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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more from Fariba Amini


by Parham on

In addition to what you so eloquently said regarding the Soviet "excuse", one should also remember that when the coup happened, Stalin had just died and the Soviet Union was in a state of shambles -- it was actually the Americans who thought they'd take advantage of the juncture to tighten their grip on Iran and its oil, mainly because they knew they wouldn't get a reaction from the Soviets (the way it happened in reality too, as you also mentioned).
This is a mistake Milani has also made in his last book, "The Shah", which I found too apologetic of the Americans in fact. It was like, "excuse us if the Americans planned and staged a coup in Iran", no matter how K. Roosevelt's part was well/badly played or even succeeded.



by Souri on

You are the best!

I am following you in all threads. You always amaze me!
We are so lucky  having you among us!
As my friends say : Way to go!



by Arj on

Dear Aria, the "Soviet takeover" excuse was a jaded one by then -- as is the IRI's "American Satan" card threadbare now. If the Soviets were intent upon taking over Iran, and as you claim, the Tudehi military officers were their tools, then why didn't they go ahead and put up an armed struggle against the coup?! Why would they need permission from Mosadegh who was being deposed anyway? Perhaps it was due to an understanding between the Soviets and the Yanks with regards to each other's spheres of influence (i.e. Iran vs Hungary and Czchoslavakia).

The rest of your claims are in a unison prallel to those of today's IRI (e.g. "The point was that the Iranian population welcomed  the changed in Iran that brought about an end to chaos in the country and no insurgency was formed to fight the Zahedi’s government." It too claims that people are content with the post-2009 coup situation. All one needs to do is to replace Zahedi's government with Ahmadinejad's government in your statement!


گربه که دید کسی حرف او را باور نکرده اضافه کرد...


....”تازه بجز اردشیر زاهدی، پسر آیت الله کاشانی و یک توده ای هم شاهدامن. این کرمیت روزولت چشم چپم هر چی گفت از تو شیکمش گفته. اصلاً این از اولش که بدنیا آمد، مادرش اسمشو گذاشته بود کرمیت چاخان، بعداً خودش عوض کرد گذاشت روزولت.”
و با قیافه ای حق بجانب منتظر ماند تا ایندفعه دیگر حرف او را باور کنند، غافل از اینکه...

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

یادِ همگان شد و بد نیست یادی از خانمِ معصومه خانم،(سو سو خانم) دخترِ غلامحسین خان (بزرگ پزشک و خداوند ایشان را رحمت کند)،نوه مرحوم مصدق کنیم که مظلومانه به دستِ افرادِ کثیفِ جمهوریِ اسلامی در تنهایی به قتل رسید و دل‌ِ دوستدارانش شکست.

عجب خانمی بود ایشان،زیبا مثلِ ماهِ تابان،فهمیده و با شعور...

مطمئنیم که ایشان آمرزیده هستند.



Mossadeq's daughter

by Parham on

Fariba, Mossadeq's family was helping her before she died actually.
But reading the kind of nonsense one reads from people about "all their wealth" and how she died and all, makes one think what a pathetically filthy crowd some of us Iranians are, and whether we didn't (and don't) really deserve what happened to us. Fifty-something years later you still have shysters trying without any scruples to sully the legacy of a great man with all sorts of absurd fallacies.
Shame on us.

Fariba Amini

some more facts

by Fariba Amini on

Mosaddeq was tried for "treason." Imagine ! and sentenced to two years imprisonment, a frail old man.

After that he was exiled to his home in Ahmad Abad where he lived under constant surveillance, with soldiers and Two Savak agents present at all times.

He was taken to Najmieh hostpital after my father asked Dr. Esmaeel Yazdi to examine him and as he had complained of mouth problems. He had cancer. He died at Najmieh hospital.  The two Savak agents cried when they heard .. He had made an immense impact on both of them.

Nehru once wanted to visit him but the Shah did not allow that.

As far as his daughter is concerned.  She was the favorite and when Reza Shah ordered Mosaddeq to be imprisoned, she was taken away from his arms. She never recuperated.   She was taken to a sanitarium in Switzerland.  At the end of her life, there was no money left for her stay.  She died a lonely woman...   but the Mosaddeq family should have taken care of her.  

The Shah also lost a daughter and a son.  What a tragedy on all fronts...   only because foreign governments and their agents were greedy.... at the expense of a nation.




by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

Switzerland is an expensive place to be in exile.  A Big Mac Meal is $25 today.

