21. Telegram 159738 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran 1 2


  • Shah Visit—Security Considerations


  • Tehran 3704 anD 3740
Embassy should inform Zelli that Department and other interested agencies of USG fully aware of necessity protecting Shah’s person and members of his party during visit as well as of continuing Iranian diplomatic and consular establishments in this country.
On September 22, following announcement of dates of visit, Dept’s Office of Security will be in close touch with local police and other law enforcement agencies in New York, Washington and San Francisco. During visit SY men will, as is usual during HIM’s visits, accompany party at all times and will be assisted by local authorities. Dept. will request of Washington, New York and San Francisco police that added precautions be taken in guarding Iranian diplomatic and consular establishments during period October 16–24.
Visa office: Instructing European visa issuing posts to preclear with Embassy Tehran before granting visas to Iranian applicants not otherwise known. However we must not allow [Page 2] Iranian authorities in Tehran to assume you will submit names of visa applicants to them for clearance.
Embassy’s statement to Zelli that HIM’s most recent visits to the US have been virtually without incident or embarrassment should be emphasized. Insofar as U.S. public is concerned these have passed practically unnoticed in this era of student-university confrontation, and Iranians can be assured that small demonstrations against Shah do little to diminish his prestige in this country. At same time we sympathize with Iranians over these disturbances and most deeply regret that they take place.
It would not be fair to Iranians nevertheless to lead them to believe that our ability to control demonstrations against the Iranian regime significantly greater than our ability to control any other kind of student manifestation. Our confidence for the success of forthcoming visit, including its security aspects, is based on belief that both US and Iranian public will evaluate Iran’s leadership on the basis of its accomplishments rather than strident efforts of dissidents to diminish a record which, by world standards, is outstanding indeed.
Dept. remains grateful for any specific information regarding threats to safety of HIM, his party or Iranian diplomatic and consular establishments GOI may be able to give us through any channel. Considerations raised by Tehran 3774, just received; will be covered septel.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1245, Harold Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Visit of Shah of Iran, Oct. 21–23, 1969. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. Drafted in by William H. Hallman (NEA/IRN); cleared by Miklosand in S/CPR, O/SY, and SCA/VO; and approved by Rockwell. In Telegram 3704 from Tehran, September 15, the Embassy reported Zelli’s belief that radical U.S. student groups would combine with Iranian students to mount a large protest, and his request that the FBI keep demonstrations under control. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 IRAN) In Telegram 3974 from Tehran, October 1, the Embassy anticipated a high level of student protest against the Shah in the United States. (Ibid.)
  2. Under Secretary of State Elliot Richardson tried to allay the anxiety of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Director General, Manouchehr Zelli, over anticipated student demonstrations against the Shah during his visit to the United States.