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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Kennedy Administration > Volume XVIII
Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, Volume XVIII, Near Esst, 1962-1963
Released by the Office of the Historian
Documents 18-44

18. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Special Counsel (Feldman) to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, August 10, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, Vol. I, 8/10/62-8/16/62. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. A handwritten notation on the source text reads: "this memo & 2 tabs sent 8/11/62 for Pres. wkend reading."

 

In your papers for the week end are two memoranda from the State Department dealing with Near East problems. One memorandum discusses Dr. Joseph Johnson's proposals on the Palestine refugee problem. Tab 1. The other reviews United States policy toward Israel. Tab 2./2/ We have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 14. The essential questions to be resolved are as follows:

/2/Documents 15 and 14, respectively.

1. Whether we should support the Johnson proposal which has only a slim possibility of acceptance by either the Arabs or the Israelis. The proposal is consistent with your discussions with Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and our frequently announced position to the Arab States. It calls for giving the refugees the choice between repatriation to Israel, resettlement in some other country, or compensation for loss of property. The Israelis must object on the grounds that, one, there are no numerical limitations; two, they have already effected an exchange of population by taking in 500,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries; and, three, that they have already taken in 50,000 Arab refugees. The Arabs will object because they take the stubborn position that all refugees should return to Israel. This plan would cost the United States about $30 million a year--if we are lucky.

2. The plan calls for letters to Nasser and Ben-Gurion. Since the most violent opposition and the most difficult problem is presented by Ben-Gurion both Mr. Johnson and the State Department now recommend that I carry that letter and discuss it personally with Ben-Gurion. We might consider having a personal emissary also discuss this with Nasser.

3. The only chance the plan has for success is to accompany it with notice to Ben-Gurion that we will guarantee the security of Israel and provide Hawk missiles. It is suggested that we give Nasser an opportunity to agree to an arms limitation before making the final decision to provide Israel with Hawks. I agree that this is desirable in terms of its possible long-run impact but it is highly unlikely that Nasser would agree to any such limitation. We should not, in the meantime, defer for too long our offer to Ben-Gurion, for I should like to be in the position of notifying him that we will provide Hawks at the time we request his acquiescence in the Johnson plan.

4. A problem is presented as to how soon we can make Hawks available. The Department of Defense has scheduled them through mid-1966. Obviously, an offer to provide Hawks in 1966 would be worse than no offer at all. I recommend that we make them available to Israel in one way or another no later than mid-1964. This means that the training of crews and technicians will have to begin in 1963.

5. Still unresolved is the issue of sovereignty over Lake Tiberias. The memorandum from the State Department includes a proposal which will not make the Israelis happy. I recommend that we simply continue negotiating over the form of words to be used until we can get some acceptance of the language.

Myer Feldman/3/

/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

 

19. Notes of Conference/1/

Washington, August 14, 1962, 4:45-5:35 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86B/8-1562. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Robert C. Strong. The time of the meeting is from the President's Appointment Book. (Kennedy Library) The source text is attached to an August 15 memorandum from Dutton to Talbot on the policy of direct negotiations between Israel and the Arabs. An unsigned typed note, dated August 14, presumably prepared in advance of this meeting, reads: "We'll have to march to get through them all. 1. Should we back Johnson Plan (Joe Johnson will speak)? 2. Should we make an effort to get tacit UAR/Israel arms limitations before selling Hawks to Israel? Timing? 3. Should we sell Hawks to Israel if above fails? If so, what timing? 4. Should we challenge Israel's claim to sovereignty over Lake Tiberias? Privately or publicly? Timing? 5. Should we send Presidential emissaries to Israel and UAR." (Ibid., National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 8/10/62-8/16/62)

SUBJECT
White House Conference on Johnson Plan, August 14, 1962

Secretary:/2/ The problem has been mounting, we should not keep falling back on old line, but should seek new approach. Accordingly, we have asked Dr. Johnson to look into the matter and he will now give the highlights of his recommendations.

/2/Secretary of State Rusk.

JJ:/3/ The proposals are a bare minimum or a margin of what is possible. They are in low key and can be cut off at any time. The emphasis is on finding out what the refugee wants. They require the least commitment of governments to the fewest things; these may let things proceed if they don't have to speak publicly.

/3/Joseph Johnson.

1) If the refugees know what is involved, few will choose to return.

2) The countries as sovereign powers have the final decision on entry.

3) Land experts now know value and location of property, and in two months can match names with property.

The propositions are the only likely way to carry out Paragraph 11 or to do anything on the Palestine question. I am personally convinced that movement on Palestine must begin with the refugees. No total solution is possible. The chances of success are slim, but there is some chance. If we don't try this, nothing will be done. We must use the next few months or we'll be in trouble if we try to do something later. The US, France and Turkey are on the hot spot; this is a means to exercise their responsibilities. There is a real advantage in doing something before the UNGA meets, for the GA could prove to be a donnybrook. I would like to see someone in place since this may quiet the debate. If the decision is taken to go ahead, we will need an intensive diplomatic effort by the US with other states.

President: Why isn't the status quo more preferable for both the Israelis and the Arabs? We pay the bill, and there is no compromise of principle.

JJ: We may not continue to pay the bill for Congress is restive. Israel has a sore spot on the borders, and it can't move toward peace. An attempt to erode the problem, to dissolve it, is advantageous to Israel even though it does not want to take the Arabs back.

Secretary: Would the Arabs acquiesce to this first small movement?

JJ: There is some chance they might. The Arabs have missed many trains. Now the fate of UNRWA is in question.

President: It would suit the Arabs to have all the refugees go back to Israel. They would use propaganda to push them.

JJ: There will be propaganda.

President: We must be sure someone explains why they would not like to go back.

JJ: It will be explained they can't go back to previous homes and compensation will be offered.

President: What would the cost of compensation be to all.

JJ: Just over $1 billion.

President: We would carry 60 to 70%?

Feldman: 38% get others. (?)/4/

/4/As on the source text.

President: Do we carry Israel too if Israel agrees to compensation?

JJ: Yes.

Feldman: Israel also took Jewish refugees. Israel would probably have to be against because it implies repatriation of all refugees, but, privately, might go along. Publicly, the Arabs could go along with repatriation and oppose resettlement, but they have something to gain.

President: When would the plan be launched?

JJ: Shortly. By Friday in the PCC to lay out Plan; then 7 to 10 days for the PCC to endorse, then 3 or 4 weeks later we would set up administrator in Jordan.

President: Wouldn't we say that we would run a trial for a few rather than push the whole 1,100,000? To limit it might reassure Israel. Otherwise, it will be hard to get Israel acquiescence fearing that all would come. Trial might show only a few would come.

JJ: The countries would reject a trial run. The Arabs would not accept at all.

President: Israel cannot accept free choice of return; we only assume that few will go back.

JJ: This is "free preference", not "free choice". We would in fact be doing a trial run without so calling it. Administrative difficulties will mean it will move slowly at first.

Secretary: We would get a good reading with the first thousand, either it will work or it will not. If it failed, it would lead to a new start with a clean slate.

President: What are the problems?

Feldman: From the international point of view, if Israelis refuse, don't try it; find out how far they will go. Domestically, if there is a public statement, it would be reflected by the local community. Part of the risk is removed if we can get private Israeli assurances. We would like to delay until after November, but JJ says we can't.

JJ: I have talked to Jewish leaders and found them receptive to trying to go ahead. I could renew contacts.

Feldman: If we could tie in the Hawk, it might work.

President: It might be stillborne if we have word out of a big repatriation. People would stir up because of elections. We should find out what Israel will do. I don't want to get into a costly fight without getting something. I'm still living with residue of December vote. Don't want to live with residue of another fight for years and years.

Secretary: How do we get a trial run? PCC has the responsibility to see how the refugees feel about repatriation and resettlement; can perhaps find a way to put this to the parties.

Feldman: Part of the plan is to limit to what BG has agreed to--100,000.

JJ: I want nothing to do with numbers. Must be open about finding out preferences.

President: There are hazards for us in the proposals but there are also hazards for the Israelis and the Arabs. The difficulties are numerous but this is the only hope. We should start with the Israelis and thus avoid a bloody battle. Does JJ have trouble?

JJ: The Arabs say JJ and US are in Israel's pocket. If word gets around that this is cleared with the Israelis, this will kill the Plan.

President: JJ then should have nothing to do with this.

Secretary: What is the problem of getting at the proposals more slowly?

JJ: UNRWA's future is unclear. It terminates 6/30/63. If we postpone discussion we must postpone continuation of UNRWA. If we postpone until 1963 we run into the tough problem of Jordan waters over which the Arabs will be all steamed up. If postponed until after November I can say there is not time to think enough, but the Arabs are impatient--not uncontrollable.

Secretary: GA used to postponing item until after US elections.

President: If postponed until after November, we could find out from the Israelis. Does JJ object to this?

JJ: We should speak to Nasser at the same time (President agrees). Reason proposals not submitted to parties earlier because it would become a negotiation and be torn to pieces. If we do approach Israel, don't negotiate details. Plan should stand or fall as is.

President: What threat do we have on Israelis and Arabs to get them to accept? Withdraw our support?

JJ: The following are threats to the Arabs: 1) Congress is restive. 2) Paragraph 11 would be dead.

MF:/5/ 3) Would be difficult handle Arabs.

/5/Myer Feldman.

President: The Arabs are more interested in repatriation. They might buy it.

JJ: This is the carrot. Resettlement with money in hand would lead to economic development much like Dag's earlier proposal./6/

/6/Reference is presumably to a May 1959 report by U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold.5

MF: Apart from emotions, there are factors which favor acceptance.

Secretary: The collapse of UNRWA would be more likely to come from other contributors.

President: Envisions $700 million to Middle East over next 10 years.

Secretary: Much could be local Israeli currency.

Barbour:/7/ Up to 200 million worth of Israeli pounds.

/7/Walworth Barbour.

MF: Also Egyptian pounds.

President: If JJ has no objection to Israelis and Nasser we can proceed.

JJ: Okeh. Our backing is necessary and it is up to us to decide. Should approach to PCC come first?

Secretary: How much do they really know?

JJ: I gave general concepts and French and Turks know I am seeing President.

Mac Bundy: French not very reliable.

President: JJ should delay seeing the PCC until we talk to Israelis and Nasser directly. We should meet on what our approach to Nasser and Israelis should be.

Secretary: We must prepare papers on talking points, must tie into other matters.

MF: We should be prepared to tie in security guarantee with Johnson Plan, but tell him (Ben-Gurion) ahead of time he gets the Hawks.

President: We must talk to Nasser first on the Hawks. All of this must be carried out with utmost secrecy.

President: We must get precise answers later on how Feldman works. Problems--Hawks, reps to Nasser. MF to work on Israeli side in White House.

 

20. Notes of Meeting/1/

Washington, August 14, 1962, 5:30 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86B/8-1562. Secret. There is no drafting information on the source text, but presumably it was prepared by Robert C. Strong. It is attached to an August 15 memorandum from Dutton to Talbot (see the source note, Document 19). This meeting was a continuation of the one recorded in Document 19, which the President left at 5:35 p.m.

Secretary: Not too inclined to simultaneous approach to Nasser.

MF: We are more likely to get something if he feels.

Secretary: If we approached Nasser and succeeded and Ben-Gurion refused, this not so good.

Mac Bundy: Ben-Gurion will not sign up right away on financial aspects.

Secretary: Not necessary bring up financial considerations now.

PT:/2/ Hasn't shown details to PCC yet.

/2/Phillips Talbot.

MF: Difficult to sell with just a security guarantee.

Mac Bundy: Must be intensive discussion

1) Refugees cannot go on forever

2) Security guarantee

3) New military relationship implied by Hawk.

The very thing they suspicious about here should be turned around on them.

Secretary: Point to threat around borders, don't know what Arab will do until actually faced with problem. If large numbers opt, plan will not work, but if process works to get settlement with some repatriation, may be means of ending problem.

Mac Bundy: Move to create Palestinian organizations in past year. Might use to scare them a little. It is one additional item to use.

MF: The most effective way to sell them is Hawks. He wants peace. Most important single move is the refugee problem. If he wants assurances on financial and security we can provide these assurances. Ben-Gurion may say Nasser's answer should be gotten first.

Mac Bundy: Just asking him to sit still while we try.

Secretary: It is most important to come back without a "no".

Mac Bundy: Ben-Gurion should not let well meaning friends stir things up.

MF: Harman does quiet things down here if MF requests.

Secretary: Improper for Israeli diplomat to call on MF.

MF: Gazit says it is his proper function to clarify things. Told Gazit he would get bad reactions.