As for M he was under house arrest.

Fariba Amini

by the way

by Fariba Amini on


Between the two agents, Wilbur and Roosevelt, one was boasting that he did the job, undermining the other, both so proud of what they had done !  

But in fact, the groundwork was already laid by Lambton and Zaehner and other un-named British agents. it is funny that these two were devout Christians, the latter being a womanizer and an alcoholic.  All of them were exuberant to bring the man down. 

Mosaddeq, rightly so never trusted the British. Their agents were crawling everywhere.   


If only they knew that after 50 years, the IRI would come to power or maybe they did....




maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

sorry for being ignorant on this issue;

But was mr. mosadegh sent to prison or was ordered under house arrest ?

about that  "ch. domiciles" the law was and still is that any one depositing such and such $$$$$$ will get swiss privacy protection and even citizenship if desired.

I don't know if he ever applied but have seen his daghter in geneva in late 70 ......

And later on heard that she spent her final days in a destitute senior citizens' housing and passed away DAR TANHAEE IN GHORBAT

Even with all the wealth she inherited from her family.




by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

It is well know that the CIA wanted to pretend it had more of a role in 1953 as a result of it's success. 

What I heard from people that were involved was that the things the CIA did do failed and that it was planning and organization they did not have any influence over that won the day for Iran.



Kermit Roosevelt’s boastings.....

by Aria on

You don’t hear from CIA officer or officers in charge of ordering the dismantling of the Iraqi Army in 2003, which fueled the insurgency in Iraq.   Or, you never heard from CIA officials who oversaw the Cuban Exiles’ operation known as “The Bay of Pigs” or other similar failings of the CIA.   The reason you don’t hear them give interviews on CNN, Charlie Rose or Fox News is because they were failures.   


An old saying says that “a victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan.”   So, take that with the fact that Mr. Kim Roosevelt was an extremely egoist individual, known to those who knew him well, and the fact that he did his best to capitalize from the 1953 outcome to make profits off of it in subsequent years.   He acted as a middleman for large corporations that were doing business in Iran in 60s and 70s, so you can see the advantages of him trumpeting his/US role in Iran. 


Nobody in the agency was in a hurry to counter his statements over the years as an agency, especially one like CIA needed to have victories to be able to justify its budgets against its failures and defeats, in Congress and with the American public.


Those of you who are old enough and watched Senator Church’s work to downsize CIA budget and resources during 70s remember how he blamed CIA for its failings in Southeast Asia – Vietnam and Cambodia.


So, next time someone quotes the boastings of Mr. Roosevelt or other officials about their conquests in Iran, we need to keep in mind what other factors/incentives were/are involved.  Again victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan. 



Military's psyche and role - 1953

by Aria on

Reza Shah had founded the army and in essence it was a monarchist army.   This army was no fan of the British as its officers had witnessed how the British had their commander and king, Reza Shah, forced into exile in a disgraceful manner and that scar had remained with them. 

The army considered the Soviets as its greatest enemy and knew that Tudeh party was nothing but a Soviet tool.    Some of older officers were former members of the Cossack regiment who had fought against the Bolsheviks in WWI.


Despite its monarchist background, many of the regional, district and the chief-of-staff, General Riahi, were Mossadegh sympathizers.   Yet, the bulk of the army as a monarchist institution became extremely alarmed and concerned as the Tudeh party intensified its activities, demonstrations calling for the abolition of monarchy and creation of a Bolshevik style republic.    Needless to say that Dr. Fatemi’s attacks and insults to the person of Shah and his family, and his call for the  abolition of monarchy and creation of a republic, was the last draw for the army to avert any potential communist take over.  


Dr. Mossadegh appointed his own family member, General Daftari, as the head of police via an order that Dr. Sedighi’s interior ministry issued.  Yet, General Daftari, relative and an appointee of Dr. Mossadegh, joined the forces who opposed him.


The US/UK had no hand in orchestrating these officers, who had the army turn against Mossadegh, only after public and civilian demonstrations had started.  Army joined in after what had already started by the people on the streets.


The only meetings of military officers took place in HESARAK and the key officers were General Zahedi, General Batmanghlich, Colonel Farzanegan, and Colonel Hassan Akhavi and a handful of others.  Colonel Akhavi was the mastermind of the military operations. A short in height officer, French educated and highly disciplined and organized.   Their activities were small in scope at first but reverberated very quickly throughout the army with other military units.  


