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Iran 1971


139. Telegram 4377 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State, August 10, 1971, 0850Z

Ambassador MacArthur noted that since Iran strongly advocated producing country interest in all aspects of the oil industry, it was likely to play an “active but moderating role” in formulating OPEC participation policy at the next meeting

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, PET 3 OPEC. Secret; Priority; Limdis. Repeated to Lagos, Jidda, Dhahran, Kuwait, Tripoli, Algiers, Djakarta, Caracas, London, Paris, The Hague, Bonn, Rome, Tokyo, and Vienna.


140. Telegram 4397 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State, August 11, 1971, 8401Z

The Embassy recommended that the United States accept the Shah’s proposal that all Iran’s major military purchases be procured through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) procedures.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 12-5 IRAN. Confidential. Repeated to CSAF and CINCSTRIKE.


141. Telegram 4662 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State, August 23, 1971, 0907Z

Ambassador MacArthur disagreed with the Chief of Staff of the Army, General William C. Westmoreland, who opposed General Twitchell’s employment by the Government of Iran.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 6 IRAN. Confidential; Exdis.


142. Telegram 4816 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State, August 30, 1971, 1000Z

Ambassador MacArthur reported that the upcoming UK withdrawal from the Gulf and the Iranian 25th Centenary celebrations had inspired subversive groups trained and infiltrated from outside to launch small-scale attacks in Iran.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 23-9 IRAN. Confidential. The lavish 2500th celebrations, held October 1971 at Persepolis, commemorated the anniversary of Cyrus the Great’s founding of the Achaemenian Empire. On November 19, David Abshire replied to a letter of concern, forwarded by Senator Lloyd Bentsen, that the Shah had pre-emptively rounded up 39 dissidents on August 23, and sentenced most to death. Abshire wrote that “The Iranian government has acted energetically to round up the terrorist groups, as would any government in similar circumstances. In our opinion these dissident elements in Iran … are in no way representative of the views of the great majority of the Iranians, who support the Shah and his government.” (NEA/IRN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D351, Box 6, POL 23, Internal Security, Counter Insurgency, Iran 1971.) On December 21, the Embassy expressed the view that a campaign against the death sentences was communist-organized. (Donald Toussaint to Jack Miklos, NEA/ARN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D365, Box 7, POL 29, Political Prisoners, Iran 1972.)


143. Action Memorandum from the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco) to Secretary of State Rogers, Washington, September 9, 1971

Sisco advised Rogers on the status of British-Iranian negotiations over the Gulf islands, in which the United Kingdom and Iran had reached agreement in principle but had yet to obtain the consent of the sheikhs.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 33-3 PERSIAN GULF. Secret. Drafted by Joseph W. Twinam (NEA/ARP); cleared by Davies (NEA), Burns (EUR/BMI), Dowell (NEA/IRN), and Murphy (NEA/ARP). The proposed letter, Tab A, is published as Document 144. Tabs B and C are not published. The substance of this message was included in the material submitted to Kissinger on September 8 for the President’s Thursday Briefing. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1268, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, 6/1/71-12/31/71.)


144. Letter From Secretary of State Rogers to the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Douglas-Home), Washington, September 13, 1971

Rogers encouraged Douglas-Home to urge the sheikhs to accept the tentative islands agreement, which represented the maximum that the Shah could offer.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 33 PERSIAN GULF. Secret. Drafted by Twinam; and cleared by Davies, Burns, Dowell, and Murphy. In Telegram 167813 to London, September 9, Sisco requested that the Ambassador ask Douglas-Home to consult with the United States prior to the Iranians if the sheikhs’ reaction to the plan should be negative, so that Washington itself could approach the disputing parties if need be. (Ibid.) In telegram 175137 to Dhahran, London, Jidda, Kuwait, and Tehran, September 21, the Department transmitted Douglas-Home’s reply, in which he said that “Increasingly he [the Shah] may have anxieties about having his bluff called since he cannot want to use force if he can avoid it, thus jeopardising his relations both with the Gulf States and the whole Arab world… He is, of course, as we all know, a very accomplished brinkman.” (Ibid.)


145. Letter From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nutter) to the Under Secretary of State (Johnson), Washington, September 20, 1971

Nutter laid out the Department of Defense’s arguments against the employment of General Twitchell by the Iranian Government.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 19-9 US-IRAN. No classification marking.


146. Telegram 5535 From the Embassy in Iran (MacArthur) to the Department of State, September 30, 1971, 1330Z

Ambassador MacArthur alerted the Department that the Shah was requesting with increasing urgency an electronic counter measures capability, particularly Shrike missiles.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 12-5 IRAN. Secret; Exdis.


