regularly to report to Henry Kissinger. Other files are more targeted in their holdings: memoranda of conversation from the Shah’s 1973 visit are in the Nixon VIP Visits collection, and further documents [Page XVI]on oil disputes are in the Iran Oil and Presidential/HAK Memcons files. More materials on arms sales are in the Iran Military Files sub-section of the Harold Saunders Files. General U.S.-Iraqi relations are documented in the Nixon Project’s Iraq Country Files. The Backchannel files are a major source for Kurdish aid support and meetings and communications with Kurdish leaders. U.S. views on Iran-Iraq relations can be found in the Iran and Iraq Country Files.

At the Ford Library, the organization of some of the holdings mirrors that of the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, so the priority ranking of the National Security Adviser files is similar. The Middle East and South Asia Presidential Iran Country Files contain memoranda on general U.S.-Iranian relations; oil, including a bilateral oil deal; arms sales; co-production; nuclear cooperation; U.S.-Iranian joint production; Arab-Israeli issues; Kissinger’s reports on his November 1974 visit to Tehran; and terrorism. The Backchannel Files, featuring Kissinger-Helms communications on a host of topics, remain crucial. The Memoranda of Conversation files provide material on Kissinger-Ford discussions on Iran; the Shah’s May 1975 trip to Washington; Defense’s reservations over arms sales; the appointment of a Defense Representative to Iran; the review of defense and security policies in the Persian Gulf; and oil, again including the bilateral oil deal.

In the Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files sub-section of the National Security Advisor files at the Ford Library, there are discussions between Kissinger and Ford over Iran-related issues and attempts to hammer out an oil-for-arms deal. Documents on U.S.-Iranian co-production, nuclear cooperation, and Defense issues, along with a few select documents on U.S.-Iranian co-production, are in the NSC Institutional (“H”) Files. Fewer documents on the same topics are in the NSC Institutional Files, and a few on oil, terrorism and arms sales are located in the NSC Operations Staff for Middle East and South Asian Affairs Country Files. A small number of good documents on nuclear cooperation can be found in the National Security Study Memoranda and National Security Decision Memoranda files. The Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders collection contains letters from Ford to the Shah. Kissinger’s August 1976 trip to Iran is documented in the HAK Trips files.

For Iraq, the Ford Library’s National Security Adviser Files have several useful collections. General U.S.-Iraqi relations are in the Presidential Middle East and South Asia Country Files. More documents on this topic are in the NSC Operations Staff for Middle East and South Asian Affairs Country Files. The Kurdish operation is documented in several places, including the Memoranda of Conversation files, the Middle East and South Asia Country Files, the Mideast/Africa Backchannel Messages files, and the Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office [Page XVII]Files, which include communications from Barzani. The Iran-Iraq settlement is also in the Mideast/Africa Backchannel files.

Valuable collections which are currently closed to the public but soon to be released for this period are the files of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OASD), and Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) currently in the Washington National Records Center. These files contain more detailed materials on, for example, the Department of Defense’s concerns about arms sales to Iran and the U.S. presence there, the Shah’s May 1975 trip to Washington, terrorism, nuclear cooperation, and the bilateral oil deal. Material on the Iran-Iraq settlement is also in these files.

At the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, the Kissinger Papers, though closed to the public, hold a few excellent materials on oil, especially the oil-for-arms deal, arms sales, Kissinger’s November 1974 visit to Tehran, and U.S.-Iranian cooperation in Iran. The papers of James Schlesinger, also at the Library of Congress, contain documents on Defense concerns at U.S. policies towards Iran.

The following list identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of this volume. In addition to the paper files cited below, a growing number of documents are available on the Internet. The Office of the Historian maintains a list of these Internet resources on its website and encourages readers to consult that site on a regular basis.

