157. Telegram 77 From the Embassy in Iran to Secretary of State Rogers and the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco), January 5, 1972, 1235Z
Ambassador MacArthur advised against a recently-drafted presidential message since it cast doubt that the long-awaited presidential visit to Tehran would take place.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL US/NIXON, Box 2697. Secret; Nodis. In Telegram 1238 to Tehran, January 4, the Department had sent a message from Nixon requesting the Shah’s input on the President’s upcoming trip to China but expressed uncertainty about one to Iran. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Country Files, Middle East—Iran, Box 602, Volume IV 9/1/71–4/73) In Telegram 3152 to Tehran, January 6, Sisco agreed that the message should not be delivered yet. (Ibid.)
158. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, January 11, 1972
Kissinger recommended that the President authorize $942,000 in military grant funds for Iran, above the $500,000 limit for countries designated “economically developed.”
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Box 1282, Iran Economic 1/1/72–12/31/72. No classification marking. Tab A is not published. Nixon signed the Determination on January 12. (Ibid.)
The Shah emphasized that although it would be a “blessing” for the United States to maintain its port facilities in Bahrain, he wished to be informed in advance if Washington planned to withdraw, so as to style himself as head of the group advocating withdrawal.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL IRAN-US. Secret; Nodis.
Ambassador MacArthur reported that a prominent Tehran newspaper, under government instruction, had run a lengthy editorial objecting to the continued presence in the Gulf of the U.S. fleet.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Box 1282, Iran 1/1/72–5/31/72. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Dhahran, Jidda, Kuwait, London, CINCEUR, COMIDEASTFOR. The material submitted to Kissinger for the President’s Wednesday Briefing, January 18, included the fact that the Shah had told American journalists that Iran was opposed to any foreign presence in the Gulf. The comment was published in the New York Times on January 16. (Ibid.) In Telegram 302 from Tehran, January 15, MacArthur requested a moratorium on government-approved criticism of MIDEASTFOR’s presence in Bahrain, since the Gulf States might take Iran at its word that it desired U.S. withdrawal. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL IRAN-US.)
Ambassador MacArthur reported that the U.S. mission premises in Tehran had been subjected to four bomb explosions but that damage was not serious.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–8 IRAN. Confidential; Immediate. In Telegram 365 from Tehran, January 19, MacArthur related some local Iranian interpretations of the bombings, including the suggestions that they were motivated by anti-capitalism and opposition to U.S. policy in the Middle East, or designed to demonstrate the dissidents’ power and contempt for SAVAK. (Ibid.) The day prior to the explosions, a SAVAK spokesman gave a public briefing announcing the arrest of 120 dissidents over the previous 10 months, including 60 members of the Iranian Liberation Organization (Siah Kal) jailed on charges of plotting to kidnap Iranian and foreign personalities during the 2500th Anniversary celebrations. The group was accused of having received training in Iraq and at Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. (Attachment to Donald Toussaint to Jack Miklos, February 11, 1972, NEA/IRN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D410, Box 7, INT, Intelligence, General Iran, 1972.)
Secretary Rogers asked Ambassador MacArthur to seek clarification of the Shah’s views on the continued U.S. naval presence in the Gulf, which the United States had understood were favorable.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1282, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Iran 1/1/72–5/31/72. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Dhahran, Jidda, Kuwait, London, Manama, CINCEUR, COMIDEASTFOR.
In conversation with Ambassador MacArthur and Secretary of the Navy John H. Chafee, the Shah was dubious about the wisdom of maintaining MIDEASTFOR in Bahrain.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL IRAN-US. Secret; Nodis. Passed to SECDEF and SECNAV. This telegram was submitted for inclusion in the President’s Wednesday Briefing for January 25. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Box 1282, Iran 1/1/72–5/31/72.)
164. Research Study Prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Washington, January 28, 1972
In a study called “Iran: Arms and the Shah,” the Bureau assessed the Shah’s request for a firm agreement for high-technology American weapons to Iran through 1980.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1282, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Iran Military 1/1/72-12/31/72. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Controlled Dissem. Drafted by Peter S. Maher (INR/Near East and South Asia); and approved by Curtis F. Jones (INR/Near East and South Asia). An attached note wondered whether the summary would be useful in connection with the Presidential trip to Iran. Kissinger responded, “Yes—that is why I have included for file!”
