40. Telegram 197323 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Tehran1 2

SUBJECT:

  • Shah Visit Follow-Up

REF:

  • State 180288

STATE DEFENSE MESSAGE

1.
During Shah’s Washington visit October 21–23, 1969, he asked for USG response on several military subjects. We are not yet in position to give definitive reply, but status report along following lines given verbally to Iranian Ambassador Afshar by DOD Nov. 21.
2.
Additional Pilot Training: The USAF Jet Undergraduate Pilot Training Program (UPT) is operating at maximum capacity and we note GOI has been unable so far this year to fill 10 beginning training spaces because candidates lack adequate English proficiency. In view fact present program appears adequate for Iran for time being and unlikelihood of additional spaces being available for Iran at present, DOD wishes defer decision re additional UPT spaces for Iran. Hope to be able to provide additional spaces in future, however, if demands from Vietnam moderated. FYI Before making decision we would hope to have [Page 2]clear picture of future IIAF force plan and some assurance adequate number of fully qualified trainees will be forthcoming. End FYI.
3.
USAF Technicians: Secretary of Defense has authorized continuation of 54-man mission for another year and has directed ISA to study feasibility of increasing number to 75. No further decision will be made until DOD Deputy Assistant Secretary Pranger returns to Washington.
4.
Comparison of P–530, F–5–21, and F–4EF: Since none of these aircraft have been produced and range from a conception to increasing or decreasing capabilities of existing aircraft, no firm cost or proven operational data is available and sound comparisons cannot be made until next spring at the earliest. However, DOD will provide Embassy with commercial prospectus information currently available on P–530, F–5–21, and F–4EF in a few days.
5.
GOI will be interested to learn that Congress has approved (but not yet appropriated) $28 million for development of a Free World Fighter to be relatively inexpensive and at least equal to MIG–21. When technical and operational requirements defined, an aircraft will be selected on competitive basis. F–5–21, F–4EF and LOCKHEED CL–1195–1 [Page 3]have been proposed; P–530 and others may be considered.
6.
Afshar also called on Assistant Secretary Trezise Nov. 24 and asked about the Shah’s oil import proposal. We informed him oil import program still under review and may not be completed until mid-December. We noted, however, task force unlikely to recommend special country quotas. FYI Task force report is unlikely to include any special provision for Iran. End FYI.

End

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 IRAN. Secret. Repeated to CINCSTRIKE/CINCMEAFSA. Drafted by McClelland; cleared by Miklos, by E/FSE, OASD/ISA, PM/MASP, JCS, and USAF; and approved by Rockwell.
  2. The Department advised the Embassy on the status of the Shah’s requests for pilot training, USAF technicians, aircraft and his oil import program.