Remembering Mosaddeq

Iraj Afshar, Jalil Bozorgmehr and Mohammad Mosaddeq


Remembering Mosaddeq
by Fariba Amini

“This building was constructed in 1334 thanks to the generosity of Mohammad Hasan Shamshiri.* All the money received from regular patients who come here for treatment will be used to treat those who are poor and cannot pay for such services. From these revenues, nothing will be taken to compensate the owners and the administrators.” -- Mohammad Mosaddeq, inscribed on a plaque at Najmieh Hospital in Tehran

On the anniversary of the August 19, 1953, coup, which is forever etched in our memory, what better way than to remember Iran’s democratic leader by reading an account filled with anecdotes of his personal and political life as told to his lawyer, Jalil Bozorgmerh in a book called Taqrirat-e Mosaddeq dar Zendan* (Mosaddeq’s Prison Notes) compiled by J. Bozorgmehr and edited by the late great Iranologist, Dr. Iraj Afshar.

I have taken the liberty of selecting and translating passages from the book. In as much as possible I have tried to stay true to the original text. Published two years after the Revolution, it is the personal account of the key moments in the life of a unique man and a distinguished politician, including the events that led to his downfall.

Introduction by Iraj Afshar

“There is no doubt that the late Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq left a lasting mark on Iran’s history and his government opened an important chapter in the political development of Iran. Thus, to judge him correctly and without bias, the many aspects of his life must be understood, and for this we need ample genuine documents.

Among these documents, which I have the honor and privilege to present to the readers, is a series of assorted notes gathered by Colonel Jalil Bozorgmehr, his honest lawyer during the military court proceedings. He undertook this task with immense courage while visiting the late Mosaddeq in prison. Dr. Mosaddeq reread the notes but in order not to make changes in the text made only a few marginal corrections so as not to cause a problem for Bozorgmehr.

Mr. Bozogmehr kept these notes from the hands of the political police in different places for 26 years and presented them to me for publication. I am indebted to him for his friendship and kindness honoring me with this task, allowing me to do the right thing towards one of the most exceptional political figures of Iran.

Colonel Bozorgmehr’s notes did not follow the sequence of events. Every day, he would write what he heard from the Dr. and would jot it down later from memory. I only tried to put them in correct chronological order. I hope it will be acceptable to those who read the book. May Mosaddeq’s soul be content.” – Los Angeles, 11 Farvardin 1359, Iraj Afshar.

Mosaddeq’s appreciative letter to Bozorgmehr

“I want to convey from far away my greetings to my friend Mr. Jalil Bozorgmehr and to thank him for his courageous effort in representing me during the military trial; I looked forward to seeing him during the time I was in prison. After the trial, I was saddened not to be able to see him. It was indeed an unpleasant period which I endured, and now that 12 years have passed since my imprisonment, I cannot leave Ahmad Abad and am not allowed to see anyone except for my children.

Since I will not live to see him [Bozorgmehr] again, I want to convey my sincere appreciation and bestow all my blessings to him in helping a compatriot. I ask the almighty God to protect him and his family.” -- Mohammad Mosaddeq

Bozorgmehr’s note

“Dr. Mosaddeq did not want to talk much about himself but I wanted to engage him so I would ask him questions. He would always say whatever the people need to know about me, they already know and they will know.” -- Jalil Bozogmehr

Passages from the book:

Studies abroad

In 1909 I started on a journey via Rasht and Enzeli to study in Paris. I took my brother Mr. Abolhassan Diba (Seqqet el-Dowleh) to study in a boarding school.

I had studied so much during 1909-1910 that I got very sick. I remember I went to see Professor Haim, a renowned French physiologist; when he saw the test results of my stomach acidity, he was astonished to see how high they were. He told me that I was the first patient whose stomach was so messed up. He told me that I had to take a 3-month rest. I told him that, unfortunately, I could not as it was my last year of studies. But he insisted that if I did not listen, nature would force me into doing so. I continued going to school but sometimes it was unbearable for me to sit for a long time and listen to the professor’s lectures.

Village life

I remember staying in convalescences in the village of Afjeh. During my time there, an old friend Mirza Abdollah Khan Mirpanj was with me. He was a very honest man. One day, he asked me so what other thing did you learn during your time in Paris besides your studies? I said, like what? He said, like cooking. I told him I learned how to cook a little bit. I know how to make crème renversée, or what they call pudding. I decided to make it for my friend. After two days of boiling milk and eggs and trying to cook it under the fire I had made, I failed. It was during lunch the next day and after nothing changed in the texture of the milk that Mirpanj told me, if your studies are anything like your cooking, God have mercy on this country and the people [!]


I had been invited to attend a meeting of a society in Tehran. By chance, Mr. Ali Akbar Dehkhoda was there as well. We worked together for a while and we liked each other and trusted one another. The meetings were held in the Seraj Mosque. One day, during am outing, he said I have told the people that you would be coming to the meeting, which will be held in a house across form the mosque. I said, ok we can go together. I found out that the owner of the house was the late Mirza Alimohammad Dowlat Abadi who was one of the leaders of the E`tedal Party. After a few discussions, I found out that they had invited me to become a member. Since I did not want to upset Mr. Dehkhoda, I did not say anything and did not decline. While I was in Europe I did not know much about what was happening in Iran when it came to politics. I was just tending to my studies. I did not know the different parties, and it was only because I trusted Mr. Dehkhoda that I had accepted the invitation. They brought the Koran so that I would swear on it. But I declined. My friendship with Mr. Dehkhoda resulted in my becoming a member of the E`tedal Party; I worked with Mr. Dehkhoda for a while; since he would occasionally be late for meetings, (extended laughter) we would go to his house so that he could be on time.


I spent a few days in Bombay [Mumbai]. Some Iranian residents of India came to visit me. Among them, Prince Soleyman Mirza and `Isa Mirza, who had both been imprisoned by the British government, came to see me. Vossuq el-Dowleh was also in the hotel Taj Mahal where I was staying. We did not meet or cross paths, for obvious reasons.


