317. Telegram 5798 From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1 2

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  • USSR Ratifies Treaty With Iraq and Supports IPC Nationalization


  • Moscow 5409
Soviet press gave relatively heavy coverage to ratification of treaty with Iraq June 13 and visit by Iraqi delegation led by Foreign Minister Abdel Baki, against background of continuing propaganda support for recent Iraqi nationalization of IPC. Iraqi diplomats here have been reticent on outcome of Baki’s meetings with Soviets, but Arabs in touch with Iraqi Embassy have impression that Iraqis are somewhat disappointed British Embassy has report that talks with Soviets, had sobered Iraqis, who now realize more fully not only [Page 2] complexity of problems caused by nationalization but also limits on help they can expect from Moscow. Libyan Embassy Counselor tells us, however, that Soviets have agreed to help but by taking repayment in oil for some Soviet military equipment supplied to Baghdad.
According press reports of June 9 joint session of Soviet Foreign Affairs Committees to discuss treaty ratification, First Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov claimed that Soviet/Iraqi consultations in Moscow on IPC nationalization had been conducted “successfully” and said “Soviet side had expressed support for measures taken by Iraqi Government. He avoided giving any details. At same session candidate Politburo member Ponomarev asserted that treaty not directed against third countries, (a point also emphasized by Podgorny on June 13 during ratification proceedings) and accords with Soviet/Egyptian treaty signed last year. Ponomarev stressed Iraqi’s right to nationalize and Soviet readiness to continue supporting Iraqi development of OLS oil resources, themes that have been replayed in press articles and commentaries.
Meanwhile, Soviet concern over Iraqi domestic political divisions, particularly Mosow’s annoyance that the Baath Party, Iraqi CP and Kurds have not made more progress in formation of Iraqi national front, was reelected in June 7 article by Izvestiya political observer Kudryavtsev. Claiming to have interviewed leaders of all three political forces, Kudryavtsev delicately advised Baath party that it cannot achieve desired reforms unless it cooperates with Iraqi CP and Kurds. He directed major criticism, however, at “politicians” who permit “minor questions” to block Iraqi national front. In ideological lecture which appears largely directed at Iraqi CP, Kudryavtsev admonished “politicians” to accept fact that “Baath Party is in power” and urged cooperation with Iraq’s ruling party, recalling Lenin’s advice to Communists “to merge, to a certain extent, with broadest masses… primarily with the proletarian, (begin underline) but also with the non-proletarian.” (end underline).
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 IRAQ. Confidential. Repeated to Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Jidda, London, Paris, Tel Aviv, USUN, Tehran, Kuwait, and Manama.
  2. The Embassy reported that the Soviet-Iraqi treaty had been ratified, and that Moscow had expressed strong support for the IPC nationalization.