SOVIET INTERESTS, POLICIES, AND PROSPECTS WITH RESPECT TO THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR (SN

Created: 12/24/1980

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CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED

Soviet Interests, Policies, and Prospects With Respect to the Iran-Iraq War

J

SOVIET INTERESTS, POLICIES, AND PROSPECTS WITH RESPECT TO THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR

iicd til Ihr prrcO'ltiAii i4

een approvia for release through the HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM ct the Central Intelligence Agency.

Pat A? W

SEJRE1

THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELUGENCE.

THE NATIONAL FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS

The following intelligence orgoniiolioni participated in the preparation of the Estimate;

The Control (nUfl^enc* Agency. ihoof the Oojporfivwnl ol Stole, the Defen*nd the Noiionot Security Agency.

Alio Participating:

Tho Av.-ilooi Chief ol SloM for InteCigerwo. Drporlment of lhe Aim, tho Director of Novel Inlelligence. DepoMm.nl of the Novy Iho Aitnfonf Chief of Staff, Inlelligence. Depaiimeni of lhe Air Force Iho Direclor of Inlelligence, HeodqiKKle-i, Marine Cor pi

C.ONTENT5

Page

KEY

I SOVIET INTERESTS IN THE REGION

A. Regional and Clonal Interests

oviel Inteieiti in Iran and Iraq

If. SOVIET ROLE IN THE WAR TO

ill. CURRENT ASSESSMENTS AND FUTURE

A. Perception* ol Cain* and Ixnsct From lhe War

B Likely Near-Term Soviet

C Iraqi Demand lot Major Arms

D. Negotiation*ease-Fire/Settlement

E Relewe ol the

F. Weakening oi Colli pie ol the Khomeini Regime

IV.

5 WEI

KEY JUDGMENTS

The Soviets see Iranreater geopolitical prize thanactor which has influenced their behavior during the Iran-IraqWhile hoping to prevent an Iranian turn toward the West and to improve their own relations with Tehran, the Soviets nonethelesslo value lhcir tics to Baghdad.

Even before the Iraqi attack the Sovicis foresawarIraq and Iran might jeopardize their stakes in both countries and their broader Middle East objectives. At the outbreak of lhe war theyublic position of neutrality and noninterference in the war in order lo buy time to preserve room for maneuver. But by early October the Soviets began to moveosition thai inclined somewhat toward Iran.

The Soviets perceive that the war lo date has resultedumber of developments detrimental to their interests, including increasedArab acceptance of an augmenled Western presence in lhe regioneakening of the anti-Camp David Arab front. Despite these developments, some believe that the Iraqi encroachment in Iran serves Soviet objectives, above all by heightening instability in Iran and thereby facilitating eventual establishment of partial or complete Soviet control or lhal country. Others, while recognizing lhat the war could offer increased opportunities for Soviet penetration of Iran, nevertheless believe lhat lhc paramount Soviet concern isrotracted war may redirect Iran toward rapprochement with the West, extend formal NATO military cooperaiion to the Persian Gulf, and leadreak with Iraq with no compensatory gam in Iran. The holders of this view believe thai lhe Soviels perceive that an early termination of the war would best serve iheir long-term interests in the region.

As long as present conditions persist. Soviet policy will continue to incline toward Iran while seeking to avoid an intolerable alienation of Iraq.

To avoid alienating Tehran, the Soviets have refused lo satisfy Iraqi requests for large-scale military deliveries, and their failure to do so has embittered the Iraqis from Saddam Hussein down. Moscow isrelying on Iraq's continued dependence on Soviet arms toupture of relations. The Sovicis probably believe thai Iraq could hold its present position against any Iranian altacks for many months withoutritical need for direct Soviet resupply.

StOREI

SftCRCT

If thc Soviets were confronted bv Iraqi demands for major arms

resupply together with Iraqi threats to sever relations if these demands were not met, ihey would probably attempt to mollify the Iraqis with promisesodest increase in deliveries of al least some types of war materiel. Bui thev would not agreeajor resupply while hostilities eonlinued unless ihey indued lhat Iran was on thc brink ofIn lhat case, their decision would be decisively influenced by how resupply might affect the outcome of political struggles In Iran.