In Qavam el-Saltaneh’s cabinet, I was the minister of finance. I wanted to make reforms in the Ministry of Finance and fired a few people. When Journalists wanted to write negatively about me, they would first write in favor of Sardar-e Sepah who would then say they didn’t say anything negative.

Another time, Qavam called me in and told me that because the country was in financial distress, they wanted to sell bonds. Since people trusted me, I, along with [Sydney]Armitage Smith who was a British financial advisor, should sign my name for this reason. I got up and said I would never do such thing. As long as Armitage Smith was in charge of our finances, I would not agree. Then, they tried to bring an advisor from the United States. I said this will not work either. First you must prove that Iranians cannot take care of the financial affairs of their own country. This is like they used to say that an Iranian cannot run the oil production and he can only make water pitchers.

The Soviets

The abolition of the law of capitulation in Azerbaijan that I had ordered while I was minister of foreign affairs resulted in a continued discussion with the Soviet Ambassador in Tehran in 1302. He wrote a letter to me in which he reminded me that there was no such law between Iran and the Soviet Union. You must tell us under which jurisdiction should Soviet citizens be tried in Iran, he asked. It was obvious that all this pressure was because of what I had done in Azerbaijan.

Treaty of 1919 and Vossuq

God only knows that I was the first person who was against the treaty [of 1919, which gave partial rights to the English to govern Iran, making Great Britain the sole foreign power that mattered in Iran]. When Vossuq el-Dowleh became head of the ministers he was given a lot of money to spend. He then would buy off people and give them salaries. We worked with Samsam el-Dowleh against Vossuq. One day, Vossuq came to me and said tell me what you are up to? I said that I had no plans; that I was going to Europe. I started writing against the treaty when I was in Switzerland. I was in Neuchâtel, which was a remote place. I had a room on the 3rd story of a building. I could not make a stamp there thus I had to go to Bern and make a rubber stamp in the name of the committee I had formed : Comité Resistance des Nations. At that time, the League of Nations was meeting in Versailles. I wrote my objections and protest letters and would send them to Nayereh Soltan, and he would then send it the League of Nations and to the press. The English were watching.

Ahmad Shah

They took Ahmad Shah to England where they had a big party for him. Nosrat el-Dowleh wrote a declaration, praising the treaty Vossuq el-Dowleh had signed and they wanted Ahmad Shah to read it. One of the worst things Ahmad Shah ever did was to appoint Vossuq el- Dowleh as the head of ministers without a vote in the Majlis. And he [Vossuq] in turn, signed the treaty. Ahmad Shah became quite upset after this event. While in London, the British wanted him to admit that he was okay with this action but he did not agree. This guy, Naser el-Molk, insisted that Ahmad Shah accept the terms, but he did not accept to read the statement during dinner. It was because of this that the late Ahmad Shah was dismissed.


Qavam came to me and said you have done good work while you were in Shiraz, but we also noticed that you have spent your own money; you should be compensated. So he gave me a check for 10,000 tumans as a token. I told him that it was not necessary, no thank you. If I have done anything, it was for my country. I am not needy. I have a livelihood in Tehran. If I have had financial loss it is my own doing. It is not necessary to pay me. If I had taken that money I am sure I would have been put in jail.


They [the British] had spent quite a bit of money on the police in the South. The British consul in Shiraz told me that they gave one hundred Lacks to Farmanfarma. Each Lack was one hundred thousand Rupees, so a total sum of five to six hundred thousand rupees. When I returned to Tehran I asked Farmanfarma. He said it wasn’t just him, but Qavam Shirazi also received money. When Forughi was in office, the British sent a letter to him and he accepted their terms but they immediately charged Iran by deducting it from the oil revenues. Forughi was not the type to take money but he wanted to stay in power and get his monthly salary. Whatever they wanted, he would do. Vossuq el-Dowleh would not give any concessions until he received money; sometimes if he didn’t get his share, he would not give concessions [to the British].

The Persian Gulf islands

We wanted to send troops to the islands of Sheykh Sho`eyb and Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf but the English were against it. They said these two islands belong to the Emirate of Sharjah. They had control over Sharjah and wanted to add the two islands to the Sheikhdom. Because of this [at that time Dr. Mosaddeq was minister of foreign affairs] I had some heated exchanges with Sir Percy Loraine (who was by the way a polite man). He told me, do you know who you are dealing with? I said, yes, what can you do to me? The only thing you can do is kill me. That’s all. By the way, what happened to the fate of the islands? [Asking Bozorgmehr]

An interesting story

One of the most interesting stories I remember is about Eyrum who was the head of police. One day, the Shah told him, I have heard that lots of people go to Naser el-Din Shah’s tomb to say their prayers. Do something about it. That evening, Eyrum was a guest at Haj Hasan Aqa Malek’s (in Emamzadeh Qasem). This property has its own story; it belonged to his [Haj Hasan’s] father who was a real crook. He had gotten the property in a bet with my uncle Farmanfarma. When Haj Hasan saw that Irum was in deep thought, he asked, what is the matter? Colonel Eyrum told him what the Shah had said. Haj Hasan then said, give me some money and I will find the solution. Haj Hasan’s solution was if they buried Reza Shah next to Naser el-Din Shah, nobody will pay anymore visits to the tomb.

Foreign diplomats

In my first encounters with foreign diplomats first I would meet them with ultimate cordiality and in proper attire and would accompany them all the way to the doorstep. But then after the initial meetings, I greeted them in bed in my private room. For a couple of years, I only had one suit to wear. At The Hague and at the Security Council, I would wear the same clothing, also at private functions. Ahmad [Dr. Mosaddeq’s son] had a formal suit, which he had brought from Europe, and I wore that when I went to see his Majesty (before I became Prime Minister) and during the opening of the Majlis. I had paid 600 tumans for the suit. I was very conscientious to wear formal attire when visiting his Majesty. You know it is easier to stay in bed and take care of business that way. One aspect of it is you are not burdened to go to formal functions.

