211. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to President Nixon1 2


Secretary Connally talked with the Shah for about three hours. They apparently covered much of the same ground that you did. Some of the most interesting points which the Shah made were:

  • —He would not be able to sustain his recent agreement with the oil companies if they caved in to the demands of the Arab producers. He felt that he had taken a reasonable and responsible approach to the oil issue and should not be penalized for doing so.
  • —He expressed at length his concerns about the entire Persian Gulf area. In particular, he indicated his concern over the lack of social and economic progress in Saudi Arabia, Soviet influence in Iraq and the Kurds.
  • —He asked again about his request to you for F–15s, “smart” bombs, and training slots. [A separate memo deals with final guidance for following up on your commitments.]


Ask the Secretary what he thinks might be the best general approach to take on the oil negotiations with the Arabs. What else, if anything, can be done to encourage both sides to take a responsible approach to these problems? What, if any, should the U.S. official role be in these negotiations?
You might elicit the Secretary’s thoughts or the role he thinks we should be playing in the Persian Gulf area.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1282, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Iran 6/1/72–9/30/72. Secret. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the President dined with Connally on July 13 at the San Clemente Compound residence. (Ibid., White House Central Files, Staff Members and Office Files, President’s Daily Diary, June 1, 1972–July 31, 1972.) No other record of the meeting was found.
  2. Saunders briefed the President for talks with former Treasury Secretary John B. Connally by summarizing Connally’s recent discussions with the Shah.