408. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Tarnoff) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Protocol I of the Treaty of Tlatelolco

The Department of State prefers option 2 of the four options set forth in the decision memorandum attached to your memorandum of April 7 on the above subject.2 State believes that careful attention should be given to the political effects on our relations with Puerto Rico of an immediate signing of the Protocol. The people of Puerto Rico have a strong interest in the nuclear status of their territory. We, therefore, concur in the importance of ascertaining in advance of any announcement that Puerto Rico would not object to our adherence.

The Department of State also believes that our adherence (both signature and ratification) should be made subject to understandings which restate the U.S. position that:

(1) rights of transit and transport, and of innocent passage, through parties’ territories are not affected; and

(2) all explosive nuclear applications are prohibited by the Treaty and Protocol.

In announcing our intent to sign Protocol I, we should underscore our interest in adherence by all states of the region, and in ratification of the Protocols by all eligible countries. We could also add that expeditious ratification by the U.S. would be aided by progress toward full [Page 1038] entry into force of the Treaty. Such a statement should stop short of making U.S. ratification explicitly conditional on other ratifications.

Peter Tarnoff
Executive Secretary
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P77065–0426. Secret.
  2. See attachment to Document 406.