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September 17, 2003

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* No political development along with economic

There are some additional factors you were missing [Mossadegh saved the Shah]. The CIA was kicking down an open door anyways. Ayatollah Kashani had also withdrew support from Mossadeq which was very detrimental and the green light was on.

Plus the CIA exaggerated their story to give themselves credibility, by doing so it bit them in the back and continues to do so today. I think more generally when people refer to the CIA coup what they are trying to demonstrate is foreign intervention and the implications of it. And it's irrelevant to the point they are making as well, that is the CIA not only overthrew Mossadeq as they say, but subsequently supported the Shah, which was excluded from your analysis.

People's problem isn't necessarily the involvement in the coup, but helping the Shah build his apparatus of repression. No one even quarrels the economy was booming in Iran under the Shah, not even the clergy of Iran today, if you recall majority of the qualms were why there was not subsequent political development along with the economic development and that is where the Shah failed due to him being a megalomaniac.



* Mossadegh: Constituional Monarchist

I read your opinion in the Iranian with interest. I happen to agree with your view that Mossadegh saved the Shah. And there were some elder statesmen who expressed a similar view in the past. Although, I was too young to understand the sequence of events back then, I have read books, memoirs and interviews concerning the coup-de-tat of 1953.

It is no secret that Mossadegh was a nationalist and he believed in the Constitutional Monarchy of Iran. He was not convinced that the people of Iran were ready for any other regime, but monarchy, at the time. The 1953 Iran was run by feudalists and Mossadegh was one of them. There was no way that he could proscribe the status quo.

M Sauber


* Chains and knives

Fereydoon Hoveyda in his latest article [Mossadegh saved the Shah] in mentions that "The prime minister's inaction paved the way for the Shah's return to power in 1953." He believes that the coup's success mostly goes back to the fact that Mossadegh believed in Monarchy more that any one else, even in his own cabinet. He thinks "attributing the toppling of Mossadegh and the return of the Shah in 1953 to a CIA plot is rather insulting to the Iranian people themselves." But I think either this attribution is "insulting to the Iranian people" or not, it is unfortunately the truth and we -as a nation- should be shameful for that.

Historically, Mobs have had an extremely important role in our political system. Most of the rulers in our country have had their support for staying in power. This subject is something that sociologists should work on and try to find out why we -as a nation- are so "laat" and "laat-supporter."

"Daash-mashti-baazi" and "laat-gari" are the essence of our popular culture. Look at all of our heros in our mythology: Either it is Rostam or Amir Arsalaan, Ali Parvin or Mahvash, or even Hedaayat's Daash Aa-kal, Kimiyaayi's Gheysar, or Bahraam Beyzaayi's Pahlevaan Akbar, they are all "laats." We are a nation of "laats" and "laat" fans.

Mehrdad bahaar, in some of his interviews and writings mentions that "Pahlevaani" and "Ayyaari" culture dates back to the time even before the migration of Ariyan nomads to Iran. Sometimes I think this "laat-gari" culture should be related to that deeply rooted mentality that directs us towards using chains and knives for solving every problem, instead of using our brains and hearts.



* Executed for calling regime change

Mr. Hoveyda, [Mossadegh saved the Shah]

You should have mentioned of Dr. Fatami and the police chief (do not remember the name?) who were shouting to change the regime and announce republic and were executed and murdered mysteriously after the coup. No other cabinet member as well as the late Mosadegh were not sentenced to death!

So long


* Far off base

I would normally respect the writings of Fereydoun Hoveyda. Even if the content is at times skewed, he manages to present his point of view in a manner that is pleasant to read and open to one's interpretation.

However his latest "Mossadegh saved the Shah" is so far off base, it brings even his previous opinion pieces under question.

Mr. Hoveyda confesses to believing "the story" of the CIA coup in 1953 at some point, but later changed his mind not based on new facts he may have uncovered or information previously unavailable to him, but merely as a reflection upon "our ancient mythology".

In other words, Mr. Hoveyda chooses to overlook hundreds of pages of documents now declassified by the CIA detailing the planning and execution of the coup, the written accounts of many of the coup's primary players (not to mention the confession and eventual near-apology of US Secretary of State), plus the extensive research put into uncovering the facts
surrounding those dreadful events, in favor of the possibility that since our mythology may support what he describes as "Rostam Syndrome", therefore that must be the true reason behind the downfall of Mossadegh and not the coup.

Mr. Hoveyda also uses some questionable data to describe the events of that cursed summer, such as the leadership role he grants Shaban "Brainless", although it is now known that he was in jail during much of the day of the coup. He also mentions that he saw "a solitary tank" somewhere that day, perhaps downplaying the role of the army in the coup, when tens of tanks and other military vehicles are photographed by various people that day around Tehran.

What is perhaps most disturbing is his position that Mossadegh didn't really want to get rid of his "father" figure in Shah and therefore caused his return. Although in several spots in his piece he points to reasons that could easily explain Mossadegh's position, he fails to recognize them as such and stops at only using them in portraying an image of a weak and incompetent Prime Minister.

For example, he points to the expanding influence of Iran's Communist Party (Tudeh), but fails to recognize Mossadegh's total disapproval of this ideology and how he may have seen the immediate establishment of a republic, as an easy process of turning the power over to Tudeh within a term or two at the office. The old man chose to promote a constitutional monarchy instead, probably choosing the lesser of the two evils to advance the interest of his country and people.