Majlis and the people

Sir, for a politician there are three things that are important: to have enough courage to finish the job; to have enough selflessness to make sure everything will be done; and to make the right decision at the right moment. If I had not decided to go to the army headquarters on 9th of Esfand and to the Majlis as well, my time would have been up. It is all God’s will. I heard later that after leaving Kakh Street [where Dr. Mosaddeq’s house was located], they had called abroad that the bird left the cage. I came in front of the Majlis and said I will speak where the people are. I was not afraid. Some five to six thousand people gathered and I spoke there. They attempted to shoot at me but the bullet hit poor Khajeh Nuri; I passed out and ended up in a coffee shop.

Bozorgmehr writes: “I was a student in law school. I remember the incident very well. It was when Mosaddeq had insisted on taking Seyyed Mohammad Tadayon [a one time minister of education] to trial and members of the Majlis were supporting Tadayon. He called the proceedings a dozdgah [den of thieves] rather a dadgah [place of justice]. He then came out of the Majlis where he had not been allowed to speak, and spoke among the people without fearing for his life.”

An economy without oil

Sir, if they had allowed us to continue our work for a year and finish the reforms we intended to undertake with an economy not dependent solely on oil, and an acceptable budget, peoples’ lives would have improved. Any reasonable person has a personal and a social aim in life. His personal aim is to have bread, to have prosperity and health for himself and his family. His social aim in life is freedom and prosperity for his country.

Sir, it is difficult to stay clean and pure. What one must do is to forgo a lot of things and to live frugally, which I have tried to do.

On the rights of the people

When you let the people speak out and criticize, the government cannot do what it wants. The government must listen to the desires and wishes of the people. The very existence of my government was based upon the needs of the nation. Therefore you could not stop people from expressing their views and strangle them.

Kakh Street and the army headquarters

They went to bring the car to take me. I got into the car and went towards my house. There were a few people running after the car. The police around Heshmat el-Dowleh stopped them. I went directly home. I later heard that they wanted to get rid of me there. But I had already left the scene. Sometimes God does miracles. At home, I heard some commotion. Someone had gone up on the tree next to Ahmad’s house and shown them a knife saying that with this we will decapitate Mosaddeq. Ahmad’s household was in turmoil. Ahmad came and told me, you should go to Shemiran, it is dangerous for you to stay here.

Dr. Fatemi was there too. I told Ahmad, why Shemiran? For what, so that they will then say, the Prime Minister and his minister of national defense minister have fled the scene out of fear. It is then that I said let us go to the army headquarters.

The trial

Bozorgmehr says: “Whoever saw me during the proceedings would tell me why don’t you use this article or that article of the law or mention this and that. When I told Dr. Mosaddeq, he said,” “they think everything at this trial is done according to law. They don’t know that even the few things we say, we do it like magicians.”

In military prison

Bozorgmehr writes: “I went to see him at around 4:30. He looked tired and upset. His eyes were hollow. After I said hello, I asked: How are you Sir? He said I am still here. I then told him that he looked very tired. He said, I have been very upset for three nights and did not sleep last night at all. I had a “crise” (breakdown). I had to take some sedatives, I feel better now. Those few days had coincided with the time twenty foreign experts among them seven Englishmen who had been at Abadan oil refinery had arrived in Iran. The Senate elections had been concluded and the 45 million dollar loan to Iran had already been used up [this was close to the first of the Iranian calendar year]. All these were worries had kept Dr. Mosaddeq awake and made him think of everything he had tried to do [for Iran].”


Colonel Farroknia came to see me. I was not feeling well. He said do you want to write something? I said, what shall I write? I already said it during the trial. I will not ask the Shah for amnesty. Amnesty is only given to criminals…….

And what followed is part of our anguished history: After the Shah returned to power, Mosaddeq was tried for “treason” and sentenced to two years in prison. He spent the rest of his life in exile, never allowed to leave his humble residence in Ahmad Abad. He died in Tehran, in Najmieh hospital, endowed and named after his mother, the daughter of Mozaffaredin Shah, an exceptional woman and a philanthropist. Dr. Mosaddeq had cancer of the mouth. He had refused to leave Iran for treatment, saying that Iranian doctors were as good as foreign doctors and it would be an insult to them.

The Shah left his homeland in the midst of a Revolution he had only recently come to recognize as one. Even those who had brought him to power did not let him remain in their respective countries- but a few weeks- while he was ill with cancer and dying. He died in exile in a foreign land just like his father before him. The fate of Iran changed forever…. A new regime that ostracized both Mosaddeq and the Shah eventually came to power.

Az Mast Ke bar Mast….

*Haj Hasan Shamshiri was an illiterate but successful bazaari and a sympathizer of the National Front. He owned and operated the famous Chelo-kababi Shamshiri in Tehran’s bazaar. Pious and generous, he gave a large sum of money to help build and finish a wing of the hospital. My father was the intermediary between Dr. Mosaddeq and Shamshiri in all the transactions involving Najmieh hospital while representing Dr. Mosaddeq as his personal lawyer.

* Jalil Bozorgmehr, Taqrirat Mosaddeq dar Zendan, edited by Iraj Afshar, Tehran, Iran Zamin publishing house, 1359/1981.


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For Aynak information.

by Siavash300 on

Below is American view from the event.