147. Memorandum From the Acting Secretary of State (Johnson) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, October 8, 1971

Johnson summarized the dispute between State and Defense over whether General Twitchell should be allowed to accept employment with the Government of Iran.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15 IRAN. Confidential; Limdis. In an October 20 memorandum, Eliot notified Sisco that Laird had asked his General Counsel to devise a system in which Twitchell could work for the Stanford Research Institute on whichever Iranian contracts the Counsel deemed appropriate, and advise the Shah in this capacity. (Ibid.)


148. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Vice President Agnew, Washington, October 9, 1971

Kissinger advised Agnew on how to discuss South Asia, Taiwanese representation in the United Nations, and the Gulf islands dispute during his attendance at the 25th Centenary Celebrations in Iran.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1268, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Iran 6/1/71-12/31/71. Secret.


149. Telegram 16 From the U.S. Delegation to the 25 Centenary Celebrations in Shiraz, Iran, to the Department of State, October 15, 1971, 2010Z

Vice President Agnew recapitulated his talks with the Shah, which focused primarily on Iran’s military requirements.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1268, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Iran 6/1/71-12/31/71. Secret; Exdis. The President was briefed on Agnew’s meeting with the Shah in the Monday Briefing of October 16. (Ibid.)


150. Telegram 189359 From the Department of State to the US Delegation to the 25th Centenary Celebration in Shiraz, Iran, October 15, 1971, 2001Z

The Department reported that a bombing at the Iranian Consulate General in San Francisco had left no casualties, and that a suspect had been immediately apprehended.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 17 IRAN-US. Confidential; Immediate. Repeated Immediate to Tehran. Drafted by Timothy W. Childs (NEA/IRN); cleared by Davies, Michael J. Tretola (SY), Robert T. Curran (S/S), Charles D. Maguire (A/OPR), and Hampton Davis (S/CPR); and approved by Miklos. As indicated by its round-up of dissidents, the Iranian Government had anticipated terrorist acts during the celebrations, which had been broadly condemned by many Iranians as “expensive, unnecessary and tasteless.” (Stanley T. Escudero to Michael G. Michaud, Ibid., NEA/IRN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D365, Box 7, POL 1, General Policy and Background, Iran 1972)


151. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nutter) to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer), Washington, October 16, 1971

Nutter requested that a team be assembled to brief the Shah and the Imperial Iranian Air Force on acquiring a defense capability against surface-to-air-missiles.

Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD/ISA Files, FRC 330-74-083, Iran 452.1, 1971, 74-083. Secret. The memorandum bears Nutter’s typed signature with an indication that he signed the original.


152. Letter From the Under Secretary of State (Irwin) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Packard), Washington, November 11, 1971

Irwin supported the recommendation that the U.S. Air Force Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) to Iran be continued to July 1974, at a level reduced from 80 to 43, to ensure effective operation of the two additional squadrons of Iranian F-4 aircraft.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 19-9 US-IRAN. Confidential. Drafted by Miklos; and cleared by Sisco, Davies, and Chapman.


153. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon, Washington, December 16, 1971

Rogers updated Nixon on the resolution of the dispute between the sheikhs and Iran over the Gulf islands, and the subsequent Arab reaction to the Iranian occupation of the Tunbs.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 1 NEAR E. Confidential. Drafted by Twinam; concurred in by Alfred L. Atherton, Jr., Robert H. Pelletreau (AF/N), and Miklos. On November 30, the Iraqi Government condemned the Iranian and British Governments in equal measure for what it termed “an open aggression on the people of the Arab Gulf [that] threatens the peace and safety of the area…” (NEA/ARN, Office of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq Affairs, Records Relating to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, 1968-72, Lot 75D16, Box 11, POL 1, Iraq Political Relations, Iraq-Arab States, 1971)


154. Telegram 7283 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State, December 22, 1971, 1400Z

The Shah described to the Ambassador MacArthur the new strategic situation developing in his region, and the long-term defense forces build-up with which he planned to meet the challenge.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 6-3 IRAN. Secret. Repeated CINCEUR and Defense.


155. Telegram 7307 From the Embassy in Tehran to the Department of State, December 23, 1971, 1300Z

The Shah outlined the extensive changes he would demand in his government’s relationship with the oil consortium once the current concessions expired in 1979.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, PET 6 IRAN. Confidential; Exdis. Repeated to Algiers, Dhahran, Jidda, Kuwait, London, and Tripoli.


156. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, December 28, 1971

Kissinger advised the President that Ambassador MacArthur and Secretary Rogers both urged Nixon to make his long-awaited trip to Iran, both to assuage the Shah’s pride and to ease the Shah’s concerns over long-range Soviet objectives in the region.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 481, Presidential Trip Files, Iran Visit, [Cherokee] (Part 1). Confidential. Nixon wrote at the bottom of the memorandum: “H + K—I agree [that a visit to Iran is a serious proposition.] Right after Democratic Convention?”