135. Telegram 3589 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State 1 2


  • Possible GOI Employment of General Twitchell
Some time ago Shah mentioned to me his desire to employ Gen. Twitchell as consultant to Iranian armed forces (IIA) at Ministry of War (MOW) level when Gen. Twitchell’s tour of duty in Iran ended and after his retirement. I told him I could see merit in this suggestion in view of Gen. Twitchell’s unique experience and understanding of the problems the IIA faces. During my consultations in Washington in March/April I mentioned the Shah’s desire to General Westmoreland. Since then Shah has again raised matter with me.
I believe that Gen. Twitchell’s continuation as consultant to IIA after his retirement would be extremely beneficial not only to GOI but to Embassy and ARMISH/MAAG and would be in US national interest. Twitchell has unequaled familiarity with Iranian milirary affairs which goes back to 1962 when he carried out a special defense survey for USG and GOI. During his present tour he has earned the confidence not only of the Shah but also of senior military officials who value his views. The Shah in particular needs type of dispassionate advice that he does not get from Iranian officers.
Twitchell’s military expertise, excellent understanding of Iranian military and culture and his deft handling of his personal relationships with Iranians has enabled him to exercise an exceptionally effective influence in rationalizing and making more efficient Iranian military organization and plans and in persuading GOI to take closer and more realistic look at equipment acquisitions. As principal architect of 5-year force goals study (to oversee completion of which requested his extension until September) his continued availability to IIA and Shah would stimulate effective implementation of study goals in integrated and orderly manner. He would also be invaluable in advising the MOW on certain procurement and production matters and in several long-range studies whiich Shah recently directed the MOW to undertake in connection with industrial mobilization planning, military pay and allowanaces, improving the ETKA (PX) organization, etc. His work in these capacities would supplement USG efforts and help free our military advisory mission to concentrate on more immediate and urgent tasks such as training. Finally, in such a position Twitchell could give sound advice and counsel regarding certain third country problems which it is difficult for the MAAG Chief to deal with.
I have discussed this matter with Twitchell who points out that in addition to meeting the legal requirements he would want to be certain that it would be in the interest of the US and not impinge on the position and responsibilities of Chief ARMISH/MAAG.
I am satisfied there is a clear need for Twitchell’s services as well as a clear demarcation of responsibilities between the work he would do and job of Chief ARMISH/MAAG.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 6 IRAN. Confidential; Limdis. Repeated to the Department of Defense and CINCSTRIKE.
  2. Ambassador MacArthur conveyed to the Department his support for the Shah’s interest in employing Major General Hamilton Twitchell as a consultant to the Iranian Armed Forces following Twitchell’s retirement as Chief of the U.S. Army Mission in Iran/Military Assistance Advisory Group (ARMISH/MAAG).