240. Telegram 7389 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1 2


  • Enhance Plus


  • A. State 219119 B. State 220718; C. Tehran 7287
During audience with Shah December 8, I handed HIM paper summarizing position contained state reftels. Text by septel.
After reading paper, Shah was affirmative in his initial response, but naturally said he wished take out proposals under advisement. He was especially appreciative our efforts to give Iran accelerated delivery of F–5Es.
He offered one substantive comment on proposal to lease eight F–4Ds. Shah made quite clear he did not want D models. I explained that we felt D model was better suited for Iran’s capability to utilize new aircraft at this time and that early introduction of additional E models might disturb careful planning and training for F–4E program beginning in May 1973. Referring to previous discussions of earlier lease of F–4Es, I recalled how transfer of those aircraft had been difficult decision for USAF, reducing number of E models available for its active inventory.
However, Shah was persistent and firm in not preferrring D models, and, as authorized, I said E models could be made available if he desired. Shah commented addition of eight E models to those now on lease at Mehrabad would give Iran another full squadron of F–4Es. If this is Shah’s thinking, it may be that he will later ask us to extend lease on F–4Es presently in country in order maintain complete squadron until 32 F–5Es arrive.
As to contingent lease of F–4s, I told him aircraft could be either D or E models, depending consultations at time Iran made request.
In concluding discussion Shah expressed appreciation for especially forthcoming measures we had taken in this exercise to meet Iran’s needs. He is aware of what acceleration of F–5s and transfer of F–4s mean to USAF. I wish to commend those who have had to grapple with difficult implications this exercise and take hard decisions which formed our position. At this stage, I believe, you have made very positive contribution to our relations with important ally and friend.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 19–8 US-IRAN. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis. This information was included in the material submitted to Kissinger on December 12 for the President’s Wednesday Briefing. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1282, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations, Iran Military 1/1/72–12/31/72)
  2. With some suggested revisions, the Shah approved of the U.S. compensation package for his F–5As.