272. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Items from the Restricted Session of the SCC Meeting, Tuesday, April 29, 1980 (C)

1. The Oman letter2 will be redrafted to make it less apologetic. Reg Bartholomew will deliver the letter but not as a Presidential emissary. As a sweetener, we will respond to their request for a “gift” of six M–60 tanks by providing them these tanks as a “loan.” Bartholomew will explain that we have no grant military assistance. Defense will work out the details of the loan. (TS)

2. [5 lines not declassified]

3. Rescue Plan. DOD will proceed with further rescue planning, including:

a. Short-fuse option in which the President decides to go on a very short-time basis in response, for example, to intelligence indications as to where the hostages are located; (TS)

b. Long-fuse option in which we build up our resources and capabilities; and (TS)

c. Emergency option; e.g., if we learn the hostages are being killed. (TS)

Dr. Brzezinski also urged that we look at the question of a large-scale option such as using the 82d Airborne. In this connection, General Jones said the key is what staging bases would be available. (TS)

4. Information for Congress. We have held the line against saying anything about the rescue operation past the point at which it was aborted. All the Congressional Committees are pressing for information on the rest of the operation so that they can make a judgment as to its overall feasibility and wisdom. There is, however, a grave danger of compromising important methods and techniques for the future. CIA [Page 742] and Defense are each preparing papers indicating what information must be protected and should not be revealed to Congress and what can be revealed. (S)

5. The meeting on Thursday will be a three-tier arrangement: the broader group to address the problem of Iranian assets legislation; secondly, the smaller group to consider our next political steps; and, thirdly, the smallest group to address the [less than 1 line not declassified] Congressional issues. (TS)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office File, Box 87, For President or Brzezinski Only File, Iran Rescue Mission 11/79–7/80. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Drafted by Aaron. Carter initialed “C” in the upper right corner of the memorandum.
  2. Carter’s letter to Sultan Qaboos is in telegram 114517 to Muscat, May 1. Carter explained that the rescue mission, if successful, would have reduced dramatically the tensions between the United States and Iran and “would have allowed Iranians and other peoples in the region to focus more clearly on the serious threat in the region created by the projection of Soviet power and influence.” He also reiterated the assurances of his April 25 message. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P880025–0915) For the April 25 message, see Document 269.