77. Telegram 115967 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran1 2

Pass Armish/MAAG

Joint State/Defense Message

GOI contacts with manufacturers concerning acquisition of C–130’s and F–4’s in expectation that special deal with Occidental Oil may provide funds enabling Iran to make additional purchases gives us concern that the GOI clearly understand USG policy decision on sale of these additional major items has not yet been made. Realize that negative decisions would cause grave problems in our relations with Iran. Nevertheless we believe we must examine again the question of whether our military sales to Iran are in our overall interests, whether they may affect area security and stability, and whether there is a military requirement for this equipment. In this connection DOD has requested a special national intelligence estimate of the threat to Iran. In addition JSOP FY 1973–80 currently being prepared and will be used in evaluating Iranian military requirements to [Page 2]meet threat.
We continue to be hopeful that instead of piecemeal approach purchases such as those mentioned above will be included an overall plan which emerges from the Toufanian- Twitchell study now underway. We understand study is being prepared to provide Shah consolidated list of equipment each armed service wishes acquire to enable HIM to make rational decision on allocation of resources among competing services. Would hope that once study completed we can enter into discussion with GOI of items, time and, to degree possible, financing of acquisitions to be made in US along lines discussed by Under Secretary Richardson with Shah and Hoveyda last April. In meantime MAAG should ensure continued GOI understanding that MAAG participation in Toufanian-Twitchell study in no way implies USG endorsement of total equipment acquisition wants of GOI armed services.
Request MAAG provide status report on program and content Toufanian-Twitchell study ASAP.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 12–5 IRAN. Secret. Drafted by Miklos; cleared by DOD and Richard C. Matheron (PM/MA&S); and approved by Davies. Repeated for information to CINCSTRIKE/CINCMEAFSA.
  2. The Department advised the Embassy that the U.S. Government would examine whether military sales to Iran were in the U.S. national interest, whether they would affect area security, and whether they were a military imperative.