289. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and President Nixon1
K: Mr. President.
N: Anything new on the embargo front?
K: No, and I have been waiting for some word from Jidda and I cannot figure it out. We sent our Ambassador in there2 and I think we should send a letter to Sadat to point out to him that they had better not play around.
N: I don’t know whether Sadat can do it. Should we send it to Faisal?
K: We have sent strong representation to Faisal. Our Ambassador had an appointment to see him. After we have heard from him, I think you might consider sending a letter.
N: All right. A letter to him and to Sadat. Maybe he cannot deliver.
K: If he cannot deliver, Mr. President, then we should make them pay for it.3 They will just drive us crazy if that happens. It has always been understood that the embargo would be lifted when disengagement took place. If that does not happen they will jack up the price until it becomes impossible. I don’t think it will get to that point.
N: Maybe it is the usual bureaucratic elements, etc.
K: They have to bring along Libya and Iraq and that may be the big obstacle.
N: We have no contacts with either of those?
K: Not that would do any good.
N: Yep. O.K. Whatever you think. We will do.
K: Right, Mr. President.
N: Fine, Henry.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 24, Chronological Files. Unclassified.↩
- See Documents 284 and 290.↩
- In an earlier telephone conversation that day with Atherton, Kissinger stated that he wanted “a very tough statement … [ellipsis in original] to the effect we could understand it [the embargo] at first, and it was becoming increasingly inappropriate that in the light of recent events it would be hard to reconcile a continuation of the embargo with friendship with the United States, and it would raise the most serious questions about whether we could continue our effort.” Atherton agreed but thought it prudent to await King Faisal’s response. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 24, Chronological Files)↩