Available evidence strongly suggests lhat the Soviets do not believeermination of hostilities is likely in (he near term. The Sovicls will continue their support of Cuban and PLO mediation efforts. Should Iheyealistic possibilityease-fire, ihey might attempt toirect mediating role. They probably recognize, however, that the suspicion of both combatants concerning Soviet intentions couldtheir playingole. Nevertheless, they could believe that iheir supply relations with Iraq and iheir statusossibly critical economic benefactor of Iran could give them unique leverage with both countries.

The Soviets would probably noi perinil release of tbe hostages lo affeel their own inclination toward Iran unless they were convinced that ilundamental Iranian choice in favor cf thc West. Should continuation of the war jeopardize the Khomeini regime, the Soviets would continue to support the embattled regime so long as they continued la believe that il was more likely to be replacedestern-oriented thanro-Soviet successor

The Soviets are not sanguine aboul thc very near-lerm prospectseftist seizure of power in Iran. Thev could reasonably hope,that in the difficult days thai lie ahead for Iran over lhe nexl year, al least some of lhc preconditions for such an outcome might begin to

If Iran were to fragmenl, lhc Soviets would work for theof pro-Soviel regional regimes.

1 the chances are extremely good that lhc Soviets will:

Increase their efforts to compete with the Wesl for influence in Iran through offers of miliiary assistance, development aid, and expanded trade relations.

Continue covert aciion aimed al building thc strength of tbc Tudeh (Communist) party in Iran while undermining moderate elements, and al expanding Soviet influence within the national minority regions.

Allempt unobtrusively lo poslpone release of the hostages by reinforcing hardline opinion, and lo separate thc release issue

Tiy lo have cease-fire and settlement talks arranged in aikat would minimize the Western role in tlie process and maximize that of the USSR.

Use thc war as the occasion tourther buildup of US military force in the Persian Culf. to attempt to split thealliance, and to gain recognition of the USSRecurity guarantor of the Persian Culf by bringing forth once again the proposal to limit military activity in key world sea lanes.

Try lo increase West European and Japanese inveslment in Soviet energy development projects and dependence upon Soviel energy supply (especially naturaly exploiting fears of interruption of oil deliveries from thc Persian Culf.

If conditions were right the Soviets might engageecond class of actions which would be of paramount interest from the USBecause it could generate uncertainty and contention both inside the United States and within the Western alliance, the most difficult case (or US policymakers to cone with would be Soviet acceptance of an "invitation" to intervene militarily, extended cithereftistin Tehran, orreakaway Iranian province. Such Sovietmoves wouldeasonable likelihood of occurring if Moscow believed these moves would not lead to direct confrontation between military forces of the Soviet Union and the United States.

Sfrftr

StifRf.

DISCUSSION

This Eshmate discusses lhe USSR'* attitudehe Iran-Iraq war. lhe character ol Soviet actions lo dale. Ihe Soviet view ol lhe current and emcrgenl situation, and likely Soviet initiative* and responses. The perspective ot* the Estimate is from several months to roughly one year.

I. SOVIET INTERESTS IN THE REGION

A. Regional ond Global Inleresls

2 Soviet interests in lhc Iran-Iraq war should be seenacldrop ol" broad Soviet'goatsIs lo enhance Ihe strategic and economic power of the USSR at Ihe eapense of ihe West To this end. Soviel policy in Soulhwest Asia and the Persian Cull seels to:

hift ol Persian Culf slatesro-Westernorendpro-Soviet position, while at the same lime helping "national liberation" movements that might scire power In lhe Gulf.

Improve Soviet access to and establish conlrol over Persian Cull oil. with all that would mean

for enhanced Soviel leverage over Westernand Japan.

