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John F. Kennedy Administration: Telegram on Reported Coup in Jordan

(April 27, 1963)

This is a telegram from the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel providing information on a possibly coup in Jordan.

Mounting indications exist immediate coup being planned by Army and other groups in Jordan. Believed aligned neither with Nasser or Baath but going ahead with Nasser's knowledge and maybe assistance. We unable gauge at present chances for success and objectives not entirely known to us.

Seems Israel aware coup plans and is extremely nervous. Prospect exists if coup successful and UAR influence appears predominant, Israel may decide for military action in Jordan or Egypt, or both. Ambassadors in area should review emergency plans and preparations without in any way revealing above knowledge.

For London: Situation being reviewed today with UK Embassy. Request you do so likewise with FonOff.

For Tel Aviv: If coup attempt in fact takes place you should at once strongly advise Ben-Gurion take no military action and say we will maintain close touch with GOI. It by no means clear coup, if successful, would mean immediate Nasser control over Jordan or introduction non-Jordan forces. We will use full weight our influence toward unchanged situation on Jordan-Israel border.

For Damascus and Baghdad: In event Jordan coup effort you should immediately approach Government at highest level and say every effort will be made prevent external interference and spread of coup. Syria and Iraq can make best contribution by remaining absolutely quiet and in no way goading Israelis.

For Cairo: In event coup, advise Nasser if UAR identifies itself as coup author or mentor it would only serve goad Israel. We rely on UAR avoid any measure contributing to risk conflagration involving others beyond Jordan.



Sources: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963: Near East, 1962-1963, V. XVIII. DC: GPO, 2000.