192. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon1 2

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  • Meetings with the Shah

The Shah is highly gratified over your prospective visit to Tehran and the recognition it will bring him as an important world figure. You will be warmly welcomed by the Government, the media and the public. Your visit will put both friends and adversaries in the region on notice that we have important interests in the Gulf area we intend to maintain.

Your discussions will assure the Shah that your visits to Peking and Moscow in no way dealt over the heads of Iran or other close friends. You will want to convince him that we are not withdrawing into isolation, and that we remain resolved to stand by our friends and meet our commitments.

The Shah is deeply preoccupied with Soviet gains in South Asia and the Middle East which he regards as threatening to isolate Iran. He considers Iraq openly hostile and the rest of his Muslim neighbors as internally unstable or precariously susceptible to radical subversion. His concern has increased as a result of the recently concluded Soviet-Iraqi treaty of understanding. He looks to us as a counterweight but expects to be treated as an equal. He will want reassurances that we will continue to cooperate with him, particularly in the military field.

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You will want to assure him that we regard Iran as an outstanding example of national independence and self-reliance, that we value our close relationship highly, and that we have every intention of continuing to cooperate with it. You will wish to encourage him to continue his policy of trying to find ways of working closely with his neighbors, particularly Pakistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in dealing with regional problems.

You might review sympathetically the narcotics problem we share and the measures that are being taken to deal with it.

Themes to be emphasized in public remarks are Iran as a success story, a close and valued friend and a moderate and responsible regional power willing and able to play a leading role in promoting and protecting area security. At the same time, you will wish to avoid implying that Iran is our “chosen instrument” or that it is dependent on us.

William P. Rogers
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Presidential Trip Files, Box 479, Briefing Book, Visit of Nixon to Iran, May 1972. Secret. The attached briefing book is not published.
  2. Rogers submitted to Nixon a summary of the Shah’s concerns and recommended themes the President might wish to touch upon in Iran.