3 In attempting to reahie these obiectives. Soviet policymakers have also had lo lake into account at ill broadei concerns that could be affected by thc war and Soviet responses to it First. Ihey must approach with care any move that could leadirect military clash wiih the United Stne lhat the. could reasonable anticipate might escalate to nuclcai warfare Second, they must assess lhe impact of actions in Ihe Coif on iheir own global strategic, poliiical. and economic inleresls And. Ihiid. they must iudge how thev wish lo aflo be seenoil supplies to the West

oviel Interests in Iron and Iraq

e believe lhal llw Soviets see Iranreater geopolitical prize than Iraq, and that this perception has influenced Soviet behavior in the Iran-lraq con-

llietelations wiih lhe Iranian aulhorilKs before the war were admittedly far worse lhan its rela-tions had been with lhe Shah Nevertheless, lhe Sovietest in keepingain Ihe anti-Western changes thai have taken place over lhe past two years in Iran is enormous, and potential future gains must abo weigh significantly fn Soviel calculations. The overthrow of tlse Shah meant the collapse of lhe major pro-Western power in lhe region, lhe eliminationossible plat-form for US military action against lhe Soviet Union, lhe closing of US inlelligence facilities, andormidable obstacle lo tlse ciiensson ot Soviet influence in Southwest Asia and lhe Persian Culf.

the Soviets see Iranandidate lor an eventual pro-Soviet transformation The oppoilu-nilies for further stralegic gains would then berHerx.il! base for eacrting pressure on Pakistan and Turkey as well as Saudi Arabia and the other Cull oil-producing slates; possible Oil acquisition at bargain prices, and naval and air facilities lhat would enhance lhe Soviets' capability to threaten an oil eutoll from lhe Culf. and lend credibility to Ihe USSR's demands lo participateuarantor off access to Culf oil

preeminent interest ol Ihc USSR in ban docs not mean thai Iraq is of minor importanceepression ol lhe Communist Parly ofts desiir to conslrain the further growth of Soviet influence in llie area, and its striving lo reduce ils dependence on the USSR by eipanding aims dealings and economic lies with Ihe West have led lo growing tensions in relations betweeo Iraq and lhe USSR Yet, liarough2 Fiirndship Treaty and arms supply relationship with Iraq, tbe Soviets still hope lo ciert some influence on the Israeli Arab struggle and on Persian Culf aflnrs Iraqi attempts lo constrain US political and militar.hence iii lhe Culf clearly have wot led to Moscow's benefit, as has Iraq's opposition to lhe Camp Davidarge number of development prefects in Iran have provided the USSR and oilierignificant supplement lo arms salesource of hard currency earning! And Iraq has been one of tlie lew reliable suppliers of OPEC oil toEurope

Sf*>F-

SOVIET ROtE IN THE WAR TO DATE

7 Tlie Soviets foresawar between Iraq and lian might ieopatdire their stakes in both countries and their liioadci Middle East objectives. For tillsthey icpottedly warned lhc Iraqis90 attaint! abrogjtwn of5 Iraq-Iran accord andilitary confrontation with Irannot taken by surprise, they were probablywith Saddam Hussein's decision to attack oneptember, and have since complained that they were not consulted beforehand as tliey should have been under2 Friendship Treaty

t the outbreak of the wai the Soviet leadershipublic position of neutiality andin tlie war to buy lime lo assess II* likely outcome and preserve room for maneuver. When the war began, the Soviets may have estimated that Iraa woulduick victory andhance of regime in Tehran fly the first week of Octobei, lhe Soviels hud evidently concluded that Iraq was notloecisive victory, and that thc war was at least temporarily iallying the Iranian people around the Khomeini regime Correspondingly, the Sovietslo moveositionleast Irom iheirfairly evenhanded or even slightly pro-Iraqi to one that inclined somewhat towaid Iran This shift was emphasizedper hapsthe Soviet decision to proceed withriendship Treaty wltb Syriaesplle tbe poisonous state of relations betweenand Syrian President Assad

olitically, this trend has been eipressedoncerted efiort lo convince Tehran of the Soviet Union's sincere desire to improve and expand relations wiih lian. andomewhat sub rosa bute-less unambiguous criticism of the Saddam HuvseinImplicitly or eiplkitly Ihii criticism has charged Iraq with aggression against Iran

