Was the Shah delusional?

... or too sick to distinguish fact from fiction?


Was the Shah delusional?
by Fariba Amini

A review of
“The Shah’s Story"
An autobiography
by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

“[Mosaddeq] was certainly a completely irrational being, but since, in politics, everything must make sense, I finally reached the conclusion that underneath this diehard nationalist here lurked a man who was closely tied to the British.”
-- Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

I had compiled this article just before the death of my father Nosratollah Amini and now in his memory and on the occasion of 29th of Ordibehesht (18th of May), Mohammad Mosaddeq’s birthday, I am posting it. My father was an honest, kind and caring human being who was not just the attorney to Mosaddeq, but to many others, including Gholam Reza Takhti and Shamshiri. May his memory live in the hearts and minds of those who knew him.

The following are excerpts from the Shah’s last book translated from the original French by Teresa Waugh and published in Great Britain by Michael Joseph Ltd in 1980. As I was reading this interesting text, I came across these few passages. His majesty did not stand by his own Prime Ministers in both cases and the rest is more distortions of history. The book is a must read for those who would like to learn Iranian history from a delusional perspective.

On oil nationalization
“On May 20, 1951, the nationalization of the oil industry was ratified. It is easy to imagine that I was the most convinced partisan of this nationalization. I have, however, already said that it should have been followed or preceded by negotiations. It was suddenly enforced, and despite my efforts, followed by a cut-throat diplomacy.”

On the coup and Mosaddeq
“In August 1953, strongly supported by the United States and England, who had finally adopted a common policy, and after I had discussed the matter with my friend Kermit Roosevelt, the C.I.A.’s special envoy, I decided to call it a halt.

“The awakening of the Iranian people [!]

"It was only on reaching the edge of the abyss that the Iranian people awoke to the immensity of the danger which threatened them, but first there were three days of rioting in Teheran. The first two days were organized by the partisans of Mosaddeq and the Toudeh. It was not until the morning of the third day, August 19, 1953, that with extraordinary courage, workers and artisans, students and professional men, soldiers and policemen, even women and children confronted the guns, machine guns and even tanks of the raving dictator and reversed the situation. A single warning shot fired from a loyal tank at the house of the ex-Prime Minister put an end to three years of demented politics. Dressed in pyjamas, the President [!] climbed the wall into neighboring garden and took refuge in a cellar belonging to the director of postal services. He had had twenty-seven gallows erected in Sepah Square where he meant publicly to hang his enemies some of whom were former members of his own party [!]

"I returned to Teheran where I was greeted with popular enthusiasm. Throughout Iran the voice of the people called irresistibly. Before, I had been no more than a hereditary sovereign, but now I had the right to claim that I had really been elected by the people[!]

"In front of his judges, Mosaddeq continued to play his part, he was at times pitiable, he fabricated stories and behaved extravagantly. He continued to make a spectacle of himself in front of the international press. Since his mother was a descendant of the Qajars he may have hated our dynasty[!] I do not know. But I knew that he would certainly be condemned to death. He was convicted of treason.

"I told the court not to take into account his actions against me. Freed after three years in prison, he went into retirement on his large estate at Ahmad-Abad to the west of Teheran and died there in 1967.”

"It took nearly thirty months for the Iranian people to see Mosaddeq as the prototype sorcerer’s apprentice, incapable of controlling or dominating the forces of destruction which he himself had unleashed. Although by the end of August the rabble no longer ruled and honest citizens could once more live and work in peace, the country was nonetheless ruined and indebted. The damages suffered by our economy amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars and we had wasted three years.”

On Tudeh Party
“The communist plan consisted firstly in using Mosaddeq to topple me. According to some papers discovered, belonging to the Toudeh, Mosaddeq was to be eliminated two weeks after my departure. I have seen postage stamps printed in the name of the People’s Iranian Republic which was then to be proclaimed. The uprising of the masses in my favour took the conspirators by surprise [!]

“There being no doubt about the political and financial support given by the Russians to the Toudeh, Great Britain and, more especially, the United States were said to have financed the overthrow of the Mosaddeq. But the most accurate documentation proves that at the time of these events the CIA had spent no more than 60,000 dollars. I really do not think that such a sum is enough to make a whole country rise up in a few days.”

On Amir Abbas Hoveyda
“On March 17, Bazargan asked for the trial of Amir Abbas Hoveyda, my Prime Minister for thirteen years, to be suspended. This highly deserving man had but one fault: his extreme courage led him to recklessness, and here I must make some explanations.

"In the Autumn of 1978, many different methods were used to discredit the imperial administration. Amir Abbas Hoveyda was made a scapegoat. His administration of public affairs was to be attacked as a means of attacking the regime. A very cleverly organized cabal was set up and it seemed to me that Hoveyda, whose open and loyal character was known to me, was not aware of the dangers that threatened him personally. There was to be a trial with all the constitutional and legal guarantees which would doubtless have justified Hoveyda and others who had long been part of this government. He had nothing to fear from a just trial [!]”

[On April 7, 1979 Amir Abbas Hoveyda was shot to death by the henchmen of the Islamic Republic.]