"The question of why the American government was willing to risk its international reputation in order to overthrown the Iranian government is a difficult one. It is tempting to explain US actions in purely economic terms. After all, the American companies owned a 40% share in the international oil consortium.52 Although this interpretation cannot be entirely dismissed, the more accurate interpretation is that the US genuinely feared the impact that Communism would have were it to take root in Iran and mistook Mossadegh’s nationalism for Communism. " Danial Goldsmith

Below is from Mr.Gasiorowski. Unlike Steve Kinzer, he is well informed and unbias. He did extensive research about the event of U.S intervention in 1953. He had access to all presidential files and records. He is not from Kish mish university as Arj was saying. His work is the most conclusive references we have from Mosaddeq's  era. Let's see what he is saying:

Mark J. Gasiorowski
Department of Political Science
Louisiana State University

"What motives led U.S. policy makers to overthrow Mosaddeq? It is often argued that the main motive behind the coup was the desire of U.S. policy makers to help U.S. oil companies gain a share in Iranian oil production.(68) On the face of it, this argument has considerable merit. The Eisenhower administration was certainly favorable to U.S. business interests, and the Dulles brothers' law firm had often represented U.S. oil companies in legal matters. Moreover, the final agreement worked out in 1954 with the Zahedi government gave U.S. companies a 40 Iranian oil production, which had previously been controlled by the British.

While this view cannot entirely be refuted, it seems more plausible to argue that U.S. policymakers were motivated mainly by fears of a communist takeover in Iran, and that the involvement of U.S. companies was sought mainly to prevent this from occurring. The Cold War was at its height in the early 1950s, and the Soviet Union was viewed as an expansionist power seeking world domination. Eisenhower had made the Soviet threat a key issue in the 1952 elections, accusing the Democrats of being soft on communism and of having "lost China." Once in power, the new administration quickly sought to put its views into practice: the State Department was purged of homosexuals and suspected communists, steps were taken to strengthen the Western alliance, and initiatives were begun to bolster the Western position in Latin America, the Middle East, and East Asia. Viewed in this context, and coming as it did only two weeks after Eisenhower's inauguration, the decision to overthrow Mosaddeq appears merely as one more step in the global effort of the Eisenhower administration to block Soviet expansionism. (69)

Moreover, the major U.S. oil companies were not interested in Iran at this time. A glut existed in the world oil market. The U.S. majors had increased their production in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in 1951 in order to make up for the loss of Iranian production; operating in Iran would force them to cut back production in these countries which would create tensions with Saudi and Kuwaiti leaders. Furthermore, if nationalist sentiments remained high in Iran, production there would be risky. U.S. oil companies had shown no interest in Iran in 1951 and 1952. By late 1952, the Truman administration had come to believe that participation by U.S. companies in the production of Iranian oil was essential to maintain stability in Iran and keep Iran out of Soviet hands. In order to gain the participation of the major U.S. oil companies, Truman offered to scale back a large anti-trust case then being brought against them. The Eisenhower administration shared Truman's views on the participation of U.S. companies in Iran and also agreed to scale back the anti-trust case. Thus, not only did U.S. majors not want to participate in Iran at this time, it took a major effort by U.S. policymakers to persuade them to become involved. (70)

The Eisenhower administration therefore seems to have been motivated mainly by fears of a communist takeover in Iran rather than by a desire to promote U.S. commercial interest. It should be noted that most middle level State Department and CIA officials did not believe that a coup was necessary to avert a communist takeover. Neither Henry Byroade, the Assistant Secretary of State with responsibility for the Middle East, not Ambassador Henderson favored a coup in early 1953. As discussed above, Iran specialists in the CIA analysts did not regard Mosaddeq as a communist and the Tudeh was not believed to be capable of seizing power at this time. Rather, the Tudeh was thought to be pursuing a "popular front" strategy by infiltrating the army and the government bureaucracy and trying to gain favor with Mosaddeq and other National Front leaders. CIA analysts had concluded in November 1952 that a Tudeh takeover was not likely before the end of 1953. Moreover, the Iranian economy had become relatively stable by this time, so a general collapse was not viewed as imminent. The fears of a communist takeover that prompted the coup therefore seem to have originated at the highest levels of the CIA and the State Department, and were not shared by lower-level Iran specialist. (71)

Below is what official document from Tudeh party says:


According to one observer:

although diverse elements participated in the July uprising, the impartial observer must confess that the Tudeh played an important part - perhaps even the most important part. ... If in the rallies before March 1952 one-third of the demonstrators had been Tudeh and two-thirds had been National Front, after March 1952, the proportions were reversed.[29]

All above is consistance with Winston Churchil interpretation of event in August 1953. Rapid influence of Soviet Union through Tudeh party in Iran. BTW, Beside Dr. Fatimi, none of National front received death penalty,Tudeh members did.

Now, you tell me who has close mind and doesn't want to see the reality?  you still didn't answer my question that what J.M wanted.



Dear aynak

by Parham on

Good answer. It's useless discussing anything with those having lived in denial since 60 years (or almost). They'll always go on repeating the same thing over and over again, while the world has long passed...



Aria that was a good explanation, truthful, specific.

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

I enjoyed reading it.




Aria: Cho nadydand Hagheehat Rah Afsaneh Zadand.

by aynak on

It is clear to me you are not seeking the Truth, you have made up your mind and there is no point in discussing anything furhter.

This fundamentally is no different than a Mojahedeen supporter, where his leadership can shake hands with Saddam, have a member divorce his wife so that the leader can marry .... But the sick charlatan  are as good as saints to the supporters.

Same as Khomaneyy supporters.   He kills thousands and destroys Iran, and someone comes back and finds an excuse for the war Khomanee prologned and the people he killed, while some other fanatic supporters of Khomanee are still trying to  get us back to his Golden age!

This is all part of a brain washing mechnism that certain segments are suspectable to.   If I told you sky is blue, you would not accept that.

I summarize the depth of falacy of your argument in a single paragraph:

You write:

"Mrs. Albright’s apology

..... Please read one of my earlier posts on this blog as I specifically
commented on this matter and indicated as to how it was an act as part
of a bigger behind-the-scene attempts between Clinton and Khatami
administrations to establish official relationship between the two
countries, which was derailed by the hardliners in Iran."


