Patriot of Persia

Interview with Christopher de Bellaigue


Patriot of Persia
by Fariba Amini

Only the pen of a Macaulay or the brush of a Vereshchagin could adequately portray the rapidly shifting scenes attending the downfall of this ancient nation,-scenes in which two powerful and presumably enlightened Christian countries played fast and loose with truth, honor, decency and law, one, at least, hesitating not even at the most barbarous cruelties to accomplish its political design to put Persia beyond hope of self-regeneration. -- The Strangling of Persia, W. Morgan Shuster, April 1912

Mohammad Mossadegh — Iran’s charismatic Prime Minister—and the coup that brought him down in 1953 stand at the center of modern Iranian history. British journalist and writer, Christopher de Bellaigue, has written a new book on this remarkable figure titled Patriot of Persia, which counts as the first real biography of Mossadegh in English by a non-Iranian. De Bellaigue, who is married to an Iranian artist and who has lived in Iran, has written about the country and the wider Middle East for the Economist, the Financial Times, the Independent, and the New York Review of Books. He is also the author of In the Rose Garden of Martyrs which was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature‘s Ondaatje Prize, and, more recently of Rebel Land, which deals with the memories of the Armenian genocide in today’s eastern Turkey. He will be speaking on the subject of his new book at the Royal Geographical Society on February 14, sponsored by the Iran Society and Iran Heritage Foundation.

I thank him for granting me his very first interview about his book:

The title of your book is interesting. It is commonly believed that it was more the Americans who carried out the coup but, as you tell the story, the foundations were really laid by the British. In your book you put great emphasis on Great Britain’s role. Is it correct to come to this conclusion?

Let me begin by saying that I don’t consider my book to be the final word on Mossadegh, but since I read Persian and I had access to some Persian sources, I would want to think of my book as an accurate portrayal of the man, but certainly it is not the last word. I don’t even think of my book as a scholarly book; I just hope it is a good one.

In the U.S., the title is a bit different: The title is “A tragic Anglo-American coup.” I think I try to show balance. Great many people have written about the episode from the American perspective, and naturally the apology made by Madeleine Albright focuses the attention on the American role and involvement, but I think I lay it out a bit more explicitly that it was really a British idea and that it was the British who instigated the idea of deposing Mossadegh and that they got the American support when they couldn’t do the job.

What distinguishes your book from so many other ones written about Mossadegh?

I think when you write about someone’s life, you can either dislike them or like and feel admiration for them. I certainly feel admiration for Mossadegh. I am fascinated by him partly for the reasons that anyone interested in Iran would be interested in him, and partly because of my fascination with the conflict between the two countries to which I feel the strongest bond. So I was immediately drawn to him for two reasons, his personality and the conflict between the two countries. As I say in the preface, a lot of valuable work has been done on the subject; but I don’t think we have ever had a fully rounded biography in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, where you follow someone from the cradle to the grave. A lot of lavish biographies have been written about famous people in the Middle East but not Mossadegh. It also happened that I was living in Iran and had some access to the archives and other Persian sources. I was able to gather together some secondary and firsthand material that had not been used before. I must say that there will never be a last word on Mossadegh. People will continue to write about him.

You say in your introduction: “As an Englishman who is married to an Iranian and spends part of the year in Tehran, I learned long ago to suspend all patriotic urges when writing about Iran. Approaching Mossadegh has necessitated even more rigour because of his famous loathing of Britain, and his desire to end British meddling. In Mossadegh’s time, millions of Iranians attributed to the British an almost boundless capacity for mischief. Although Mossadegh’s hatred of Britain clouded his judgment, I regret to say that it rested on sure foundations. Mossadegh saw the hidden hand of the British everywhere because that is where it was.” As a British national, you are defending this man. Is that the case?

I happen to be British, but of course it affects me to read and to hear and to learn about my government’s role in Persian politics. Yes, I am sympathetic to the man. When you read about Mossadegh, it is as if you are reading about your grandfather. There was something grandfatherly about him. But at the same time, it is not that I am defending him. I am trying to show the man as he was, with his many positive characteristics as well as his flaws, to set the record straight. I wanted to write as honestly as I could, to bring out what where his virtues and his flaws were, without any agenda. I have tried to be fair. I know many Iranians will find that a British person writing about him is ridiculous.

As you know, Iranians have a tendency to blame “others” for whatever happens to them. Yet you say that Iranians have a legitimate reason to point fingers at the British not just in the 1950s but long before that. Can you elaborate?