In Ihc arms supply area, the Soviels apparently told lian oneptember that tlie USSR would not increase Ihe quantities of military supplies destined for Iraq or negotiate new sales contracts beyond itemsunder discussion before hostilities broke out The Soviets seem to have been even less responsive Iu Iraqi demands than they promised

Moscow rccogruies that lhe urgency ol Iraq's resupply needs depends on the intensity ol Ihe war Thr- Soviets probably lielieve tint Iraq could hold Ils present positions against any Iranian attacks lor many months withoutritical need for direct Soviet resupply. However. Iraqi entreaties for more assistance have demonstrated to the Soviels thatis abcady anxious lo guaianlee its futute aims

resupply Tlie Soviets probably also calculate lhat new Iraqi advances into KhurctUn would hasten the timt when resupply horn the USSR would be requiird

tlie Soviet* may have viewed their Own eflnrts toolerable level ol arm* deli. -cries lo Iraq, two things sic certain llie Soviels have refuted to satisfy Iraqi requests for latgr-scatc military deliveries, and iheir failure to do so has embittered lhe Iraqrs from Saddam Hussein down

Allhough Ihe USSR supplied the Shah wllh substantial quantities of ground force materiel, it has not provided any major new equipment to Iran since bis fall and has in fact been leluctanl to proceed with scheduled deliveries since the beginning of tlic war Nevertheless. Moscow's handling of its military supply relationship with lian strikes lhe Iraqis as treacherous Since the beginning of the war Moscow and Tehran have Signed at least one minor military supplyMore signdteantly. Ambassador Vinogradov did raise lhc possibilityuiure Soviet arms relationship with Iran in his well-publtclred talkctober with Prime Minister Ratal. Soviel deniab notwithstanding

mall amounts of Soviet materiel have been tunneled lo both Iraq and Iran through third parties Several East European countries have suppliedrelatedvehicles. Spares, andbaq via Jordanian. Kuwaiti, and Saudi porls And the Soviets themselves have also quietly helped, or looked the other way, as Syria. Libya. North Koi'.i. and some East Euiopean countries have begun to transferof it of SovietIran The Iraqis are aware of Soviet complicity in arm* shipments lo Iran and have added complaints on this score la then already long list of grievances against the USSR

aware that Baghdad'sconceivably resultuplurc inMoscow Is presumably relying ondependence on Soviet armsreventMoscow also hopes thai Its restrainta pro-Western shift in Iranian policy andTehran to improve its lies with the USSR

III. CURRENT ASSESSMENTS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS

A. Perceptions of Goint and losses From the War

the war hai distracted world attention

fiom Afghanistan, lhc Soviets perceive thai il has re-

SI of

umber of developments detrimental lo iheir interests

Tliey have been faced by Iheof Ihe combatants, salisfying neither and irritating both.

Thc war hai served lo legitimize and male more acceptable IO conservaiive Arab regitiui thepresence of American naval forces in lhe Arabian Sea

British and additional French warships have abo moved lo lhc region, conveying on impression of Western miliiary cooperation

Iraq's relations with some conservaiiveArab regimes have improved.

The anli-Camp David Arab "front" has lieen weakened, and pressure on both lhe United Slates and Egypt has lieen reduced.

he Inlelligence Communily is split on how lhe Soviets view the war. According to one inlerpretalinn. the available evidence strongly suggests that theview llw warale as delrimenlal lo theirinterests The holders of this view believe thai the Soviets assign greater weight lo the tangibleand poliiical losses immediately imposed on them by tbe war lhan lo tlse more problematic and diffuse gains ihey might hope lo reap some lime in ihe future Tlse war has offcied increased opportunities for Soviet penetration of Iran and could promotechange in Iran lavorablc to the USSR.(he paramounl Soviet concern isrotracted war may

Redirect Iran toward rapprochement witb tbe West.

E-tend formal NAIO military cooperalipn to lhe Persian Gulf.

Leadreak with Iraq with no compensating gain in Iran.