PT: We have talking points and can get on with this immediately. We must tell UK re Hawk.

Secretary: Not wait 2 months for disarmament. When talk about Hawk can say we looking for arms limitation possibility.

PT: If we could delay definite word on Hawks would be helpful.

Secretary: Not a chance in a thousand that Nasser would buy disarmament.

Mac Bundy: Can't point out delays.

MF: He'll want some sort of _____/3/

/3/As on the source text. Presumably the notetaker could not hear the speaker.

Mac Bundy: Tell him we'll try to find gap in queue.

PT: We must get Israelis to keep absolute secrecy.

Mac Bundy: Tell Ben-Gurion we must offer _____

Secretary: Are we prepared to give him details? How should we work out cover for purpose of MF's trip?

 

21. Letter From President Kennedy to Prime Minister Ben Gurion/1/

Washington, August 15, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 8/10/62-8/16/62. No classification marking. A handwritten note reads: "orig given to State Dept. officer at Israel mtg. cc to S/S 8/16."

Dear Mr. Prime Minister: I take considerable pleasure in our recent exchange of letters. I am confident you share my view that not only have the mutual interests of Israel and the United States been advanced but that in these matters we have achieved a high degree of understanding and confidence.

I have noted of late with deep satisfaction that Israel's frontiers have been calmer and that the disturbing rash of incidents of the spring and early summer has been largely dissipated. It is a hopeful sign that both Syria and Jordan have given the United States categorical assurances that they wish to avoid trouble on their borders with Israel and to cooperate fully with the United Nations instruments. If means can be found to perpetuate these Arab resolves, and in light of your assurances to me, a significant step will have been taken toward the permanent peace we all seek.

As you know, Mr. Prime Minister, the Department of State and members of my staff have been reviewing intensively certain matters that are of prime importance to Israel's security and well-being as well as to the improvement in the atmosphere in the Near East and in prospects for peace. I refer to Israel's requests for a security guarantee and for the Hawk missile, and to the mission of Dr. Joseph E. Johnson as Special Representative of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine. I have now examined these questions. It is my conclusion that they are of such significance, and the time factor is of such urgency, as to justify dispatching a special emissary in the next day or two to discuss them with you in the necessarily detailed manner impossible in the form of letters.

I have therefore requested Mr. Myer Feldman, my Special Assistant, to prepare to fly to Israel, without publicity, in order to acquaint you privately and in confidence with our viewpoints, to learn your thinking, and to seek to find, with you, the bases for an understanding. Mr. Feldman has my complete confidence and is fully knowledgeable of my thinking. I shall be most appreciative therefore if you will explore these matters with him. I am convinced that our mutual interests will be well served by achievement of an understanding. I hope to hear from you shortly of your willingness to receive Mr. Feldman.

I know of your concern, and that of the people of Israel, that the security and economic stability of Israel not be endangered in the process of resolving the Arab refugee problem. I wish to assure you that the United States Government will use its influence only in support of those proposals which do not involve serious risks for Israel.

Sincerely,

John F. Kennedy/2/

/2/Printed from a copy that indicates Kennedy signed the original.

 

22. Letter From President Kennedy to President Nasser/1/

Washington, August 16, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 294, Pres. Kennedy-Johnson/UAR Correspondence: 1961-1965, Vol. I. No classification marking.

Dear Mr. President: I have wanted to reply to your most welcome letter of June 21 and I look forward to doing so in the next few weeks. You may also rest assured that I too attach real significance to Dr. Kaissouni's visit to Washington last April./2/

/2/UAR Finance Minister Kaissouni was in Washington April 19-26, 1962. For documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Documents 254-257.

As the relations between our two countries have been placed on a fruitful basis of cooperation and understanding, I think we have come to agree that problems between us can always be discussed fully and frankly, quietly and in confidence. I agree with you that "causes of differences will always remain between us through the circumstances of each of us or under pressure of other forces", but "mutual understanding will keep those differences within limits not to be exceeded."

It is in this spirit and in this understanding, Mr. President, that I have asked Ambassador Badeau to discuss with you certain matters of importance to us both. I am confident that in your reflections you will find these matters, difficult as they are, to be within the limits not to be exceeded. I can assure you that there is involved no change in United States policy toward the United Arab Republic or the Near East in general; nor is there intended any alteration in the basis of our cordial and expanding relationship.

I understand that Dr. Kaissouni plans to visit here again in September. He will be most welcome. The Secretary of State will be delighted to receive him and will be happy to try to facilitate his work here. I have observed with admiration his skilled piloting under your statesmanlike guidance, of the recent conference in Cairo to a sound and forward-looking conclusion.

I look forward to being in touch with you soon. At that time I shall want to review certain events and movements on the world scene and also to deal with the development of the relationships between our two countries in the same frank and cordial way as has characterized our recent exchanges. Meanwhile, I wish you continued success in your great efforts to promote the political, economic and social well-being of your people.

Sincerely,

John F. Kennedy

 

 

23. Message From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, August 19, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 8/18/62-8/20/62. Top Secret. Bundy sent the memorandum to the President's Military Aide, General Clifton, for the President, who was away from Washington.

Secretary Rusk and I saw Lord Hood last night/2/ and the Secretary told him the following:

/2/According to a memorandum of the conversation: "On August 17 the British Embassy in Washington was informed the United States Government was planning to notify the Israeli Government over the weekend of its willingness to consider the sale of Hawks to Israel. The British responded on Saturday, August 18, requesting a delay to permit consultations and the Prime Minister registered a protest with the President in extremely strong language." (Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5611/8-2762) The text of the British protest is in White House telegram 181958Z to Secretary Rusk. (Ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, Prime Minister Macmillan's Correspondence with President Kennedy, 1962, Vol. III) The Secretary called in Lord Hood at 7 p.m. at his residence to discuss the protest. British concern stemmed from the fact that Israel and the United Kingdom had been discussing since March 1960 Israeli purchase of an alternate missile, the Bloodhound, produced in the United Kingdom. A chronology of U.S.-U.K. exchanges on the subject, from February 9, 1960 to August 17, 1962, is attached to a memorandum from Grant to Rusk, August 20. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 8/18/62-8/20/62)

1. The United States Government, in the Secretary's judgment, had an obligation to inform the U.K. if its mind should change on Hawks. This was done Friday. The Secretary does not consider that there was an obligation to consult before making a decision.

2. The Secretary was sorry that the information conveyed on Friday/3/ did not include explanations of the urgency of the Feldman mission and its relation to the Johnson plan. He explained the whole Feldman package and Lord Hood indicated that it should make a very considerable difference in London's reaction.

/3/August 17.

3. The Secretary said that Feldman was in no sense attempting to close a Hawk deal and that there would be every opportunity for the British to attempt to sell Bloodhounds. He said that from a political point of view, a British sale would be preferable. (In saying this, he was well aware of technical estimates of DOD that the Hawk is a much better missile and he also knew that the Israelis would much prefer to deal with us.) The Secretary pointed out, however, that any missiles sold to the Israelis would in the end be paid for by public or private U.S. dollars.

4. The Secretary and I both expressed our belief that you would be astonished by the tone of the Prime Minister's message, which the Secretary showed to Lord Hood, who had not seen it. We indicated that you probably would not answer until you return from the West Coast, and hinted strongly that it would be helpful if a message in a different tone could be received before that time. The Secretary remarked that when a married couple begin to talk about divorce, it is already too late, and he pointed out that it would not have been good for our relations with the U.K. if we had resorted to parallel language in such cases as the Congo and nuclear testing.

A message has gone to Feldman to make sure that he sticks to his instructions, which already provide that he should not go beyond indicating that the path to a sale of Hawks is now open in principle, subject to the possibility of arms control arrangements in the area. A copy of this message follows./4/

/4/Reference is to telegram 174 to Tel Aviv, August 18, which instructed Feldman: "Extremely important that you not foreclose British from making a competitive offer of the Bloodhound which is their system comparable to Hawk. Have already had strong adverse reaction from UK on our August 17 bareboned notification to them of our intention notify Israelis this weekend our willingness consider sale Hawk. Their strongly adverse reaction in large part based on their belief US foreclosing them competitively. Accordingly in your conversations with Israelis you should emphasize we recognize their need for a ground-to-air missile system in the absence of arms limitation, but we are not making judgment for them as to whether they should seek US, British or other systems. Also no commitment or firm indication should be given on possibility early Hawk delivery or training." (Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5612/8-1862)

I do not have all the evidence on what went wrong here, but I think the Secretary would agree that communication with the British was at too low a level and too limited in scope this week. Still it is clear that there was no justification for the violence of the Prime Minister's explosion, and it is also clear that the way is now open for perfectly fair competition. The rub, of course, is that the British will not win. Nothing is harder for a merchant's feelings than to have to market a second-best product against alert competition.

 

24. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State/1/

Tel Aviv, August 19, 1962, 8 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5612/8-1962. Secret; Niact. Passed to the White House.

180. Eyes only for President, Rusk, and Grant. From Feldman.

1. Have concluded 3-1/2 hour meeting with Prime Minister, Golda Meir, and Kollek. I began by informing them that the President had determined that the Hawk missile should be made available to Israel but cautioned them that this was a long lead time [garble--and] would have to be worked out in later conversations through other channels. The Prime Minister asked about terms of payment and I informed him that this would also have to be determined in follow-up discussions.

I also referred to the fact that Great Britain might make a competitive offer of the Bloodhound and emphasized that we recognized Israel's need for a ground-to-air missile system in the absence of arms limitations but were not deciding for them whether they should seek United States or British systems.

I also informed Ben-Gurion that we would inform Nasser of the decision in the hope that we could prevent escalation of weapons in the Near East. Ben-Gurion replied that he would gladly agree to no missiles at all if Nasser would agree to arms limitations and controls. In fact, he said he would like to exclude weapons of every kind from the area.

2. I then proceeded to discuss the Johnson Plan, reminding the Prime Minister that he agreed that the solution to the refugee problem would be worth a try. The initial reaction of the Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister was negative. Ben-Gurion insisted no area would dare to accept anything except repatriation. After extended discussions of the elements in the plan militating against repatriation and particularly of the authority of Israel to determine when repatriation was in such large numbers as to threaten her security the Prime Minister said he would acquiesce in the plan if

(1) Nasser agreed to re-settle those refugees who the administrator directed should be re-settled in the UAR, and

(2) Nasser agreed not to direct propaganda to the refugees urging repatriation but permitted them to express their preference without danger of being considered a traitor.

In deciding what numbers of refugees would threaten Israel's security the only time a number was mentioned was when I said it had been estimated that under the Johnson Plan not more than one refugee in ten would seek repatriation.

3. We discussed briefly the proposed resolution by African nations calling for direct negotiations between Israel and the Arab states. The Prime Minister agreed to consult with the US before taking any further steps but plainly indicated he felt such a resolution should be offered to the UN.

Have not advised Cairo whether to pursue alternative 1 or alternative 2./2/ If it is felt the first alternative can be amended to include a request to Nasser not to engage in a propaganda campaign I would recommend pursuing that course.

/2/A memorandum of August 16 entitled "Suggested Approach and Talking Points" advises Feldman that "if your telegram from Tel Aviv to Washington and Cairo includes 'Recommend proceeding with first alternative', he [Badeau] should discuss both the Hawk and the Johnson Plan with Nasser; if your telegram states 'Recommend proceeding with second alternative' he is to discuss only the Hawk. If you decide to send no telegram, or to include no recommendation, Badeau is to await further instruction." (Ibid, NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 304) For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on the Arab-Israeli dispute.

I will see Mrs. Meir tomorrow afternoon. Have you any further suggestions?

Barnes

 

25. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/

Washington, August 20, 1962, 12:35 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5612/8-1962. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Crawford; cleared by Grant, McGeorge Bundy, and Furnas; and approved by Rusk.

176. Eyes only for Feldman from Rusk. Embtel 180./2/ We reasonably satisfied with course your initial talk with Ben-Gurion, Meir and Kollek particularly Prime Minister's helpful comment re arms limitation (Para 3 Reftel). Re Johnson Plan, you appear close to success. We concerned however at Ben-Gurion's evident attempt place conditions on his acquiescence and put us in position of seeking prior commitments from Nasser. This would be inconsistent with the Johnson Plan and unacceptable to us. We hope your further conversations with Mrs. Meir will have succeeded in removing these tentative aspects of Israel's acquiescence, enabling you at the conclusion of your August 20 talks to advise Cairo to pursue alternative one.

/2/Document 24.