Yes, I do believe the British were very much involved in the internal affairs of Persia or Iran. In the book I try to show Iran’s fascination with the Great Britain and the paranoia that came with it. There is an element of paranoia but at the same time there is a very real foundation for suspicion. Someone like Iraj Pezekshzad [in his masterpiece novel, Dayee Jan Napoleon; translated as My Uncle Napoleon] deals with this on a comic level. That fascination and obsession can get in the way of good judgment, particularly when it comes to politics. At the same time, if you read the history of British involvement in Iran, there is much justification for Iranian suspicion.

Have you by any chance read Darioush Bayandor’s book, Iran and the CIA: The Fall of Mosaddeqe Revisited. Do you agree with him? He considers the role of the clergy and the Iranian players to have been more important than that of the outside forces.

I did see Bayandor’s book. I read it with interest but I tend not to agree with the crux of it. Bayandor’s approach as far as I can tell is centered on reevaluating the role of Iranians. The foreign involvement is portrayed differently. I think it is fine to listen to other voices offering another argument. But I do think that the events of August 1953 were ultimately a military coup instigated and orchestrated by foreigners. It was not Khod- joush as you say in Persian in my opinion at all.

Don’t you think that if Iranians and some of those around Mossadegh had not actively participated, the coup would not have happened? That is, those who betrayed him or left his side, namely some of the clerics and the Iranians who were paid off like the Rashidians and the rest?

It is one of those hypothetical questions. I think what brought Mossadegh to his downfall were a combinations of factors: the oil nationalization and his engagement in long negotiations, the qualities he possessed- that is a strong will combined with integrity and an attachment to principles were the ultimate tests. I don’t think the defection of Makki, Baghai and or Kashani or any of them were decisive in toppling his government. Mossadegh did not want to invite a civil war. He could have done that. But he did not want bloodshed. He did not want the country to collapse and ultimately that was a decision of principle he took, and the coup found new momentum. As far as I know Mossadegh never expressed regret in the way he handled things or his decision, although many Iranians would say that it was the wrong one.

You really have written a full biography of Mossadegh. We know that he came from a prominent family, he was a Qajar from his mother’s side, but he basically went against that nobility. What really shaped this man? You talk about the most influential person in his life being his mother, but what were some of the other factors, elements or events that shaped him?

I tried to identify every element that shaped him in his early life. I am sure that I have missed a lot. The person who had the most obvious influence on him was his mother no doubt. Naturally, the Constitutional Revolution was an event that influenced him. He was ambivalent at the time but it shaped him considerably, particularly his attitude towards the monarchy. I think his time in Europe was absolutely seminal in shaping his way of thinking in terms of his ideas towards government, towards religion in public life, towards the independence of nations. Then he went back to Persia and he combined what he had learned from the West with the life in Persia. He never wanted to become a European or be a European intellectual. He always remained very much an Iranian. He had a very strong sense of his Iranian-ness and managed to combine the two. All these elements came together to create the man. And then of course, there are the personal elements which shaped his character: Responsibility at a very young age, his relations with his maternal uncle, Farmanfarma, who was a notorious Anglophile. And the long dark years of Reza Shah and the tragic personal experience of watching his youngest daughter fall into mental illness due to his own incarceration.

By the same token, the Shah was also educated not far from Neuchâtel in Switzerland. But he became a different person. What contributed to his character? His experience was different than that of Mossadegh. What do you attribute that to?

You are absolutely right. They came from totally different viewpoints as we know. The Shah was the representative of a new dynasty and he had to live up to the standards that had been set by his father. He was unsure of himself. I have sympathy for the Shah’s predicament. Mossadegh, on the other hand, was sure of his own position and standing among his compatriots. The self-confidence he showed connecting with his constituents or the people around him was very different from the uncertainty of the Shah.

In the chapter on Razmara, you say that Mossadegh knew about his assassination. Yet we know that Mossadegh had a non-violent character that he did not want to use force. How do you come to this conclusion? On what basis do you say that he knew of Razmara’s killing?

I think Ali Rahnama has done some very good work on this subject. His argument seems valid. One could say that historically we are in the realm of speculation but, as I say in my book, there is strong reason to suspect that Mossadegh did know; several of his close confidantes had given their approval to the act. Mossadegh probably had foreknowledge. One has to remember that decisions were being taken in the heat of the moment and that many Iranians were under the impression that their country was on the brink of collapse. They were acting in extremis. But never do I suggest that Mossadegh advocated, advised or even encouraged Razmara’s murder.

Do you think that he was going to eventually call of for a Republic even though he was at core in favor of a constitutional monarchy?

On the day of the coup, they were preparing for a Regency Council, which the Shah should according to the Constitution have been involved in setting up, and for obvious reasons was not. The country was moving towards a republic even if that was not what Mossadegh wanted; though how long that would have taken I don’t know. Mossadegh himself didn’t know how long he would remain in power. During this period he wanted to step down on several occasions. He was surrounded by younger dynamic men who would have been candidates to take his place. I think the majority of them, like Hossein Fatemi, were either hardcore republicans or moving in that direction. Even if we could imagine for a moment that Mossadegh had asked the Shah to return, it is hard to imagine the Shah doing so. His rule was effectively over and he was planning his life with Soraya in the U.S.