A young lieutenant Manoochehr Khosrodad engaged the armed members of the Tudeh party near Bazar, this was the most serious confrontation of those days.  Half of his company was wiped out but he was able to secure the area and in process his company killed many Tudeh members in skimishes in and around Bazar.


A major, Jamshid Javidpour, a tank commander was surrounded in his three-tanks unit by thousands of Tudeh members in front of Majlis in Baharestan. He too secured the area.


Military cadets were brought in and secured many government buildings. 


Tudeh party secret network in the army could not have done anything since they were not all part of one fighting unit. So, those who say  that Tudeh’s secret military units could have stepped in simply don’t know the facts.   Babak Amir-khosravi from Tudeh party explained this years later in a number of interviews that their members could not have done anything since they were scattered among various military units.   Even in their own units they could not do much since for every secret communist officer there were 30 or more obvious monarchist officers.


“anke haghitat ra nemidanad ahmagh hast, ama unka haghighat ra midanad enkar mikonad jenayatkar hast…”




به گربه گفتند: ”شاهدت کیه؟”٬


گفت: ”اردشیر زاهدی”.


General Zahedi and the British

by Aria on

Was there any connection between the two?


It is highly unlikely.


General Zahedi was kidnapped by the British paratroopers while he was commander of Isfahan Garrison and sent to Palestine as a British prisoner…….


The British perceived General Zahedi to be a German sympathizer and as such considered him a nuisance, if not a direct threat to their interests in Iran.  Please read the UK and US embassies communications with their home offices during WWII.


General Zahedi as a young officer had fought against Sheikh Khazaal, a British agent who wanted to separate Khuzestan from Iran.


So, the theory that he had British connection is simply baseless due to historical facts.



pls take a look at this statement

by Siavash300 on

Mosaddeq never wanted to become a Swiss citizen. Another lie, a very bad
one!  You see, you cannot distort history ; it's right there black on
white. " Fariba Amini

So Ms.Amini,  you agreed above statement is a lie. Mosaddeq wanted to become a Swiss citizen. I was telling the truth. That's all I wanted to know. It is the matter of principal.



Dear Ms. or Mr. Arj:

by Aria on

Thank you for your comments.


2nd paragraph There were many Iranians – civilian, military and politicians - not on MI6 payroll, who participated in the downfall of Mossadegh because they were tired and fed up of the situation (political instability, economic misery and social chaos) and felt the great threat for an eventual Soviet take over of Iran via Tudeh party.  

I never stated that Ajax operation did not exist.  It did.  Ajax was only 20 percent of the picture.  But the above also existed for reasons that I mentioned in my earlier comments.


3rd paragraph  The Soviet scheming for a take over was never fictional or theoretical.   It was only in 1948 that they wanted to separate Azarbaiijan from Iran with the Pishevari’s puppet government. A couple of years later the secret network of Tudeh party officers was discovered in the army.   So, the Soviets had all the intentions in the world to take over Iran.    It was the Peter-the-Great’s wishes to get to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf… 

The young and idealists who were part of the cadres were pawns.  Their leadership was taking orders from Moscow.


Soviet ambitions were not just in Iran.  Just look and see what they did in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and other countries.   The Spring uprisings that were crushed by Soviets ………….


4th paragraph Mossadegh refused the offer from Tudeh party to fight back because he knew that accepting such help would have cemented the belief that he had secret dealing with them.   But, he never stated publicly to his supporters or general population not to fight back.  He did not have any secret dealings with Tudeh party or Moscow.  But, his mistakes and policies helped the Soviet goals via its tool, Tudeh party. 

The point of analogy of Iran in 1953 with Iraq in 2003 was not to say that the two countries and societies were the same, or that Saddam was more popular than Mossadegh.  


The point was that the Iranian population welcomed  the changed in Iran that brought about an end to chaos in the country and no insurgency was formed to fight the Zahedi’s government.  




Ms. Amini:

by Aria on

You mentioned that you had only skimmed through Mr. Mirfetros’ book, I highly recommend you reading the book more in detail, and if there are any misrepresentations of the facts you can bring it to our attention.


