Oman and the Yemens

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193. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia

Summary: The Department responded to the Embassy’s analysis of Saudi Arabian, Yemeni, and U.S. policies toward the Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. It then discussed future policy options for isolating the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 630, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia Volume III, September 1 1971–April 1973. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Dickman and Wrampelmeier; cleared in PM/MAS, L/PM, T, DOD/ISA, OSD/DSAA, AID/NESA, EUR/SOV, and USAF, and by Ransom, Noyes, and Atherton; approved by Sisco. Repeated Priority to Amman, Kuwait City, Sana’a, Tehran, USCINCEUR, and the Department of Defense.


194. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Kuwait

Summary: The Department protested Oman’s recent claim to a 12-mile territorial limit.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1970–73, POL 23 Oman. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Acting Legal Adviser Charles Brower; cleared in IO/UNP, DOD, S/FW–COA, NEA/ARP, and the Departments of Commerce and Interior; approved in L by Counselor on International Law John Moore.


195. Memorandum from Director of Central Intelligence Schlesinger to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

[Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80M01066A, Box 14, Folder S–34. Secret; [handling restriction not declassified]. 3 pages not declassified.]


196. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

[Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 138, Country Files, Middle East, Kurdish Problem Volume I, June 1972–October 1973. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action. 4 pages not declassified.]


197. Information Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco) to the Deputy Secretary of State (Rush)

Summary: Sisco provided a situation report on the southern Arabian Peninsula as background for Rush’s meeting with Clements.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1970–73, POL 30, South Yemen. Secret. Drafted by Dickman. Davies concurred.


198. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense Richardson and Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon

Summary: Richardson and Rogers informed Nixon of an urgent YAR request for military assistance to resist a potential PDRY invasion, placed the request within the context of regional security, and recommended a further limited course of action in response to the Yemeni request.

Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD Files: FRC 330–78–0002, Saudi Arabia 092 (15 November 1973). Secret. Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Eagleburger forwarded this memorandum to the Secretary of Defense for signature on April 25, and in the covering memorandum indicated that he, Sisco, Rush, and Clements had discussed these contingency plans for future action in a potential YARPDRY conflict at a meeting on April 5. (Ibid.) For further developments, see Documents 200 and 201.


199. Memorandum to the 40 Committee

[Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Nixon Administration Files, Subject Files, 40 Committee Meetings (approved). Secret; Eyes Only. 10 pages not declassified.]


200. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Summary: Saunders informed Kissinger of a message from Ambassador Helms in Tehran, which emphasized the necessity of military aid for the Yemen Arab Republic. Saunders also recommended that, although the Saudis had been tardy in shipping weapons to Sana’a, they take the lead, ahead of the United States, on this issue.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 641, Country Files, Middle East, Yemen Volume I, 1972–December 1973. Secret. Sent for action. At the top of the memorandum a note written in an unknown hand reads: “Action completed. Message was sent.” Attached but not published are Tabs A-C. Tab A is the draft telegram to Helms. Tab B, telegram 1090 from Sana’a, June 18, details the conversation between North Yemeni President Iryani and Ambassador Crawford. Tab C is telegram 2573 from Jidda, June 21, reporting the conversation between Minister of Defense Prince Sultan and Ambassador Thacher.


201. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Yemen Arab Republic

Summary: The Department announced that the United States was prepared to provide arms to the YAR, under certain conditions.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 641,Country Files, Middle East, Yemen, Volume I, 1972—December 1973. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Stephen W. Buck (NEA/ARP); cleared by Wrampelmeier, Noyes, Ransom, and in DOD/OSG/COMP, DOD/JCS, PM, NEA, EUR/NE, DOD/DSAA, and DOD/OSG/GC; approved by Atherton. Also sent Immediate to Amman, Abu Dhabi, and Jidda. Repeated to Kuwait City, Tehran, London, USCINCEUR, and Dhahran. Ambassador Crawford met with DOD officials to discuss the status of arms transfers to Yemen on March 8, 1974. DOD notes for the meeting emphasize Yemeni dissatisfaction with the slow pace of Saudi shipments of U.S. weapons to Sana’a. (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, 330–77–0054, Box 23, Yemen 000.1 1974) Telegrams 1262 from Sana’a, 3632 from Amman, 3626 from Amman, 2901 from Jidda, and 3618 from Amman, all July 11, are in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number], P750007–1540, P750007–1545, P750007–1903, and P750007–1547, respectively. Telegrams 1249 from Sana’a, July 10, and 1278 from Sana’a, July 12, are ibid., [no film number].


202. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the 40 Committee (Ratliff) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

[Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Nixon Administration Files, Subject Files, 40 Committee Meetings (approved). Secret; Eyes Only; Outside System. Sent for action. 4 pages not declassified.]


203. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

[Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Nixon Administration Files, Subject Files, 40 Committee Meetings (approved). Secret; Exclusively Eyes Only. 2 pages not declassified.]


