72. Letter From President Nixon to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran1

Your Imperial Majesty:

I have become increasingly concerned about growing indications of an imminent impasse in relations between the oil producing countries and the oil companies. It is apparent that such an impasse could benefit no one.

Oil supply is vital to the free world. Therefore, your interests in oil and ours are bound intimately together. The consuming countries need a secure source of oil available on reasonable terms, and the producing countries have every right to expect a fair income from their most precious resource. The United States Government has taken such legal steps as it can to facilitate expeditious negotiations between the companies and the oil producing countries.

In this spirit I have asked John Irwin, Under Secretary of State, to act as my emissary to deliver this letter to you and to contribute constructively to the efforts of both sides to arrive at an equitable solution to this pressing problem.

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I hope you will feel free to discuss these matters frankly with him in the same close cooperative spirit that has always characterized our relations.


Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–180, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 114. Secret. Irwin delivered this letter and identical ones to King Faisal and Shaikh Sabah during his mission to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. (Memorandum from Eliot to Kissinger, January 15; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 IRAN)
  2. Printed from a copy that bears the President’s typed signature with an indication that he signed the original.