Many people argue that Mossadegh was stubborn and made the wrong moves in his negotiations with the Americans and the British and that it was really his fault that a compromise over the oil issue was not reached. Is that your belief too?

I think that if Mossadegh had not had the qualities we have been discussing, Iran would not have been able to negotiate from a position of strength. When nationalization went through, the British did not take it seriously. They did not think that this would last very long or that Mossadegh would last very long. During his trip to America, he genuinely wanted to do a deal. But Eden summarily dismissed the proposals. After that, Mossadegh had the opportunity to test British, to test their appetite for a deal. It is hard for us to know for sure how sincere the British were in their pursuit of compromise. They were certainly trying to convince the Americans of their good intentions so that later on they could enlist the Americans’ help in more aggressive measures. But I do think that Mossadegh missed an opportunity. If he had shown more openness to a deal in the latter days of his premiership it is hard to imagine that he would have lost American good will to the extent that they went along with a coup.

How do you define “Mossadeghism” as you meniton in your book?

It was coined in the West to denote irrational, unstable Middle Eastern leaders who had no idea how the world worked and who liked poking their fingers into the eyes of the great powers. If Mossadeghism was allowed to grow and expand then it would not just be confined to the Abadan refinery but go further, to the Suez Canal and other economic possessions. Mossadeghism was never translated into Persian but to Iranians it meant personal and political integrity.

Mossadegh was cordial towards the Shah and always referred to him as “Your Majesty.” But on page 266 of your book, the Shah in reply to a French journalist asking how Mossadegh was doing said, “He is happy where he is. He eats well and, at eighty- six, engages in his favourite sport, riding donkeys. What more could he wish for?” There was a time when Mohammad Reza Shah was also respectful towards his PM. What made him change? Does power change people?

I am not an expert on the Shah. I studied him a bit. Mossadegh was convinced that the Shah wanted him out of office and even dead. He might have kept the Shah close to him. He did not respect the Shah as a person but respected the idea of a Monarchy for Iran, so that meant respecting the person of the monarch. But in the end their relationship broke down to the point where the Shah went along with the coup plan.

We have heard a few American politicians, most importantly Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, apologize for the U.S. government’s role in the coup. Have any British political figures ever apologized to the Iranian people for the British role?

I don’t think any British politician has ever publicly acknowledged their role. Having said that, I am skeptical about the usefulness of public apologies of this kind. Particularly, for a country like Britain, you would have to spend all your time apologizing! There is a point when apologies lose their value unless they are part of an endeavor to achieve reconciliation. We know that the MI6 records are off limits. I can only say that if we were to see those records, they would not be very flattering.

On page 274 of the book, you mention that Roosevelt went to see Churchill on his way back from Tehran. Churchill was recovering from a stroke. Churchill told him, “If I had been but a few years ago younger, I would have loved nothing better than to have served under your command in this great venture.” There is also a photo of four men sitting on the White House lawn; this is a year after the Coup. They all look jolly. What went through the mind of these politicians? I know you are not a psychiatrist, but what do you think when you look at this picture?

I don’t know what was going through their mind but I think the British felt that Mossadegh had done something wrong and felt that if it were not for British engineering and money, the refineries would have never been built and that it did not belong to Iran. It was the end of the Empire and the two men were representatives of an earlier age. British supremacy was on its last legs so either of those men wanted to make the decline as smooth as it was possible. And Mossadegh was not part of the script. The Americans had a different opinion, that Mossadegh was driving the country into the arms of the Soviets.

Mossadegh was anti- Soviet but the British used their propaganda to bring the Americans on board claiming that he was cozying up to the Soviets. Is that right?

The British definitely played on that. They had a very profound sense of Iranian history. Diplomats who went to Iran were well versed in the history of British involvement in Iran. They never seriously believed that any Iranian statesmen would cozy up to the Soviets. The Tudeh did have some support in Iran but it was not mass based. These were fear mongering stories. Across the Muslim world you find this. There is already a mass ideology – Islam – and doesn’t mix well with the mass ideology of Communism.

You mention Ann (Nancy) Lambton in two separate chapters. I have always been very curious about her. She had a lot of knowledge and understood and wrote about Iranian history. She lived in Iran and traveled by foot. Why would someone who was not just an ordinary scholar—who was not pretentious like Zaehner or even Wilbur—want a true democrat out of office? What can you tell us about her?