With naive reasoning like the above, where a person such as yourself does not even think of the ramification of his statement before writing the above, how can I even attempt to reason?  I know THINKING in general is not a virtue of you good folks,  and is to be avoided at any cost,  but I would leave you with this (and that perhaps shows my lack of understanding of your inability for understanding, but still):

 66 years ago U.S government dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshyma and Nakazaki,  (that is 8 years Before 1953 coup).  The bombs caused hundreds of thousands of deaths (obviously including children and many innocents) and some are still dealing with the aftermath.   Yet, U.S government NEVER apologized, Why?  Because from the U.S foriegn policy prespective this was a war time strategy  that helped them win and the action was justified.  Japan is one of U.S's closest allies, and many in the world have since condmned U.S for that act.   Now some genius like yourself (perhaps with the help of the other scholar Mirfetroos) is telling us, the U.S apologized for its interfernce in 1953 coup, and critisized  its own action  just  to keep Khatami happy, and at the end it came up with nothing?   Get a grip dude.   You can believe in what you want and keep thinking 53 was a popular uprising, against the dictatorial rule of Mossadegh who was about turning iran to the communists.  That's just turning reality upside down.







Ms. or Mr. Aynak:

by Aria on

Had the Shah not issued the royal decree as per his constitutional power an illegal government by Mossadegh (having the parliament dissolved) would have remained in power.

It is hard to guess as to what would have happened next  had the royal decree not been issued, as it would be only speculation at this point.

A weak Mossadegh government would have been very vulnerable to a communist takeover, regardless of any specific scenario for such a takeover: e.g. political assassinations, bombings, civil war, Soviet invasion (like Hungary, Czechoslovakia or Afghanistan).

Here are some facts:

The motivation behind the decision to remove Mossadegh from his post

The tension between the Shah and Mossadegh was not an instigation by U.S. and U.K.  It was long in the brewing and works.   Mossadegh, despite his great and euphoric victory of the Oil Nationalization, had been checkmated by his own actions:  1-miscalculation on the ability to sell oil (Sanctions) 2- Lack of any economic plan to move forward 3 – his stubborn attitude to step aside so that another prime-minister could take charge to pursue a new political solution, as the Shah suggested to him 4 – his refusal to work with the US through its assistance program 5 – international sanctions to purchase the Iranian oil

The above factors had created a state of chaos in the society that was only helping the Tudeh and its masters, Soviets, to benefit from.    His unwillingness or inability to curb the activities of his own foreign minister who constantly attacked the Shah and his family did not help the matters either.   The Shah, until 1953, had acted as a constitutional monarch and was popular by most segments of the society, his image was very different than the 1979 image.

So, the Shah and Mossadegh had come to the opposite ends of a political game.   Not only Shah was unhappy with the state of country but others close to him were also forces that had motivated him to take an action against Mossadegh.  The most important of them all was his young and beautiful Queen, Soraya.

Soraya’s book, “Ghasr-e-Tanhaie,” shows that despite her young age she was an extremely smart woman who did not appreciate the way the prime-minister treated her husband despite the façade of the politeness between the King and his prime-minister.  She read between the lines that at the end of the day he was a Qajar and the young Shah, the son of a Cossack officer responsible for toppling the Qajar’s dynasty.  Whether her take was accurate or not is how much we can trust her female intuition, but she definitely was an immediate, intimate and added support to the Shah’s own feelings about Mossadegh and where he was taking the country with him.  The Queen was not the only one, Shah’s twin sister, was another force who was not on friendly terms with the prime-minister and his foreign minister.  The minister of court, Hossien Ala, and the rest of the courtiers; together with high-ranking military officers who had served under Reza Shah, they were all behind the Shah on this matter.   The list goes on as members of Mossadegh’s own circle of friends began leaving him and joined the other side.   The overall atmosphere in the society wanted a change out of economic misery and social instability and political chaos.

Did the Americans at some point ask the Shah to use the military to remove Mossadegh? Yes, they did.  Did he do it?  No, he responded that it was unconstitutional.   But, he also said that if Mossadegh were to dissolve the parliament then he would use his legal powers to remove him.   It was the US policy as part of the cold war to combat Soviets.  Those policies were in-line with the Shah’s and others’ wishes for their country not fall to communism and have a way out of its current political situation ( as mentioned above).

The night Colonel Nassiri went to visit Dr. Mosssadegh, he was only a messenger of a letter, his dismissal by the Shah.  He did not storm his house by use of any force.  A military coup has a definition, Nasiri’s visit was not such a thing.

The day after the letter was delivered the Radio announced that a group of Imperial Guard officers had staged a coup.  This was a lie.  What coup?  They only delivered a letter.  Mossadegh did not reveal the letter to the public because he knew that he had exceeded his powers by violating the constitution.

 Zahedi’s selection

As dissatisfaction with Mossadegh grew and his own allies and friends began leaving him, they all gathered around General Zahedi.  Zahedi was a strong character with a great military resume: having defeated Khazzal in Khuzestan, Ismaeel-Agha-Simitgo in Kurdistan, tamed and curbed Mamasani tribes in Fars; he had also been a key Cossack officer who had fought against and defeated Mirza Kuchak Khan.  He had serious differences with Mossadegh about how to deal with the current economic and social problems.   These differences increased with time as Zahedi and others saw that Mossadegh did not have any specific plans to deal with problems, was not willing to step aside and wanted to continue by the populist method, which had been effective during Nationalization, but not an effective tool to manage the problems at hand, and dissolving the parliament. 

 The Shah was aware of all the above.   He trusted Zahehi as a nationalist, as a man who had served under his father, and knew of his abilities as a military and political leader.  He also knew that Zahedi had become like magnet for those who had been alienated by Mossadegh.   So, his decision was based on these factors.  

Did the issue of Zahedi’s appointment come between the Shah and the U.S. ambassador?  Yes, it did.  The U.S.  knew of Zahedi and his anti-communist background and also of his new rising status among those who were opposing Mossadegh.  

Did Zahedi ever meet with any U.S. official ?   No, he never did.

Money to Thugs

Did U.S. and U.K. money come to some street thugs and prostitutes?  I am sure that it did.  The Rashidian brothers benefit from this by acting as U.K. agents?  I am sure that they did.