The memorandum, entitled “Iran’s Balance-of-Payments Prospects Look Up,” analyzed the impact of recent oil consortium concessions on the Iranian economy.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, ORR (OTI) Files, Job 79T00935A, Box 67, Project 45.6314, CIA/ER IM 72–23. Confidential; No Foreign Dissem. Prepared by the Office of Current Research of CIA and coordinated within the Directorate of Intelligence.
166. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nutter) to Secretary of Defense Laird, Washington, February 22, 1972
Nutter endorsed the view of the Country Team in Iran, as well as that of USCINCEUR, that Defense should authorize the sale of the MAVERICK missile to Iran.
Sources: Washington National Records Center, OASD Files, ISA Files, FRC 330–75–125, Box 13, Iran 334–1972. Secret. Tabs A through F were not found. The last page of the document indicates that on February 26, Laird approved the release of promotional information on the missile to Iran, but qualified his approval of the sale of the missile pending MAVERICK’s successful operational tests.
The Iranian Government, citing Soviet ambitions in the region, requested accelerated delivery in 1972 of one squadron of F–4Es.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 12–5 IRAN. Secret. Repeated to SECDEF, EUCOM, and CSAF.
The report indicated that mass rallies against a variety of sources of popular discontent were planned for the following day.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA/IRN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D365, Box 7, POL 23, Internal Security, Counter Insurgence, Iran 1972. Secret. A handwritten notation on the front page reads “Disturbing.”
In an apparent effort to offset criticism over the trials of dissidents, the Iranian Government staged a “spontaneous demonstration” in Tehran to show popular support.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–8 IRAN. Limited Official Use. Repeated to Dhahran, Jidda, Kuwait, London, Khorramshahr, and Tabriz. In Telegram 1282, March 3, the Embassy reported that as the demonstrations ended, the government announced the executions of six anti-government dissidents. (Ibid.) At this time, the 120 Iranians accused of terrorism were facing military tribunals. Donald Toussaint of the Embassy noted to Jack Miklos on March 28 that “there is undoubtedly ambiguity in the charge that all those tried are ‘terrorists.’ All were, it seems, members of various subversive groups, and some members of each group apparently did engage in acts of terrorism. While, in general, the entire membership of a group is charged with the crimes of any of its members, the individual sentences appear to have been based on the severity of the crime each man personally committee … There are reliable reports that an additional number of people, mostly students, have been arrested for political reasons—but we have no information to indicate they are among those presently on trial.” (NEA/IRN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D365, Box 7, POL 29, Political Prisoners, Iran 1972)
170. Letter From the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Iran (Heck) to the Director for Iranian Affairs (Miklos), Tehran, March 1, 1972
Heck stressed to Miklos that the question of advance delivery of the F–4Es in 1972 was paramount to the Shah, and potentially could cause serious problems in U.S.-Iranian relations.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 12–5 IRAN. Official-Informal. Secret.
Despite the opinion of ARMISH/MAAG that the Iranian air force could absorb no more than eight aircraft in 1972, the Iranian Minister of War pressed the Shah’s demand for a full squadron of sixteen F–4Es, and the Country Team in Iran recommended approval.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 12–5 IRAN. Secret. Repeated to SECDEF, EUCOM and CSAF.
172. Letter From the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations (Abshire) to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (Fulbright), Washington, March 3, 1972
Abshire responded to Fulbright’s demand for a justification for the $942,000 allotted to Iran in grant military assistance.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 19–8 US-IRAN. No classification marking. Drafted by Felix Dorough (PM/MAS); cleared by Alexander Schnee (H), Davies, EX-IM Bank, DOD/ISA, Miklos, and Chapman. Fulbright requested the justification for the military assistance “in view of the recent ostentatious anniversary celebration in Persepolis.” (Ibid.)
The Embassy reported that the Shah had responded to the advice of ARMISH/MAAG and the IIAF, and had reduced his demand for accelerated 1972 delivery of F–4s to eight aircraft.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 12–5 IRAN. Secret. Repeated to SECDEF, CSAF, and EUCOM.
Protesting the trials and executions of anti-government dissidents, students at the University of Tehran staged 2 days of demonstrations, which were ultimately put down by the police.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 IRAN. Limited Official Use. Repeated to Ankara, Bonn, Dhahran, Jidda, Kuwait, London, and Paris.
175. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nutter) to Secretary of Defense Laird, Washington, March 11, 1972
Nutter advised Laird of the Shah’s insistence on the delivery of eight aircraft in 1972, suggesting that the required F–4Es be leased to Iran.
Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD Files, (C) (A), 330–77–0094, Iran 1972, Box 62. Secret. The attachment is not published. Laird wrote on the memo, “What does Warren recommend—these points don’t impress me as the case made by others. MRL” He later added, “3/13/72 After our conversation today approval okay—M.R. Laird.”
Despite the need for a fifteen percent MAAG reduction world wide, the country team in Iran lobbied for a requested increase in the ARMISH/MAAG complement.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 19–9 US-IRAN. Confidential.
The Embassy conveyed the request of the Shah’s sister, Princess Ashraf, for U.S. Government assistance in refuting the charge that the U.S. Federal Narcotics Bureau had once recommended that she be denied entry to the United States due to a heroin trafficking incident in 1961.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 IRAN. Confidential; Exdis. In Telegram 35450 to Tehran, March 1, the Department inquired about a press story regarding a member of the Shah’s entourage, Amir Hushang Davallou, who had been charged in Switzerland with narcotics trafficking. Invoking diplomatic immunity, DAVALLOU had departed the country on the private plane of the Shah, who allegedly cut short his vacation to get DAVALLOU out of the country. The scandal rekindled charges of narcotics trafficking within the Shah’s inner circle. (Ibid, SOC 11–5 SWITZ)
Davies replied that while in principle the Department would be pleased to help exonerate the Princess, official U.S. involvement was likely to draw more attention to the matter.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 IRAN. Confidential. Drafted by Miklos; cleared by STEPHEN M. BOYD (L/NEA), John S. Brims (S/S); and approved by Davies.
179. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff for the Files, Washington, April 26, 1972
Saunders summarized the correspondence received from a U.S.-based Iranian dissident, Nasser Afshar, who denounced the Shah’s rule.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Box 1282, Iran 1/1/72–5/31/72. No classification marking. In 1971, Congressman Graham Purcell inserted into the Congressional Record letters from Afshar’s “Free Iran” movement, condemning the Shah’s reign. In response, on August 18, 1971, Ambassador MacArthur wrote to Purcell, denouncing the character and activities of the organization and its chairman, on the basis of FBI information. The Department official assigned to deliver the letter to Purcell was advised to “reminisce about a number of other Congressmen who had taken up the anti-Shah banner in the 1960’s, much to their subsequent embarrassment.” On October 21, 1971, Purcell apologized for his action, agreeing that “Free Iran” was unworthy of his support. All of this correspondence was passed to Court Minister ALAM for the Shah’s perusal on November 7, 1971. (NEA/IRN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D351, Box 6, PS 7, Iran 1969–71, Assistance to Americans, Nasser Afshar 1971)
The CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence analyzed the current political structure of Iran.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, OCI Files, Job 79T00832A, Box 9, 46. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. Prepared in the Office of Current Intelligence and coordinated within CIA.
The CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence examined the recent trends in Iranian arms procurement, particularly Tehran’s sources of supply.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, ORR Files (OTI), Job 79T00935A, Box 70, Project 35.6402, CIA/ER IM 72–79. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. The memorandum was prepared by the Office of Economic Research and coordinated within the Directorate of Intelligence.
In preparation for the President’s visit, the Embassy transmitted a summary of the current conditions in Iran.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON. Secret; Exdis. The first message in the series on the Presidential visit, Telegram 2440 from Tehran, April 28, dealt with logistical issues and is not published. (Ibid.)
The Embassy surveyed the state of U.S.-Iran relations and the significance of the relationship to the Shah.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON. Secret; Exdis.
The Embassy outlined the Shah’s views on specific domestic and foreign issues which might arise during his meetings with the President.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON. Secret; Exdis.
185. Memorandum From the Director of Central Intelligence (Helms) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, May 4, 1972
Summarizing the Shah’s regional foreign policy, Helms suggested topics for the President to broach in discussion.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80B01086A, Box 1, Executive Registry, Subject Files, I–13, Iran. Secret; Sensitive. The memorandum is a copy that bears Helms’ typed signature with an indication that he signed the original.
The Department dismissed the charges made in the Nation article against Princess Ashraf, arguing that it was unnecessary for her representative to come to Washington to refute them.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 IRAN. Secret. Drafted by Miklos; cleared by Robert M. Miller (S/S); approved by Davies.