She is an absolutely fascinating figure and an enigma. She kept her cards close to her chest. She never talked about her involvement. She had an inspirational role early on. It would be wrong to say that she was the mastermind of the coup. But at the same time, she recommended that Robin Zaehner come to Tehran and use his contacts to undermine the government. She recommended Mossadegh’s removal. I think we have to try to put ourselves in her shoes. She was admirable in so many ways but ultimately she was working for what she believed was the British interest. But as we now know, coercion tends to destroy whatever good may come from diplomacy.

How should Iranians remember Mossadegh today? What is the legacy he left behind?

He should be remembered as a good man, a man who wanted the best for his country. He had a vision. And even more than a leader, he was a good man. I think he is remembered in a positive way because he united the country around a goal that no one can argue with, or contend that it was motivated by self-interest. He wanted an independent, respected Iran, and that, at the end of the day, is what every Iranian wants.


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Fariba Amini

by Truthseeker9 on

These are the comments of a few regulars, you saw the comments and opinions of the majority who usually remain silent readers in one of my links for example. There is a wider audience out there, please do not be deterred by personal comments.

Fariba Amini


by Fariba Amini on

Those who compare Sabeti and Mossadegh should not be allowed to write on the comment pages of this website.

A Savak "analyst" who comes out of his hiding all of a sudden because he smells regime change sholuld not be interviewed or given any form of public appearance. He along other Savak agents and those who replaced them should be put on trial when and if we have a democratic process in place. 

"In the
early seventies, a new "special unit to fight against terrorism" was
It was this special department,
which developed a notorious reputation for brutality and torture methods
that were later taken in conjunction with SAVAK."


Mr. Veiled Prophet of Khorasan,

If one writes about Mossadegh or interviews those who have written about him it is not because we are obsessed but because people have certain interest in periods in Iranian history.  Mossadegh is like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson or Gandhi or MLK or Mandella. Why should we apologize to write about or even praise the only decent politician and PM of Iran?   Did he not defend the Iranian people at the Hague and at the UN vis a vis the most powerful Empire and came out as a victor?     

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Mossadegh and people that worship him

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

There are really separate issues. One is Mossadegh as a person. The other is people who have made him into a God. These are very different. 
  • Mossadegh as a man is a part of our history and should  historians. And should be studied by people who are not biased. Not by his followers 
  • His worshippers are a different matter. In my opinion they are living in the past. They are stuck in 1953 and will never move. Thankfully in a few years a new generation will replace them. 

Mash Ghasem

نقل قول از"سپهبد جعفرقلی صدری " در مورد فساد ثابتی و ساواک

Mash Ghasem

بخشی از سخنان سپهبد جعفرقلی صدری

پس از چند روز مأموری جلوی کلانتری قلهک کشته شد و سپهبد فرسیو را ترور کردند و در همین زمان، واقعه سیاهکل اتفاق افتاد. ساواک و ژاندارمری رفتند و آنها را کشتند و بازماندگان گروه سیاهکل متواری شدند. این گروه در تهران شروع به سرقت از بانک ها و تخریب کردند. شاه ما را احضار کرد.

مقام امنیتی در حضور شاه گفت:

ما به تنهایی نمی‌توانیم کاری بکنیم. در این شورا که تشکیل شده بود، ازهاری، اویسی، بنده و پالیزبان شرکت داشتیم. پس از مدتی مذاکره، تصمیم گرفته شد یک اجتماع سازمان نظامی تشکیل شود. ثابتی از طرف ساواک، سپهبد جعفری از طرف شهربانی و سپهبد محققی از طرف ژاندارمری، اعضای این تشکیلات شدند.
... شاه گفت که باید این اجتماع تشکیل شود و شما هر کس را که گرفتید باید تحویل ساواک بدهید. ولی آقای ثابتی هر کس را می‌گرفت خودش به تنهایی عمل می‌کرد. من ناراحت شدم و با او همکاری نکردم و گفتم که ساواک شش هزار عضو فقط در تهران دارد، خودش به تنهایی عمل کند.

شبی در چهار نقطه تهران بمب گذاری شد. فردا هویدا تلفن کرد که باید بیایید جلسه. فردوست و هدایتی هم آنجا بودند. جلسه تشکیل شد و هویدا گفت، که شاه از این بابت ناراحت است، شما چرا همکاری نمی‌کنید.

ما می‌دانستیم که بمب ها را ساواک منفجر می‌کند تا وانمود نماید که در شهر خرابکاری می‌شود و باید همه نیروهای انتظامی با ساواک همکاری کنند.

شخصی به نام «جهان شب ژرفی» که بمب ساز ساواک بود و بمب ها را می‌ساخت، خود در حادثه بمب گذاری کشته شد و این واقعیت را که ساواک عامل بمب گذاری بود، ثابت می‌کند.

