85. Memorandum From the Special Assistant for Counter Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency (Kalaris) to Director of Central Intelligence Turner 1


  • Iran—Balance Sheets

I don’t think there is anything new in what I have to say in the balance sheets. The stark presentation, however, leads to the conclusion that our long-term national interests call for decisive military action.

a. Gains/Losses in pursuing present direction for the following three months:

Gains for the U.S.:

—It will permit economic measures we are taking to have their impact on Iran.

—It will probably ensure that hostages are not executed.

Losses for the U.S.:

—It will not secure the release of all the hostages.

—It will compound the chaos that prevails in Iran and will give determined and organized groups, such as the Tudeh, an excellent opportunity to gain influence to the long-range detriment of the Western world.

—It will give opportunity to Khomeini to fractionize Western world public opinion.

—It will give Khomeini opportunity to gain support in Moslem world.

—It will affect adversely our image and influence in the third world and in particular the Gulf states.

—It could lead to the disintegration of Iran with dire consequences for the region.

—It can adversely affect our relationships with key Western allied nations and Japan.

b. Gains/Losses in pursuing a military solution:

Gains for the U.S.:

—It might save the lives of some of the hostages.

—It can restore a sense of stability in an area which is highly volatile.

—It will seriously undercut OPEC.

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—It will bring a degree of order back to international relations.

—It will enable Iranians to sober up and decide on their future in a rational manner, thus preserving the integrity of Iran.

Losses for the U.S.:

—It will accelerate temporarily anti-U.S. actions in other Moslem countries.

—It might bring about Soviet intervention and a splitting up of Iran.

—It will offer the Soviets and other leftist elements a propaganda leverage against the U.S. for a certain period of time.

George T. Kalaris 2
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 81B00112R: Subject Files, Box 12, Folder 60: George Kalaris/EA/DCI/Memo Chrono. Secret.
  2. Kalaris signed “George” above this typed signature.