But the magnitude of what took place on the streets was beyond two briefcases full of dollars and/or pounds.  The Iranian population, due to two years of hardship, was at the brinks of boiling.  There were  thousands who poured onto streets of Tehran.  A few hundreds were probably were organized by the U.S./U.K. money but not the thousands who wanted a sincere and better change.

Military units reactions on the streets

Due to the martial law that Mossadegh had declared the military units were already on the streets to protect the order.  With the exception of a handful of units that were connected to the officers who held meetings in Hesarak and acted on specific orders (at Bazar, Baharestan and toward Mossadegh’s house) the rest of the units were not connected to any secret plans.  But, due to the fact that this was a monarchist army it reacted in favor of the Shah organically.

Mrs. Albright’s apology

Please read one of my earlier posts on this blog as I specifically commented on this matter and indicated as to how it was an act as part of a bigger behind-the-scene attempts between Clinton and Khatami administrations to establish official relationship between the two countries, which was derailed by the hardliners in Iran.



by Arj on

I forget who said it, but by another quote: "A fanatic is one who insists on his/her argument even when proven wrong."



by Parham on


Thats funny we are having a discussion about fanatics

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

on this blog.


such people are even worse than the mullahs, because the not only brought them to power, but are prolonging their hold on power.


A good quote

by Parham on

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
~Winston Churchill


Aynak, your comment did not address the issue

by Siavash300 on

The core issue for Jebhe Meli was : Shah must REIGN, not RULE. They believe in "Constitutional monarch" all of the sudden, they are saying the state should be "Democratic Republic of Iran" under hegemoney of Mosaddeq and his comrades 20,000 official member of Tudeh party back by Soviet. Is that the meaning of shah must Reign,not rule. I don't think so. The similar situation happened in 1979. Jebhe Meli was critical of shah by speaking of "democracy". Now, as soon as Khomainie returned to Iran they voted "YES" to Islamic republic by saying "that is democracy". please listen to Sanjabi's tape from those days. And please don't give credit to few C.I.A or F.B.I or K.G.B agents for Iran history. That is Kinzer trick. Please don't follow his none sense. Give credit to Iranian people. Few F.B.I, CIA, K.G.B agents don't make Iran history.  Mass of Iran make history. Something that you should always remember: shah in 1953 is different with shah in 1979.

Shah in 1953 was loved by majority of Iranian people.

Shah in 1979 was hated by everybody, even by his top paid generals.

1953 is compeletly different from what we saw in 1979.  Different era and different outcome. The question still stands: Are these people here saying shah shouldn't return and let Mosaddeq and his comrades Tudeh party 20,000 members back by Soviet Union annonouce "Democratic Republic of Iran" and lead the nation? Is that the meaning of constitutional monarch?

Fariba Amini

Thank you

by Fariba Amini on

Dear Aria,

Thank you for your very kind words.  I am truly humbled.

I think this has been a fruitful discussion and Ihope one day,

we can have such free expression of thoughts in the land where we all love,  Iran.




Daer Ms. Amini:

by Aria on

I want to thank you for tolerating differing opinions, such as mine, about a subject matter that is very dear to your heart on different levels, including a personal one.

I cannot help but admire your grace in this regard.

With utmost respect.


Dear Aynak and Dear Amir-Parvarz

by Aria on

Dear Aynak:

I am heading out of town for two days, so I will respond when I come back or if I get a chance while I am on my trip. 

Dear Amir-Parvarz:

I will gladly review your blog and give you my opinion as soon as I get an opportunity.



Re: Confused people

by aynak on


Siavash, please read back the exchange.   If Shah asked for U.S intervention (and not the other way around) according to your version, why then CIA had to convince him to come back to Iran, and forced him according to the CIA doc  to even give the decree to Moosadegh?  Note, the point here:   Even though there was no lost love between Shah and Mossadegh, it was not Shah driving this, it was U.K playing U.S fear and driving the coup.

So the whole conention here is over:

a:If as some of you folks point out, Shah asked for help from U./U.K to supposedly counter the issues Mossadegh created (i.e Nationalization of oil, and dismantling the Majless, Chaos that was in Iran ...)

b:Or 180's opposite, he did not initiate it,  it was U.K and U.S who forced him to go with their plans?

All evidence except those by a Honarary doctorate from Global University of KishMish point to B and not A.   Once you open your mind and accept that REALITY,  then there is no further discussion, that the whole thing was  started on fear of U.S based on U.K provocation and NOT  a real threat because of oil nationalization or even closoure of Majless. Plain and simple.






Confused people

by Siavash300 on

Our oil nationalized in Feb. 1952.

Now, let's move a little forward. Let's move to 1 year and 7 months later, means August 1953.

There is a big political turmoil inside the country that pursuaded shah to leave the country and going to Rome. Shah in his best intention was seeking help from U.S to save Iran from the hands of communism. U.S Help was provided and shah returned to Iran after 3 days. Friends indeed are friends in need.

By reading what Ms. Amini, Arj, Aynak and Parham is saying shah shouldn't get help from U.S to return. He should let Mosaddeq and his comrades 20,000 official members of Tudeh party annonounce "Democratic Republic of Iran" and both of these party run the country and shah stay in Rome or whatever. In other word, shah should be compleletely out of picture after fled to Rome in August 1953. Subsequently,  according to these people's assessment, Iran would have been like a paradise afterward. More the less, the same thing that Khomainie was promising in 1978.  This is what I am getting from reading all these write ups.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

Now, what happened to "shah must REIGN, not Rule" or shah must obey "constitutional monarch", not walk over it. That constitutional monarch is foundalmentally different with "Democratic Republic of Iran" under hegemony of Mosaddeq and Tudeh party back by Soviet Union. That constitutional monarch doesn't say shah should be out of picture. Sounds like we are dealing with group of confused people here who didn't even know what they really wanted.  



Aria what did you think about this?