من حاضر شدم دو افسر و ۳۰ پاسبان در اختیار کمیته بگذارم و همین کار را هم کردم، اما باز متوجه شدیم که ثابتی به تنهایی عمل می‌کند و خودش با افرادش به خانه ای در نیروی هوایی حمله کرده و چند نفر را کشته و دستگیر کرده، ما ناچار تصمیم گرفتیم از کارهای او و مکالمات تلفنی اش اطلاعاتی حاصل کنیم. 

سرهنگ مخفی، افسر اطلاعاتی را احضار کردم و به کمک تلفن چی شهربانی، از داخل دیوار سیمی به تلفن ثابتی کشیدیم و از مکالماتش نوار برداشتیم. در آن نوار ثابتی از مردم، زمین و پول و فرش می‌خواست. من آن نوار را پیاده کردم و به شاه دادم. شاه وقتی ماجرا را فهمید، گفت: او چقدر طمع دارد. نوار را به فردوست داد و گفت: تذکراتی به ساواک داده شود. ما دیگر نفهمیدیم که فردوست تذکر داد یا نه

برگرفته از روزنامه اطلاعات، شنبه ۱۹ اسفند ماه ۱۳۵۷




by anglophile on

If IC and its contributors were representative then you would have been its Truth Seeker LOL. Try harder next time :))


درود بر شما امیر پرویز


مقایسه بین مصدق و ثابتی بسیار آموزنده است. در مقابل حرفهای مبتذل فریبا امینی و یا قاسم (که همانند نقشش در دایی جان ناپلئون کور کورانه و وردوارانه موهومات دیگران را تکرار می‌کند) مقایسه شما بسیار روشنگرانه است. از یک سؤ شارلاتانی مثل مصدق را داریم که فقط به خاطر روابط و نه ضوابط در سن هجده سالگی والی‌ خراسان میشود که خود سند وابستگی‌ عمیق این فرد به قبیله ایران ستیز قجر است. و از سوی دیگر فردی ایران دوست نظیر پرویز ثابتی را داریم که از یک خانواده متوسط و بدون هیچ رابطه‌ای و فقط با کارائی شخصی‌ وارد سازمان امنیتی می‌‌شود که در سال ۱۳۳۷ هنوز هیچ اتهام و تهمتی بدان وارد نشده بود و به خاطر کفایت شخصی به مدارج بالای اطلاعاتی میرسد. یکی‌ نظیر مصدق از پناه بردن به زیر عبای آخوند هیچ ابائی ندارد. یکی‌ نظیر ثابتی دست آخوند را از تجاوز به مملکت قطع می‌کند. مطرح کردن والی‌ بودن مصدق در ۱۸ سالگی به عنوان سند کفایت او به همان اندازه مبتذل و تهوع آور است که دلیل فریبا امینی مبنی بر برتریت مصدق بر محمد رضا شاه به دلیل خون سلطنتی داشتن مصدق!!  واقعاً اگر دستی‌ دستی‌ هم می‌خواستند مصدق را مفتضح کنند بهتر از این نمی‌‌شد.



Point well made

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

No 2 people see a the same tree.

My point below was not shah versus mossadegh worship, it was how cynical iranian politics is that a person with qajar background who acted against king and country gets referred to as a "patriot of persia", where as an honorable person like mr sabeti, who's record is that he raised himself up by the boot straps from a modest family/no wealth, reached the very top of the system and loyally worked within the system for iranians to bring about change and never betrayed his own countrymen is not referred to as "a patriot of persia" and people do not actively go out of their way writing about him and his triumphs in terms massively improving human rights on the front lines while fighting irans enemies (who used murder and torture) mek, commies, mullahs & others.  This is where foreign interests come to play, as they help opposition groups gain strength, like extremists like khomeini or sell outs like mossadegh with the openly stated reason of seeking to divide and to thwart iran, not help it develop.  Actually listening to the voa message I can clearly see that rather than praising mr sabeti, sell outs will condemn him, because speaking the whole truth has no place in their manipulations and deceit, which is why some ignoramuses still call the shah a dictator, in total opposition to the facts as mr sabeti's testimony and record highlighted.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Mossadegh a symbol

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

  Mossadegh has become a symbol for people. He represents whatever a particular person wants. People mindlessly use his name as if he is the solutions for all their problems.  As long as people insist on hero worship we are stuck. Today Mossadegh yesterday Khomeini or Shah. Tomorrow who knows. Just like Imam Ali and Hossain. People always want an infallible here.