204. Telegram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State

Summary: The Embassy reported success in obtaining official Saudi support for embattled YAR President ’Abd al-Rahman al-Iryani, who had contemplated resignation.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 630, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Volume IV, May–December 1973. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated to Sana’a, Beirut, Kuwait City, and the U.S. Mission to Geneva. President Iryani threatened to resign, alleging that Riyadh had allowed Saudi Ambassador Sudairi to oppose him. Other events also concerned U.S. Embassy officials, who approached the Saudis on the issue, in particular Princes Sultan and Fahd, reported in telegrams 2198 and 3527 from Jidda, May 29 and August 18, respectively. (Ibid.) The Department approved Thacher’s approach in telegram 164692 to Jidda, August 22. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number]) On Iryani’s resignation in 1974, see Document 207.


205. Special National Intelligence Estimate Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency

Summary: The CIA assessed PDRY efforts to subvert the Yemen Arab Republic and Oman.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, NIC Files, Job 79R01012A, Box 466, Folder 4. Secret. The following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of the estimate: the Central Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense, the NSA, and the Treasury. All USIB members concurred, except for the representative of the FBI, who abstained on the grounds that the subject was outside his jurisdiction.


206. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the 40 Committee (Ratliff) to Secretary of State Kissinger

[Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Nixon Administration Files, Subject Files, Oman, February 23–March 5 1974. Secret; Eyes Only; Outside the System. Sent for action. 1 page not declassified.]


207. Telegram From the Embassy in the Yemen Arab Republic to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia

Summary: The Embassy in the Yemen Arab Republic passed to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia a report on Ambassador Crawford’s meeting with Yemeni leaders at the beginning of the 1974 political crisis in Sana’a.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D740153–0615. Secret; Niact Immediate. Repeated Niact Immediate to the Department of State. Telegram 1147 from Sana’a, June 11, is ibid., D740149–1158. Sisco recommended to Kissinger that he discuss Yemen with the Saudis before passing on any Yemeni message, discussed in telegram 126786 to Cairo, Sana’a, and Jidda, June 14. (Ibid., D740154–0059) In telegram 3377 from Jidda, June 14, Akins summarized his meeting that day with Saqqaf, who said that Saudi Arabia was “relaxed” about the coup and was “keeping hands off.” (Ibid., D740154–1000) Kissinger briefly mentioned the coup in conversation with Saqqaf at Jidda on June 15, but did not bring up the Yemeni request. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 4, Chronological File)


208. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the 40 Committee (Ratliff) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

[Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Ford Administration Files, Subject Files, Saudi Arabia, October 24, 1974–January 21, 1975. Secret; Sensitive; Outside the System. Sent for action. 1 page not declassified.]


209. Briefing Memorandum From the Ambassador to the Yemen Arab Republic (Crawford) to Secretary of State Kissinger

[Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80M01048A, Box 4, Folder S–34. Top Secret; [handling restriction not declassified]. 4 pages not declassified.]


210. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State

Summary: The U.S. Mission reported on a meeting among Under Secretary of State Sisco and PDRY representatives in New York, regarding Aden’s desire to renew relations with the United States.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Agency File, Box 19, USUN–DOS to SOS, NODIS, 10/1–10/31/1974. Secret; Nodis.


211. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (Akins) to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)

[Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Backchannel Messages, 1974–77, Box 4, Mideast/Africa, 10/74—Incoming. Secret; Eyes Only. 2 pages not declassified.]


212. Memorandum From Secretary of State Kissinger to President Ford

Summary: Kissinger provided background information and talking points for President Ford’s meeting with Omani Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa’id al ‘Bu Sa’id.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, Box 26, Oman (2). Secret. Attached but not published are biographic sketches of Qaboos and Sayyid Tarik, and a short paper summarizing the rebellion in Dhofar. For the memorandum of conversation, see Document 214. Helms recommended the visit in backchannel message 38 from Tehran, December 3, 1974. (Ibid., Oman (1))


213. Memorandum of Conversation

Summary: Sultan Qaboos and President Ford discussed U.S.-Omani relations, the Dhofar situation, arms supply, and other topics.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 8, Ford Administration, January 9, 1975. Confidential. The meeting took place in the Oval Office at the White House. Drafted by Ambassador Wolle. Another record of the conversation, the White House’s version, is attached but is not published.


214. Memorandum of Conversation

Summary: Sultan Qaboos met with Secretary Kissinger to discuss the state of U.S.-Omani relations, the Arab-Israeli dispute, and other topics of mutual interest.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P820123–1116. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Dickman. Copies were sent to S, S/S, and Scowcroft. The meeting took place in Kissinger’s office. Kissinger and Qaboos met again on January 11 to confirm points regarding the TOW missile and Masirah Island discussed here and in the Sultan’s meeting with Schlesinger and Clements. (Ibid., P820123–1127) See Document 215.


215. Memorandum of Conversation

Summary: Sultan Qaboos of Oman met with Secretary of Defense Schlesinger and Deputy Secretary of Defense Clements to discuss Omani defense needs and U.S. strategy in the region.

Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 330–78–0038, Box 22, Oman 000.1, 1975. Secret; Sensitive. Drafted on January 20 by Cmdr. Gary Sick (OSD/ISA/NESA); approved by Noyes. The meeting took place in Secretary Schlesinger’s office at the Department of Defense.


216. Memorandum From Robert B. Oakley and Clinton E. Granger of the National Security Council Staff to Secretary of State Kissinger

Summary: The NSC Staff examined for Kissinger the results of Sultan Qaboos’ visit to the United States and recommended an updated study of U.S.-Omani relations.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Institutional Files, Box 13, NSSM 217. Secret; Sensitive. Tab A, attached but not published, is a January 24 draft memorandum, entitled “Security Policy Toward Oman.” There is no indication that Kissinger approved an option, but NSSM 217, February 6, 1975, (see Document 217) directed a study of U.S. security policy toward Oman. NSDMs 92 and 186 are in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970, Documents 91 and 120.


217. National Security Study Memorandum 217

Summary: President Ford directed a study of U.S. strategic policy toward Oman.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Institutional Files, Box 13, NSSM 217. Secret; Sensitive. NSDMs 92 and 186 are in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970, Documents 91 and 120.


218. Memorandum From Robert B. Oakley and Clinton E. Granger of the National Security Council Staff to Secretary of State Kissinger

Summary: Oakley and Granger provided Kissinger a summary of the response to NSSM 217 prepared by the Interdepartmental Working Group for the Near East and South Asia. They also concurred with the group’s recommended policy option for the limited use of Masirah Island by U.S. aircraft.

Source: Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box 34, NSSM 217 (2). Secret. Sent for action. Janka concurred. Tabs A and C were not found. Tab A appears neither to have been signed by Kissinger nor sent to Ford, as there is no corresponding NSDM on Oman Security. Tab B, attached but not published, is the study for NSSM 217. Atherton forwarded the IG’s study to Kissinger under a March 5 covering memorandum. (Ibid. National Security Adviser, NSC Institutional Files, Box 13, NSSM 217). A September 9 note to Scowcroft from Oakley explained the delay in action and asked that the NSSM be cancelled. Oakley stated: “There is general agreement—thanks to the work on the NSSM—that we should strictly minimize our defense-related involvement and let others take the lead.” At the bottom of the note, Scowcroft wrote: “O.k.—unless any of the issues come up again.” (Ibid.)


219. Intelligence Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency

Summary: The CIA discussed the current state of PDRY clandestine activity in the Gulf and northern Africa.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DI/OCI Files, Job 85T00353R, Box 1, Folder 19. Secret.


220. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassies in the Yemen Arab Republic and Egypt

Summary: The Department provided guidance for Ambassador Scotes regarding YAR Foreign Minister Abdallah al-Asnaj’s recent revelation that President Hamdi would soon accept Soviet military aid due to U.S. and Saudi tardiness in providing similar aid.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D750233–0210. Secret; Niact Immediate. Drafted by Sober; cleared in NEA; approved by Sisco. Repeated Immediate to Jidda, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Beirut, Doha, Kuwait City, London, Moscow, Muscat, Manama, Tehran, USCINCEUR, and COMIDEASTFOR. Ambassador Scotes’ original report on his conversation with al-Asnaj is in telegram 1755 from Sana’a, July 3. (Ibid., D750231–0642) In a telegram to DIA, January 17, 1976, Defense Attaché Alfred Prados reported on his meeting with Deputy Commander in Chief of the Yemeni Armed Forces Lt. Col. Ahmed al-Gashmi, in which al-Gashmi provided details of incoming Soviet aid. (National Archives, RG 84, Sana’a Embassy Files: Lot 79F206, DEF 19, Military Assistance/YAR Arms)


221. Memorandum for the 40 Committee

[Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Ford Administration Files, Subject Files, [text not declassified]. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. 2 pages not declassified.]


222. Telegram From the Embassy in the Yemen Arab Republic to the Department of State

Summary: The Embassy attempted to clarify for the Department what Soviet equipment had been delivered in Hodeida for Yemen after initial reports indicated that a substantial Soviet arms shipment, including MiG–21 aircraft, had been delivered.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Sana’a Embassy Files: Lot 79F206, DEF 19, Military Assistance/YAR Arms. Secret. No time of transmission indicated. Repeated to Jidda, Amman, Cairo, Muscat, Tehran, and Kuwait City. Drafted by DCM Ransom; cleared by DATT Prados. Telegram 293 from Sana’a, January 31, reported an extensive shipment of Soviet arms, including jet fighters and T–55 tanks, debarked from ships at Hodeida. (Ibid.) Telegram 411 from Sana’a, February 8, confirmed that no new Soviet equipment had been shipped to Yemen; Saudi sources contacted by Prados indicated that the heavy equipment seen on the ships was destined for the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. (Ibid.)