On Savak
“Savak was instituted in Iran to combat communist subversion after the disastrous Mossadeq episode…. It is not for me to judge the attitude adopted by Western countries towards their communists. Savak was created, then, to put an end to subversive activities which constitute, for outside and inside, a serious danger to Iran.  The organization was entrusted to General Bakhtiar, in 1953, and he called in the CIA to advise him. Subsequently many Savak officials went to be trained by the CIA at Langley. They also went ot other Western countries to observe the methods used there. “

“I cannot defend Savak’s every action. It is possible that people arrested were roughly handled. However, precise instructions were given in order that no abuse might take place. When, a year later, the Red Cross wished to investigate, the prisons were opened to their representatives. Attention was paid to their recommendations and, from that moment, we heard no more complaints...

"With regard to those who were arrested for political reasons-I cannot include arsonists and saboteurs in this category-I affirm that they were properly treated and they were never molested in any way. No one can tell me the name of a single politician who has been 'liquidated’ by Savak.”

On the role of the British
“According to Mosaddeq, so many setbacks to our economy had been inflicted on us as a means to free our oil from British domination. Now, not only were the English still in possession of our oil, but their possession of it no longer brought us any rent: it remained uselessly stored, whilst Great Britain was simply buying more oil from Iraq and, particularly from Kuwait where it cost them less. I think it was nine cents compared to thirteen. Great Britain was gaining on both sides. Everything was happening as though Mosaddeq’s real aim was the contrary to what he said. (it must be added that Mosaddeq was abandoned by his English ‘friends’ as soon as he ceased to be of any use, which was as soon as a world oil cartel seemed possible without him.)”

“The British hand has lain heavily on Iran for most of this century. This did not really change after the American entry. Western support of my rule had always been tempered by a need to exercise a sufficient amount of control. True, the definition of ‘sufficient’ varied with changes in the international scene, but western efforts to ‘clip my wings’ go back to Mossadegh’s day. They were revived whenever I struck out on my own [!]”

On American leaders
“I made it my duty, and it was in fact an honour for me to attend the funeral of this glorious soldier [Eisenhower] and great citizen. I have not forgotten him. It was under his administration that the United States supported me against the policies of Mosaddeq, which were thought to be disastrous for the free world and likely to head Iran to her downfall. It must be acknowledged that America’s foreign policy, directed at the time by Foster Dulles, was very powerful and unarguably efficient.

"Since 1953, I have been tied by solid links of friendship to Richard Nixon. He was then Eisenhower’s vice-president. Under his presidency our relations with the United States became excellent ... I must say that I have always found him [Henry Kissinger] to be true to himself. He stands by his principles and serves his country in the full knowledge of the power wielded by the United States and of America’s responsibility in the balance of power and the maintenance of an honourable world peace. I might add that his geo-political ideas coincided perfectly with mine. Henry Kissinger is possessed of a truly superior intelligence.”

On media
“As for television, the most powerful of all instruments of propaganda, I was very late in having proof that it had been infiltrated, particularly by communists. In January 1979 only a hundred out of a thousand executives and technicians stayed at their job. But the former communists who had sincerely rallied to the Revolution of theShah and the people, and who worked in television, were loyal to the end. This is why Reds and Blacks insisted that, along with many others, they should be shot.”

On past mistakes
“Undoubtedly I was wrong to have looked so far ahead, to have tried to move too fast. But is it not obvious that certain foreign agents intervened and that I stood up to powerful forces more easily than I resolved certain problems? One last comment. Although Iran existed before Islam, let us not forget that the Prophet praised his contemporary Iranians whom he called ‘searchers after truth.’ I have sincerely tried to seek the truth by recognizing my mistakes and trying to make amends. During my reign Iranians did not seek for lies…”


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Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

You may also wish to mention Jimmy Carter's attempts in 1977-78 to force the Shah into a agreement where Iranian crude would be sold for a fixed price of $8.00 per barrel for 50 years.

If memory serves, this preceded, and was the impetus for, the increase of Saudi oil production you mentioned.

And to add further insult to further injury, Mr. Peanut made demands of the Shah that he award very lucrative no-bid contracts to personal friends for various infrastructure projects, with a sizable cash "commission" to be paid to President Malaise as well.

I think we all know what happened after the Shah said 'no".



by Sassan (not verified) on

Well said, bother!

You write: "If you are one of those people who for whatever reason is critical of the US involvement in the coup of 1953 - then surely you are also a critic of their interference in 1979's debacle that has done far worse to Iran and Iranians than their role in the 1953 period.

If Obama or CIA see fit at this time - in order to placate the mullahs - to half heartedly mention Mossadeq and their own role in the affairs of our country during the 50's - maybe it's about time too that they tell the whole truth about their role in the 1979 upheaval and start to apologise to the great people of Iran and openly talk about their secrete deals ( The Algiers accord and so on ) with the IRI in the past 30 years."

Excellent! As far as American involvement in the 1979 black revolution being just a "conspiracy," one only need to look at the role of General Huyser and Ebrahim Yazdi.

Second, one need to consider the Shah's increasingly aggressive oil policies (after all, OPEC was the Shah's brain-child). The price of oil went from $3 a barrel in 1972 to $12 per barrel in 1973, mostly because of the Shah's policies. If you think that this did not anger very powerful oil companies (and their representatives in the White House), then you are sadly mistaken.

Third, as Kissinger once said, "We cannot afford another Japan in Asia."