Re two points on which Ben-Gurion appeared hesitant you may wish add the following to arguments you have undoubtedly used with Israelis:

1) Seeking Nasser's prior agreement resettle those refugees who the Administrator directs should be resettled in the UAR would be contrary to basic approach of Johnson Plan which is to begin a procedure in which it is hoped the parties will cooperate in good faith but without prior specific commitment. Ben-Gurion will realize there is no prior agreement being sought from Israel that it will repatriate those who opt for repatriation. It is asked only to examine such repatriation applications in good faith. The proviso that the Administrator shall from time to time report on the degree of cooperation received from states in implementing preferences would focus international attention on UAR lack of cooperation and resettlement if this occurred.

2) Since your departure, Johnson has refined his letter of transmittal which you will recall was in draft when you left. Revised text now contains following paragraph which we believe will meet the Prime Minister's concern, since it would enable operations under the Plan to be brought to halt if UAR were found to be conducting propaganda designed pressure refugees into choosing repatriation.

"One of the problems that gave me the most concern was that of how to formulate proposals that would enable the refugees to indicate their preferences freely, uninfluenced by external pressures. Unless they can do this, and have reason to believe that they can do it, the plan will not work. This is what underlies the emphasis on the confidential nature of the questionnaire and subsequent consultation with the refugees. Neither this nor any other safeguard will be adequate taken by itself. If the refugees are really to make the uninfluenced decision envisaged by paragraph 11, the governments concerned must exercise great restraint and counsel others to show similar restraint."

If despite the existence of this safeguarding paragraph you still feel we should talk more specifically to this point in forthcoming review with Nasser we would be willing so instruct Cairo. This would not, of course, be with object obtaining commitment from Nasser for relay to Israelis, contrary to essential approach of plan, but would be designed emphasize our conviction implementation of plan would require all parties exercise restraints. Avoidance incitive propaganda is one of most important of these.

I hardly need stress that it would be most unfortunate if Israelis were to end up with the Hawks and strengthened security assurances while being responsible for derailing the Johnson Plan before it could even be given a good try.

Rusk

 

26. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic/1/

Washington, August 21, 1962, 2:22 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 110.4-NE/8-2062. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Crawford; cleared by Grant, Komer, and Rogers; and approved by Grant.

184. For Strong only from Grant. Embtel 306./2/ Feldman had 3-1/2 hour meeting with Ben-Gurion, Meir and Kollek afternoon August 19 at conclusion of which, save for two points raised by Israelis, he was just about prepared advise you pursue alternative one./3/

/2/Dated August 20. (Ibid.)

/3/See footnote 1, Document 24.

The two points raised by Israelis were 1) Nasser should agree resettle those refugees who the Administrator directed should be resettled in the UAR and 2) Nasser should agree not to direct propaganda to the refugees urging repatriation but should permit them express preference without danger of being considered a traitor.

Re (1) and (2) we informed Feldman Ben-Gurion's attempt to place conditions on his acquiescence and to put us in position of seeking prior commitments would be inconsistent with Johnson Plan and unacceptable to us.

Re (2) however we also informed Feldman that Johnson had refined his letter of transmittal by inclusion of paragraph 27 (in text you have with you) addressed specifically to this point. We felt this should suffice meet Prime Minister's concern since it would enable operations under the plan be halted if UAR were found to be conducting propaganda pressing refugees into choosing repatriation. (Although we hope this will have taken care of Ben-Gurion's concern we think that, without distorting balance Ambassador Badeau's eventual presentation to Nasser, this presentation should emphasize our conviction implementation of plan would require all parties exercise restraints. Avoidance incitive propaganda is one of most important of these.)

Feldman was scheduled meet Mrs. Meir August 20 and again, for concluding session, morning August 21. We have as yet no further report from him of these meetings but he is still under instructions trigger Cairo approach at earliest possible opportunity and we are hopeful you will be hearing from him and/or Department soonest.

Since talks in Israel have taken slightly longer than anticipated, you should extend your deadline for departure from Cairo proportionately.

At August 19 meeting Feldman also informed Ben-Gurion of our willingness provide Hawk missile. (In response urgent representations by UK he referred to fact Great Britain might make a competitive offer of the Bloodhound and emphasized that we recognized Israel's need of a ground-to-air missile system in absence of arms limitation but were not deciding for Israel whether it should seek US or British system.) Feldman told Ben-Gurion we would inform Nasser of our decision hoping that escalation of weapons in Near East could be prevented. Ben-Gurion replied that he would gladly agree to no missiles at all if Nasser could agree to arms limitation and controls. In fact, he said, he would like to exclude weapons of every kind from the area.

In light of Ben-Gurion's remarks preceding paragraph your remarks should clearly indicate that our readiness provide the Hawk to Israel is a statement in principle in the absence of arms limitation. It is not an undertaking for delivery at specific time of specific number of missiles. It might well be that Israel will in the long run prefer purchase some other missile system such as the British Bloodhound.

Rusk

 

27. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State/1/

Tel Aviv, August 21, 1962, 10 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8-2162. Secret; Niact. Received at 9:11 p.m. and relayed to the White House at 10:40 p.m.

194. Eyes only the President, Secretary of State and Grant. From Feldman.

1. Had six-hour meeting with Foreign Minister today. Meir was skeptical about acceptance of plan by Arabs and insistent upon some evidence of their good faith. She claimed that otherwise the plan would simply be an opportunity for the Arabs to claim, when the plan failed, that the Israelis did not wish to implement the preferences of the refugees.

Meir suggested that a motion be made in the General Assembly to implement the plan and if there was no objection it could go forward. I pointed out that this was contrary to the basic assumptions by Johnson that the only way to begin the process of elimination of the refugee problem was by doing it without seeking the commitment of anyone. She then asked for a report on any conversations we might have with the Arabs before acquiescing herself. I pointed out that even if the Arabs objected they might acquiesce when the plan began operating. Finally she requested more time for discussion with other political parties. I pointed out that I was not asking for a commitment but only for the willingness of the Prime Minister to let the plan begin. She said the Prime Minister left this morning and she could not give me a definitive reply. However, she gave me a letter from the Prime Minister to the President which is a six page letter largely devoted to a discussion of the impracticability of the plan./2/

/2/Dated August 20. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 9/7/62-9/21/62)

Mrs. Meir urged very strongly that presentation of the plan to the PCC be deferred for at least a month. By that time the Prime Minister will be back and she will be in the US where she can again discuss its implications with us and with Dr. Johnson. In the meantime she suggested that we take up the plan with the Arab Governments and see for ourselves the reaction it received. It would be embarrassing to the US, she said, to offer a proposal, establish an administrator in Government House, and find that the Arab States would maintain their propaganda so that Israel could not accept refugees and the whole project would have to be abandoned.

In the middle of this discussion she told me she had just received concrete evidence that Egyptians have guided missiles which they had purchased from West German sources at a cost of 250,000,000 pounds sterling. This, she said, indicated their real intentions. Under the circumstances I recommend that we defer a final decision on the Johnson plan until I return Thursday night.

2. I did make progress on the direct negotiations resolution. Although Israel will continue to seek support for the resolution, she will not present it at this session of the United Nations if the US will oppose all resolutions presented at this session dealing with this subject matter except the one calling for simple extension of UNRWA. She expressed the hope that the mandate for UNRWA be extended for only one year and that a committee of experts be appointed to survey the progress and report back. I am advising Cairo to proceed with second alternative. However, if you feel my discussion with Foreign Minister is sufficient basis for proceeding with first alternative I have no objection. I do strongly advise that we not commit ourselves to support of the Johnson plan until we get Arab reaction and that Nasser be informed that it is a part of the plan's intention that no attempt be made to influence refugee votes.

Barnes

 

28. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic/1/

Washington, August 22, 1962, 12:36 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8-2262. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Crawford; cleared by Grant, Furnas, McGeorge Bundy, and Komer; and approved by Rusk.

190. Eyes only for Ambassador and Strong from the Secretary. Our study of Feldman's useful exploratory talks in Israel leads us conclude that although Israel's leaders are understandably hesitant to state carte blanche acquiescence in implementation Johnson Plan, equally they have apparently not found in Plan sufficient hazards to Israel to justify its immediate rejection. Objections put up by Ben-Gurion and Mrs. Meir seem to us essentially diversionary. In short, we have come out of this phase just about where we might have expected.

Having explored preliminary reactions on one side without meeting rejection, we think similar exploration should be carried out on other. By these we not necessarily committed finally to proceed with Johnson Plan at this time. Rather, we will have facts on which this Government can determine whether worthwhile commit US to Plan and attempt proceed its implementation.

Accordingly, you instructed proceed with Alternative one as modified by Deptel 184,/2/ particularly in regard to stress you should lay on essentiality of UAR's avoiding provocative propaganda if Plan to work.

/2/Document 26.

In stating situation on Hawks for Israel, you should make clear that this not matter of our desire make offer or gift, but of the inability of US, along with other countries, turn down repeated and insistent requests for purchase, in the light of continuing UAR acquisitions of new types of equipment and in the absence of any limitation on the arms race in the area. You should emphasize purely defensive character this system and the long lead time in any undertaking which leaves room for effective work toward arms limitation in the area.

Rusk

 

29. Editorial Note

As part of a trip that took him also to Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson stopped in Beirut on August 23, 1962, and visited Tehran August 24-26. Documentation relating to his trip is in the Johnson Library, Vice Presidential Security File, Burris' Memos to Vice President; ibid., Vice President's Travels, Vice President Johnson's Trip to Middle East; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 65 D 533, CF 2147-2149; and ibid., Central File 033.1100-JO. An account of Johnson's one-half hour call on Lebanese Prime Minister Karame is in telegram 206 from Beirut, August 23 (ibid., 033.1100-JO/8-2362); see the Supplement, the compilation on Lebanon. While in Tehran, Vice President Johnson held substantive conversations with the Shah of Iran and Prime Minister Alam, which were reported respectively in telegrams 284 and 285 from Tehran, August 26. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100-JO/8-2662) Both are in the Supplement, the compilation on Iran.

Johnson reported to President Kennedy on the results of his trip on September 28. In his report, Johnson offered the following advice concerning Iran:

"In Iran, we must accept the Shah, with his shortcomings, as a valuable asset. We must cooperate with him and influence him as best we can, since we have no acceptable alternative. We should continue to prod him in the direction of social reform to prevent his losing the affections of the masses of his people. He has accepted the termination of defense support, and we must remain firm against any demands for its resumption. We should carefully determine the real military potential, present and future, of the Shah's military forces and allocate MAP to them in a context of global U.S. security interests, without regard to alliance membership."

In regard to Lebanon and Cyprus, the report indicated:

"Lebanon and Cyprus are delicately balanced and contrived entities which are a long way from a true national spirit. Nevertheless, it is in the U.S. interest to maintain them as independent states. Accordingly, it is in our interest for them to remain 'non-aligned' and thus protected from the internal repercussions of vigorous foreign policies. We would do well to assist in whatever quiet ways we can the Lebanese to cross the hurdle of their next Presidential elections." (Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100-JO/9-2862)

 

30. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, August 24, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 664A.86/8-2462. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Crawford.

SUBJECT
Mr. Feldman's Recent Visit to Israel

PARTICIPANTS

Mr. McGeorge Bundy--The White House
Mr. Myer Feldman--The White House
Ambassador Barbour
NEA--Mr. James Grant
NE--Mr. William Crawford

When asked to summarize orally the results of his visit to Israel, Mr. Feldman commented as follows:

1. He had obtained a firm, secret commitment from Mrs. Meir that neither Israel nor its friends will introduce the direct negotiations resolution at this General Assembly, unless the United States should so request, and provided the United States agrees to "oppose" resolutions proffered by the Arabs. Mrs. Meir had stated that Israel will continue to make representations to other nations as if it were seeking to introduce such a resolution. Israel will probably make speeches in favor of such a course in the General Assembly, but it will not actually push these efforts to the point of seeking introduction of a resolution. It can answer for its friends. Mrs. Meir emphasized that this must be an absolutely secret agreement between Israel and the United States.

2. Regarding the Hawk, Mrs. Meir said that Israel has no interest in the Bloodhound. It has not received a firm offer for this but the system is inferior. Even if it were not and cost less than the Hawk, Israel, for other reasons, would purchase the United States system.

3. On the refugees, Mrs. Meir had made it clear that Israel distrusts Dr. Johnson not for bias but because he is considered naive. [1 line of source text not declassified]

Israel's commitment in regard to the refugees is as follows:

Israel will not reveal the true purpose of Mr. Feldman's visit.

