162. Telegram 8819 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran1 2

Ref:

  • Tehran 249 (Notal); Tehran 279

We think clarification of GOI’s attitude toward COMIDEASTFOR is certainly in order and suggest that in addition to taking question up with Alam (Tehran 279), Ambassador consider broaching subject directly with Shah in forthcoming Jan 20 meeting. Points that might be made are (a) we have no intention of giving in to radical Arab pressures to withdraw COMIDEASTFOR from area; (b) pressures themselves appear to have subsided after initial outburst; (c) Bahrain which is making arrangement clearly anticipated possibility some adverse Arab reaction, has made no request of us to withdraw and we do not expect it will; (d) agreement with Bahrain provides either party can terminate it at [Page 2]any time but we are given up to one year to withdraw; thus in unforeseen situation in which we for whatever reasons decide to give up Bahrain facilities, we would have ample time to consider with our friends what alternative arrangements might be desirable; (e) we felt Iran had been clear in its desire that COMIDEASTFOR presence be continued (Tehran 249) and that it felt as we do that it is a stabilizing force in area where fragile, newly independent states just coming into being, and where Soviets can be expected to try and take advantage of any weaknesses they can uncover; (f) we do not therefore understand Etela’at editorial which asks us to reconsider COMIDEASTFOR arrangement and leave Gulf; indeed we would expect Iran would be quietly working behind the scenes to dampen criticism in neighboring states.

Rogers
  1. 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, and COMIDEASTFOR.
  2. 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.