Fourth, Carter mentioned "human rights" over 20 times in his inauguration speech, yet after the Shah was deposed, he NEVER again cared about "human rights" vis-a-vis Iran.

Fifth, just consider the role of the BBC in the removal of not just the Shah, but Mossadegh and Reza Shah. There's a reason why Ayatollah Khomeini was called "Ayatollah BBC" during the revolution.

Sixth, the Americans in 1977-78 induced Saudi Arabia to produce 11 million barrels of oil a day, an ungodly sum!!! This forced the price of oil to go drastically down, which dramatically hurt the Shah's regime (and the Iran's economy) at the worst possible time. Obviously, their plan was to artificially destabalize the monarchy at the exact time that Khomeini was making a move to take over the nation.

I can go on and on, including Bernard Lewis (the celebrated British Jew) and his "Islamification" of Central Asia theory back in 1977 (kamarband-e-sabz theory), i.e., wrapping the "green belt" of Islam around Iran and Afghanistan so as to forestall Soviet aggression.

If people actually think that American/British ties to Khomeini in 1978 is just a "conspiracy," then I have this beautiful bridge for you in old Brooklyn for a very very cheap price. Are you interested?


Darius Kadivar

by Bahramerad on

 Mr.Darius Kadivar

Perhaps you would like to watch this episode that was transmitted yesterday on BBC TV.


Kaveh Nouraee

"Justice will catch up sooner or later"

by Kaveh Nouraee on

That's right.

And I can hardly wait.


Dear Bahramerad

by capt_ayhab on

There is historical fact that you need to be aware of when commenting about Dr. Mosaddeq. Yo have said that he was a traitor and that he was aligned with Todeh Party[communist].

All due respect you could not be farther from fact. Ervand Abrahamian, the most renowned historian in his book The 1953 Coup in Iran, Science & Society, Vol. 65, No. 2, Summer 2001, pp.182–215 makes the following historical point:

Throughout the crisis, the “communist danger” was more of a rhetorical device than a real issue — i.e. it was part of the cold-war discourse ... Despite 20,000 members and 110,000 sympathizers, the Tudeh was no
match for the armed tribes and the 129,000-man military. What is more, the British and Americans had enough inside information to be confident that the party had no plans to initiate armed insurrection. At the
beginning of the crisis, when the Truman administration was under the impression a compromise was possible, Acheson had stressed the communist danger, and warned if Mossadeq was not helped, the Tudeh would take over. The (British) Foreign Office had retorted that the
Tudeh was no real threat. But, in August 1953, when the Foreign Office echoed the Eisenhower administration’s claim that the Tudeh was about
to take over, Acheson now retorted that there was no such communist danger. Acheson was honest enough to admit that the issue of the Tudeh was a smokescreen.

It is also a known historical fact that Mr. Mosaddeq was anti communist to the core .



Darius Kadivar

FYI/BBC Video Archive: The Shah in Power

by Darius Kadivar on

Food for Thought and Eyes:

Very Interesting Footage from the 1950's/60's of Iran's Political and social life

And on Iran during the 70's:

Oil Barrels and the Gun


 And Islamic Propaganda in Schools 10 years after the Revolution (1989):



hamsade ghadimi

by Bahramerad on

hamsade ghadimiGuadeloupe.

hamsade ghadimi


by hamsade ghadimi on

what made laugh is obvious and was very clear in my comment. i’ll say it again if you don’t want to scroll down. you quoted eisenhower and provided a link to the article that contained the quote to prove that mossadegh was a traitor. however, the article demonstrates the exact opposite. eisenhower's quote was a typical mccarthyism propaganda that was fed by western leaders to their own government and people to justify their nefarious acts within and outside of their countries in the 1950s. the 1953 coup is a known fact and well-documented.

while i’m not comfortable with the outcome of the 1979 revolution to say the least, the conspiracy theory that links khomeini and the current form of iri to the western nations is just that, a conspiracy theory. we can reference how the west was dissatisfied with the shah and decided not to lift a finger to save his skin and his cronies but that does not mean they knew what was to come, just as the iranian people didn’t know the disaster that was to inflict upon our nation. in fact, i cannot think of a reason why western nations would be satisfied with the current islamic regime in iran unless it's some grand charade that only they and certain people like you understand.

while you rant about how well-informed you are about this subject and how well-read you are, you fail to stick to the subject and tell us what you have learnt from the article that you provided and urged us to read. by the way, it’s calamity and not clammily. have a good day.


hamsade ghadimi

by Bahramerad on

hamsade ghadimi : I am glad that I brought to your attention an article ( and all the many references, that comes with this article ) that you and many others may have not come across and may not have read.

I am also glad that it amused you and made you laugh ! - but for what - I am not very sure.

I have read this article plus a few more substantial articles like it in their entirety and know a little of this subject and what I am talking about.

All the concerned students of Iranian recent history -  who have spent some time researching all the relevant printed information regarding this subject - can and have formed their own opinions of what was happening at that time and what the main protagonist role was in this affair.