Regarding Royalty, common misunderstanding

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

The Idea behind Royalty is misunderstood in Its IRanian form it has never been about blue blood alone as it was in Europe.  The central theme of iranian Royalty is people that are putting Iran First.  How it works is that if you perform patriotically you get a title and it cannot pass on to your family unless they earn it on their own.  This is why The royalty of Iran is such an admired institiution for being democratic at heart for millenia.  For example, the VOA interview with head of Savak, was given a royal title that he earned himself, not even his brothers who were successful people In iRan at the time got such a title and his dad was a ordinary farmer.  The reason, as head of Savak for internal security/fbi version he massively improved Human Rights for all Iranians.  Before his department in Savak, during qajar and reza khans brief years in the Iranian police force at a local level torturing prsoners was common, thanks to the creation of savak widespread torture ended in Iran, and as "his excellency" mr sabeti said in the VOA interview, neither he nor any of the people that he worked with had been involved in tortures, or known of tortures.  IE not that it did not occur at all, but that it was absolutely not widespread as people involved in actively betraying both king and country were propogating in their books, since I already knew this fact to be true, I have always done everything on this site to communicate with the many many manipulated and deceived in order to defend Freedom by defending the character of Savak against commies, mullahs and other deceived traitors like mash. 

I thoroughly enjoyed a particular comment of Sabeti's which the ordinary iranian can buy 100% after seeing the NTC in libya who have since coming to power now tortured thousands and also in syria, not to mention our mullahs who have executed now tens of thousands and tortured many times more, he said, who are we to even listen to the opposition, they have themselves been using torture indiscriminately.  And we wonder why the average Iranian wants the Shah over politicians, if traitor mossadegh is the only leader IRAN's sell outs can put up, then democracy when it comes to iran, like japan and the uk will be due to the efforts of monarchists, seeking an iranian solution, acceptable to all that gives us, "SECULAR Democracy."   

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I got to say that your own words are not very polite. In more than one instance mind you.

APFSM posts are nowhere near as bad as yours.

BTW: I was studying in the university at 18. I was not planning to hand Iran to the Mollahs. Nor was I blowing things up or making trouble. If I was "Royalty" maybe I would have got Khorasan to manage. But I don't have "Royal" whatever ...


Mossadegh and Khomeini

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

than betraying the king and therefore the country or even acting dictatorially after being appointed to office.  I guess we should all completely forget the champaign parties held at BP thanks to the stupidity of Mossadeghs approach where by Iranians incurred huge fines as a result of his actions which they had to pay in full by law.

With help like Mossadegh and Khomeini, Iran really never needed enemies.

Mash Ghasem

Mosadegh was the Treasurer of Khorasan at age 18. What were you

by Mash Ghasem on

doing when you were 18?

Mosadegh was THE ONLY POLITICIAN IN THE WORLD that took Brits to International Court and kicked their butts, fair and square, hands down, according to International Laws. Name us another instance of such an action in the history of the world.

Pathetic country selling monarchists can never understand the meaning of having courage to fight for your people. All you know is how to steal, torture and lie. And when it get tough, it's time to escape.  

Keep taking that Prozac. Medication is a terrible thing to waste!


I am so glad this BS doesn't sell on the iranian street anymore

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

like it used to.  Its a story of a mediocre politician being appointed by a inexperienced king and then refusing to obey the law, exercising absolute power and acting dictatorially. One less mass manipulation to deal with thanks to the gradual awakening and awareness of the iranian people.

Fariba Amini

An interesting article

by Fariba Amini on

 I read this unpublished interview with ayatollah zanjani on the differences between kashani and mossadegh it is quite interesting And revealing. 

I think we should not make saints or martyrs out of our leaders they were real human beings but to learn from the past and be truthful and yes see our own interests and work towards establishing a society of law and order something that mossadegh desired for Iran I do think if each Iranian did not just think of himself or herself but worked towards the benefit of all we could change things around for the better.

In the same issue of the journal siavoshan which is now banned in Iran there is a very good discussion on mossadegh 's government between zibakalam , the late sahabi,Iraj Amini and hermidas bavand if time allows I will translate it

It is really up to Iranians to ask themselves are we going to change our ways ? By the way Masoud, you are so very kind!




by Parham on

Point well taken.


Interesting interview

by Truthseeker9 on

Thank you, the book should be  a good read.


Apology or Acknoweldgment

by aynak on


Parham, sometimes discussions on I.C take very funny turns.  Here, the point wasn't really about apology vs acknoledgement or what have you.  The point was, U.S had participated in derailing a process in Iran.  Technically, U.S government will only apologize as the very last resort, more than anything else due to --financial-- implication of such admission.  (Civil lawsuites etc) but all of that is besides th e point.

But the real point in this discussion, is one party in the coup taking the blame (in any form) as evident by Albright statement, and the party aided by this (coup beneficiaries), are rejecting any such help or the importance of it, in toppling Mossadegh's government.