When I read Ardeshir Zahedi’s memoire I was mindful of the fact that he was General Zahedi’s son and the late Shah’s son-in-law and as such his loyalty should be weighted in on his statements.    But, I also read article’s of Babak Amirkhosravi of Tudeh party, and listened to interviews of Engineer Kashani, Ayatollah Kashani’s son.     These multiple sources, although very diverse politically, stated the same historical facts about 1953, which went beyond the MI6/CIA Ajax operation element, including other elements contributing to the events of 1953. 


Mr. Mirfetros includes all the above but goes beyond by providing quotes/statements from Mossadegh’s own inner circle about the events of those critical days.    Never in his book he disrespects Dr. Mossadegh and, rightly so, credits him for his accomplishment, oil nationalization.    But, his historical forensic work looks at other issues that the work’s of likes of Mr. Kinser simply lack, providing  a complete picture that there was a whole more to this story than Ajax..


Also, another well known Iranian scholar, Dr. Abbass Milani has the same line of thinking about 1953 that it was not as black and white that some try to portray it.


Both Dr. Milani and Dr. Mirfetros were political opponents and prisoners of the previous regime and as such their views cannot be tainted or viewed based on a pro-monarchy  political affiliation.   If anybody accuses any of these gentlemen of taking any money for writing or saying these things they need to show evidence.  Otherwise it is an unfair accusation.


I welcome your comments or those whom you may know of who can dispute some of the key issues Dr. Mirfetros raises in his book as it will be educational. 




aynak jan

by Parham on

Good reasoning. Reality-Bites' suggestion is also valid, I think. Maybe he just didn't see a winning situation due to various factors that you also mentioned. What exactly went on his head will, I guess, be subject to debate forever.


What about a third possibility?

by Reality-Bites on

That he got scared and/or lost his nerve? After all, he was human.


Re: Parham Jan

by aynak on


There are obviously only two possibilities here:

1-He was caught by surprise

2-He was not willing to put up a bloody fight against the coup

After the unsuccessful coup on the 25th, Mossadegh could have oredered the arrest of many of coup leaders like Rashidian, Baqai, Kashani .....  Further more, he even banned protests, including  his own supporters.

My theory is that he was willing to go only so far, in terms of staying in power via force.   Please remember that even a faction of Jebhe Melli (lead by Baqai) switched sides and came to the aid of coup makers.

At this point, I am not sure without the help of clerics, a portion of his own party, and also banning protests, he would have had a chance to counter the coup without massive use of force and bloody confronataion.   The question is Why?  And was this really a surprise?   Apparently there was rumors or even a plan that was foiled as early as the February of 1953, just a few months after Eisenhower came to power.  What would make Mossadegh think they would stop?

Also, did Mossadegh really approve Fatemi's call for Republic?   I think he was hit from the left of the field by that call as well.  Mossadegh was a true constitutionalist and he came against Republic declaration by Reza Khaan.






Dear aynak

by Parham on

Many thanks for your explanation. I'd still like to believe he was only taken by surprise on the 28th, and didn't just give up after all the fight he put up, only because he believed in non-violence.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Regarding Shah

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I have it on good authority he did not want the coup. He was perfectly happy living in the West. They had to practically put a gun to his head to get him to go back. He was both uninterested and scared. 

While I do appreciate his modernization Shah was not a brave man. If not for the CIA he would have never challenged Mossadegh. Nor would he have gone back or tried to gain power.

Fariba Amini


by Fariba Amini on

McGhee then went back to the book and read from another paragraph: "I do not
believe that Mossadegh 'formed an alliance with the Soviet Union' as my friend, Kermit
Roosevelt charges in his recent book, Countercoup. The USSR obviously tried to take
advantage, through the Communist Tudeh Party in Iran, of the disorder created by
Mossadegh, and the National Front party was probably glad to accept the support of
the Tudeh Party when they found it useful.

"Mossadegh, however, was fully aware of the Soviet threat to Iran. He was the
one member of the Majlis who had had the courage to force cancellation of the Soviet
oil concession in the north of Iran in 1947. Mossadegh was, in my view, first and
foremost a loyal Iranian."

Fariba Amini

swiss citizenship

by Fariba Amini on

Did he obtain Swiss citizenship or did he go back to Iran, fought with all his might and gave up a comfortable life and end up in prison for two years at his age?

Come on, don't try to make the man look bad.  It does not bode well.  