The main points that I have learned about this subject is that The Americans did help Iran to gain more from its Oil wealth by stopping the British plunder our Oil wealth and that they did help the regeneration and the rebuilt of our Oil Industry with massive investment and helped with the transfer of intellectual knowledge through our various educational establishment ( built during the Pahlavi era ) that grow up around this industry in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Furthermore - their support at that time was the cause of our country not being devoured by Soviet Russia and their 5Th column - The Tudeh Party -

As far as the US interferences into the affairs of our country - ( going back to the 19Th century ) -  It is true that in the beginnings they were very benevolent and helpful to Iran . 

The Americans and the freedom philosophy that their way of life promised were the inspiration of some of the leaders of our constitutional revolution of 1906 - and helped our country to become an independent and comparatively modern country.  

It is also true that on two occasions - during the first and second World wars - They conspired against our country and even invaded our country. 

It is also true that they were also instrumental in bringing the Khomainie and his supporters ( through Carter and his disastrous policies ) and landing us with the worst period of our recent history by conspiring with the (again ) British and The Europeans to overthrow our constitutional monarch and our political system.

I blame the clammily that has griped our country for the last 30 years to them and the misfortune of our country in the last 100 years to two other factors.

The massive Oil and Gas deposit under the Iranian Lands and the constant interference of the religion in the management of our political life.

As for The Pahlavi's rule - I believe that on the whole they were a positive and benevolent rulers of Iran and both the father and son - genuinely were nationalist and loved Iran and Iranians and that they used all their knowledge and efforts for the good of our country and its people.

If you are one of those people who for whatever reason is critical of the US  involvement in the coup of 1953 - then surely you are also a critic of their interference in 1979's debacle that has done far worse to Iran and Iranians than their role in the 1953 period.

If Obama or CIA see fit at this time - in order to placate the mullahs - to  half heartedly mention Mossadeq and their own role in the affairs of our country during the 50's - maybe it's about time too that they tell the whole truth about their role in the 1979 upheaval and start to apologise to the great people of Iran and openly talk about their secrete deals ( The Algiers accord and so on ) with the IRI in the past 30 years.


“supported by the majority of the population”!

by Anonymous commentator (not verified) on


Would you care to find another declassified document that would shed some light on the support and popularity of Mossadegh in the days leading to 19th August 1953?

You might be in for a suprise!

ps - don't be so obediently trustful of these declassified docs.


He did far more wrongs than

by Dariush (not verified) on

He did far more wrongs than he did rights. He didn't cry for the wrongs he did. He cried for what he was losing. He cried for not being able to pass on the throne and the crown to his son. The humiliation made him cry.
That should be a lesson to others. Justice will catch up sooner or later.


He was not

by capt_ayhab on

It is a known fact that I am categorically against Pahlavi dynasty, and monarchy as a whole,  not because whether I think Shah was delusional or not. Because I do believe, whole heartedly, that the situation that Iran has been in past 30 years was due to huge neglect he did in connecting to his subjects.

I do personally remember the tremendous respect that man had in small towns. People did truly believe that he was good for the country. It is all fair to admit that he did many many good deed for they country. Although he was placed in power by allied forces after the deposed Reza Shah, but he in fact served the the country to the best he knew.

Where he made his gravest neglect was when too much power started to corrupt him. Was he a womanizer, hells bell, every politicians are. Was he rich off the national coffers, hell they all are.

But he allowed distance between him and nation get greater and greater as time passed. You can clearly see and feel the regret in his last speech to the nation in which he said:

[Promise to the nation: You, the people of Iran, rose against injustice and corruption... I too, have heard the voice of your revolution. As the Shah of Iran, and as an Iranian, I will support the revolution of my people. I promise that the previous mistakes, unlawful acts and injustice will not be repeated.]

He was the leader of a nation, yet he turned his back on his subjects not once but twice. He was given the golden opportunity by history to bring back the glory and greatness of Persia, Yet only thing he managed to do was to waste 100's of millions for a celebration while 1/2 of Iran was going through some of the most severe drought in generations

I blame him as a man, as a solider that he was, as a leader to whom the legacy of Persia was trusted. He was not an ordinary man by any means, YET he acted as ordinary as they come. He FAILED in controlling his family, THE royal family that is. He failed to bring equality to the nation by abolishing parties and enacting Rastakhiz e Meli. 

He failed in bringing to justice many corruptions that was prevalent in his government. And please do not give me the bull carp that he did not know. I know I am getting a bit sentimental when I say God Damned Shah, you were the only leader nation of Iran had in that period. If I get a chance to ask him few questions I would ask him:

Why did you fail so bad? Why did you flee the country and leave the nation to these Akhunds, Why did you not see everything that was going around? People of Iran did not revolt for food[cake] but they rose for equality, justice and dignity. Sadly enough the few months of liberty was high jacked by opportunist akhund who were stalking the nation from the get go.

He let the historical opportunity of making Iran as glorious as she was, but his arrogance of not wanting to except the changes that nation needed put us in the abyss we are now. He not only betrayed the nation, but he also betrayed Cyrus, Xerxes, Satar Khans , Mirza kocheek Khans, you and I.

