151. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nutter) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer)1 2


  • SAM Defense and Aerial Refueling Briefing Team for Iran

Reference is made to our memorandum I–25,305/71, dated 12 July 1971, subject: SAM Defense Capability for the Imperial Iranian Air Force, and your memorandum DJSM–1007/71, dated 26 August 1971, same subject.

The USG has agreed to send a team to Iran to brief the Shah as well as representatives of the IIAF on the various aspects of the USAF study appended to the above referenced CJSM.

I therefore request that a team be assembled to brief the Shah and the IIAF on the SAM Defense Capability Study so that the Government of Iran may analyze the alternatives and arrive at the best course of action for the IIAF to acquire an anti-SAM capability. The ambassador recommends that the team chief be at least a full colonel. In addition to the team chief, I believe, as a minimum, that two other officers should be selected, one who has expertise in tactics and use of electronic countermeasures along with the necessary hardware and the radar homing and warning systems. The other member of the briefing team should be a fighter pilot with expertise in SHRIKE delivery and be able to answer technical questions from a fighter pilot’s point of view. It would be helpful if the officers selected have knowledge of the SHRIKE programs in Israel.

In addition, we have agreed to augment this team with an officer who is highly qualified to brief the Shah and the IIAF on aerial refueling. We anticipate that the Vice President will tell the Shah we have approved in principle Iran’s acquisition of an aerial refueling capability. We have also made it clear that there are no refueling aircraft available from USAF inventory but that Iran could procure from US commercial sources a conversion of the Boeing 707 type to an aerial tanker.

The briefing team should be prepared to depart for Iran by mid-November. Specific guidance will be provided to the team by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern, African, and South Asian Affairs. I also want to meet with the team chief prior to his departure. Project officer in NESA Region is LTC William A. Starker, extension 5-9856.

G. Warren Nutter
  1. 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.
  2. 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.