27. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran1

280710. Subject: Message to Major OPEC Governments.

1. Ambassador is requested to transmit following message from the Secretary to the Shah. FYI: Separate messages along similar lines are being sent to Algiers, Caracas, Jakarta, Jidda, Kuwait and Lagos.2

2. Begin text. Your Majesty:

3. I wish to share with you a few reflections on developments in energy which have occurred since our conversation in Tehran.3 Since the start of the energy crisis both producers and consumers, including my own country, have believed that at some point it would be helpful and desirable to supplement intensive bilateral contacts between producers and consumers with some form of multilateral contact. All of us sense that the time for such multilateral contact is drawing nearer.

4. During recent discussions at Martinique, we and the French reached agreement on a proposed approach to such multilateral contacts, an approach which has subsequently been endorsed by members of the International Energy Agency. This approach stipulates that consumer decisions on conservation, the development of alternative supplies of energy, and financial solidarity will be taken in a first phase. Thereafter will follow a preliminary meeting of representatives of producers and consumers to discuss agenda and procedure, intensive preparation of common positions, and the holding of a producer/consumer conference.

5. We have stressed the necessity of strong consumer decisions as the indispensable first step in this process because we believe that without them the objective conditions for success of a multilateral dialogue between producers and consumers do not exist. A failed conference would be seriously detrimental to all of us. Both these points, I believe, correspond to views which you have so eloquently and forcefully expressed in public and in private during the past year.

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6. That is not to say that we believe that the consumers alone can solve the energy crisis, or that we think that it can be approached most effectively on a bloc to bloc basis, or above all, that we seek a confrontation with the producing countries. Confrontation between producers and consumers would serve the interest of no one except the Soviets. And there is clearly no way in which the energy crisis can be solved without the full and open cooperation of all major producers and consumers. In this regard, I think it important that our own bilateral dialogue be deepened and enriched in every possible way. As one step in that direction, I have asked former Secretary of the Treasury George Shultz, who has the complete confidence of the President and myself, to conduct the conversation on various aspects of the energy problem which we talked about in Tehran. He is prepared to visit Tehran, or elsewhere if that were more convenient, at a time acceptable to you.

7. Within our own government, President Ford is now completing a series of major decisions on domestic energy policy.4 We expect these decisions to be announced towards the end of January, probably in a speech immediately after the State of the Union message. I believe they will make a significant contribution to the solution of the world energy problem.

8. Your Majesty, in conclusion let me say how pleased we are to learn of the important new measures you plan to help meet the world food crisis. Ambassador Helms informs me of your decision to pursue vigorous measures, notably in the field of fertilizer production in the region, to help alleviate the threat of famine in neighboring countries. This cooperative effort can become a central feature of the work of the Joint Commission in forthcoming months.

9. With warm regards, sincerely, Henry A. Kissinger. End text.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, Box 13, Iran—State Department Telegrams from SECSTATE–NODIS (2). Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Paul D. Taylor and Lawrence R. Raicht (EB/ORF/FSE); cleared by Enders, Sonnenfeldt, and Atherton and in AF and EA; and approved by Kissinger.
  2. Telegram 280711 to these capitals, December 23. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, [no film number])
  3. Kissinger was in Iran November 1–3. The joint communiqué issued at the conclusion of his visit is in telegram 9236 from Tehran, November 1. (Ibid., D740313–0826) See also Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXVII, Iran; Iraq, 1973–1976, Documents 8789.
  4. Following a December 14–15 meeting of Ford’s economic and energy advisers at Camp David, Enders reported to Kissinger: “Group agreed to recommend to President three phased policy: (A) By end 1977 achievement of two million barrel a day savings, through demand restraint and demand management measures (this goal would overtake but not replace the one million barrel a day goal for end 1975; under most of the recommended scenarios we could come relatively close to but not achieve the one million barrels a day by end 1975, depending on how rapidly Congress acted); (B) By end 1985 achievement of capacity for full national self-sufficiency (this would mean the basic goal of no more than one million barrels a day imports set in your Chicago speech, augmented by storage capacity equivalent to up to three million barrels a day for a year). (C) Before the end of the century, reestablishment of the U.S. position as a net energy exporter both through new technology and through hydrocarbons.” (Telegram Tosec 21 to Kissinger in Martinique, December 16; Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Subject File, Box 4, Energy (5))