Israel will "not say anything" to obstruct implementation of the Plan unless:

a) Nasser begins propagandizing in favor of repatriation, and b) when the plan begins to operate Nasser refuses to settle those refugees who opt for resettlement. Mr. Feldman said that, regarding provisos a) and b), Israel at times inserted here the words "Arab states" instead of "Nasser". It is evident that Nasser is their main concern and that we can hold them to this more narrow construction of the meaning of their two provisos.

 

31. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Arab Republic to the Department of State/1/

Cairo, August 24, 1962, 9 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8-2462. Secret; Priority. Relayed to the White House.

331. Eyes only for President, Secretary of State and Grant. Reference: Deptels 188 and 190./2/ Accompanied by Strong met Nasser today at vacation cottage in Alexandria for hour and quarter sober but friendly discussion re missile purchase by Israel and Johnson refugee plan. Secured appointment yesterday thru Ali Sabry who gave favorable Presidential response to my request within 45 minutes of transmittal.

/2/Telegram 188 to Cairo, August 22, instructed Badeau to seek an appointment with Nasser on August 23 or later and advised that he would be instructed on August 22 as to which alternative to follow. (Ibid., 684A.86/8-2262) Telegram 190 is Document 28.

Presidential letter/3/ read thoughtfully by Nasser who then asked me to open discussion. My presentation followed closely excellent talking points paper prepared by Department and additional cabled instructions and was prefaced by emphasis on President Kennedy's intent to deal fully, frankly and confidentially with Nasser on major policy issues, especially those which reflected differences of view. I also stressed that nothing in ensuing discussion should be interpreted as indicating shift in present improving USA-UAR relations. Nasser briefly acknowledged this and noted that there are bound to be policies on which two countries differ. Although not effectively stated apparent Nasser appreciated forewarning missiles and consultation on refugee situation. Detailed discussion as follows:

/3/Document 22.

1. Missiles: My presentation built on long-standing character Israeli request, our belief in increased military capability of UAR and Nasser's repeated statements that UAR eschewing aggressive military policy toward Israel thus making increased defensive capacity Israel irrelevant. In response Nasser dwelt chiefly on political repercussions missile sale, seeming unperturbed by military implications. He predicted general and sharp attack on USA by Arab Governments since we are breaching our past policy of not being arms supplier especially to Israel. In particular he noted that Israeli issue now hottest theme of intra-Arab propaganda warfare and is being used particularly by Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia as weapon to attack UAR with accusation that American price for continuing substantial UAR aid program is Nasser's acquiescence in softer Israeli line. Until the present, UAR has not responded to these attacks since they are factually untrue, unbelievable to most intelligent Arabs and therefore cannot hurt the UAR. However missile sale will raise issue with new insistence and content and Nasser careful not to commit himself on how this issue would be handled in future. Later in conversation Nasser returned to this theme stating that American or Western sale to Israel of any kind of missiles even those known to be purely defensive would be countered by Soviet offer of variety missiles to Arab states. Nasser implied that blame for expansion Soviet arms role in Middle East could thus be laid at door of USA.

I then stated President Kennedy's urgent interest in arms control currently focused on Geneva Conference but including regional problems, citing Secretary Rusk's statement on latter. In view of this urged that there is still time before missiles become operational to make attempt to moderate Arab-Israeli arms escalation. Nasser's response gloomy and unenthusiastic citing failure of arms embargo at time Palestine war which had operated against Arabs but allowed Israel to obtain tanks and other weapons from France. He also pointed out that two of three signatories of tripartite anti-aggression agreement had assisted Israel to attack UAR and once again France had supplied arms, aircraft and air crews. In light of this past record he would not trust any arms agreement to be effective against Israel. Nasser then repeated numerous statements made on earlier occasions that UAR had no intention attacking Israel and that it is now policy UAR to build up armed forces only as deterrent against Israeli attack which UAR believes constant possibility in view of declared Israeli expansionist intentions and bitter experience 1956 Israeli aggression.

I strongly urged that continued thought be given to this matter pointing out that UAR itself urging great powers negotiate arms limitation at Geneva and Arab-Israeli problem should be approached in same spirit. Nasser replied that arms agreement at Geneva would be easier than agreement between Arabs and Israel. I concluded by urging again matter be reviewed by UAR and indicated USG and personal readiness to continue discussion at any time.

2. Johnson Plan: After outlining salient features Johnson Plan I pointed out that (A) plan nearer to Arab approach to refugee problem than Israeli since includes opportunity for repatriation and is not dependent on general peace treaty or resolution other Arab-Israeli issues, (B) Plan does not require UNGA action or detailed concurrence interested governments but only tacit agreement to allow PCC get underway, (C) Plan fully safeguards sovereign rights states involved, (D) initiates continuing process that hopefully may erode problem and hostile attitudes toward it, (E) what is asked is not necessarily overt support but acquiescence to allow PCC get Plan underway and undertaking refrain from propaganda aimed at influencing refugee choice.

Nasser's response moderate and slightly encouraging. He stated that in discussion with Johnson he had objected to proposed quota figure of 20,000 for Israeli repatriation and was glad to know that whole quota idea now dropped. His objection quota that it would result in making Arabs continuing minority in Israel with typical minority problems already enhanced by second class treatment Arabs now living in Israel. If refugees told that only 20,000--or any other modest figure--could return Israel they would naturally vote against repatriation. Nasser then stated that final solution refugees could come only when majority allowed to return to own homes thus making Israel into a binational state with Arab group large enough to ensure equality of rights and treatment. He recognized that this would strike at basic Zionist concept and might take "70 years" to accomplish.

My rejoinder that whole quota idea now our purpose being to institute continuing process that would hopefully so commit both Israel and Arabs to accept and deal well with repatriated or resettled refugees that irresistible momentum would be created. Nasser responded with interest to this saying that if refugees felt there could be growing repatriation of groups over long future their attitude to immediate resettlement would be more constructive. He noted that in 1955 Egypt offered to resettle considerable refugee group on east bank Suez Canal but refugees turned down offer fearing they would lose repatriation right.

Nasser promised to give further thought to Johnson Plan and I stated interest and willingness discuss it further and in detail with him or any member UAR Government he indicated.

Comment:

1. While cordial and occasionally turning on well-known charm Nasser more serious and thoughtful than in previous meetings. This not surprising in view of double dose unpalatable medicine administered.

2. Interesting to equate Johnson Plan results here with similar discussion in Israel. While both guarded, inconclusive and reserving decision, Nasser not as negative as I expected and showed some disposition to consider merits of plan.

3. I sensed genuine appreciation our frank, early and confidential approach that is likely to be considerable asset in maintaining current USA-UAR relations.

4. I expect some adverse and public UAR reaction when Hawk agreement becomes public knowledge since Nasser may be driven to defend himself against Arab accusations that he has sold out on Israel.

5. Strong will provide fuller account this serious and detailed discussion.

Badeau

 

32. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, August 27, 1962, 9:18 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/8-2762. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Crawford; cleared by Talbot, Cleveland, and Slater; and approved by Rusk. Also sent to Paris, Ankara, London, Amman, Damascus, Beirut, Cairo, and Tel Aviv.

488. From the Secretary. Arab refugees./2/

/2/On August 27, between 5 and 6:06 p.m., Rusk, Barbour, Talbot, McGeorge Bundy, Strong, and Feldman met with President Kennedy at the White House to discuss the Johnson plan initiative. No account of that conversation has been found. (Kennedy Library, President's Appointment Books) An August 25 memorandum from Davies (NEA/NE) to Grant delineates several questions for discussion at the White House on August 27. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Palestine, Refugees, Vol. II)

I. If feasible, as next step we would like have Johnson submit his Arab refugee Plan to PCC meeting to be convened for that purpose on August 31. We would also like have PCC authorize Johnson at that time present and discuss his Plan with parties, so that its consideration by them and PCC could proceed concurrently.

From USUN's telegrams and tentative reaction to advance copies of Plan given confidentially by Johnson, we aware there may be resistance to Plan itself and to this procedure on part of our French and Turkish PCC colleagues. Accordingly, we wish undertake high level representations with those governments in order persuade them of merits we now see in Plan, and win their support for above procedure. Later we would wish their support with other governments as appropriate.

II. Highest priority is with French since Dauge, their representative on PCC, will be at Quai on consultation August 27 through morning August 29 before returning to New York. He has suggested and we agree that approach to his Government take place in that period. To kick this off at an appropriately high level, Chargé Lyon should seek appointment with Foreign Minister late morning or early afternoon August 28. Lyon has in hand copies of Johnson's Plan and "Explanation" thereof (Talbot-Lyon letter August 8)./3/ The approach to de Murville should be general in nature and along following lines:

/3/On August 8, Talbot forwarded to various concerned posts in the Near East and Europe the attachments to Document 15. Responses from the posts are in Department of State, Central File 325.84. Talbot's August 8 letter has not been found.

GOF has received through its representative on PCC a draft of Plan for settlement Arab refugee problem [Plan?] evolved after more than one year of highly skillful, quiet diplomatic endeavor by the Conciliation Commission Special Representative, Dr. Johnson. Highest levels USG have examined Plan and consider it best that could be devised in the difficult circumstances surrounding this problem. We are convinced the effort should be made, we believe there is some chance of its succeeding and we see no reasonable alternative. However, there would also be advantages even if it were to fail, for the entire problem and host of UNGA resolutions concerning it could then be re-examined in a new light. We feel there is an urgency in this. If a small start on questioning process Dr. Johnson proposes can be made prior to debate on this matter at the General Assembly (which we would hope to defer until late in the session), our respective tasks in dealing with an abrasive, difficult item will be greatly eased in that we could point to a useful process under way and seek support for its continuation rather than being drawn into prolonged futile discussion of likely Arab and Israeli proposals which can have no useful effect. Additionally, there would be merit in having Johnson's proposals under implementation so that we could avoid a debate on their specifics in the GA, which we are convinced would result in their rejection. We hope GOF, which has cooperated most helpfully in PCC context since start of this initiative, will be able approve Plan and give it GOF support. We understand Dr. Johnson would like to submit Plan to PCC at a meeting to be convened for this purpose on August 31. We think it would be helpful if, after that meeting Johnson were to hand Plan to parties and begin discussions of it with them. In this way, Plan's consideration by Israel and its four neighbors and by PCC would proceed concurrently. This has advantages in that PCC would not be put in position of approving Plan to find it was later summarily rejected by the parties. We believe GOF might find it useful review with us at the working level some of the implications of the Plan. To facilitate this review we have asked Ambassador Stevenson to dispatch Robert Blake to Paris tonight. Blake is the member of USUN who is most fully conversant with its implications as we see them. FYI: While we would regret French reluctance approve Plan, our minimum first objective with them now should be to get their acquiescence that Plan be given to parties. End FYI.

After Lyon meeting with de Murville, Blake and Dauge could undertake detailed review of Plan implications with Quai working level.

III. As regards the Turks, Department would suggest approaches in both Ankara and New York. Stevenson scheduled see Kural in New York August 28. In Ankara, Ambassador Hare should at earliest opportunity speak to whatever level GOT officials he regards as likely be most effective in ensuring that Turks, also, go along with procedure described paragraph I above. Representations in Ankara should take same general line as that proposed for use in Paris.

IV. For London: Embassy should take early opportunity bring Foreign Office up to date on details of Johnson Plan. We doing same with Embassy here.

V. We recognize SYG also hesitant involve his position and prestige in Johnson Plan. However, we hope his objection can be overcome and to this end Ambassador Stevenson should have detailed review with him soonest after SYG's return from Europe September 4.

Rusk

 

33. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, August 30, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 683.84A/8-3062. Secret. Drafted by Blackiston on August 29 and cleared by Grant. The source text lists two enclosures: 1) "Study of Capacity of Israel National Water Conduit"; and 2) "Map--The Struggle for Jordan Waters." Neither is attached to the source text, but attachment 1 is appended to a memorandum from Grant to McGhee, August 30. (Ibid., 684A.85322/8-3062)

SUBJECT
Capacity of Israel's National Water Conduit--Informational Memorandum

The following information is submitted as a matter of current interest to you.

