273. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia1

251946. Subj: Letter from Secretary Kissinger to Minister Saqqaf. For Ambassador from Secretary.

You should immediately deliver following message from me to Minister Saqqaf.
Begin text. Dear Omar: I have had full reports from Ambassador Akins of his talks with you and other officials of the Saudi Arabian Government regarding the OAPEC decisions which were announced on December 25.2
I cannot express too strongly my disappointment and dismay. You must know that the discriminatory nature of those decisions, which single out the United States for a continuing embargo when we are the only country seriously trying to bring about the just settlement desired by the Arab world, while increasing oil production for other countries who are unable to make any significant contribution to that effort, puts President Nixon in an impossible position.3 Under these circumstances of undisguised discrimination against the United States, I will be totally unable to continue on the course I have set for myself and have described to you in detail over the recent weeks.
Whatever impressions President Sadat may have conveyed to you about our attitude toward the timing of lifting the embargo, my discussions with him were in an entirely different context from the present one. They were certainly not in the context of a discriminatory easing of restrictions such as OAPEC decided upon at its recent meeting.
I want to underscore as strongly as I can that it is absolutely essential that the oil embargo and oil production restrictions directed against the United States be ended immediately. Particularly in light of OAPEC’s action in increasing production for other consuming countries, it is inconceivable that an end to this discrimination against us should await the outcome of the current disengagement negotiations in Geneva.
Finally, while I do not want to address myself in detail in this letter to the drastic and unjustifiable price increases announced in Tehran on December 23 I want your government to know that their predictable and disastrously destabilizing effect on the free world’s economic and monetary system is of the deepest concern to us. I fully support what Ambassador Akins has said to you and other officials of your government on this subject.3
With warm personal regards. Henry A. Kissinger. End text.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 139, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Dec 73–Feb 74. Secret; Niact; Immediate; Cherokee; Nodis. Drafted by Atherton; cleared by Sisco; and approved by Kissinger.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 271.
  3. At the same time the Arab oil nations announced the price increase in Tehran, they also announced that they would increase production by 10 percent in January 1974 and supply the full needs of the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Spain, and other “friendly countries,” but would continue the embargo on the United States. (“Arab Brinkmanship,” The New York Times, December 26, 1973, p. 65)
  4. See footnote 4, Document 271.