Therefore, the holders of this vicsv believe that the Soviets perceive that an early termination of the war will best serve their long-term interests in the region 1

ccording lo another interpretation, the Sovieis view the delrimenlal developments that have occurred in the icgionesult of Ihc war as "facls of life "

Thr hMm ol ihu neiuhirHoi. NotionalAutiimroi Cei'er. ihr Director. Bwrou ol Inltt'lgrnct and Hi much. Devatlmtit ol Siait, and Iht Ol'ttlor ol-

hgrntf.rr-iwur ol ihr Nut*

lint Mnscosv believes that Iraq's continued cncrnacli. rnenl in Iran creates maior opportunities Tliisfoslcrs destabilizing trends lhat could ere-ale lhe conditions for the accessionrn-Wiet govcrumciil in Iranragmentation of the country. Any frag in cut at inn opens thc way lo pallia! orSo-iel cmilrnl Therefore. Ihc holders ol this view-believe that llie Sovieis are opposed lo an earlyof hostilities.1

B. likely Near-Term Soviel Behavior

llosvevcr Ihey may view lhe war. lhe Soviets are Irving lo male the most of lhe situation. Dwclline iu their propaganda on Use "massive" and "aecressive" US naval deployment iu the Persian Culf-Arabijn Sea area and on plans for the Rapid Deplovrticnl Fnrce. (lie Sov,ms have attempted lo sustain suspicions of US iiilcntions, cultivate fears of American miliiaryslow lhc US military buildup, and fan West European apprehensions over the behaviore United States in ihc Middle East and Sontlnsesi Asia Slwnld further deslabiliialion occur in llie rcginn. the USSR would altempl to eaploit it lo increase its own presence and gain West European and Japaneseof its rolesecurity" guarantor of tbc Cull.

vailable evidence stronclv Suggests that tlse Soviets do not believeermination of hosblllies is hlely in lhe near term They arc aware ol theremaining arms inventories of Ihe combatants, and they probably do not ycl perceive the political. motivation for ending Ihe fighting They know thai Khomeini has said that Iran will noi negotiate while Irani forces remain on Iranian territory, and tbev prulubly lake this assertion quite seriously Thes also Ino* lhat Saddam Hussein is unlikely lol-uniary withdrawal, which would mean giving up his territorial "hagainingcknowledging thcof Iraqi losses, and Inviting his own overthrow They may also suspect lhat Iraq might be tempted to establish ils ownrotectorate in part or all of Khuiestan. Thus, lhe Soviets probably believeesolution of lhc war will occur only when and if {a) an economic or poliiical crisis brings Iran lo ils knees orhange of regime in Tehran or (bl internal pressures on Saddamoup makeible an Iraqi withdrawal.

Thr ketdrtt ofu>ih, Di'Me: Dfjtnu InieU^eott Aprm* rhr AuuronrStaff foiol ihr Aiiiib.iU'anrf Stall, ImrlUeenir. OmanM ihr Air Fow and ihr DWcior of. Head

auartrri.pl

I

s lone as present conditions persist.believe tliat Soviet policy will continue to incline toward lian while seeking to avoid an intolerable alienation of Iranolicybalancing" capability It also helps to present an image to lhe international community nl tlie Soviet Unionresponsibleoffering no pretext for US or Western involve-menl in the dispute and preserving the foundations of "selective detente" However, circumstances are in fact very likely to change. Some potentially significant changes and likely Soviel responses to themm-incd in the following pages.

C. Iraqi Demand for Major Arms Resupply

aced wiih would probably:

As time passes the Soviets are likely tn be faced wiih increasingly urgent Irani demands for large-scale arms resiimily. Tlic longer the Soviets procrastinate in meeting Iraqi demands, the greater (he strains on the Soviet-Iraqi relationship If the Soviets continueoderate icsupply agreement. Iraqi arms dependence on and political responsiveness to the USSR will be reduced Rut substantial resupply would be hard to conceal from the Iranians, and il might embolden ihr Iraqis loarge-scale offensive This could prompt Iran to turn to the West forand place further strains on Soviet-Iranian relations.