The Chiefs of Mission Conference held in Athens June 12-15 recommended the Department obtain an engineering estimate of the capacity of Israel's National Water Conduit which is designed to carry water from Lake Tiberias beginning in late 1963. This estimate has now been made and is enclosed together with an explanatory map. In summary, the study shows that the conduit is capable of carrying between 400 and 550 million cubic meters (MCM's) of water annually. The capacity of the three pumps, which will lift water from Lake Tiberias to the Conduit, is 615 MCM's. However, we assume that not more than two pumps would normally operate during a given period of time, thus leaving one pump in reserve status. If as much as 400 MCM's are withdrawn from Lake Tiberias, this amount would cut deeply into allocations to the Arab states envisaged by Eric Johnston's plan for unified utilization of Jordan Valley waters./2/ That plan, though it failed of acceptance by the Arab states and Israel on political grounds, was considered by both parties to be technically justified. Although not legally binding on the parties, the allocations of water arrived at by the Johnston negotiations have since constituted the guides against which we have supported Israel and Jordan in their plans for use of Jordan Valley waters. Any departures from the Johnston allocations would therefore be a most serious matter. However, we have no evidence that the Israelis intend to utilize the Conduit's total capacity. The Israelis have stated that in 1970, when all phases of the project are completed, diversions from Tiberias for the National Water Conduit will be 320 MCM's.

/2/For documentation on the Eric Johnston Mission to achieve an agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors on distribution of the waters of the Jordan River and its tributaries, see Foreign Relations, 1952-1954, volume IX, Part 1, and ibid., 1955-1957, volume XIV.

P.W. Kriebel/3/

/3/Kriebel signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.

 

34. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, September 5, 1962, 1:25 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/9-562. Confidential; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Crawford on September 1; cleared by Grant, Stokes, Wallner, Sisco, Blake (in substance), Feldman (in substance), and Little; and approved by Rusk. Sent to Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, and Tel Aviv and repeated to London, Paris, Ankara, Baghdad, Khartoum, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, Rabat, Jerusalem, and USUN.

384. Arab refugees. FYI: On August 31 Palestine Conciliation Commission Special Representative Johnson presented to PCC his Plan for solution Arab refugee problem. By prearrangement PCC deferred final approval of Plan but authorized Johnson present it to host governments and Israel without publicity or negotiation on details. He will explain how Plan meets particular concerns of each state in hope that their reactions will not be such as preclude (a) Plan's formal adoption by PCC at further early meeting and (b) subsequent initiation of first steps in Plan implementation in order that these may be well under way by time UNGA debates PalRef item (probably in November).

Addressees (except Jerusalem to which copy pouched) have received drafts of Johnson's Letter of Transmittal, "The Plan", "Explanation", "Notice", "Questionnaires", "Considerations for US" and "Action Sequence". After August 31 meeting, Johnson will give parties only "The Plan". Details of Plan premises and operation as contained in other related documents will be subject of oral discussion by Johnson with parties, and existence of other documents should not be revealed.

In "The Plan" there have been following significant changes. In Section 2 delete "Initially the senior official should be called Acting Administrator. In due course an Administrator would be designated". In Section 5 para 2 first sentence delete "The Acting Administrator would be authorized" and substitute "Appropriate authority would be given". In same para delete sentence beginning "Governments would retain the ultimate . . .". In following sentence same para delete "Administrator" and substitute "administering officials".

In Letter of Transmittal there has been inter alia incorporation of para stating importance of refugees being allowed "indicate preferences freely, uninfluenced by external processes". End FYI.

For Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Cairo: On or about September 7 Ambassadors should seek high level meetings. Approaches should ensure realization that USG attaches greatest importance to this UN endeavor, and that reactions to it will be significant factor in conditioning US position toward future of UN refugee relief effort. This guidance may also be used with other senior government officials. However, extent of official conversations held should be determined in light our strong wish that these approaches not be publicized. Following talking points should be used, stressing USG belief Plan good for countries directly affected:

1. USG full support for an equitable, realistic effort implement Para 11 Resolution 194(III), long pressed by Arab states, clearly established by President Kennedy's May 11, 1961 letters to Arab leaders (Damascus exclude) and by USG's impartial course pursued in 16th UNGA. Latter resulted in expression of overwhelming world approval of mission entrusted to Special Representative Johnson by PCC.

2. One year of highly skillful quiet diplomacy carried out by Johnson has resulted in formulation of proposals for solution this tragic human problem that prevents refugees from taking useful place in society, has corroded lives of an entire generation of young refugees, and drains productive resources of Near East and world communities. These proposals carefully considered by PCC which authorized Johnson present them to host governments and Israel, without publicity, for careful study and judgment in light of true Arab interest rather than public passion.

3. Johnson in coming days will explain to Arab reps in New York detailed operation of his proposals prior to their further consideration by PCC at an early date. Our own careful review leads us conclude Plan meets vital interests of Arab states and refugees and is both eminently fair and realistic. We confident world community will see it in same light. Recognizing that negotiated solution of problem would be distasteful to Arabs, Plan initially requires no act of acceptance but only acquiescence in letting it proceed. Its essence is free voluntary expression of refugee preference for repatriation or for compensation and resettlement in strict accordance with Para 11 (a process objectionable to Israel). Its operations do not and cannot depend on coercion on either side, but states are called upon examine applications of refugees expeditiously and in good faith; there will be Arabs advising the administering officials; and there will be periodic reports on degree of cooperation received from governments in implementing preferences. Plan recognizes sovereign right and interest of nations receiving refugees establish regulations safeguard their economies. In addition, it advocates payment of compensation for communal properties to states in which resettlement takes place in proportion to volume of such resettlement. Also per capita "re-integration" allowance paid irrespective of compensation will facilitate refugee's resuming a normal life. Such resettlement as may take place as result of refugee free expression of preference, in short, will benefit not handicap economies of receiving states. For those choosing repatriation, there is recognition that in equity there should be compensation by Israel if there has been loss of or damage to property and clear affirmation that such claims should be acted on expeditiously and with sympathy. It also recognized that Israel should make a substantial contribution to costs of Plan execution.

4. Finally, we convinced implementation of Plan will provide more repatriation and more compensation than refugees would obtain under any other circumstances. We will be willing support generously if Plan can proceed. Another real chance implement Para 11 unlikely soon again. Believing that it is in Arab interests that they not be cause for failure of Plan, and that if Plan is rejected rest of world will be inclined look for new methods of approach, we urge most strongly and seriously that in statesmanship and consideration for plight of refugees themselves the host governments allow it proceed without hindrance.

For Beirut: In your presentation you should note that Johnson and USG recognize Lebanon's special problem re effects on confessional balance were substantial number of those Moslem refugees now in Lebanon to be permanently resettled there. Lebanon has our firm assurance that we would not support any such uncontrolled implementation of Plan as to endanger this balance and that we willing consult further with highest levels GOL in this regard. You should also at this stage talk to Davis, who has been informed of Plan by Johnson, re its general aspects and prospects.

For Amman: Foregoing numbered paragraphs should be used in your approach to PriMin Tell. Special guidance re demarche to King follows.

For Jidda: We hesitant bring SAG too far into this issue now, and yet would not wish leave King and Faysal in any doubt as to seriousness our support for this initiative lest SAG conclude attacks on Plan easy new theme in current propaganda campaign demonstrate "Arabism". Accordingly, you should find opportunity week to ten days from now or when it appears Saudis have the details from other sources, whichever earlier, for background discussion with Faysal designed persuade SAG keeps hands off this vital matter.

For Tel Aviv: From our background discussions with Israelis here, we convinced GOI fully aware our seriousness of purpose re Johnson Plan. Also, we would plan speak further to Mrs. Meir when she arrives for UNGA. Therefore, no approaches by Embassy to FonOff need be undertaken at this time, although there no objection to your indicating in official conversations a full familiarity with Plan, fact that it has been given to Israelis by Johnson in New York, and that Israel's acquiescence is a matter of deep concern to USG.

For Baghdad and North Africa addressees: We see no need for approaches now. These may become desirable in North African capitals however if Arab League consideration Johnson Plan appears imminent, in which case Department will instruct. In interim if this raised with you, you can draw on guidance this tel to (a) indicate familiarity with Plan outlines and fact that it has been passed to host governments and Israel, (b) emphasize its equity and reasonableness, and (c) stress full USG support this initiative.

For all addressees: UK, French and Turkish Governments fully informed re Johnson Plan and our attitude in its regard. There no objection therefore to your discussing it with diplomatic representatives of these countries at discretion. FYI. Firm USG commitment to support implementation of Plan dependent on reactions countries affected and other members PCC. End FYI./2/

/2/In circular telegram 413, September 8, the Department of State reported that at Johnson's strong insistence the PCC had agreed that he could provide the parties, on a confidential basis, with the "Explanation" when he presented the plan to them. The telegram noted that the "Explanation" had been "politically sanitized" and described the changes as follows: "While no major changes made, several portions to which one or other side most likely object have been omitted or changed. (For instance, last two sentences of paragraph 11 and last sentence of paragraph 14 have been cut out. Paragraph 12 is reduced to: 'Establishing ceiling figures on number of refugees who might be admitted to Israel would appear to be contrary to both letter and spirit of paragraph 11 (Res 194).'" (Ibid., 325.84/9-862)

Rusk

 

35. Special National Intelligence Estimate

SNIE 34-62

Washington, September 7, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 86 D 189, Iran Collection. Secret. According to a note on the cover sheet, the estimate was submitted by the Director of Central Intelligence, and concurred in by the U.S. Intelligence Board.

POLITICAL PROSPECTS FOR IRAN

The Problem

To examine the political prospects for Iran, particularly in the short term.

Summary

With the resignation of Prime Minister Amini, the Shah is once more the focal point of the Iranian political scene. Before long he will almost certainly again become the direct target of political pressures and general discontent. While none of the Shah's opponents are likely for some time to summon up the will or develop the capability to overthrow him, they will be alert to exploit any fortuitous crisis which may occur, e.g., a popular outburst in Tehran or a Kurdish insurrection. As long as the Shah retains control of the army and the security forces, the chances are that he will be able to ride out such crises, but each time a serious crisis occurs, the possibility of his overthrow or even his voluntary abdication will be present.

The Estimate

1. For some years our estimates have been pessimistic about the prospects for political stability in Iran. In NIE 34-61, "Prospects for Iran," dated 28 February 1961,/2/ we pointed out that the growing political unrest of the urban middle class was being manifested increasingly openly, and we estimated that profound political and social change was virtually inevitable. We added that such change would most likely be revolutionary in nature. In SNIE 34-2-61, "Short-Term Outlook for Iran," dated 23 May 1961,/3/ soon after the advent of Prime Minister Ali Amini, we said that the chances of an evolutionary change would be enhanced should Amini be able to develop a position independent of the Shah and implement a major reform program. However, we also said that, if the Shah forced Amini into a puppet's role or replaced him with a politician subservient to the throne, unrest would be likely to break out again.

/2/ Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Document 16.

/3/Ibid., Document 52.

2. Ali Amini resigned as Prime Minister on 17 July 1962. As his successor, the Shah appointed Asadollah Alam, a long time retainer and personal friend, indicating that he himself intended to reassume direct responsibility for governing Iran. Hence, though the implications of the change cannot yet be fully assessed, a new look should be taken at Iran's political prospects.

3. While Amini was in office, the Shah gave him a free hand except in military matters and in some aspects of foreign affairs. However, His Imperial Majesty was never sanguine that this experiment with an independent Prime Minister would be successful. In reasserting his own exclusive dominance, the Shah has acted in accordance with his longstanding belief that Iran is far from ready for a true parliamentary government and that the country can be ruled effectively only by a strong man like himself who understands Iran's problems. The Shah's conviction is not without some foundation. The wealthy conservative elements, who for generations have constituted the established elite, have proven themselves virtually incapable of modernization and reform. The nationalist opposition is disunited and irresponsible. The military has shown little talent for leadership. Apart from Amini, there are no political "independents" of any stature. Amini himself was never able to develop a political base of his own; such progress as he made in land reform and anticorruption could not have been accomplished without the Shah's backing.

4. As a result of Amini's departure from the government, the Shah is again the focal point of Iranian politics. He must not only cope with the budgetary problems which defeated Amini but must try to raise the substantial foreign aid needed for Iran's new development plan which begins this year. He must also deal with what most Iranians (including himself) feel is the less than satisfactory state of their country's relations with both the USSR and the West. Above all, he must once again bear directly the burden of unrest in the country: the disgruntlement of the upper classes who would undo Amini's modest reforms, the disillusionment of many urban intellectuals whose hopes for modernization and reform have been set back, the almost certain increase in National Front agitation.