May he find peace, It is horrible to die in a foreign soil and not in the land you love.



hamsade ghadimi


by hamsade ghadimi on

surely, you did not read the article in the link that you provided. you stopped at the first paragraph, liked what you saw, copied and pasted it and assumed the rest of the article would confirm that first paragraph.

the article goes on to negate the first paragraph which was a propaganda by eisenhower. it shows mossadegh as a man of resolve who was a true nationalist, paints the shah as irrelevant and more as a stooge who would do anything to stay in power, the biritish as the greedy imperialists who stood at nothing to keep their hands on iranian oil, and the americans who had no scruples and went along with the british plan.

here is an excerpt for you if you don't want to read the entire article; although, i think that you owe it to yourself to read the article:

"Early in the crisis when Mossadeq paid a visit to the United States, a State Department brief informed Truman that the prime minister was “supported by the majority of the population” and was “alert,” “witty,” “affable,” “honest,” and “well informed” (Declassified Documents/1975/White House/Doc. 780). Truman was advised to stir the conversation into generalities about communism, American “disinterest” in oil, and U. S. goodwill toward Iran. In a post-mortem of the whole crisis, the U. S. Embassy admitted — of course, only in confidential notes — that Mossadeq, the “demi-god,” still had a “hold on public opinion,” “symbolized the nationalist ideal,” and cast a long shadow over his successors (FO 371/Persia 1953/104573). "

here's the link again for those who are interested: //www.geocities.com/thelasian/1953-coup-Iran-CIA.html

thanks bahramerad, i had a good laugh. :D


Shah was not delusional

by Abarmard on

Shah was not delusional but lived in a different political settings that required a different set of governing. After all, we did jump from a primitive society based on modernity to a level that even today we are enjoying (from those accomplishments).

I would even go further and argue that the time for Mr. Mossadegh was over, but he was not aware of it. Shah on the other hand knew the limitations, his and the country, and worked within those frame works to gain as much momentum as possible.
Even if Mr. Mossadegh was not in the Iranian political scene, the Americans and the Franch would have not allowed the British to hold the Iranian oil, hence nationalization was inevitable.

Reform was the answer then, we would have been much more prosperous today, and similarly reform would be better today...


Mossadegh The traitor and his ilk and followers...

by Bahramerad on

How true is Haji Obama's referance to 1953 coup in Iran President Barack Obama made a major gesture of conciliation to Iran on Thursday when he falsley admitted the extend of the US involvements in the 1953 coup that overthrew the government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq.

“In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government, ( false ) “ Obama said in a keynote speech to the Muslim world in Cairo.
this was the first time a serving US president had publicly admitted American involvement in the coup, without apologizing over the event.

And this is what another US President had to say about this matter...

“Matters came to a head in August when, for three days, Mossadeq, backed by the communist party, seemed to be the irresistible dictator of Iran. One senior diplomat even advised that we should snuggle up to him . . . but fortunately, the loyalty of the army and the fear of communism saved the day.” — President Eisenhower You owe it to yourself to read the following article : //www.geocities.com/thelasian/1953-coup-Iran-CIA.html


Delusional? No, he was Bahai!

by gol-dust on

Yeap! R U happy now?

Farah Rusta

Is this all a Mosaddeqist can offer?

by Farah Rusta on

Is it not interesting that Ms Amini is always in the mood of bashing Pahlavis, even when she is mourning her father's passing, but not so keen to engage in a debate about her idol's true intentions of siezing the absolute power back in early 1950's? 

Not a single point of the facts that I raised in my previous post was addressed or challenged. Instead we are reminded that while the Pahlavis came from a modest and common background, Mosaddeq was a relic of the old money! And is this supposed to be a matter of pride for the Mosaddeqist? The arrogance and condescending tone of Amini is a clear indication of their elitist attitude towards wealth and ownership. The corrupt and excessively wealthy Qajars with their ravenous lust for rexpanding their lands and estates are in Ms Amini's books acceptable and legitimate and so must be the wealth and estates they handed down to their next generations. Mosaddeq's own cousin/uncle. Farmanfarma, owned more than half of the country but this was fine because he was, in Amini's opinion, they were the rightful ruler of the country or as she put it members of aristocracy(!!). Mosaddeq never rejected his dynastic (tribal) lineage and connections nor did he live frugally in a humble estate. He made the most of his family ties and cotacts in promoting himself up the ladder of power and if part of his personal wealth and title were taken away from him, it was not at his free will. Reza Shah siezed many lands and estates, some for the nation and some for himself, but these were owned by Qajar's princes and fuedal landlords like Famanfarma and his prolific family and their descendants.

The Shah was by all accounts and as mentioned by many authors and historians a democratic monarch until Mosaddeq appeared on the scene and tried to reach for power beyond that which was allowed by the constitution for the office of prime minister. The Shah, perhaps better than anybody else, knew that Mosaddeq's pretentions to democracy were like a hollow sounding drum.  Here are two fact-based examples of Mosaddeq's undemocratic political past:

  • Mosaddeq forged an alliance with the spiritual leader of the extremist Fadaeeyan Islam, Ayatollah Kashani in order to shore up support for his drive to gain more power. This was in direct conflict with his so-called secular doctorine.
  • The extent of this alliance went as far as Mosaddeq and his jebhe-melli members of Majles voted in favor of declaring the recently assasinated General Razm Ara as "mahdoor ol dam" (one whose blood is halal to shed) hence freed his assassin, Khalil Tahmasebi from jail and imminent execution. see the following web site and particularly the last paragraph).