Wc estimate, thereloie. that if the Soviets were confronted by Iraqi demands for major arms resupply together with haqi threats to sever relations if ihese demands were not met. they svould probably attempt to mollify the Iraqis with promisesodest in-cicasc in deliveries of al least some types of warel. bul they would not agreeajor resupplyr.ii/i'.'Li u' they nidged that Iran was On the brink of frsgmenlaliuri In that case their judgment would bc decisively influenced by howmight affect ihe outcome of political struggles in lian

The Soviets could underestimate the intensity of Iraqi grievances and end up once again being thrown out by an aims clientevelopment would accelerate Iraq's gravitation into the conservative Arab Orbit and. unless il were offset by significant gains in Iran, wouldajor setback for Soviet influence in the region.

such an eventuality, thc Soviets

Attempt In intensify subversion against the Iraqi resume by Communists. Kurds, and Sbias.

Tale an nvcrtly prn-lraniau stand in tlie war.

Increase support of Syria thai would be directly aimed al Iraq.

ease-Firc/Scttlemen!

2'i The Soviets probably will continue to Seek In undercut uiicrnalional initiatives lhal wouldoviet role in the settlement, or (bj involve Western nr Islamic Conference participation, or (el force the USSIt publicly to eierl pressure on one or the oilier parly They will also continue iheir support of Cuban and PLO mediationhould theyealistic possibilityease-fire and conclude that such an outcome would serve iheir interests thev might attempt toirect mediating role. The Soviets probably are aware thai the doubts of both combatants concerning Soviet impartiality andcould act lo excludeleastmediation effortso the extent lhal leverage rather than "good offices" it important in lhe negolialion process, tlie Soviets could anlicipalerucial role. Tliey could believe thai their arms supply relalionsbip with Iraq and their statusossibly critical economic benefactor of Iran, cnuld give them unique leverage with both countries.

of lhc Hostages

iom thc beginning of Ihe war the Soviets feared thai military and economic needs wouldthe Khomeini regime to relinquish the hostages and Ibusey impcdimenl lo ani" Iranian relation', not only with tho United Slates, butibe West in general Regardless of lhe imparlostage release on US-Iranian relations, theuld have lo assume lhat the termuialion of sanciiom would lead almost automatically to an cipansion of Iranian-West Euiopean arms anddealings. We believe that the Soviets now think it possible thai ibe hostage question will bebe nOI-too distant future.

be Soviets will almosi certainly continue toear-guard propaganda action against release of llie hostages, playing to nationalist passions andIranians lo insist on financial terms lhal lhe US

refforti at mcdiillooiht Pilcflm* Liberation OrtanoiUon and have rnvui-ared il< Indians lo luaporl mediaium through rhe nomtinwJ movement Ihe Soviet*iieuwd wiih ihe Cubitsiibil-

ily ill iiiunt liaul wilhdravili linkedsome InniiiinHgcmenl ot tlaftidad'i elaiftu reilidlni loveirisnly over Ihf Shalt .1 .1

s^ttr

nuy nnl In* aide In meet. Tliey will also tires*elease uf the hostages should not be linked willi arms qucsliflii* orolitical alignments; for arms ami political summit. Iran slinnlrj turn, not to llie West. Imt tr> its "truet the same lime. Soviet-controlled media willomeest sons ibi lily for lhe war lielwress ibefratnii.il Muslim isfuples ul Iran and Iraq. We douhl that the Snvicts wmdd permit release of the hostages tn affect iheir nun inclination Insvard Iran unless they weie convinced that itundamental Iranian choice in law nf the Wesl. Otherwise, tlse effect of release of llie hostages enuld be to intensify Sovietto court Iran

F. Wcokening or Collapse of Ihe Khomeini Regime

r is possible lhatontinual inn nf the war could jeopardi'chomeini regime If thiswe estimate lhat llie Soviets would continue to support (lie embatiled regime so long as tliey emit in ucd lo believe lhal it is mure likely In be replacedestern-oriented thanro-Soviet successor.

