Iraq 1969–1971


244. Telegram 321 From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State, January 27, 1969, 1552Z

To preclude Israeli retaliation, the Embassy recommended that the Department strongly condemn the recent public hanging of Iraqi Jews.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1967–69, POL 29 IRAQ. Confidential; Immediate. Repeated Immediate to London and to Rome, Beirut, Amman, Jerusalem, and USUN.


245. Telegram 333 From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State, January 28, 1969, 1300Z

The Embassy expressed hope that Secretary Rogers’ statement of condemnation would mollify somewhat Israeli indignation over the Iraqi hangings.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 29 IRAQ. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Amman, Jerusalem, London, Rome, and USUN.


246. Telegram 14051 From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations, January 29, 1969, 1633Z

The Department submitted a copy of Rogers’ statement against the execution of the 14 Iraqi Jews to the Security Council of the United Nations.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 29 IRAQ. Unclassified. Repeated to Tel Aviv, Beirut, Brussels, Amman, London, and Jerusalem. Drafted by Betty Jane Jones (IO/UNP). Cleared by Davies, Atherton, C. Morgan Holmes (EUR/FBS); Robert G. Neumann, L/NEA, Seelye, George T. Walsh (S/S); and approved by Sisco.


247. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Richardson) to President Nixon, Washington, January 31, 1969

In the Evening Report, Richardson notified the President of attempts through third parties to achieve the release of Americans imprisoned in Iraq.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, President’s Daily Briefing, Box 1, February 1–8, 1969. Secret. This memorandum was for the President’s Evening Reading.


248. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco) to Secretary of State Rogers

Sisco recommended that the Secretary seek Presidential authority to influence the Government of Iraq to permit its Jewish population to emigrate.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1967–69, SOC 14 IRAQ. Secret; Exdis. Tabs A, B, C and D to the memorandum from Sisco and Handley to Rogers, January 31, were attached, but are not published.


249. Memorandum From Secretary Rogers to President Nixon, Washington, February 1, 1969

With his own endorsement, Rogers passed along the suggestion of Justice Arthur Goldberg that Washington attempt to persuade Baghdad to let Iraqi Jews emigrate to the United States.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, SOC 14 IRAQ. Secret; Exdis. A handwritten note on the document reads “Approved by President according to Sec. Rogers 2/10/69 JPW. Asst. Sec. Sisco informed 2/10/69.”


250. Memorandum From John M. Leddy of the European Bureau to Secretary of State Rogers, Washington, February 7, 1969

Leddy recommended that an expression of appreciation be sent to Belgian Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel for the work Belgium had done in representing U.S. interests in Iraq since 1967.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 US-IRAQ. Confidential. Drafted by Baas. The attachment is not published. A message of thanks was sent on February 10.


251. Research Memorandum RNA–6 From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to Secretary Rogers, Washington, February 14, 1969

The report, entitled “Iraq: Internal Stresses and the Search for the Bogeyman,” analyzed the recent arrests and executions in Iraq within the framework of the insecurities of the Ba’ath government.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; No Foreign Dissem.


252. Research Memorandum RNA–10 From the Acting Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Denney) to the Acting Secretary of State (Johnson), February 27, 1969

The report discussed the recent efforts of the Iraq National Oil Company to exploit the disputed North Rumaila oilfield.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, PET 6 IRAQ. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Controlled Dissem; No Dissem Abroad.


253. Telegram 1474 From the Embassy in Belgium to the Department of State, March 6, 1969, 1742Z

The Embassy alerted the Department that Baghdad might demand that the United States sell its Embassy property in Baghdad in exchange for the exit visas of the recently-released American hostages.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 US-IRAQ. Confidential. Repeated to Beirut, London, and Tehran. In telegram 33546 to Brussels, March 7, the Department rejected the notion of paying the Iraqis ransom for the former U.S. hostages. (Ibid.)


254. Memorandum From Bryan H. Baas, NEA/ARN, to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Davies), March 13, 1969

Baas briefed Davies on topics likely to arise in the latter’s upcoming meeting with the Belgian Ambassador to Iraq, Marcel Dupret, who represented U.S. interests in Baghdad.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA/ARN, Office of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq Affairs, Lot File 72D4, Box 6, POL 7, Visits and Meetings, Misc., 1969. Confidential. The meeting was held on March 20 (see Document 256).