As for the rest of Ms Amini's cheap anti-Shah arguments (change of calendar, Maxime cuisine and the state visit to England) I let the readers judge for themselves.




by Shahollahi (not verified) on

I know that your answer was not specifically directed to me, and I also do not want to engage you in this difficult time for you and out of respect that I have for all patriots of various tendencies, your father in particular.

I agree with some of your points and disagree with others, basically because you accept some conjectures as facts when they are on Mosaddeq's side but reject very similar conjectures because you believe what you heard was different, and still bring up other issues as shah's opponents did in 70s: turning a straw into a mountain as we say in Farsi.

I hope that we engage at some later date even though it seems very difficult to change one's mind that has been shaped at an early age and re-enforced over years, mine and yours included.


Farah Rusta

by Dariush (not verified) on

I wrote,
Long live the legacy of Mosaddegh, Fatemi, Amini and many others.

You wrote,
"I know that Mosaddeqists deny the suggestions that Mossadeq had any intention of deposing the Pahlavis or monarchy altogether. But the facts speak for themselves:

ps - I am glad that Ms Amini has at last learned who to properly spell the name of her hero, thanks to a book published three decades ago!"

Please take a good look at your spellings! This shows how correct you may be in the rest of your statements.
Even the dictionary spelling of "Mossadegh" is incorrect, but many keep using it.
I would understand misspelling of English words, after all it is not our native language, but a Farsi is too much. specially, from people like you.

Ali P.

To: Farah Rusta

by Ali P. on

I very much appreciate your comment and explanation.

You presented your view very well. Facts, are in fact, what I am looking for, and not emotional rhetorics, for one side or the other.

I also appreciate the fact the you have left the door open for anyone to step in to refute your version of events, with facts of their own.


Ali P.

P.S. My apologies to Ms Amini,for this is her blog, and my question posted here was not exactly in tune with her question, although somewhat related.


The Prime Minister vs. the Monarch

by ferdos36 (not verified) on

I did not wish to engage in this debate. Frankly, I am not in a mood after my father’s death. I am still in mourning. Nevertheless it is important to make the following points. I guess we still have not come to terms with all the issues from the past. I would like to present a more balanced view.
I don’t believe the Shah was a traitor. I believe he loved his country just like Mosaddeq did but he looked at the world and Iran differently. He and his family were nouveau riche whereas Mosaddeq came from nobility but rejected it and remained faithful and true in his belief in democracy and the rule of law until the last day. The Shah did not abide by the principles of the constitutional monarchy, the whole idea behind the Constitutional Revolution which was that the king should reign and not rule. This was the first point of departure between his majesty and his Prime Minister.
The Shah was a weak man. He left Iran without asking why? Without putting up a fight. Both the first time and the second time. He went to Rome with his wife, not even thinking that he may return one day but he did (thanks to Kermit Roosevelt and the Iranians who helped him) In fact in Alam’s memoirs, he mentions that the Shah was not interested much in being a ruler. As Alam writes, he liked sports, he liked women, and he liked glamour. He liked to imitate the 18th century kings of Europe (remember the Tajgozair??? ) and he liked the lifestyle of the rich and famous that his family had inherited out of nowhere, no background. Was Mosaddeq any of the above?
Mosaddeq, even in exile in Ahmad Abad, taught the villagers about medicine, he brought a teacher to teach them how to read and write. I have a film which I made when I was in Iran 4 years ago where I talk to the care taker of Ahmad Abad and one would cry just listening to him. How Mosaddeq defended a villager who was slapped by one of the Savaki agents who were guarding the estate so that no outsider would enter the premises without prior permission. FYI: Nehru wanted to visit Mosaddeq once on trip to Iran. The Shah did not allow it.
That Same Savaki, Shahidi, became such an admirer of Mosaddeq that he wrote a letter to him giving it to my father when the PM was taken to Najmieh hospital on his last days, begging him to come back to his home in Ahmad Abad because everyone missed him!!!
The Shah in the days leading to the Revolution asked Gen. Huyser and looked to the US for advice. A monarch or a ruler should have enough guts to make the right decisions for his country at the right moment. He did not. He knew he was terminally sick and he could have left the monarchy to his son or his wife long before the revolutionary process. He did not have to create the one and only party allowed, the Rastakhiz, or changed the callendar. He could have given more freedom to his opponents instead of jailing them, people like my father who were not communists! Maybe, just maybe we would not have had to deal with 30 years of theocratic rule.
The Shah was not in touch with the common man. How many of you remember the ludicrous 2500 year celebrations? How many deposed monarchs, the spoiled crème de la crème came to these festivities that had nothing to do with ordinary people, ate caviar and food from Maxim of Paris in that show of stupidity celebrating the Persian Empire.
Yet, no one can deny or should deny that the Shah also made many contributions to his country. He put Iran on the road to modernization; unfortunately he relied too much on the West. He became a dictator, full of himself. Remember the interview with Barbara Walters where he does not even give any credit to his poor wife! He only realized just before leaving his country that he had made a lot of mistakes. He even admitted in his famous speech but it was a little too late.

JJ did not post the original photo I had sent. The quality was not good. But it is a photo of his majesty riding with Queen Elizabeth in an open car in London, both smiling. Now how is it that Mosaddeq was a British puppet? !!!!

