77. Telegram 688 From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

688. Subject: Message to Secretary and President from King Hussein. Ref: Amman 687.

[Page 197]

1. King called me to his office evening Feb 8 (reftel) and dictated following message to Secretary.

2. Begin text: Dear Mr. Secretary I hope, sir, that you will convey the following message to the President with my respects and regards. I have just received a special high-level emissary from His Majesty King Hassan the Second of Morocco, accompanied by the Moroccan Air Force Commander. They brought me the King’s assessment, with which I concur, regarding the real threat which the Moroccans feel exists to their country and to the Republic of Mauritania, surrounded as they are by radical regimes. I can also appreciate the Moroccans’ concern that their Algerian neighbors are playing for time during which they continue to receive military aid and financial support from the USSR and others, including Libya. It seems all the more urgent, while watching the Angolan tragedy, which is a living example of what may happen elsewhere, to look at the list of military equipment Morocco seeks to obtain “now” (King asked that this word be underlined) to thwart a developing threat before it is too late. The Moroccan delegation arrived from Tehran where his Imperial Majesty has provided all available equipment on condition that Iranian contacts with your government secure your permission for its release to Morocco and that such equipment would have to go by way of Jordan to Morocco and not appear to be provided directly by Iran. We do not mind this in the least. But I believe that Morocco and Iran also expect us to furnish some 20 F–5A aircraft originally given to us by Iran in order to make up the Moroccan requirement of 25 aircraft. In this regard, we would need a definite commitment from your government to replace these aircraft with the same type and number, or with F–5E’s which are preferable, in the nearest possible future, as their loss would leave us with only one squadron of F–5A’s for training while continuing the process of standardizing our Air Force on the F–5E type. Beyond that, we seek your permission to supply the 36 106mm recoilless rifles which Morocco requires. Unfortunately, there is little else we can spare at this point, as most of the other required items on the Moroccan list are either unavailable to us, or barely so. I shall be in constant touch with His Imperial Majesty while awaiting your response. And if it is favorable we will wish to determine with you the best way of conveying all of these weapons to Morocco at the earliest possible time. I intend also to advise our Saudi brethren on these developments and I hope that your government can help us all in carrying the load to meet the Moroccan requirements. With my respects, regards and best wishes to the President and your good self, Sincerely, Hussein I. End text.

2 [3]. Recommend Dept repeat to Rabat and Tehran.

  1. Summary: The telegram transmitted a message from King Hussein to Kissinger and Ford informing them of Jordanian and Iranian military assistance to Morocco.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P850107–2374. Secret; Immediate; Nodis.