255. Memorandum from William J. Handley of the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern and South Asia Affairs (Sisco), March 18, 1969

As requested, Handley provided Sisco with a review of U.S. Government actions in the face of the crisis of Iraqi Jews.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA/ARN Files, Office of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq Affairs, Lot 72D4, Box 6, POL 13-3, Ethnic and National Minorities, Jews, 1969.


256. Memorandum of Conversation, March 20, 1969

Marcel Dupret, the Belgian Ambassador to Iraq, told an Embassy official and Rodger Davies that the Baghdad Government sought the U.S. Embassy property for security reasons.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 US-IRAQ. Confidential. The conversation took place in Brussels, Belgium.


257. Letter from the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations (Macomber) to the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (Morgan), April 3, 1969

Macomber wrote that the House resolutions for a special UN Security Council Meeting on the executions of Iraqi Jews were inadvisable from a practical standpoint.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, SOC 14 IRAQ. No classification marking. Drafted by Thomas H. Shugart, IO/UNP; cleared by Elizabeth A. Brown, IO/UNP; John T. Abernethy (S/R), and Baas. This letter is an unsigned copy. House Resolutions 226 and 227 were attached, but are not printed.


258. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, May 29, 1969

Assyrian representatives reported to U.S. officials that Kurdish Democratic Party Leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani was under pressure to attack the Kirkuk oil facilities, and continued to hope for U.S. support.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, PET IRAQ. Secret; Limdis. Drafted by Baas. The conversation took place at the Department of State.


259. Memorandum of Conversation, June 13, 1969

An official emissary of Kurdish Democratic Party Leader Barzani arrived to deliver an appeal for assistance in the struggle with the Iraqi government from the Kurdish leader to Secretary of State Rogers.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 14 IRAQ. Secret; Limdis. Drafted by Baas. The conversation took place at the Department of State. According to a memorandum of conversation, another delegation led by Sam Andrews returned to the Department on January 30 to plead the Kurdish-Assyrian case. Rodger Davies responded that “while the US does not have a significant national interest in the situation in Iraq, the Iranian and Israeli governments apparently do. We are not suggesting in any way that the Assyrians turn to them for help, but it would be surprising if their apparent interest would not encourage them to provide the support that is desired.” (Ibid., POL 23–9 IRAQ.)


260. Memorandum of Conversation, July 17, 1969

An Iraqi businessman inquired as to whether a new government in Baghdad could expect American support if it were moderate, rightist, and pro-West

Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA/ARN, Office of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq Affairs, Lot 72D4, Box 5, POL 2, General Reports and Statistics, Iraq, 1969.


261. Airgram 386 From the Embassy in Lebanon to the Department of State, September 22, 1969

The Embassy reported the widespread rumor that the exiled former head of SAVAK, Teymour Bakhtiar, was in Baghdad organizing an anti-Shah movement.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL IRAN-IRAQ. Limited Official Use. Drafted by J. Thomas McAndrew; approved by Curtis F. Jones.


262. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, October 15, 1969

An Iraqi émigré informed Country Director Talcott Seelye of how an Iranian-funded coup in Iraq had foundered.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 2 NEAR EAST. Secret; Limdis. On November 7, J. Thomas McAndrew, Second Secretary of the Embassy in Lebanon, wrote to Seelye, “Your October 15 memcon of a talk with Lutfi Obeidi came across my desk just after my conversation with Sa’d Jabr. (see Document 260) Though Sa’d did not mention Lutfi’s name, I do not for a moment doubt that the two are in league. Sa’d spoke with great conviction and feeling that time is running out for the United States if it does not either 1) substantially alter its policy toward the Arabs or 2) encourage the few remaining moderate elements in the Middle East. In this latter category he would place, in addition to his ‘group,’ the Kurds under MULLAH MUSTAFA, the Druze of Syria, the Bedouins of Jordan, the Lebanese, and some elements in the Yemen….It seems to me…that no group seeking to overthrow an established regime will have much chance of success unless it can obtain support from an important component of the indigenous military establishment.” (Ibid., NEA/ARN, Office of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq Affairs, Lot 72D4, Box 6, POL 23–9, Rebellions, Coups, (Embassy Attaché), 1969)


263. Telegram 10069 From the Embassy in Lebanon to the Department of State, December 8, 1969, 1749Z

The Embassy reported that an Iraqi émigré, hoping to overthrow the Baghdad government, was asking for a U.S. commitment to aid his proposed new regime.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 IRAQ. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Tehran. J. Thomas McAndrew was the Political Officer in the Embassy in Lebanon.