I think we both agree that any apology should come in due time to people of Iran and not to unelected Iranian rulers, however, let's forget that and hope the current policies would not create something new for U.S to apologize for in 50 years time.





Esfand Aashena

The day I heckled Ahmadinejad

by Esfand Aashena on

The day I heckled Ahmadinejad

Ms. Amini I did a search with your name and Guardian and the above article came out!  Wow!  Touche!

Darius jaan had also posted a News item but apparently never made it to the belog section!

Larijani is like as we say in Farsi khiar chanbal! He has no expression and is like a moth!  He has been heckled before, once in Shiraz.

Anyway, that picture of you on that day next to Larijani in Payvand is priceless! 

Everything is sacred

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Not anti Mossadegh

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I am not anti Mossadegh as some here think. Just appear that way as compared to the hard core fans. I never questioned his love and dedication for Iran. But I agree with Oktaby. He was a mediocre politician. 

Why don't you people address his domestic policies. All the questions that I, Anglo and others have raised? The "politer" fans ignore any criticism; the rude ones resort to insults. Bring out the facts and if the don't support you acknowledge it.

For argument just assume he did nothing wrong domestically. He still failed to hold on to power as PM. That is proof by itself of his poof political judgment. I repeat one more time.

Who in his right mind is going to take on Britain in 1953 unprepared for a reaction. Maybe with all the fans telling him "you are great" it got to his head. Dude you pick a fight with a government known for its tricks and don't prepare?

Are you nuts! Shah in 1970s did the same and suffered the same thing. It is not a matter of who is right or wrong. It is a matter of self preservation. It took Shah over 20 years after 1953 to get that arrogant. Mossadegh was there in months.

If a person gets so detached from reality after months of power what happens after years. Are you sure a Mossadegh PM would not have been just as bad as the Shah? What might have happened after 20 years of him.



دوست عزیز تقصیر از انگلیسی‌‌ها نیست - از خودمان است




فرق است میان نوکر و جاسوس و ستایشگر. در ایران ما جاسوس کم داشتم و کمتر از جاسوس ستایشگر انگلیس داشتم و داریم (از جمله بنده) ولی‌ تا دلتان بخواهد نوکر داشتم و داریم. انگلیس و آمریکا هرگز به ایران حمله نخواهند کرد. چرا؟ چون ایادی نوکر صفتشان منافع آنها را تامین میکنند. ولی‌ به عراق حمله کردند چون نه صدام و نه اعضای حکومت او همانند ما ایرانیان نوکر صفت و یا جاسوس بودند و طبیعتا راهی‌ به جز حمله نظامی برای غرب باقی‌ نمانده بود. اگر ما یک جو غیرت همین اعرابی که به اونها فخر می‌‌فروشیم را داشتم به این روز نمی افتادیم.اگر کسی‌ باید از کسی‌ عذر خواهی‌ کند این ملت ایران است که بایست از خود عذر خواسته و اظهار ندامت و توبه کند. 



by oktaby on

of this book, based on your interview, is that it seems to make a lot of claims but hardly contains any contribution of significant value that compells one to read it. Certainly statements like the following "The Americans had a different opinion, that Mossadegh was driving the country into the arms of the Soviets." show either lack of information or intent to misinform. The American position including Truman, before Eisenhower is well known and documented and it was not that Mossadegh was driving Iran into communist arms. It was a more pronounced anti communist stance adopted by Eisenhower administration exploited by the British with a sustained and persistent lobbying and campaign that succeeded to convince Eisenhower of Mossadegh's risk. Earlier, Truman had not fallen for that trick.

Also, I think it would be a good practice to respond to legitimate questions and points raised even if you consider it rude. Not responding as is a pattern based on what I have seen from you along with a one trick pony show on Mossadegh, Mossadegh, Mossadegh and connecting every dot of every problem of Iran with Mossadegh. Is there room to stop idolizing Mossadegh? Or see him for what he was. A patriotic Iranian whether one agrees with him or not, and a damn good lawyer; but a mediocre politician with some gaping contradictions and character flaws?

You seem fixated. Is there nothing else that interests you? or any contribution relative to more immediate issues relative to the rapist republic that JM et al help bring about?


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Albrights get as close to apology as it is going to get: move on. What is it that you want: A pound of flesh! Just accept that it is a lot better than anyone else did. Have Turks said sorry to Armenia or Japan sorry to Korea or China? 

Regarding obsession I disagree. When it gets in the way of anything else it is obsession. When you talk about him as if he was a God it is obsession. He was human or do you dispute that?

If he was human then he had faults. I challenge you people to also discuss his flaws. What about Razm Ara. What about Kasravi? How about the other points. Do you want a worship session or a real analysis. What I see is a worship session.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

response to amirkabear4u and other followers

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

Maybe for a loser monarchist like yourself it is called "self indulgence" but really it is called freedom of speech.