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State
    • Central Files. See Record Group 59 under National Archives and Records Administration below.
    • Lot Files. See National Archives and Records Administration below.
    • Electronic Reading Room
      • Transcripts of Kissinger Telephone Conversations, FOIA website
  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Record Group 59, Files of the Department of State
      • Central Files, 1973
        • DEF 12–5 IRAN: procurement and sale of armaments, Iran
        • DEF 12–5 IRAQ: procurement and sale of armaments, Iraq
        • DEF 12 PAK: armaments, Pakistan
        • DEF 12–5 PAK: procurement and sale of armaments, Pakistan
        • DEF 9 US: exercises and maneuvers, U.S.
        • DEF 19–9 US–IRAN: advisory and training assistance, U.S.-Iran
        • E 8–1 IRAN: prices and cost of living, Iran
        • ORG 3–2 IRAN: organization and administration, chiefs of mission and principle officers
        • ORG 7 D: organization and administration, Deputy Secretary of State’s Visit
        • ORG 7 S: organization and administration, Secretary of State’s Visit
        • PET 6 IRAN: petroleum companies, Iran
        • PET 12 IRAN: petroleum production and consumption, Iran
        • PET 10–2 IRAQ: petroleum exploration and development, Iraq
        • PET 15–2 IRAQ: nationalization and expropriation, Iraq
        • POL 1 IRAN: general policy, Iran
        • POL 7 IRAN: visits and meetings, Iran
        • POL 13–2 IRAN: students and youth groups, Iran
        • POL 13–10 IRAN: extremist organizations, Iran
        • POL 15–1 IRAN: Head of State, Iran
        • POL 23–8 IRAN: demonstrations, riots, and protests, Iran
        • POL 23–9 IRAN: rebellions and coups, Iran
        • POL 29 IRAN: arrests and detentions, Iran
        • POL 30–2 IRAN: exile political activities, Iran
        • POL IRAN–IRAQ: political affairs and relations, Iran-Iraq
        • POL 2 IRAQ: general reports and statistics, Iraq
        • POL 7 IRAQ: visits and meetings, Iraq
        • POL 12 IRAQ: political parties, Iraq
        • POL 13–3 IRAQ: ethnic and national minorities, Iraq
        • POL 32–1 IRAQ–KUW: territory and boundary disputes, violations, and incidents, Iraq-Kuwait
        • POL 17 IRAQ–PAK: diplomatic and consular representation, Iraq-Pakistan
        • POL IRAQ–US: political affairs and relations, Iraq-U.S.
        • POL 17 IRAQ-US: diplomatic and consular representation, Iraq-U.S.
        • POL IRAQ–USSR: political affairs and relations, Iraq-U.S.S.R.
        • POL 33 PERSIAN GULF: waters and boundaries, Persian Gulf
        • POL 13–3 US: ethnic and national minorities, U.S.
      • Central Foreign Policy Files, 1973–1976
        • Department of State telegrams transferred electronically to the National Archives
      • Lot Files
        • Records of the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Office of Lebanon, Jordan, Syrian Arab Republic, and Iraq Affairs
          • Lot 76D452
          • Lot 76D453
          • Lot 78D61
          • Lot 79D86
        • Records of the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs; Office of Iran Affairs
          • Lot 75D351
          • Lot 75D365
          • Lot 75D410
          • Lot 76D169
          • Lot 76D289
          • Lot 76D470
          • Lot 76D486
          • Lot 76D488
          • Lot 77D400
          • Lot 81D137
        • Records of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, 1974–1977
          • Lot 78D433, Entry E 5177
          • Lot 91D414, Entry E 5403
    • Record Group 84, Department of State Records, Foreign Service Post Files
      • Tehran Embassy Files
        • Iran 1973
        • Iran 1975
  • Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland (now at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California)
    • National Security Council Files
      • Backchannel
        • Backchannel Messages
        • Middle East/Africa
      • Country Files, Middle East
        • Iran
        • Iran Oil
        • Iraq
      • Henry A. Kissinger Office Files
        • Country Files
          • Middle East
      • Harold Saunders Files
        • Harold Saunders Chronological Files
      • Subject Files
        • Iran
        • Iran Military
      • NSC Secretariat
        • NSC Unfiled Material
      • President’s Daily Briefings
      • Presidential Correspondence
        • Iran - Mr. Pahlavi.
      • Presidential/HAK Memcons
      • VIP Visits
        • Shah of Iran
    • White House Tape Recordings
    • National Security Council, Institutional Files (H-Files)
      • NSSM 181
    • White House Special Files
      • President’s Office Files
        • Presidential Handwriting