Of course hindsight is 20/20 and now looking back, there are many mistakes an astute observer can point to as blunders of Mossadegh at the time, but ignoring the obvious facts such as a CIA funded and directed military coup to topple his government, is an insult not only to a figure many Iranians revere as a political saint, but also to millions who supported his government and then saw it ousted by an act of direct and meddling foreign aggression.

Pedram Moallemian


* "Wrong" side of history

Dear Mr. Hoveyda, [Mossadegh saved the Shah]

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, mostly based on your personal life experiences and your intimate knowledge of the Iranian history and culture, about the events of the Summer of 1953 in Tehran.

I can see you point of view on this matter and am not ambivalent to the influence of the patriarchal history and culture of Iran on her political dynamics. However, I think a sear interoperation of those historic events might be a bit too simplistic of an approach missing some larger and more complex attributing factor.

Lack of a comprehensive and global understanding of the world events, balances of power, and the historic dynamics, have been heavy burdens on the Iranians, including their statesmen, in the last century. A good example of such miscalculations and not understanding who Iran's historic friends and foes are, is the overwhelming sentiment among majority of Iranians, even those living abroad, against the state of Israel, when in reality it has been the existence of Israel that has kept the Arab armies from continuing their historic march toward east through Iran.

Nonetheless, without getting too distracted from the main theme of your essay, as much as Dr. Mossadegh was a nationalist and a shrewd "domestic" politician, he really did not have a clear grasp of the geopolitical issues of his day beyond Iran's border. His lack of full understanding and appreciation for the much larger dynamism of his time (struggle between the communist block and the western block) led him to some tremendous errors of judgement in his actions toward the Tudeh Party.

Furthermore, you may say the hindsight is 20/20, but many of Dr. Mossadegh's contemporaries clearly saw the evil of the Soviet Union and the ultimate historic defeat of that system, but I think the simple and idealist mind of Dr. Mossadegh was so obsessed with the rhetoric of communism that he could not see the woods for the trees, and sympathized with the "wrong" side of history.

Of course, there are many other secondary attributers to Dr. Mossadegh's defeat which are beyond the scope of my simple, short and friendly letter for you.

Again, thanks for your insight, and I am looking forward to reading more of your works soon.

Hamid Bahadori
Mission Viejo, California


* Polarized hatred igores other scenario

Dear Mr. Hoveyda, [Mossadegh saved the Shah]

I agree with your take on this. I believe the end-game for
Mossadeq was scripted by the Shah, Mossadeq and the United States, in a manner that each would save face.

In a recent conference in Toronto for 28 Mordad I raised this as one possible explanation for the rather docile end to the whole affair and as an example of how minds polarized by so much hatred of one man over the other completely igore the fact that perhaps another scenario could have been in play.



* Mossadegh should be scrutinized first

Dear Ambassador Hoveyda,

Thanks, yet again, for your essay, this time on Mossadegh [Mossadegh saved the Shah]. If Iran is in chaos during the three years of his prime ministerial term, he should be scrutinized first and foremost before one begins to examine all the other real and percieved machinations against him, I always thought. Yet Mossadegh too is revered like a father, thus beyond reproach! How ironic.



* Truth comes out

The truth comes out slowly but surely [Mossadegh saved the Shah]. It is refreshing to read Mr. Hoveida.s account of the events of 1953. Thanks for publishing it.

H. Hakimi


* Totally agree

Dear Fereydoun, [Mossadegh saved the Shah]
I totally agree with your analysis and confirm your conclusion.
Best regards,
A.M. Madjidi


* People of Iran can stop any invader

Mr. By Xerxes Darius in his article "America will take care of our business" looks like he saw a lot of movies and done a little study of history, specially Iranian history. During last 2500 years, Iran was attacked and invaded by enemies and evil leaders like Saddam Hussein, Mongols, Arabs, but they never succeed in their goals.

The recent invasion was WWII invasion by UK, US and USSR and Iran-Iraq war, which lead invasion of some parts of our beloved cities and villages in west and southwest of our country.

People of Iran so powerful that can stop any invader and we don’t need any help from any foreign country. Superpowers don’t want to help anyone… they are thirsty for more power and money. They can’t even take care of their own business. So,Mr. By Xerxes Darius please stop support US and join the power of people of Iran.
Long Live Iran



More letters (September 17, 2003)
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Omid Djalil on "Whoopi"
* Laughing at ourselves?
* Turning funny into fool
* Breaking stereotypes
* Common delusion
* Worst since...
* Terrible writing
* Watch and tell
* I recommend this show
* Teaching Americans
Protest song
* Civil, not vengeful
Mossadegh & Shah
* No political development
* Constituional Monarchist
* Chains and knives
* Executed: regime change
* Far off base
* "Wrong" side of the history
* Igoring other scenario
* Scrutinize Mossadegh
* Truth comes out
* Totally agree
* Mordeh parasti basseh!

Tudeh & Fadiyan
* Stalin lover no democrat
* Questionable leaders
* One more terrorist
* Aftabeh to shilang
* Organized religion, no
* Flee IRI or Islam?
* Open your heart & mind
* It's all ignorance
* If Bush cleans our house
* Iran can stop invaders
Arabs & Iranians
* Pleasinng Arab friends
* Something has to be done
Reza Beyk Imanverdi
* Our Charles Bronson
Farjami's poetry
* From Pakistan, with love
Nemati's articles
* Believe in ourselves
* What does dad think?
* Unity not with hormones
* Searching for spouses
The weak
* Deserve their fate
* Pre-1979 home movies
Too sexy
* Take it out, please
* Raised royal
* Pased away
* Manijeh?
* Go nuclear!


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