4. Memorandum From the Country Director for Iran (Eliot) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco)1 2
- Your Meeting with Iranian Ambassador Ansary, Thursday, March 6, 1969 at 12:15 p.m.: BRIEFING MEMORANDUM
The Ambassador is calling at his request. He has indicated that he has two things on his mind: oil and any late developments on the Arab-Israeli situation as a result of the President’s trip to Europe. I have told him, on the second subject, that I was sure you would tell him what you could.
Regarding oil, I had a good talk with him yesterday evening, the record of which is attached. He appears to be as eager as we are to have this year’s problem settled. He feels that the Consortium’s justification of its inability to meet Iran’s demands is weak, especially concerning its failure to give Iran increases which at least match the average increase for the area and concerning its member companies’ activity in the Sheikhdoms. He has instructions to make a formal demarche to the Department.
I suggest you make the following points in response:
- We have no control over the policies of the American companies, and it would be inappropriate for us to make their policies. We have, however, passed on to them the substance of Prime Minister Hoveyda’s statements to Ambassador Meyer. The companies have made it clear to us that they will not be able to meet Iran’s demands for $1 billion in revenues for the, next Iranian year, and they have told us nothing, that would lead us to believe that they can improve in any significant way, on their offer of $900 million. In short, Iran’s demands pose serious problems for the companies.
- We hope that no rash action will betaken as a result of the discussion between the Consortium delegation and the GOI in Tehran next week.
- We hope that discssions will continue in the spirit, of the mutually profitable relationship that has existed for many years between the Consortium and the GOI.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 IRAN-US. Secret. Drafted by Eliot; cleared by James E. Akins (E/ORF/FSE). In Telegram 35431, March 7, the Department advised the Embassy that Sisco had followed Eliot’s suggestions in his meeting with Ansary. (Ibid., PET 6 IRAN)↩
- Eliot recommended that Sisco inform Iranian Ambassador Ansary in their upcoming meeting that the United States could not intervene with the oil companies over the dispute with Iran.↩