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor, MI
    • National Security Adviser
      • Backchannel Messages
        • Mideast/Africa
      • Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files
        • Iran
        • Kurds
      • Memoranda of Conversation
      • NSC Operations Staff for Middle East and South Asian Affairs
        • Country File
          • Iran
          • Iran Military
          • Iraq
        • Subject Files
          • Middle East - Oil
      • NSC Staff for Middle East and South Asian Affairs
        • Convenience Files
      • National Security Study Memoranda and Decision Memoranda
        • NSSM 219 - U.S. Iranian Agreement on Cooperation in Civil Uses of Energy, March 14, 1975
        • NSSM 238 - U.S. Policy Towards the Persian Gulf, February 13, 1976
        • NSSM 243 - Military Assistance Advisory Group Requirement Study, May 10, 1976
        • NSDM 292 - U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation, April 22, 1975
      • Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders
        • Iran, the Shah
      • Presidential Country Files
        • Iran
        • Iraq
        • Middle East and South Asia
          • State Department Telegrams
      • Trip Briefing Books and Cables for HAK, 1974–76
        • Kissinger Trip File
      • VIP Visits
        • Iran 12
    • National Security Council Institutional Files
    • White House Central Files
      • Subject Files, Box 24, CO 68 Iran, 11/1/74-2/28/75
  • Library of Congress, Washington, DC
    • Papers of Henry A. Kissinger
      • Geopolitical File
        • Chronological Files
        • Memoranda of Conversation
        • Trips
      • NSC Senior Review Group File
    • Papers of James R. Schlesinger
      • James R. Schlesinger - Action Memos
  • Central Intelligence Agency
    • Directorate of Intelligence, Office of Current Intelligence Files
      • Job 79T00889A
      • Job 79T00861A
      • Job 83T003353R
      • Job 85T00353R
    • Files of the Director of Central Intelligence
      • Executive Registry, Job 80M01048A
      • Executive Registry, Job 80M01066A
    • National Intelligence Council Files
      • Job 79R01012A
      • Job 79R01142A
  • National Security Council, Washington, DC
    • Nixon Intelligence Files
      • Subject Files
        • Iraq/Kurds
      • 303 Committee /40 Committee
        • NSCIC 1969–1974
      • Iraqi Kurds
    • Ford Intelligence Files
      • Subject Files
        • Iraq/Kurds
  • Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland
    • FRC 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
      • 78–001
        • 1973 Secret Official Records of the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense
      • 78–0002
        • 1973 Top Secret Official Records of the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense
      • 78–0011
        • 1974 Secret Official Records of the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense
      • 78–0058
        • 1975 Secret Official Records of the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense
      • 79–0049
        • 1976 Secret Official Records of the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense
      • 84–0054
        • 1974–1980 Legal Immediate Office Functional Files, Office of the Secretary of Defense General Counsel
      • 77–0054
        • 1974 General Files, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
      • 78–0038
        • 1974–1975 Correspondence Pertaining to Policies, Plans, and Responsibilities, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
      • 79–0037
        • 1976 General Files, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
      • 81–0223
        • Records of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Near East, Africa, and South Asia, Iran Country Files, 1972–1979
      • 82–0234
        • Records of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Near East and South Asia Files, Iran 1972–1978

Published Sources

  • Helms, Richard M. A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency. New York: Ballantine Books, 2004.
  • Kissinger, Henry A. Years of Renewal. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.
  • Nixon, Richard M. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978.
  • Pahlavi, Mohammed Reza Shah. Answer to History. Toronto: Irwin Publishing, 1980.
  • United States. Department of State. Department of State Bulletin, 1973–1976. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1973–1976.
  • United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard M. Nixon, 1973, 1974 and Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Gerald R. Ford, 1974, 1975, 1976–77. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976.