11. Editorial Note

During October 1969, both Prince Fahd, Second Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, the Shah of Iran, visited Washington to press their individual cases for greater access to the U.S. oil market. In his October 13 meeting with Secretary of State William Rogers, Prince Fahd asked whether the United States would purchase Saudi Arabia’s share of current oil production as a means of improving Saudi revenue. The Saudi Government was in the process of developing broad changes to its military forces and faced budgetary considerations. Fahd also met with President Nixon on October 14 and made similar points. For records of these meetings, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970, Documents 131 and 132.

President Nixon met with the Shah privately on October 21. They were joined later by Peter Flanigan, the President’s Assistant for International Economic Affairs. The Shah wanted to impress upon Nixon Iran’s desire for increased oil shipments to the United States in return for an Iranian guarantee to spend the proceeds on U.S. military and civilian equipment. (Telegram 4185 from Tehran, October 3; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1236, Saunders Files, Iran) According to Flanigan, during the meeting, Nixon indicated his desire to work out an increase in the sale of Iranian oil to the United States as consonant with U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf. (Memorandum to the Files, November 18; ibid., White House Special Files, Subject Files, Confidential Files, Box 63, [CF] TA 4/Oil) Flanigan later wrote that Nixon had asked him, in the presence of the Shah, to make every effort to assist in closing the gap between the Iranian Government’s requirements for the sale of oil to finance its Development Program and the current 1970 projections of such sales. (See Document 37.) On an October 22 memorandum from Kissinger to Nixon concerning the background [Page 40] of the Shah’s proposals, Nixon wrote: “get this done by the companies if possible—not by a change of quota.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1241, Saunders Files, Middle East Oil) For documentation on the Shah’s visit, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–4, Documents on Iran and Iraq, 1969–1972.