Farah Rusta

Mr Ali P.

by Farah Rusta on

I know, from my previous readings of your  comments, that you have a very balanced and accurate understanding of the events that  culminated in the fall of Mosaddeq's government in the summer of 1953. Your questions here, confirm my view that you are a deep and balanced thinker. Therefore in what follows I shall try to answer your most sensible, but hitherto ignored (by Mosaddeqists) questions. I will not base my answers on personal beliefs or fantasies but on facts that I would like to see them refuted by facts (if there are any).

A few months ago, I wrote a comment on this issue in another blog  that I am not sure if you saw it so I woud like to have it requoted as part of my answers:

"In 1953, the government of Mosaddeq expelled the Shah's sister and
shortly afterward forced the Shah and Queen Soraya out of the country, sealed their palaces and confiscated their assets. With the Majles already (and
unconstitutionally) dissolved by Mosaddeq, thus the people's only
symbol of sovereignty removed, Mosaddeq's coup d'etat against
the constitutionally installed monarch was fully and firmly in place. 
The reins of power were eventaully taken away from Mosaddeq in a
counter-coup staged by the passive reaction from the people of Iran who
were disappointed in his government's handling of the oil crisis and
assisted by an Anglo-American partnership who saw their interests threathened by
his economic and political policies."   

I know that Mosaddeqists deny the suggestions that Mossadeq had any intention of deposing the Pahlavis or monarchy altogether. But the facts speak for themselves: 

  • withdrawing the Jebhe-Melli members of Majles from the parliament, hence making it impossible for the Majles to hold sessions with the minimum number of deputies required.
  • holding a legally unauthorized referendum to have the parliament dissolved (as they refused to award him with his demand for extra-ordinary powers including the C-in-C of the army). 
  • keeping Fatemi on the cabinet while he (Fatemi) was openly calling for the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty and had their residences sealed and assets blocked immediately after the monarch and his consort were forced to leave the country. Mosaddeq never stopped, rebuked, or spoke a word against Fatemi's extreme and legally unwarranted activities. 
  • It is a well established fact that Mossadeq was in contact with the Tudeh party through his cousin Maryam Firooz, the wife of Noureddin Kianouri, then one of the pilars of the Tudeh party.
  • Mosaddeq, undemocraticlly and uncostitutionally, refused to show or discuss, with the members of his own cabinet, the Shah's editc that had removed him from premiership.
  • It has been quoted (I can provide the reference later) that when Mosaddeq had planned to dissoved the Majles, he was forewarned by Dr Sadiqi against the illegality of this action and that with the Majles being absent the only sovereign power who could remove the prime minister would be the Shah. Mosaddeq is quoted to have replied: "He (the Shah) would never dare!". This clearly shows that although he was aware of the unconstitutional nature of the move he was about to make, he had self-interpreted the law andhad laid his hope of the Shah's lack of courage.

As you have correctly pointed out, there was no SAVAK in existence in those days and besides the Shah's army was not tenth as powerful as it was in 1979, yet we have no evidence of massive demonstrations in favor of Mosaddeq after his fall or against the Shah, for that matter. Why? Compare it with the events of 1979 and the massive gatherings of the people in the face of formidable show of power by the army and the security services ever present shadow. The answer can be found in Mosaddeq's sharp decline in popularity due to the mismanaged and finacially banckrupt state of the country after the oil nationalization and his unilateral drive to curb the very democratic institutions (Majles and the press) that brought him to power.

Does this leave you in any doubt about what Mosaddeq had in mind?



ps - I am glad that Ms Amini has at last learned who to properly spell the name of her hero, thanks to a book published three decades ago!


First he was a selfish

by Dariush (not verified) on

First he was a selfish traitor. Then a liar, a nokar, a puppet, a coward, a womanizer, a thief, in the image of an incompetent king who was so delusional that he thought he was God and public were his creatures.
The revolution was a heavy dose of reality that thought him who he really was.

Long live the legacy of Mosaddegh, Fatemi, Amini and many others.


The Shah was a Crazy nut

by Davood_Banayan on

Americans for a Democratic Republic in Iran.

The Shah was crazy.  He was crazy since he was born.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi believed that the Shia Mulsim Messiah, Mahdi spoke to him.  The Shah believed the Messiah helped him personally when the Shah fell off his horse.

Reza Khan, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's father was also an illiterate nut.

Only in Iran can such crazies come to power.

It is just plain absurd.

The Pahlavi dynasty was one big joke.

The best thing the Iranian majority, more than 30 million people did in 1979 was that they abolished the monarchy.



God Bless His Imperial Majesty

by Sassan (not verified) on

Fasili and Babakkhoramdin -- beautifully said (earnest and honest, two qualities ALWAYS lacking in IRI lackeys!)


SHAHOLLAHI writes: "We don't blame Qajar, or fanaticism with a backward religion, or then fashionable cure-all marx and mao ideologies, or certainly not us the iranians, but are obsessed with pahlavis and their misdeeds and delusions even some 29 years after the fall of their historically short-aged dynasty. There is now essentially very little sign of student confederations to march streets of europe and north america, very little sign of islamists to object to daily atrocities of IRI, very little sign of leftists and intellectuals to act against 3 decades of oppression; but we get so excited if OUR candidate of IRI choice, a lesser of four thugs, will be elected in June 12 election to offer iranians a tiny portion of freedoms and prosperity that we once had when shah was in charge and did not value."