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on


aynak, we are not real people, but your spirit angels in heaven

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

having fun with you.

About the US role, it would be easier for both of us if you just admit that Mossadegh was a despot dictator with a poor sense of timing who betrayed the Shah, after the Shah helped save his life.

After breaking the law of the land he swore to uphold, his leadership was in question.  No one has any problem with what he did against foreign forces and his trickery against them in favor of Iran, he was good for that, but closing parliament, refusng to step down.  What law was he going by?  Was the king such an enemy of the country that he should be treated the same way as the Brits or Americans? 

It's just hard to forgive the unforgivable from my perspective here in heaven, so I have to tease you until you acknowledge the right of the Shah to up hold the law and request help to perform Mossadeghs removal from power.


Re: Aria (are you serious?)

by aynak on


Aria, I don't know if you are one of my friends
trying to pull my leg, or just misinfomed about this subject, here's my last attempt:


Aria  writes:

"Thank you for your comments and good question/observation about the accuracy of 20%.  May be a little bit less or more, the point was that other significant factors based on historical facts made Ajax a slice of a much bigger pie, that contributed to his downfall. "


You are welcome. The
corner stone of your argument is U.S's involvement was --immaterial--,
my guess is that's why you used 20% figure (although you admit you have
no basis for using this).   Yet this casual carelessness with a number
(20%) is difference between if it were the Shah and people (according to
you) who wanted to fix Mossadegh's wrong doings (according to you and
Mirfetroos) or if it was really the U.K and U.S pressing for all of
this?   I hope you agree if the main force driving this is U.S, then all
the reasons you enumerated, take a back seat as the core reason were
the foreign interests and NOT Shah or Iranian people as the driving
force for the coup.

The question then 
is simple:   Would there have been a coup/a decree from Shah to dismiss
Mossadegh or not, had it not been for U.S  forcing Shah to do so?


a:Who selected Zahedi as replacement for Mossadegh?

b:Did CIA pay money to thugs and prostitutes to come to street?

c:Did CIA send money in the amount of 10,000 to Kashani, and what was Kashani's role in this?

d:According to CIA's own record and account, is
this the first CIA orchestrated coup?  and did other coups then follow
using 53 coup as a blue print?

e:What the heck does Tuedeh party asking for abolishing Monarchy has anything to do with Mossadegh?

f:Is there ANY document showing Mossadegh had any connection to Soviet Union?



all, you must show, that a motion to remove Mossadegh from power was
already in effect, WITHOUT  CIA in the picture and CIA simply helped
expedite the matter (and then give it a minor role).

In reality,  U.S is on record PUSHING shah to agree with the coup.   If
all the claims you are making were in fact the reason for the coup, how
can you explain Shah's  reluctance to sign Mossadegh's dismissal
decree?   From CIA records:

The Shah repeatedly refused to sign C.I.A.-written
royal decrees to change the government. The agency arranged for the shah's twin sister, Princess Ashraf Pahlevi, and Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the
father of the Desert Storm commander, to act as intermediaries to try to
keep him from wilting under pressure. He still fled the country just before
the coup succeeded.[1]

Part of the problem of using "honorary-doctorate" like Mirfetroos as
reference is you get into contradictions that does not even make
sense.   So why was the Shah so reluctant to sign the decree, if he was
so in agreement with your top 10 reasons for dismissing Mossadegh?   Why
would U.S need to twist his arms?   Is U.S/CIA document incorrect and
are they lying?

If Shah did the coup on his own, why did U.S  Secretary of State
Madeleine K. Albright, acknowledge US's pivotal role in the coup and:

"The Eisenhower administration believed its actions were justified for
strategic reasons," she said. "But the coup was clearly a setback for
Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many
Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their
internal affairs."[2]

So why would U.S government agree to the negative role it played and
take responsibility for an action which according to your list comes at
item #10 (last in your list) with you attaching a 20% or less value to

So the evidence shows the answer to the question I posed:   Would there
have been a coup/decree for dismissal of Mossadegh, without U.S/U.K
pressure, is NO.   So all the domestic reasoning you are providing, in
fact may be minor and amount to the topping on the whole pie, (to use your anaology) which was AJAX operation driven by CIA, due to U.K anymosity toward Mossadegh because of oil nationalization.












well done Aria, good balanced summary

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

I wonder why the USA doesn't place an embargo on IRI, other than the fact that they want to keep the regime and harm the people with sharia in govt?


Ms. Or Mr. Aynak:

by Aria on

Thank you for your comments and good question/observation about the accuracy of 20%.  May be a little bit less or more, the point was that other significant factors based on historical facts made Ajax a slice of a much bigger pie, that contributed to his downfall.

These other factors are:

1.       Mossadegh dissolving the parliament without legal constitutional power.

2.       Mossadegh’s miscalculation about the prospect of selling oil to the work market. 

3.       Mossadegh’s mismanagement, or for the lack of a better word, lack of management for dealing with

Inflation and unemployment.

4.       Mossadegh’s unwillingness to utilize American aid offers from 1951 to 1953, loans and economic assistance.  The US, unlike UK, wanted to assist Mossadegh’s government so that it would not be aligned with the Soviets, from 1951 to the early part of 1953.  Mossadegh refused these offers and it was only then that the US went along with the UK plan

5.       Tudeh party’s activities, especially calling for the abolition of Monarchy and the establishment of a republic.

6.       The fabric of the Imperial Army and its reaction to Tudeh party’s activities, No. 5.

7.       Mossadegh’s refusal to give up the premiership, as it had been suggested to him by the Shah, so that another prime-minister could take over and end the embargo

8.       General state/mood of public due to the economic hardship and the political instability in the country.

9.       The irresponsible activities of Dr. Fatemi

10.  Ajax operation



Shahollahis is oxyhmoron word

by Siavash300 on

The word "Shahollahis" is consist of 2 conraditory terms.

A. Shah which has over 5000 years history of Padeshahi behind it. 5000+ years of pride. Great civilalization of Persian Empire.