he Soviets almosi certainly see economicas the area in which they could score the most rapid gains wiih the ousting regime in Tehran. Even during the war Soviet specialists have continued to workumber of major projects in Iran, and llie Iranians have given signs of desiring lo eipand such activities in the fuiure In viesv of the likelihood that access to Iran through Persian Culf ports will lieonstricted for months, if noi years. Sovietover rail access to Iran might make il obligatoiy lor Tehraneed Soviet interests if Iran is tocommerce with the outside world for lhe duration ul theprobably lunger In lhe near term, fuel and food shortages provide thc USSH with anlo ingratiate itself with Iran, although Soviel delivery capabilily is limited. In return for economic assistance, tbe Soviets would probably press the Iranians fnr fuluie nd anil gas concessions

olitically, the Soviets would bc likely to reiieal ibeir overtures for an arms assistanceo' Iranian comaimplion ihey might issue threats aimed at deterring US (or combined US-Westhe Cull il Tehran launched furtheragainst Arab supporters of Irarj or jeopardized fice passage through the Strait of Hormuf. The Soviets mighl also Iry to use their economic and aims leverage to press tbe cleric* to relai repression against tbe left. Encouraging lhe regime to make concession* on

aullMIMlllV tu national minorities, tltcy wouldfleu up lhcir own efforts to increase Cumiiniiui influence among these group* likewise, the* vimilil intensify covert action aimed al rsenerrall llie Urategic inst in it ions and groups In Tehran

llie Soviels were confronted by alalcnvrr. they would almost eeilaiulyblunt ils anticipated pro-Western turn wiih abribery ami pressure tactics A* incentives, thewiiild make new nffrn ol military assillanee.aid. and long-term development assistancesame lime, lo induce lhe Iranians not In go tooarnii relationships or security tics with theami the Wesl. lhe Soviets could:

Tlwealen to increase the flow of arms lo In.;

Threaten recognition of Irani border claims

Tlirraten In use leverage against thirrlnartv cuiiitiies In convince lliem tn cut hackms shipmrnls to Iran

LVli or impede overland tranipnrialinn into Iran llirough Astara and Jolfa

Inrrraw military capabilities along the Soviet-It.nun or Afghan-Iranian borders.

Increase Soviet assistance to Ihe Tudeh amiSupport for "liberation movements"regions adjacent lo the USSR or (for Knrdestin.

Ilahichestan).

Even in Ibe (aceonservallve/mihtaiy regime In Tehran, the Soviets are unlikely to believe lhal their eventual prospects there are so dismal that they should totally ih.'i their bets lo Iraq

ruimare lhat lhc Soviets are notllie .ei. near-term prospectseftistpower They could reasonably hope, however,the dllflcult days that tie ahead for Iran overyear, al least some of Ihe preconditionslo teleftist coalition weret well reojues) Soviet armed assistanceits eontiol in individual legium of Irantlse country We estimate that tbeprobably accept such an Invitation

isintegrative internal trends could lead to lhe collapse of Tehran's control over the national minority region* If fragrisenlalton oceuried. the Soviets vould workhe establishment of pro Soviet irgionalControl of Kuidish, Ararbav.ji andlegions tn noi ther it lian piobably would lie Mos-

cow's (km concern. MoSCOw has stepped tip ili cover! activities since the lafl of llie Sliah and ils lies lo lellisl clcmcnls in each of ihese areas would facilitate Soviet elf'irts I" pn.motc pro-Soviet rer.imes in lliescrn-Suvii'l regime iu annchest an on llie Culf nf Oman >souId lie more diffkull lo achieve. Liul wuuldlhc Sovicls accesskstI facilily on lhe Arabian Sea. Tlie Soviets would alsn clearly at-tempi lo enhance their influence in Khuzcslan. al-Ihuugli their opportunities lodo so would beat least, in areas occupied by Iraq.

iven Ihese potential gains (and Use cover nf legitimacy provided by1 Treaty withhe Soviets might respond to what they Iwlirved to be the irreversible fraunu'ulalion nf the couniry bySupporting urn-Soviet forces in adjacent Iranianneed be svilh military forces of their Own. Tin- Soviets' is'illiiuiiieSi to intervene in Iran would be critically affcclcd by ihcir csiiinatcof the possibilityirect military ennfmutation svith the United States.