The Shah, according to Zahed's memoirs also wanted to live on a farm in the U.S.A. and never deal with Iranian politics.  I am sure he also wanted to become a US citizen if he could. 


 Mosaddeq was against the Soviet influence. Please read George McGhee's chapter on Iran.  





by aynak on

"However please do not discount the Soviet influence in Iran. They did have plans and were using the communist party in Iran."

That was also already agreed to.   The reason I mentioned the CP's in France and Italy and US. was because all 3 had close relations to Soviets.   My point was regardless of what plans Soviets had, they could not pose a real threat, and Mossadegh fully realized that.   To backup this statement, you need to look at the fact that Qavam already was able to make Soviets and Stalin, leave Iran.   

On the other hand, a party must be able to fully function if it has popular support, regardless of what you and I may think.   That's the essence of democracy.   It is preceisely making provisions and trying to "protect" people or the country from "evils" of what have you, that is the first step toward despotism.   That's why Mossadegh was/is considered to represent democratic principles like he is known for.







Lie after the lie. Fabricating Iran history.

by Siavash300 on

"Mosaddeq never wanted to become a Swiss citizen. Another lie, a very bad
one!  You see, you cannot distort history ; it's right there black on
white. " Fariba Amini

Pages 54 and 55 of the book "All Shah's Men" under the chapter A wave of oil,  by Steven Kinzer, who happens to be Ms. Fariba Amini's dear friend, reads:

The onset of illness forced Mossadegh to give up his studies in France after a year and returned to Iran. There he was able to rest, partly because the ruler he detested so viscerrally Mohammad Ali Shah, had been forced from the throne. After his recovery he returned to Europe, this time to Swiss town of Neuchatel, accompanied by his wife, their three children, and his beloved mother. He entered the university there, earned his doctorate of law in 1914- the first Iranian to win such a degree from Euopean university- and decided to apply for Swiss citizenship. First though, he would travel home to complete research for a book about Islamic law.

Yes, I know Kinzer is a big liar, you and probably Parham didn't know.

This is the time our country were being bobbed by Brits. I am wondering where was nationalism at this time.

In May 1946, comrade Stalin and his army with help of Peshwari and it's Democtratic party occupied nothern providence of Iran. They were whispering about separation of Ajarbaijan from Iran. Shah made his historica statement. " if you cut my both hands, I would never sign the separation of that providence from Iran" . That is a nationalism, not frail man at age of 86 with terminal cancer who doesn't want to move around while he is in "death bed".

For Parham information:

  shaboon bemokh was originaly supporter of mossadeq ol saltane. shaboon bemokh stopped beating up Shah's supporters, when mulla kashani changed sides. Read also my previous comment about Tayyeb. And always remember: Mass makes the history, not lampoons, not prostitutes.

"Iran could have become a full fledged democracy if only the West had not interfered.  All the institutions and groundwork were there." Fariba Amini

No, any one with basic knowlege of sociology realizes that education is pre-requisite for democracy. 90% of our people couldn't even read or write their names.




Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Point taken; many of the best social programs in the world come from them. Both communists; and socialists.

However please do not discount the Soviet influence in Iran. They did have plans and were using the communist party in Iran. Of course I would not support banning them. But I would have kept Soviets in mind when dealing with them. Made alliances with those who distances themselves from the Soviets.


You must know I am no fan of the British so no disagreement there. 


Re: Tolerance; Shah;USA

by aynak on

"Regarding communist parties: yes, yes, and no. USA never had much of a
communist party. It was always a joke. USA knows how to marginalize
opposition. It does not ban them just uses the media to make them look
like kooks."

Yet the largest  social programs in U.S  (i.e social secruity) and much of what is called New Deal during Roosevelt, was socialist programs in nature directly to confront the rapid rise and popularity of communist/socialist ideology during and post depression in U.S.    But the point was, the named communists parties were free to operate in those countries, while the same freedom was not allowed or misinterpreted in Iran.  (Thanks to British lobby against Mossadegh in U.S).  




Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Re: Irish

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


That is a pretty funny story Fariba! I have a friend who went to an Irish bar in Boston. He was wearing a shirt with a Union Jack on it. He was politely but firmly asked to leave. The Irish really don't like the British.

I never had any problems with the Irish. They actually very much like Iranians. We share a similar background regarding being trashed by Britain. The things done to Ireland makes me shudder.