WASHINGTON (Apr. 26)
Israel’s objections to the decision of the United States Government to give free American munitions to Iraq under the Mutual Security program were presented today by Ambassador Abba Eban to Henry A. Byroade, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. The understanding reached between Iraq and the United States was announced officially this morning by the State Department.
Diplomatic sources here noted that Iraq is still technically at war with Israel, not having concluded an armistice agreement such as the ones signed by the other Arab countries. Iraq is the first Arab League member state to receive military aid from the United States Government. It was indicated here today that other Arab states may soon receive similar grants in line with President Eisenhower’s desire to create “situations of strength. “
No responsible official would say whether Israel would be included among the recipients of military aid grants although Israel applied for such aid long before Iraq. Unofficial government sources said that a group of American military officers is preparing to leave for Baghdad to work out final details for sending to Iraq various types of artillery, tanks and military aircraft.
CONTENTS OF ISRAELI NOTE TO U.S. GOVERNMENT REVEALED
The Israel Embassy today revealed the contents of a note handed to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles by Ambassador Eban several weeks ago in which the Government of Israel informed the State Department that it considers the provision of arms to Iraq as inconsistent with the Tripartite Declaration of May 25, 1950, and that it does not believe any “assurances” would deter the use of such arms against Israel.
“The despatch of arms to Iraq by the United States in the present conditons,” the note said, “would be interpreted throughout the Middle East as acquiescence in current Arab policies toward Israel, which are marked by a fierce hostility. ” It pointed out that “there is already evidence that Arab hostility to Israel has been intensified by the assumption of Arab governments that the United States is increasingly indulgent to Arab policies. “
Mr. Dulles was told that “a sentiment in Israel that the security of the state has been prejudiced through a needless reinforcement of its hostile neighbors by the United States would in itself be a source of added tension in the life of the Middle East.”
Stressing the fact that Israel would not do anything “which the friendly American people could regard as directly prejudicial to the security or independence of the United States, ” the note asked the U.S. to refrain from a step “which, whatever its justification on other grounds, could not fail to aggravate the deadly dangers amidst which Israel lives, and to augment the tensions which prevail between the peoples of the Middle East.”
“It would surely be a highly unusual step with few, if any, precedents in all history for the United States to supply arms to a government which has so recently expressed such emphatic hostility to a neighboring state,” the note stated. It emphasized that such reinforcement of Iraq “would prejudice the existing balance of military forces in the region, and, by compelling Israel to undertake a corresponding increase of its own establishment, would serve to stimulate an arms race in the Middle East.”
The note demonstrated how “Iraq has always shown a special virulence in its aggressive attitude to Israel. ” It stressed that Iraq was a pioneer and leader in armed aggression against Israel both before and during the official invasion by Arab regular forces in 1948. Mr. Dulles was reminded that Iraqi forces took a prominent part in these Arab military operations which were characterized by the American representative in the United Nations Security Council as an “aggression of international character.”
Israel told in the note how Iraq not only refused to conclude an armistice agreement of the type signed by other Arab League aggressor nations, but is currently and publicly threatening new attacks. Belligerent official statements by the Iraqi Prime Minister were cited.