I see from your eloquent and thoughtful remarks. Referring to others as "losers" and so on really shows the power of your arguments. I have asked a bunch of valid questions about Mossadegh.

Never got a response from his supporters other than plain denial of recorded facts. Getting to the point my argument is not with Mossadegh but his supporters. All I see is a group of people idolizing a man and attacking anyone who questions it.

Just like you did in your statement above. Adding to it is the legacy of his supporters who almost uniformly supported the IRI. If they want to preserve the legacy they do better by being less ideological and more realistic



by amirkabear4u on

Maybe for a loser monarchist like yourself it is called "self indulgence" but really it is called freedom of speech.

And a food for your toughts everyone can and should express himself/herself.

PS: for your infromation I am not a Mossadegh supporter.

Fairness and Equality in Justice


Fariba! Terrific essay, about a GREAT man!

by P_J on

You should not let these lower forms of life to cause you annoyance!

Some of the "PROWED" pen name says it all.  Others are paid propagandists who have been trying hard to REWRITE Iran’s history of recent making a FOOL of themselves.

And as someone said; others are Rashidian Brothers “want/to/be(s)”, the known CIA agent and TRAITORS.

Again thank you for the post!  

Jeesh Daram


Jeesh Daram

خانم امینی،  اگر پوزشی از طرف آمریکا بیاید،  آن خطاب بمردم ایران خواهد بود و نه الزاما به  دولت ایران.  ولی انگلستان همانقدر در سقوط مصدق مسئول است که آمریکا میباشد و هردو مقصر.  شاید آقای انگلوفیل با دوستانشان در شماره 10 دانینگ استریت تماس بگیرند و دولت بریتانیا  را قانع کنند که قدمی جلو بگذارد و رسما پوزش بطلبد و درعوض ما باغ قلهک را ظبط نکرده و دوباره به ایشان تحویل خواهیم داد.  اوباما در مورد پوزش حرفی ندارد ولی نگرانی ما از انگلستان است.  بریتانیا چهار صد سال عذرخواهی بما بدهکار است و آمریکا حدود پنجاه سال.  چرا همه میترسند از انگلستان انتقاد کنند.  ولی مهمترین نکته ای که باید متذکر شوم  اینستکه آیا متوجه شده ایم (همه ما) که  ما هیچ فردی را امروز نداریم که بروی او حساب کنیم......دیگر کسی نیست که مصدق را نشناخته باشد،  بیائید در مورد آنچه امروز نداریم بنویسیم،  ما ملت از هم گسیخته بی قهرمان  و بی کس....یا آنکه باید صد سال دیگر صبر کنیم تا قهرمان دیگری کشته شود و یا سقوط کند و بعد همه در باره او خواهیم نوشت و در سوک او خواهیم نشست...به امید آنروز 

Fariba Amini

Some thoughts

by Fariba Amini on

I don't think if we write about a subject that is dear to our heart it means that we are obsessed I write about many things among them human rights issues throughout the years I also could have asked many more questions but these are the ones I thought about at that time. CDb does not make a saint out of mossadegh because he was not. he does mention some negative things but the fact remains that in a country and at a time when we had so many corrupt politicians who did not care about the ordinary people and filled their pockets and sold themselves. That is what differentiates mossadegh with the rest especially the Pahlavi crowd 

As for apology I dont think it does any good but the fact is that was a tactical move by the Clinton administration though I brought this up because the IRI does not deserve an apology they hate mossadegh as much as his other foes

As for my presence at the dinner and sitting at that table it is a long story I wrote an article in the guardian a couple of years ago on the subject.



A point about "Patriot of

by Parham on

A point about "Patriot of Persia" -- I don't think this has really come out the way it should through the interview (or in the comments below it, but that's understandable!) -- but this book is actually not that kind to Mossadegh, as it apparently portrays him as "a peculiar man", a "mixture of visionary and fusspot" and a "shameless hypochondriac" who "fainted and howled in public"... See here. Now I haven't read the book as it is not out yet, but I believe that aspect of it is missing in the texts above and below. Thought I'd point that out!
Otherwise, thank you dear Fariba for the interview of Mr de Bellaigue!

To me, acknowledgment is not the same thing as an apology. In fact, I think if the American administration was smarter, it would have presented an apology to the people of Iran so it would get that out of the way, so to speak, and not give an excuse to future establishments to use the coup of 53 as a tool against its policies.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Self indulgence

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

The whole Mossadegh saga is getting ridiculous. It has gone from a historical event to self worship. For decades his followers made a god out of him.

The whole process is shameful and narcissistic. I mostly avoid reading anything they write. Other than point out how disgusting this self worship is.