264. Telegram 204979 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Lebanon1 2

[Page 1]

SUBJECT:

  • Iraq—Coup d’Etat Plans

REF:

  • BEIRUT 10069
1.
Department notes contradiction between Saab Jabr’s expression of need for assurances from USG and reports from intelligence sources that he has already assured his fellow conspirators that he has USG backing. Jabr’s assertion in paragraph 3 reftel that he would advise his group abandon effort overthrow regime lacks credibility inasmuch as this group’s coup plans were never dependent on expression of support from USG. It apparent that cohesion among conspirators has broken down, and it also apparent that group’s cooperation with Iranian Government and with Kurds leaves much to be desired. Jabr gives impression of desperately casting about to gain support to put coup d’etat back on track. [Page 2]FYI. Jabr intimated to Department Officer in September 1969 that he expects be Foreign Minister if new government formed. END FYI.
2.
In any event, Jabr has already been informed in Washington that any new moderate government in Baghdad could expect the same consideration that USG would show to any other friendly government. Jabr was also informed, as example, of routine, non-political economic assistance available, such as Commodity Credit Corporation and Export-Import Bank credits. He was given no assurances in this respect but merely reminded of existence such programs and of possible availability upon application after new government formed.
3.
Upon Jabr’s return to Beirut December 12, Embassy Officer McAndrew may reply to his specific questions [Page 3]as follows:
(a)
We would assume that if a change of government were to take place in Baghdad, IPC would disburse quarterly payment check to appropriate, new beneficiary. In the meantime, Department does not propose suggest IPC make payment to anyone other than existing Iraqi Government, since IPC has contractual obligation make payment to Government. FYI. We have already received threat to pipeline directly from Barzani headquarters. Pipeline extremely vulnerable and there little preventive action that can be taken should Kurds find it in their interest to stop oil flow. END FYI.
(b)
We cannot consider provision of emergency supplies to coup plotters, nor can we make advance commitment. As Jabr knows, we have had relief programs [Page 4]in Iraq in past, but until new government formed and until new circumstances assessed, it premature consider such program.
(c)
Department unable provide Jabr with names of individuals with whom his group might cooperate in staging coup d’etat or with whom they might deal after successful coup. We assume Jabr’s group has capability of obtaining and evaluating such information.
(d)
In summary, USG unable to become involved in plotting against current Iraqi regime nor in making advance commitments. Should new government prove to be moderate and friendly, however, we would be prepared to consider prompt resumption of diplomatic relations and would certainly be disposed to cooperate within the limits of existing legislation and our overall policy. [Page 5]In this connection, you may wish to review types of limited economic assistance which might be made available (see para 2 above).

END

Rogers
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 IRAQ. Secret. Repeated to Tehran. Drafted by Baas. Approved by Sisco.
  2. The Department insisted that the US government was unable to become involved in plots against the current Iraq regime, but would be prepared to consider resumption of relations with a new, moderate government.