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June 4, 1973

Minutes of Conversation between the Shah and Nicolae Ceaușescu, Bucharest

Minutes of conversation between the Shah and Nicolae Ceaușescu, Bucharest, 4 June 1973




The Shah: It is true that, although our countries have different [political] regimes and are far from each other geographically, they are nonetheless motivated by the same feelings, especially in their independent policies, [and their policies] of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and of course, of not accepting interference from other states into their own affairs. I think this type of policy is gaining ground. [People] have started to understand that there is no other way to solve today’s problems between various countries than this.




Of course, there is the matter of European détente. Ultimately, and happily, this great issue, especially the German question, which preoccupies everybody, [was solved]; moreover, important steps forward were taken in Helsinki; negotiations took place in Vienna. One could not have expected something different; I don’t remember whether I read it in the news or heard it on the radio that the Americans and the Soviets decided to withdraw 21,000 soldiers each [from Europe]. Only that, as I told our European friends, European détente should become world policy, as there could not be détente in Europe, without stability in the Middle East, since life in Europe depends on energy supplies from the Middle East.




Ceaușescu: I must add that as far as Romania’s and Iran’s interests are concerned, of course, even if we did so for distinct reasons, we always agreed on developing relations with the Soviet Union. To my mind, things developed well in this respect and they are in a good state.


Therefore, on the big issues which concerned the world in this period, Romania and Iran managed to cooperate and to adopt a line which advanced détente and international cooperation.




Of course, through its geographic position, the Middle East directly influences a series of countries, and, I could add, the whole of Europe. If we add crude to this [equation], we can see that these issues are very important.




The Shah: We noticed the attention which you are paying to European security. As we were saying, we believe that European security cannot be disconnected from the security of the Middle East, for economic reasons.




Nixon’s trip to Beijing, followed by his trip to Moscow, was unfortunate, because [these visits] were bilateral [in nature]. [This type of contacts] were useful in this case, but they may be unpleasant in other cases.




We would feel more protected if problems were solved in an international forum. How? Eliminate the veto right [of the Permanent Members of the Security Council]. One could say: there are 135 countries, at least 20-30 of which are totally irresponsible, frustrated. If Mr. Gaddafi tries to buy votes, he could buy a lot of votes. Just yesterday he ordered that his people go to take over all ministries. His people went and took over the Ministry of Information and the Television. I do not know if they [even] have television. However, [they] have the right to veto, since the big [powers] will exert their right to veto to defend their own interests, while the small [powers] will only be able to defend the real interests of the world.

Describes conversation between Nicolae Ceausescu and the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi about the influence of events in the Middle East on the rest of Europe because of oil. The Shah suggests detente as a world policy.

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ANIC, CC RCP, FRS. Contributed and translated by Roham Alvandi and Eliza Gheorghe, and included in CWIHP Working Paper, "The Shah's Petro-Diplomacy with Ceaușescu" (2014).


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