IV. IMPLICATIONS

Tlse impact of possible future Soviet actions connected wild the Iran-Iraq svar mnsl be assessed in ICrrris nf both lhc likelihood of the actions occurring and llie probable maguilude of llseir effect We es-limale thai the chances arc eilreinely good that the

SiiviCtS will

Increase their efforts lo compete svilh Ihe West for influence in Iran ihrough offers of military assistance, dpielopmcnl aid. and expanded trade elati'

Cniilniiieciion aimed at building Tudeh strenclh "bile under mining moderate clcmcnls. and ai expanding Soviel influence inlhm Ihe rsa-iKinal minority regions.

Alleni I l usiicK tnlei.! th-.-

hostages by reinforcing hardline Opinion, and lo

separate lhe release issue from Use qiscstious of arms supplypolitical rapprochemeiit.

lo have cease-fire and settlementariner that will minimize lhemle iu lhe process and masiinize lhal of the I'SSIs

Use Ihe svar as lhe occasion tour UserS military lorce in the Persian Culf. In attempt lo split the Atlantic alliance, and to gain recognition of ihe USSRecurityof the Persian Culf by bringing forth once again tlse proposal lo limit military activily in key world sea lanes.

to increase West European and Japanese in-icitinrnr in Soviel energy development projects and dependence upon Soviet energypecially- naturaly Ciploiling fears of interruption of oil deliveries from tbc Persian Gulf.

robabl) rsf paramount interest from lhcbnuever.econd class of possiblellccause il could generate uncertaintyboih inside tbe Uniled Slates andWestern alliance, lhe most difficull case furio cope with would be Sovietan "invitation" to intervene mililurily.eftist government in Tehran, or by abanian province. Such Sovieteasonable likelihood of occurringbelieved these moves would not lead toI rout at ion between miliiary foices of tbcfriiied States

Finally, there arc Soviet actions lhal wouldreat impact on US interests bui alsoery low probabililr of being taken within the noi year. These aeiimis include an oulright Soviet invasion of all of Iranollowup seizure of oil-producing territories faillier south along thc western littoral of lhe Persian

SDJBET

OlSSfMINAIION NOTICt

I. Thit document woiby rhe Notional Foreign Assessment Center. Thi* copy It for the info* mo lion ond ute of the recipient ond of person) under hii or he* joriidkiionced-lo-Vno- bovs. Additionol esseniiol disscmisolion moy be outhoriied by lhe following olficiob within rheir respective depoilmenn,

o. Director ol Intelligence ond Reseor<)i. for ihe Deporlnsenl of Slots

b. Direclor.Intelligence Agency, lor the Olfice of the Secreloiy of Defense

ond the orgonirotion of Ihe Jo.nl Chiefs ol

sjiilonll Stall lor Inlelligence. for the Deportment of the Army

of Novol Inlelligence. lor lhe Oeporlmenl of the Novy

Chiel ol Stoll. Intettgence, for lhe Deportmenl of theDcpuly Ass.dministroior lor Nolionol Security, for Ihe Deporlnsenl ol Energy

Oirecloi. Ffll. lor lhe federot Bureau of Invesiigotion

of NSA. for Ihe Nolionol Security Agency

Assistant lo thc Secretory lor National Security, for rhe Deportment of the

Treasury

j, Thc Depi/ty Director for Nalionol foreign Aisessmcnt lor ony olher Deportment or Agency

his document moy be reloined.destroyed by burning in accordance wiih oppiicable security regulations, or returned to the Not.onol foreign Assessment Center.

3 When this document isrseoi. Ihe overseas recipients may reloin iteriod not in excess of one year. Al the end olhe document should be destroyed Or relumed to ibe forwording agency, or permission should be requested of lhe loiwording agency lo reloin il in oceordonce -ilh2 June

he iitlc ol this document when used scporoiely from the lede unclassified

Original document.

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