264. Telegram 204979 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Lebanon, December 10, 1969, 1615Z

The Department insisted that the US government was unable to become involved in plots against the current Iraq regime, but would be prepared to consider resumption of relations with a new, moderate government.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 IRAQ. Secret. Drafted by Baas. Approved by Sisco.


265. Telegram 598 From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State, January 23, 1970, 1525Z

The Embassy relayed news about the abortive Iranian-backed coup attempt in Iraq.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 IRAQ. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Beirut, Tehran, Amman, Ankara, Jidda, Tel Aviv, Dhahran, Kuwait, and CINCSTRIKE/CINCMEAFSA.


266. Telegram 269 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State, January 24, 1970, 1100Z

Deputy Foreign Minister KHALATBARI described the current state of Iran-Iraq relations in the wake of the coup attempt.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL IRAN-IRAQ. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Amman, Ankara, Beirut, Dhahran, Jidda, London, Tel Aviv, CINCSTRIKE/CINCMEAFSA.


267. Central Intelligence Agency Information Cable TDCS DB–315/01044–70, Washington, March 9, 1970

Israeli Government officials, meeting with Kurdish Democratic Party Leader Barzani’s representatives in Tehran, pledged assistance if hostilities were resumed.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 601, Country Files, Middle East, Iran and Iraq, TDCS DC–315/01044–70. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Controlled Dissem; No Dissem Abroad; Background Use Only.


268. Telegram 37806 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran, March 14, 1970, 0039Z

The Department offered reassurances to Iran of the likely instability of the current Iraqi-Kurdish rapprochement.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1970–73, POL IRAQ-USSR. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by William H. Hallman, NEA/IRN. Cleared by Seelye; William K. Anderson, EUR/SOV; and Dirk Gleysteen, S/S. Approved by Davies. In telegram 928 from Tehran, March 12, MacArthur had sent word that the Shah believed his worst fears of Soviet influence on Iraq had been confirmed with the formation of an autonomous Iraq-Kurdish province. (Ibid.)


269. Telegram 54598 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel, April 14, 1970, 0109Z

The Department conveyed the Israeli Foreign Minister’s opinion that the Soviets had been critical to the recent Iraqi-Kurdish settlement.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL NEAR E—USSR. Secret; Limdis. Repeated to Amman, Ankara, Beirut, Jidda, Kuwait, London, Moscow, Paris, Tehran, and Cairo. Drafted by Theodore H. Wahl (NEA/IAI); cleared by Seelye, H. H. Stackhouse (NEA/IAI), William H. Gleysteen, Jr.(S/S), Emory C. Swank (EUR), and G. Norman Anderson (EUR/SOV); approved by Davies. In telegram 1491 from Tehran, April 15, the Embassy reported that the Iranian Government concurred that Soviet influence on Iraq was strong and increasing. (Ibid.) In telegram 2909 from London, April 16, the Embassy wrote that the Foreign Office thought Soviet influence had been important, but not necessarily decisive. (Ibid.)


271. Intelligence Note RNAN, Prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Washington, July 16, 1970

A report on “Iraq-Persian Gulf: Iraq Looks at the Gulf” examined Iraq’s expanded regional role.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL IRAQ-NEAR E. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. Drafted by John F. Lilley. Approved by Dayton S. Mak, INR/NEA. Attached but not published is a map of the Middle East.


272. Telegram 128256 From the Department of State to the Embassy in France, August 8, 1970, 0012Z

The Department speculated about the purpose behind the current Iraqi trip to Moscow.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 IRAQ. Confidential. Repeated to Moscow. Drafted by Thomas J. Scotes (NEA/ARN); cleared by Martha Mautner (INR/RSE/FP), Beigel; and approved by Seelye.


273. Central Intelligence Agency Information Cable IN 143628, Washington, August 10, 1970

The cable reported that the Kurds anticipated a showdown with the Iraqi Government.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 603, Country Files, Middle East, Iraq, TDCS 314/08439–70. Secret; No Foreign Dissem.