40. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1

364. SecState pass USCINCEUR. Subj: Shah Discusses Horn of Africa in Aswan and Riyadh.

1. Upon his return from visits to Aswan and Riyadh, Shah told me he had discussed Horn of Africa in both places. He said he found both Egyptians and Saudis gravely concerned by Soviet activity there, and considered Saudis “petrified” by prospect of Soviet presence across Red Sea.

2. Sadat told him that Numeiry had undertaken to send Sudanese brigade to Berbera. Troops would be picked up by Egyptian ships and entire expedition would be funded by Saudis. Sadat also said that Egypt would send crews to Somalia to man SAM II missile sites, which Somalis were unable to handle.

3. Shah got impression that Sadat is very preoccupied with idea that Soviets are seeking to retaliate against him by seizing control of territory of vital interest to Egypt. He mused on thought that Sadat might have been impelled to his dramatic overtures in the Middle East and his generous offers to Israel because he wishes to tidy up his eastern front in order to concentrate on more pernicious dangers elsewhere.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office, Box 45, Horn of Africa/Cubans in Ethiopia 1–3/78. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Sent for information Priority to Cairo, Jidda, Khartoum, Mogadiscio, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, and Moscow. Carter initialed in the upper right corner.