127. Memorandum From Gary Sick of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • CIA Paper

On December 12, 1979, you sent CIA a series of questions about Soviet actions in Iran and the Middle East.2 I find little of substance that is not included in other reporting and analysis.3 You may wish to skim the first 15 pages. The estimative answers to questions beginning on p. 16 are worth reading. They clearly conclude that the Soviets are unlikely to intervene directly unless there is a complete disintegration of Iran or the emergence of an anti-Soviet central regime.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East File, Box 43, Subject File, Iran Reference Material 12/79. Secret. A stamped notation on in the upper right margin of the memorandum reads: “ZB has seen.”
  2. In a December 12 memorandum to Turner, Brzezinski wrote: “It is time for us to start thinking about how we will be responding to Soviet attempts to capitalize on our difficulties in Iran.” He asked Turner for his “best answers” to a series of questions. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Middle East File, Box 31, Iran 12/8/79–12/18/79)
  3. At the bottom of the memorandum, an unknown hand wrote: “For example, the attached report ‘Soviet Efforts to Benefit From the US-Iran Crisis,’ (see tics on second page of key judgments).” The December 1979 paper is attached but not printed.