The Outlook

5. In these circumstances, the Shah is likely to press ahead by himself, sincerely trying to implement the anticorruption and land reform programs begun by Amini, but without either the will or the ability to deny special treatment to those whom he trusts or to whom he is bound by personal ties. He will attempt to avoid calling elections, since this would face him with the unhappy choice between rigging them, which would deepen popular discontent and could touch off disturbances, or, on the other hand, permitting free elections, which would give the nationalists an opportunity to carry their opposition into Parliament. He will be reluctant to share power with anyone; although he might recall Amini to the Prime Ministership if popular pressure grows acute again, he will not consent to any such permanent impairment of his authority as would be implied in a meaningful compromise with the nationalists. His preoccupation with military matters and his relative indifference to administrative and fiscal improvement will almost certainly persist. He will continue twisting and turning to relieve or deflect Soviet pressure, without, however, weakening his alliance with the West. He will press for greater military and political support from the US.

6. What all this means in terms of future political stability in Iran is less easy to estimate. The nationalists' distrust of the Shah is as implacable as is his of them. However, the number of militant nationalists is small and their organization weak. Hence, at least for some time to come, they will probably be incapable of posing a serious challenge to the Shah's authority. Eventually, the Tudeh, the Iranian Communist Party, may succeed in infiltrating the nationalist movement and welding it into a more formidable opposition. At the moment, however, the Tudeh is also small and weak and more severely repressed than the nationalists.

7. While the wealthy conservatives will continue their efforts to frustrate almost any kind of reform, they are likely to move directly against the Shah only if they feel that such a move is the sole way of preventing a nationalist takeover. Most of the top military officers share the same inhibitions as their counterparts in the civilian "establishments," although there will probably continue to be a few of them, like the currently exiled General Timur Bakhtiar, former head of the Iranian Intelligence and Security Organization (SAVAK), who have a desire for personal power on their own and may fancy themselves destined for the role of the "man on a white horse." A move against the Shah by nationalist-minded junior or middle level military officers along the lines of the Nasser and Qassim coups in Egypt and Iraq is another possibility. If it did come to pass, its chances of success might be considerable, and its implications for the West might be unpleasant.

8. The large and fairly effective security apparatus which the Shah has developed--SAVAK, the national police, the gendarmerie, and the military intelligence services--has in the past enabled him to detect and deal with potential challenges by both military and civilian elements. He probably can continue to count on the loyalty of the security forces and the support of the bulk of the military to counter most clandestine plotting and organization. The military and security forces will also probably remain capable of dealing with more direct challenges to central authority. Much of the top leadership of these forces, however, is clique-ridden, and few officers appear to have any outstanding devotion to the Shah. The possibility will remain that some of these officers might fail the Shah in the face of a critical challenge or might even themselves become involved in plotting./4/

/4/Annex A contains a more detailed assessment of the Iranian security forces. [Footnote in the source text. The Annex, not printed, is entitled "Internal Security in Iran."]

9. For some months, most political elements will probably be busy assessing the new situation and determining their own attitudes toward it. This will give the Shah a breathing spell. Before very long, however, the political pressure will almost certainly begin to build up once more. The nationalists will not be satisfied with anything the Shah does and will agitate for early elections--always likely times for crisis in Iran. If the Shah continues to press Amini's land reform and anticorruption measures, many conservatives will seek to undermine his authority; and in a more fluid situation, the ambitions of individual military officers are likely to be sharpened again.

10. For some time to come, none of these groups is likely on its own to develop both the will and the capability to overthrow the Shah. However, the nationalists in particular will be alert to challenge his control given a favorable occasion, e.g., a popular outburst in Tehran, a Kurdish insurrection, or a particularly juicy scandal in the royal court. In extreme circumstances, nationalist and conservative elements might enter into a brief opportunistic alliance against the Shah, but it is unlikely that any lasting or effective coalition will be worked out among various opposition groups. As long as the Shah retains control of the army, the chances are that he will be able to ride out such crises. Nevertheless, each time a serious crisis occurs, the possibility of his overthrow or his voluntary abdication will be present. (He has several times indicated that should he find it impossible to direct affairs in the manner he believes necessary, he would leave Iran.) Under these circumstances, Iran's political structure will continue to be extremely fragile. Over the longer term, profound political and social change appears virtually inevitable.

 

36. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, September 10, 1962, 9 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/9-1062. Confidential; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Beirut, Damascus, Amman, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, London, and Paris.

721. Johnson proposals on Arab refugees.

1. Johnson and Moe (UN) gave Israelis and host governments today copies of Johnson proposal on refugee problem and accompanying explanation./2/ Johnson met with Comay and Meron (Israel) in morning and jointly with Rifai (Jordan), Tarazi (Syria), Hakim (Lebanon), and Mohamed Riad (UAR) in afternoon. Each meeting took about hour and a half. Johnson has another meeting with Arabs Friday at 3 p.m., at which time he hopes to get preliminary comments based on delegation studies of proposals. (Apparently, at today's meeting Johnson did not read either proposals or explanation but left them to be studied afterward.)

/2/Text of the identical covering letters from Johnson to the five pertinent U.N. Ambassadors is in circular telegram 424, September 10. (Ibid., 325.84/9-1062)

2. According to Moe, Johnson in both cases made opening presentation along following general lines: After considering results his previous trips and efforts he decided it unwise for him to pursue further efforts to bring positions of those involved together as it seemed unlikely he would be able to obtain explicit agreement. He had therefore decided best course for him would be to draw up fair and reasonable program to which two parties could acquiesce. Consequently, he had drawn up plan which he was presenting. He hoped he might have any reactions they had in 14 days or so as he would like to see program approved by PCC and inaugurated before GA if they could acquiesce. Also he said neither he nor PCC publishing anything about program and hoped parties would be able to treat it confidentially also. Johnson made clear this was proposal on dealing with refugee problem and not his report to PCC and GA, nature of which would depend on their reactions to his proposals.

3. Moe reported Comay (Israel) said he had expected to receive paper from Johnson today and noted that Comay questions were well organized. Comay said he was "discussing" paper at this point but asking questions for purposes of clarification. Most questions were of procedural nature, e.g., status of paper with PCC. Johnson told him PCC had authorized him to present proposal to parties and that they were now under study by PCC members. Comay also noted two-week period suggested by Johnson created difficulties for Israel as Ben Gurion now in Finland and Golda Meir in Switzerland and not planning return Israel before GA. Comay agreed to no publicity point and said he hoped Johnson would not release it himself without consulting Israel. Johnson agreed subject to proviso that if report began to leak either PCC or GA would have to do something to correct information. Comay also noted that democratic government of Israel might have problems re "acquiescence", inquiring what Israel would say in Knesset. Johnson replied he thought Israel could handle this question itself easily enough, perhaps along lines saying this was UN scheme with which Israel is cooperating to extent consistent with its national security. Comay also wondered how GA debate would be avoided, to which Johnson replied this could better be discussed after parties have studied his proposals. Comay concluded that even if Israel may feel it necessary to object to some parts program they wanted Johnson to know they held him in great respect. Moe concluded that important Israeli objective was not to have to be first to say no to program.

4. Arab response, according to Moe was comparatively friendly, stiff at start, warmer at end. Arab questions posed no basis previous long standing attitudes with only cursory look at program.

After Arabs have studied proposals thoroughly Johnson hopes meeting on Friday will produce considered comments. Hakim (Lebanon) asked how Arabs could acquiesce in anything not involving prior agreement of Israel to implement paragraph 11, arguing plans for implementation came only after acceptance of political conditions of paragraph 11. Johnson answered this obliquely by referring to provisions of program designed to assure paragraph 11 carried out. Rifai (Jordan) posed hypothetical question of refugee who has been interviewed, and modern-day life in Israel explained to him, told his home destroyed, etc., who still might say he wanted to return to Israel, would UN guarantee his return? Johnson replied that as far as UN was concerned it would do its best, but UN did not have last word as Israel was a sovereign state. Johnson then referred to provisions of program designed to assure its good faith implementation. Rifai also asked whether this was new program or same idea as presented in his visit to area. Johnson replied it was new, noting pilot scheme had been dropped, although same principles on preferences of refugees and rights of governments remained. Tarazi (Syria) said that although while Johnson as UN agent had to proceed from rights of Israel re people it admitted Syria could not accept that Israel would have last word. Riad (UAR) apparently confined himself to question how refugees in Gaza would be consulted if headquarters were in Government House. Johnson replied initial approaches would be through mail, adding that if responses warranted suboffices would later be established in area.

5. Moe said Johnson favored US Embassies now going ahead with approaches to respective governments at whatever time they wished, noting that as member of PCC US be expected to have knowledge of approach he has now made./3/

/3/On September 10, the Department of State instructed the Embassies in Amman, Beirut, Cairo, and Damascus to proceed to arrange for meetings as directed in circular telegram 384 (Document 34). The Department advised the Embassies to avoid a hasty follow-up to Johnson's presentation, allowing time for the respective governments to learn first of the proposals from their U.N. representatives. (Circular telegram 423; Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/9-1062))

Stevenson

 

37. Letter From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Talbot) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Gilpatric)/1/

Washington, September 13, 1962.

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 66 A 3542, Iran 381 (TS) 3 Aug 62. Secret. Another copy indicates the letter was drafted by Miklos (NEA/GTI) and cleared with Kettelhut (NEA/NR) and Russell (NEA). (Department of State, Central Files, 788.5/8-3162)

Dear Mr. Gilpatric: I have your letter of August 31st informing Secretary Rusk that you have approved for implementation the major recommendations contained in the report of the U.S. Military Planning Team for Iran./2/

/2/Gilpatric's August 31 letter was addressed to Secretary Rusk. (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 66 A 3542, Iran 381 (TS) 3 Aug 62) Summaries of the findings of the report of the U.S. Military Planning Team, Iran, are in a memorandum from Sloan (DOD/ISA) to McNamara, August 31, and a memorandum from Lemnitzer to McNamara, August 3, with Appendix A, "Summary of Findings of the US Military Planning Team for Iran and Joint Chiefs of Staff Views Thereon." (Ibid.)

I note that the approved plan envisages a reduction of Iran's armed forces to a level of approximately 160,000, the provision of two radar stations and communications for the entire aircraft control and warning system, and the construction of a forward aircraft operation base with minimum facilities at Meshed. It is understood that over the 5-year period 1963-1967 the cost to the United States of executing this program will amount to $298.6 million. I note that this sum is within the $300 million funding ceiling Secretary McNamara established for this program.

On the basis of your letter Joint State-Defense Message No. 277/3/ was sent to Ambassador Holmes at Tehran instructing him and the Chief of ARMISH/MAAG at Tehran to present the relevant concepts and plans incorporated in the approved report to the Shah and his military advisers.

/3/Dated September 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 788.5/8-862) For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on Iran.

You may be sure that we greatly appreciate the commendable task General Twitchell and the United States planning team performed in preparing the report you have approved.

Sincerely yours,

Phillips Talbot

 

38. Memorandum From the Director of Intelligence and Research (Hilsman) to Secretary of State Rusk/1/

Washington, September 13, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Yemen, 8/61-9/62. Secret; Noforn. No drafting information appears on the source text. The memorandum was received in the National Security Council at 3:18 p.m. on September 14.

Intelligence Note: Pro-Nasser Army Coup Plot in the Yemen

Army Plotters Plan Overthrow of Regime. A recent report states that a group of Yemeni Army officers is conspiring "perhaps shortly" to assassinate the Imam, arrest Crown Prince Badr, and establish a republic. The plotters are believed to have Nasser's support and to have gained the adherence of important tribal leaders.

Nasser Needs Success. In the wake of his continued failure to stage a comeback in Syria, Nasser probably feels the need for some concrete victory in the war he declared against the "reactionaries" following the breakup of the UAR and the UAS at the end of 1961. His intensified campaign to bring the Yemen back into the fold was heralded by the pro-Nasser student riot in San'a in July and by the Cairo radio's subsequent publicizing of unrest in the Yemen.

Turmoil Ahead in the Yemen. If this attempt fails, the Imam's repressive measures will become increasingly severe, but Nasser probably will try again. If it succeeds, the new regime may be unable for some time to extend its control over the entire country and a struggle for power may ensue among the enemies of the old regime. Both the Bloc and the British will encourage opposition to any pro-Nasser move.