B. Allah which has 1400 years history of bare feet, bedraggled desert arabs behind it.

These 2 words don't go together. It is like saying snowy hot summer. Eighter is is hot or it snowy. Patriatic people is correct word.

For our friends on

 Iran has never been colony of British. That is insult to Iranian people. Colony means NOKAR. As far as I remember, Iranian families used to have nokar from country Filipean when shah was on power, but they have never been Nokar of Brits. Brits just received to the level of industrialization sooner than other countries. We needed thier industralization.

We are talking about 2 different eras:

1."Colonial power" sucking our oil which initiated when Qjar mongolian dynasty was on power. It was before 1917 Russian revolution. 

2,  "free world" which is new concept initiated after WWII. It refers to western countries versus Communist block after 1945.  

Oil concession was signed by Mosaddeq opium addict uncle known as Mozafar-din-shah with Brits in 1901. Mosaddeq didn't protest at that time. He was 19 years old. That doesn't make Iran colony of Brits. In fact,  when Anglo-Iranian oil company was sucking our oil, Mosaddeq was trying to get a Swiss citizenship and live the rest of his life in Switzerland. Apparently his application was rejected in 1914. At that time, before Oct. communist revolution of 1917, there was no such a thing as "free world" because there was no socialist country at that time.  

 Seems un-knowingly some people make mistake between Iran and India as far as colonization concerned. They can be pakistani or Indians who are trying to promote themselves by putting down Iran. Who knows who is behind these fake names on this site.

 It is good to read the history of Surinam, Guyana, India, south africa and other colonies of Dutch and Brits, and portugues. It is good to get a good grasp of what colony means. BTW, These colonies have long history of slaverly or Nokari. Something that never happened to Iranian people. We are proud of that.

Payandeh our Aryan Land Iran.



by Parham on

No problem.

I guess you're talking about Ahmad-Abad, because they've already destroyed his house on Kakh avenue. That was done in 1998 already.

Fariba Amini

my mistake Parham

by Fariba Amini on

Yes, you are right. My apologies.

it was red wine.  I hope one day, Mosaddeq's house will be a museum for all Iranians to go see. Last time I visited in 2005, it was in total disaster both structurally and otherwise. 

Though Mosaddeq's (his wife's) car was kept in a side compound.  

Khatami's minister had visited the place and the caretaker told me he was going to send people to do som renovations.   Nothing was done. 



by Parham on

Incredible, isn't it?


Lol indeed...!

by Arj on

Chief among this "free world" were the colonialist British who had sucked our nation dry through their Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.!

Dear Parham, as I said before, no IRI agents are necessary. Shahollahis do a great job at thrashing themselves on their own!


. . . . and the funny part is ....

by Siavash300 on

None of these people, who keep saying mosaddeq democratic government, or their comrades, Tudeh party members, or the sympathizers of these 2 parties migrated to those so called "Democratic" countries after revolution. They all migrated to U.S or to western Europe. In reality, These hypocrat people choosed the same path that shah choosed back in 1953 during 3 days in Rome. In reality, these hypocrat people by their action approved shah's decision, although their mouth is saying something else. By migrating to western world these hypocrat people approved superiority of "free world" over "mosaddeq democratic goverments". What a bunch of two faces rats.Hypocracy hurts our nation big time.  




by Parham on

"...Shah's smart and quick decision to save Iran by taking side with "free world" v.s communist block during his 3 day stay in Rome."

Aria, just in case you needed an illustration for that word we were discussing...


Re Sha'ban Jafari

by Parham on

He tells Homa Sarshar that he was in fact in jail that day (28 Mordad). The fact is, they liberated him in the afternoon (or noon?), thus all the pictures you see of him either beating people up or demonstrating on the car that has "a'lahazrat"'s big picture on it.
Whether he received money from the British (where in fact it should be indirectly from the Americans) remains irrelevant.
Again, as if we were donkeys.

"Be gorbeh goftan Ardeshir Zahedi o Pesare Kashani o oon Toodeyieh ke nashod shahed."
Goft "Pas aslan Sha'boon Bimokh."



by Parham on

I did not say Massoumeh Mossadeq was murdered by IR agents. I think it was Red Wine who came up with that notion. In fact, I had not heard that version yet. What I remembered about that one was close to this:

I was speaking about Mossadeq's daughter, Khadijeh, whom you inferred was not taken care of by his family at the end of her life. What I said was in fact she was helped by Mossadeq's family in Switzerland, notably by his nephew.


What if shah wouldn't get help from U.S. . ...

by Siavash300 on

Shah's smart and quick decision to save Iran by taking side with "free world" v.s communist block during his 3 day stay in Rome is very crucial. Let's take a look at official document of Tudeh party. Let's see what disaster was waiting for Iran if shah wouldn't seek help from U.S. Let's see what would have been happened if Mosaddeq and his comrades which consisted 20,000 official members of tudeh party were in charge. Let's open our eyes to the reality. 

"It is clear that the Tudeh passed its intelligence on the pending coup to the prime-minister on August 15, 1953. The period August 16-19, 1953 was a short and crucial one and needed a quick, focused, and determined reaction by the Tudeh leadership if the situation was to be turned around. Instead, chaos and lack of determination prevailed. While on his own initiative, one Tudeh officer, Lt. Ali Ashraf Shoja'iyan, helped Mosaddeq's guards arrest Col. Ne'matollah Nasiri the courier of the royal decree dismissing Mosaddeq, the rest of the Military Organization did not take any action. On the seventeenth, the party began to call for abolition of the monarchy and establishment of a democratic republic. Tudeh members were instructed to join demonstrations for the new cause."

Many people blame shah for taking side with free world. This is also one of Mullah's dirty tactic to help them to stay in power. Shamelessly , the same people either migrated to U.S  or they are trying to get U.S or European countries' visa. None of them were willing to live even 1 day under so called "democratic government"  Hypocracy hurts our nation big time.