311. Memorandum From Charles Stebbins of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) (U)

The Mini-SCC2 agreed on the following gameplan at this morning’s meeting:

Reg Bartholomew will try to meet one-on-one with Mendelevich in Washington next week to fulfill the Vienna Communiqué obligation to meet promptly on CAT.3 (C)

—He will remind Mendelevich that the US has been exercising unilateral arms transfer restraint for two years, but will hint that the lack of similar restraint by other suppliers will have to be factored into our future transfer decisions—for example, in deciding how or whether to fill the transfer “gap” resulting from the loss of the Iranian market.4(S)

—He will reiterate the previous US position that multilateral restraint can only result from bilateral progress, that progress means forward movement on the regions issue, and that we are prepared only to discuss the Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin American regions. (S)

—Reg will listen to Mendelevich’s position on regions while trying to get him to agree that the only practical way to proceed on this key issue is to tackle relatively non-turbulent regions where neither side has vital interests at stake. Reg will reject Soviet regions that do not meet this criterion. (S)

—Whatever the outcome of the meeting, Reg will suggest that the two stay in contact through diplomatic channels, and—anticipating no real progress on regions next week—that they meet again possibly in Europe in the Fall. (C)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 120, SCM 075, Mini-SCC, CAT—Conventional Arms Transfers, 7/12/79. Secret. Sent for information. A stamped notation at the top of the memorandum reads “ZB HAS SEEN.” Brzezinski also initialed the memorandum.
  2. No other record of this meeting has been found.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 309.
  4. In the wake of the January Revolution in Iran, the United States suspended arms sales to Iran. See Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. X, Iran: Revolution, January 1977–November 1979.