 

39. Letter From President Kennedy to King Hussein/1/

Washington, September 13, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, President's Office Files, Countries, Jordan, 4/62-10/62. No classification marking. An earlier draft of this letter was forwarded to McGeorge Bundy on September 8 under cover of a memorandum from Brubeck, which noted, among other points, that Jordan's attitude toward the Johnson Plan was of equal importance to that of Israel and the United Arab Republic, because more than half of the Palestinian refugees resided in Jordan. It also noted that the United States retained some leverage with Jordan because of large-scale U.S. economic assistance. A marginal notation on Brubeck's memorandum indicates that the original of the memorandum was directed to Feldman on September 8. The attached draft letter shows changes in Komer's handwriting. (Ibid.) The text of the letter was transmitted to the Embassy in Amman for delivery in telegram 116, September 14. (Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/9-1462)

Your Majesty: Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, Special Representative of the Palestine Conciliation Commission, has now presented to the Commission, to the Arab host governments and to Israel his plan for resolution of the Palestine refugee problem. During Dr. Johnson's skillful and unremitting efforts of the past year, I have continued to take a keen personal interest in the Arab refugees. As I wrote you on May 11, 1961: ". . . there will be no lack of United States interest in seeing that effective action is taken. It is my sincere hope that all parties directly concerned will cooperate fully with whatever program is undertaken by the Commission so that the best interests and welfare of all the Arab refugees of Palestine may be protected and advanced." Therefore, today I write you again frankly, and in confidence.

While Dr. Johnson is the representative of a United Nations body, it is both fitting and necessary that the United States, as a member of both the United Nations and the Palestine Conciliation Commission, and as the principal financial supporter of UNRWA, provide assistance and support to him. It is only as the members of the United Nations stand behind the work of its organs that meaningful results can be obtained. The cooperation and support of Jordan for Dr. Johnson's plans are also essential if the plan is to be successful in its humanitarian purpose of making possible fruitful lives for the Arab refugees. The particular significance for your country, of course, lies in the fact that nearly half of the refugees are found within Jordan's borders. Thus your attitude and that of your Government toward the Johnson Plan will have a critical bearing on its outcome.

I regard Dr. Johnson's plan as both fair and practical for the countries directly affected and for the refugees. Therefore I have asked Ambassador Macomber to share with you my thinking. It is my keen hope that you will find Dr. Johnson's plan not only advantageous to Jordan but a practical means of alleviating the plight of the refugees. I am optimistic that despite obvious difficulties both at the outset and as the plan proceeds Your Majesty's statesmanship can find ways to overcome these problems.

Since writing you nearly sixteen months ago, I have followed with close attention and interest developments in the Kingdom of Jordan. Thanks to your generous expenditure of time and to your frankness in discussing with him matters of mutual interest, Ambassador Macomber has been enabled to keep me fully informed. I have been gratified at the relationship which you have permitted to grow, reflecting the cordial and fruitful ties existing between our two countries and the mutual regard which prevails. Jordan's stability and integrity are important to the Free World.

Particularly impressive is the progress being made by the Government of Jordan under your leadership in meeting the myriad problems which inevitably arise when a people seeks rapidly to create a modern state with a stable political system, an economy employing fully the resources available, and a social system guaranteeing freedom and opportunity for all. In these efforts, Your Majesty, you and your Government will have the continuing encouragement, support, and assistance of the United States. In turn, of course, I should like to feel that the United States can continue to count upon the willing support and cooperation of Jordan in those matters which are of importance to both of us in maintaining peace and stability in the Near East and elsewhere.

I take this opportunity, Your Majesty, to offer you my best wishes and to express the hope that in your efforts to make Jordan a model state you will enjoy complete success. I understand fully the difficulties under which you and your Government labor, and I admire the courage, the steadfastness, and the wisdom with which you are facing those difficulties./2/

/2/In telegram 117 to Amman, September 15, the Department of State instructed the Embassy to deliver this letter and make the presentation outlined in circular telegram 384 (Document 34). (Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/9-1562) Macomber reported on his meetings with King Hussein and other Jordanian officials concerning the Jordan Plan in telegrams 144 and 146 from Amman, September 15 and 16. (Ibid., 325.84/9-1562 and 325.84/9-1662) On September 19, Prime Minister Tell informed Macomber that the Jordanian Cabinet had formally decided that Jordan should not oppose the Johnson Plan and that Jordan should use its influence with other Arab states to persuade them "for tactical reasons" to give the Johnson Plan a chance. (Telegram 152 from Amman, September 19; ibid., 325.84/9-1962)

Sincerely yours,/3/

/3/Printed from an unsigned copy.

 

40. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, September 14, 1962, 4:35 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5612/9-1462. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Barrow and Strong; cleared by McGhee, Wallner, and Newsom; and approved by Talbot. Sent to Amman, Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Cairo, Khartoum, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, Rabat, Jidda, and Jerusalem and repeated to London, Paris, Ankara, Tel Aviv, and USUN.

461. Israel has been informed US willing sell ground-to-air missiles and UK mentioned also as possible source of supply. However UK has not yet informed GOI of willingness to compete for sale. Details to be worked out later. Possibility of early leak can not be discounted. Accordingly following constitutes stand-by guidance for use quietly with responsible officials of government to which accredited and other leaders only after becomes public knowledge./2/

/2/A note from Grant to Talbot, Crawford, and Strong, August 31, on the question of publicity on the sale of the Hawk missile and related questions indicates that Feldman was "amenable to no disclosure from the White House through mid-September," but wanted to discuss the question on September 6. Grant had informed Feldman that "we would like to keep the wraps on, ideally, until training or delivery starts, but recognize this is probably impossible. Failing that we very much would like to maintain security until the Acting Administrator for the Johnson Plan is in place in the field, hopefully by early October. I noted that it would be disastrous to the Johnson Plan, in our opinion, if word leaked out before mid-September, while the Arab governments were still forming their first reactions to the Johnson Plan." (Ibid., NEA/NE Files: Lot 65 D 5, Israel. 1962. U.S. Milit. Asst.--Gen. 2-As)

We have been consistently reluctant become major supplier of sophisticated weapons in NE. Despite long-standing Israel requests US previously resisted this step. However in view build-up of offensive air and missile capability in area we obliged to respond sympathetically Israel's request for short-range purely defensive ground-to-air interceptor missiles. USSR has already agreed supply such missiles to Iraq and possibly UAR. This is specific action designed to meet specific situation and by no means constitutes change in US policy in area.

US remains deeply troubled by dangers and by burdens on economies of countries concerned to which undesirable proliferation of sophisticated weapons in NE gives rise. We are giving careful consideration in near future to means whereby we might be helpful in halting NE arms spiral. We would welcome any thoughts in this regard now or in future.

If asked whether US would sell same missiles to Arab countries, you may respond US would give careful consideration to any request.

FYI. At such time as response to public inquiries necessary, Department proposes make low key statement. Posts should avoid public statements. End FYI./3/

/3/On September 26 in circular telegram 530, the Department of State forwarded to concerned posts the text of the press guidance being used by Department of State spokesmen in New York and Washington in response to questions about U.S. willingness to sell the Hawk missile to Israel. (Ibid., Central Files, 784A.5612/9-2662)

For London: Foregoing cleared with UK Embassy.

For Paris: You may immediately inform FonOff at high level in confidence.

Rusk

 

41. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, September 14, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Robert Komer. Secret.

McGB:

Have had several talks with Mike/2/ and State in attempt to keep Hawk/Johnson Plan/Nasser dilemma from getting out of control. Since Mike has already told Jewish leaders in confidence about Hawks (he urged no public comment before 28 September but naturally feels it may leak sooner), next two problems are (a) how to preserve at least fighting chance for Johnson Plan; (b) how to keep US/UAR rapprochement from going off rails.

/2/Myer Feldman.

Mike is very goosy about Johnson Plan, thinks we have over-committed our prestige to it, and would like to start disengaging. One thing upsetting him is that he told Israelis they would have final word on admitting any refugee. However, Johnson himself later altered final version of Plan (para. 10) to call for UN impartial arbitration of any conflict over admissibility. Israelis immediately hopped on this as derogation of their sovereignty and Mike feels he's been put in difficult spot. He doesn't see a prayer of Israelis buying Plan with this in it./3/

/3/On September 14, the Office of United Nations Political Affairs prepared a memorandum for Talbot that asserted that language changes had been made to tone down controversial points, but there was no substantive difference between the Johnson Plan approved by President Kennedy and what Johnson presented to Israel. (Department of State, IO/UNP Files: Lot 72 D 294, PCC--Johnson Mission)

In any case, I argued vigorously to Mike that we ought to play out hand on Johnson Plan, papering over above crack if possible. After all, US prestige is already committed to Plan--JFK has written Ben Gurion, Nasser, and Hussein about it and to retreat now would be a real loss of face. Moreover, so what if US prestige is attached to a failure; we discounted this in advance, arguing that it was to US advantage to have made a real effort at solving refugee problem. This would permit us subsequently to justify disengaging gradually from UNRWA and shifting burden to area states themselves. State feels the same way; indeed there are optimists who think Johnson chances slightly improved, largely as result of UAR restraint to date.

As to some token that we still desire to improve our relations with Nasser (which means giving Kaissouni something while he here for IMF meeting), I think we should approve State suggestion of announcing $10 million final installment of stabilization contribution if Europeans ready to match it), plus a private promise that we will sign multi-year PL-480 as soon as Congress adjourns. Opposition to PL-480 announcement is not that it would upset Israelis; Mike says he and JFK would have no objections on these grounds. Problem arises from general stop-order which aid bill managers have put on announcing any major agreements until bill passed. Announcing a $400 million PL-480 deal with Nasser could create enough of a stink that we should seek to avoid it.

1. Rusk has approved above, but don't you think we should at least clue JFK on it in advance (I recall his annoyed reaction when he discovered we gave a couple of hundred million in PL-480 last year). Also we need authority to override stop-order on aid agreements./4/

/4/A handwritten note by Komer in the margin next to this paragraph reads: "Rusk did not get chance to talk with Pres. on this."

2. Also urge that you emphasize to President that we should not disengage too quickly from Johnson Plan. Let's let nature take its course--there's still a slim chance plan might work. If not, let someone else torpedo it. For us to torpedo our own brain-child is neither necessary nor becoming. In fact I've suggested Mike plug same idea with Israelis. Why should they get out in front on wrecking Johnson Plan; let Arabs take the onus.

Bob K.

 

42. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, September 14, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Iran, 9/13/62-9/23/62. Secret.

McGB:

You should know about attached in case JFK raises an eyebrow. For some time now Soviets have been trying to get Iranians to issue joint communiqué saying Iran would permit no foreign bases, especially for missiles./2/ Soviet aim obviously to tie Iran's hands and also make foreign bases subject of joint USSR/Iran consultation ever after.

/2/Attached to the source text is telegram 394 from Tehran, September 12, reporting on the most recent developments concerning Soviet efforts to obtain a statement from the Iranian Government indicating that no foreign missile bases would be allowed on Iranian territory.

Iranians refused, but offered issue unilateral statement saying no foreign missile bases would be allowed. At first Soviets balked, then tried to get statement altered. Then this Wednesday Soviet Ambassador Pegov suddenly agreed to Iranian text with two changes.

One proposed change very interesting! It would read "the foregoing does not mean that . . . [Iran] could not exercise its sovereign right to have any kind of weapons, including missiles, which would be under its control on Iranian territory."/3/ Holmes objected on grounds Soviets could claim US officers in Iran in fact in control, especially if nuclear warheads should ever be involved (since these would remain in US custody).

/3/Brackets in the source text.

But think of Cuban analogy. What if Sovs were able to say "we recognize right of a country on our border to have missiles under its own control, but US won't allow this right to Cuba." This may be farfetched but I'm glad Holmes talked Iranians out of any such statement.

Aside from above, I don't see much harm in Iranian declaration. We can back Iranian argument that this proves Iranians have no "aggressive" intentions and aren't serving as US stooges. Of course, what if Castro issued similar statement?/4/

/4/On September 15, the Iranian Foreign Ministry sent a note to the Soviet Embassy in which it affirmed that "the Imperial Government of Iran, in order to declare its goodwill and further to strengthen the foundations of friendship between the two countries, is desirous of giving assurance to the government of the USSR through this note, that it will give to no foreign power the right of having missile bases of any type on the territory of Iran." When delivering this note, Foreign Minister Aram indicated verbally: "I formally declare that, as His Imperial Majesty has repeatedly stated, the Imperial Government of Iran will at no time permit Iran to be a medium of aggression against the territory of the USSR." (Reported in telegram 411 from Tehran, September 15; Department of State, Central Files, 788.56300/9-1562)

Bob K.

 

43. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran/1/

Washington, September 18, 1962, 2:26 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 788.5/9-1062. Secret; Niact. Drafted in the White House, cleared by Johnson and Rusk, and approved by Little. Repeated to USCINCEUR. The original draft of this telegram, much different than that printed here, was forwarded to Bundy on September 17 under cover of a memorandum from Brubeck. A copy of the text of the telegram showing Bundy's handwritten changes and additions is in Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Iran, 9/24/62-9/30/62. Brubeck's memorandum also transmitted a proposal from Rusk and McNamara that Ambassador Holmes, while presenting the multi-year MAP package, inform the Shah that President Kennedy had personally ordered the restoration of two naval frigates to Iran, which had earlier been deleted from the program due to budgetary stringencies. (Department of State, Central Files, 788.5/9-1762) This recommendation was made in response to an urgent plea from Holmes that the frigates be restored, because the Shah had personally asked President Kennedy to restore them. (Telegram 404 from Tehran, September 14; ibid., 788.5/9-1462)

310. For the Ambassador. In initial presentation multi-year MAP to Shah you authorized state that despite severe funding limitations US prepared go ahead with frigates as well as radar requirements. President does not want be put in position of overruling Defense because of Shah's personal intervention, but is willing for you to say that frigate and radar add-ons are result of his personal decision.

At same time President desires you make crystal clear to Shah and others that this all the give we've got. We regard modified five-year package as maximum support we able provide over period, given our desire to assist Iran's economic development as equally pressing need. President hopes Shah will not regard concession on frigates as precedent for further personal pleas, but will now accept level of US military aid and concurrent streamlining of Iranian forces as settled, permitting Shah to turn to urgent business of domestic reform and development. We depend on you to get these points across, both in these discussions and by continuous efforts to guide Shah's interest away from overly sophisticated military playthings and toward real social-economic needs of Iran.

Rusk

 

44. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Tehran, September 19, 1962.

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 66 A 3542, Iran, 1962. Secret. Drafted by General Twitchell on September 20. The conversation was held at the Shah's Summer Palace.

SUBJECT
Five-Year Military Program for Iran

PARTICIPANTS

His Imperial Majesty--The Shah
Ambassador Julius C. Holmes
Major General John C. Hayden, Chief, ARMISH/MAAG
Brigadier General H.A. Twitchell, USA, Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Shah held an audience with the above named U.S. representatives in his private office. The meeting began at 12:15 P.M. and terminated at 1:55 P.M.

Ambassador Holmes stated that he had requested the audience with His Imperial Majesty in order to discuss United States proposals concerning the Five-Year Military Program for Iran. There followed a discussion of the recent exchange between the Governments of Iran and the U.S.S.R. concerning Iran's guarantee that there would be no foreign missile bases established in Iran. This portion of the discussion has been separately reported upon by the Ambassador.

The Ambassador pointed out that the report of the military planning team had been reviewed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense, and had been given full consideration at the highest levels in the United States Government. He pointed out that the resulting recommendations have been reflected in the development of a comprehensive and well rounded multi-year program of military assistance to be provided by the United States.

Ambassador Holmes then explained that the proposed Military Assistance Program contained some important additions especially in the areas of airfields and AC&W. He indicated that the United States proposed to develop a main operating base at Hamadan and a forward operating base at Meshad. The former would have complete maintenance and operational facilities, and the latter would have the requisite operational and support facilities for rotational units. The Ambassador indicated that the United States planned to develop AC&W stations at Hamadan and Dezful, and to provide a communications system for the existing and proposed sites. He noted that development of the system would be facilitated by the construction of a radar station within the CENTO Early Warning System at Meshad by the Government of the United Kingdom subject to CENTO agreement.

Recalling the Washington discussions with the Secretary of Defense, the Ambassador reminded the Shah that the Defense Department had found it necessary as a matter of priority to delete the two frigates in order to provide adequate funds for the early warning system. However as the result of further study, the careful consideration given to His Imperial Majesty's letter to the President and the extensive review which had been made of the subject at the highest levels within the United States Government, including the President, the frigates are now included in the program.

To this point in the discussion the Shah had been unresponsive and somewhat skeptical in his attitude. He reacted most favorably to the Ambassador's comment on the inclusion of the frigates in the program and indicated the importance which he placed upon these two ships. From this point the discussion proceeded cordially and with clearly established rapport.

Turning to the overall force level ceiling, the Ambassador indicated that the United States had made a careful and detailed study of the matter and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Team along with ARMISH/MAAG had developed specifics in this regard. It is believed the total force level for all services should not exceed 160,000. The Shah asked if it were feasible to apply this level for all forces rather than just the Army. The Ambassador replied in the affirmative, indicating that there should be an Air Force of approximately 12,000 and a Navy of 3,000 with the remaining 145,000 being the strength of the Army.

The Shah then queried as to whether the Ambassador had any details concerning the proposed program. Ambassador Holmes provided the memorandum which had been prepared./2/ The Shah read the entire memorandum in a careful and deliberate manner. Upon completion he said he had some questions concerning his request for additional tanks, vehicles, aircraft and an Early Warning System.

/2/Document 45.

Referring to his request for additional tanks, the Shah indicated that he believed there should be three additional battalions. General Hayden in reply explained that it was visualized the tank battalions would be under the command of the Army Commander, rather than Division Commanders and the tanks would be employed along favorable tank approaches grouped where necessary to give adequate strength. The Shah asked for details concerning the proposed employment of armor particularly in the northeast and northwest sectors. The proposed deployment and force structure was then discussed in considerable detail. During the course of the discussion the Shah indicated:

a. Concurrence with the concept that the battalions should be under the Army Commander or grouped into a special force,

b. Concurrence with the need to make maximum effective use of existing troop housing and recognition that this factor affected the deployments in certain cases, and

c. That it would be militarily desirable to have three additional tank battalions if resources either Iranian or United States should become available.

Referring to his request for additional vehicles, the Shah asked whether the numbers proposed would provide the requisite mobility. General Hayden indicated that, considering those now on hand and those being programmed, approximately 75% of TO&E requirements would be met. The Shah replied that this seemed too low, especially for the units which would be operational at the outset. General Hayden pointed out that it was planned to allocate the vehicles according to an operational priority assuring a higher percentage of authorization to combat units. It was pointed out to the Shah that the forces faced major problems in increasing their standards of maintenance. The number of vehicles proposed was considered by United States authorities to be the maximum number which the Iranians could absorb in the time frame envisaged.

The Shah in commenting on the Army's force structure and proposed strength questioned whether it was compatible with CENTO strategy and concepts. General Twitchell indicated that the proposal had been discussed with General Porter, the United States Representative to the CENTO Permanent Military Deputies Group, in considerable detail and that it was believed the concept of frontier forces and mountain units would provide for a more effective defense posture. This would permit the tailoring of units to perform the highly specialized tasks in connection with forward defense of the border areas, and the location of the divisional units so as to take maximum advantage of their mobility and firepower. It was pointed out also that the concept should provide for a more effective defense posture and use of resources than previously had been the case.

In response to a question by the Shah regarding the parachute battalion, General Hayden indicated that it was planned to have two battalions located at Shiraz, one of which would be the unit currently stationed in Teheran. The battalions would be specially organized, trained and equipped. He further explained that based on existing and programmed equipment, he anticipated no difficulties in this regard.

The Shah then asked about the proposed AC&W system. He expressed concern over the need for a station in the north between Babolsar and Meshad and for a station at Zahedan. General Twitchell explained that from an operational point of view priority had been given to Hamadan, Dezful and Meshad. Ambassador Holmes, referring to the CENTO plan, indicated the British were in no position to give any commitment beyond three stations. The Shah mentioned he would have to talk with them on this matter. He then expressed concern that a gap in the northern coverage would expose Teheran to attack.

At this point the Ambassador asked that Colonel E.J. Broussard be admitted to the audience in order that discussions concerning the Air Program could be taken advantage of. Colonel Broussard explained that a gap would exist and would require a station in the Sharbat area. This would provide overlap coverage at 20,000' along the entire northern border. Without this station an intruder could enter Iran from the north and would probably escape detection until picked up by the Babolsar radar which provides coverage to just south of Teheran. The Shah then inquired as to the exact location of the site required in the Sharbat area. It was pointed out that this would require a detailed on-site survey by a Radar Siting Team to insure that the best possible coverage would be obtained, but that preliminary studies indicated that location in the Sharbat area could best provide contiguous coverage. The Shah then inquired into the compatibility of the planned U.S. radars and those already provided by the United Kingdom. The response indicated that they were compatible in operational characteristics and that there would be no problem in linking all stations into a single system with the communications net the United States will provide. The only difference would be in the maintenance field where United Kingdom and United States training would be required to assure proper maintenance on the equipment provided by each country. He then asked if the proposed AC&W system would link up with that of Pakistan. The reply was that it would not since a gap would exist from approximately 180 nautical miles south of the Meshad site to the Pakistan border. He then concluded that a site between Babolsar and Meshad and one in the Zahedan area would be militarily desirable. It was agreed that such was the case.

The Shah then turned to the subject of the F-5A and asked if this was considered a good fighter aircraft for his country. An affirmative answer was given and a detailed explanation of the advantages of the F-5A as they pertain to Iran was provided. This explanation included the ease of operation and maintenance, twin engine reliability, ability to use existing civil airfields as emergency forward operating bases, anticipated low pilot and aircraft attrition rates, radius of action under varying conditions, ordnance carrying capability, and low cost of operation. It was pointed out that this fighter should permit the IIAF to reach and maintain a high level of effectiveness much more rapidly and safely then would be possible with other supersonic fighters. He then inquired into the availability of the F-110s. He was informed that the F-110 is a very expensive and sophisticated aircraft and that it is not planned for any MAP countries at this time. The current and planned production will be used to fill USAF requirements. After a brief discussion of the size, capability, and complexity of the F-110, the Shah concluded that the possibility of obtaining this fighter would be very remote. It was agreed that this was the situation. He then asked if 8 squadrons of fighters were adequate to defend Iran against the air threat from Iraq or Afghanistan. He was advised that this was considered an adequate force as it should be expected that the Imperial Iranian Air Force could reach a high state of operational effectiveness with the F-5A. The Shah mentioned the number of Soviet aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan but did not pursue the subject further. He stated that he had heard that Greece and Turkey had refused the F-5A and wanted to know if this were true. He was informed that there was nothing to indicate that either Greece or Turkey had refused to accept the F-5A. He was informed further that Greece and Turkey each would receive two squadrons of F-104G aircraft to carry out a NATO commitment but that the balance of the fighter modernization would be accomplished with the F-5A.

The Ambassador emphasized that this represented the first time that the United States had proposed a Five-Year Program for military assistance for any country. This represents a significant improvement in planning and programming and should assist both Iran and the United States in their mutual defense efforts. The Shah received this comment with considerable satisfaction.

Ambassador Holmes indicated that in addition to the proposed Military Assistance Program that the Five-Year Program was predicated on the accomplishment of qualitative improvements in the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces, particularly the Army. The Shah acknowledged this need and made specific comment in regard to actions that are to be taken in the administrative fields particularly in connection with personnel.

General Hayden informed His Majesty that the Personnel Mobile Training Team had just finished their assignment and that he would present His Imperial Majesty a copy of their report at his next audience.

The Shah stated the plan as presented to him was accepted with the following understanding:

First, the military desirability of providing three additional tank battalions is noted and it is understood that consideration may be given to providing them in the future should the requisite resources be found from either American or Iranian resources. Second, it would be desirable from a military point of view to have two radar stations, one between Babolsar and Meshad and one in the Zahedan area if means may be found in the future, from whatever sources to provide them. Third, should the international situation develop during the five year period envisaged by the plan, in such a manner as to pose threats to Iran not now foreseen, the plan may be subject to review. He requested Ambassador Holmes to prepare a memorandum to this effect for his signature and stated he wanted to conclude the agreement prior to his departure on Friday./3/ Ambassador Holmes replied that the paper would be prepared immediately and provided the Shah later today.

/3/The memorandum was subsequently signed by Minister of the Court Hussein Ala; see the source note, Document 45.

This concluded the audience./4/

/4/Ambassador Holmes' account of this meeting was transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 430 from Tehran, September 22. (Department of State, Central Files, 788.5/9-2262) On September 24, Komer sent it to President Kennedy under cover of a memorandum that reads in part: "The Shah bought, but not without indicating he'd be back at us later for certain things he asked for and we didn't give him, i.e. two more radar stations and three tank battalions. For some reason Holmes did not come back at Shah along the lines of the rather explicit instructions we sent him (Tab B [Document 43]) following Mac Bundy's phone talk with you. In fact, he seems to have finessed it, once he got his frigates. So we can expect more pleas from Pahlavi all too soon." (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Iran) Included in an October 5 report from Kaysen to Bundy is the following passage on Iran: "The President read Komer's note and the attached cables. He has made no comment. The question of what to do to follow up on what is obviously failure of Holmes to carry out his instruction remains open." (Ibid., Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Carl Kaysen)

 

 


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