I could not have said it any better! Excellent! Even though your piece was long, I appreciated it greatly because it was dripping with many sad, neglected truths.

As I've written many times before, what the Pahlavis accomplished for Iran was the REAL revolution. The second invasion of Iran by Arabs (the 1979 "Islamic" uprising) was a "counter" revolution -- designed to "undo" much of the good and modernity brought to Iran by both Pahlavi kings, both of whom could have very easily rested in their harams and palaces and kissed the hand of Iran's enemies (the akhunds) like the lazy Qajars did for 200 years and Reza Pahlavi would be king today!

As is their job, the mullahs revolted against Iranian culture and Iranian heroes, not to mention they universally DESPISE free thinkers and the light of day (modernity) for their sheer livelihood depends on the persistence of darkness.


Mission for My Country

by ferdos36 (not verified) on

"A few years ago, a person by the name of Mohammad Mosaddeq who, more than any other Iranian is mentioned in articles and books in England and in the US and unfortunately a few Iranians outside of Iran make judgements about Iran by referring to him, I must say that he does not represent Iran and Iranians in any way. I must mention that my father imprisoned Mosaddeq in the year 1940 and because of my testimony, he was released. In 1953, again, because he wanted to destroy our government, he was put on trial for treason. Again, in a letter to the court, and upon my intervention, I forgave him and he was given a 3 year sentence because of his old age. In other countries he would have been sentenced to death. But because of my intervention, he was saved from the death penalty. After he was released from prison, he went back to his large estate and lived the rest of his life with his family a peaceful and comfortable life as he was a rich man." Mission For My Country, by Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, 1961.



by babakkhoramdin (not verified) on

I can't believe the characters on this site, who pop up and write their same nonsense for every article on the shah.
the shah had many issues, yes, but none of you can deny that he wanted iran to be a modern, proud nation. In fact, you mullah apologists all owe your as#es to his father, reza shah- he single-handedly brought iran out of the gutter that was left over from the sleezy ghajars...those few decades of real peace and security were all due to his efforts....
and one other thing, at least the shah has the guts to admit he had made some mistakes- I DON'T SEE KHOMEINI REPENTING ON HIS DEATHBED FOR ALL HIS EVIL SINS AGAINST IRAN AND ITS PEOPLE!!!: did he apologize for dragging a useless war with iraq on purpose????where in 1982, the saudis were willing to pay billions of dollars as restitution for saddam hussein. did he apologize for ordering the slaughter of thousands of young men and women in 1367? or the thousands of officers of the imperial army in cold blood? or the murder of hundreds of dissidents in paris and abroad???

I don't think so, and neither did rafsanjani, khalkhali, and the rest of the stinking, evil bast#$ds!!!

may god free our vatan from the akhoondsin 09!


Obsession with the shah...

by Fasihi (not verified) on

This continued obsession and blaming of the shah some 3 decades after passing of the shah has cultural roots: that no iranian can ever blame him/herself and/or take responsibility for his/her actions. The words "I was wrong" and "I made mistake" simply does not exist in our language. As pupils we say that "I passed a course with good grade" but "I was failed" or "I was given a bad grade", I am always a good student when I get a good grade but I always have a bad teacher when I get a bad grade.

We blame west for 1953 defeat of a politically inexperienced power hungry prime minister acting above the law, and blame the shah for take over of mullas. We fall into content and discontent camps, islamists and secular camps, but we all agree to blame the long dead shah for where we are because we cannot say that we were wrong, we made a mistake, we did not see what was coming, we did not know that those who were in shah's prisons were monsters to be freed and rule upon us, or that we did not know the true fabric of iranian society. Shah is the only one who is not here to provide counter arguments, and we can neither blame iranians (i.e. us) nor the islamic republic and mullas (that we marched after, insisted on "rahbar faghat roohollah", and installed) since that again leads to blaming ourselves and taking responsibility for its outcome. Shah is the best candidate to blame.

Islamists attribute all that was achieved during the shah's period to the people that would have happened even if the shah was not there, and all that IRI has not been able to do to presence of sanctions and lack of support from the west and lasting shah's policies. Shah can never get ANY points in our discussion and us/islamists/leftists/intellectuals can never lose ANY.

I ask all these shah blamers as to how many of them or their families lived (not as students) outside iran that now had to run away? And what they have done for iran and iranians (not for islam, their ideology, and freedom for Qods) ever since?

Do any of them are so sure that had shah not returned in 1953, that aging mosaddeq was able to rule and prevent take over of the country by nasty characters from the left or the religious right or partitioning of the country by brits or soviets?

Shah is long dead; he can neither help the country nor hurt it anymore; it is time to start searching somewhere else for blames as well as solutions to the disaster that we created.

Darius Kadivar

Alborzi That's because you forgot to take off your Ray Ban ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Alborzi say's:

"There was not a meter of railroad that was done during his rule."

Tuh, tuh, What a Naughty Boy ! 

Probably with your expensive Ray Ban Sun Glasses You could Not see the workers building them while you were having fun with the girls in the Rich North Tehran residential neighbourhoods.

Take a look for yourself:


Then all of a sudden You became a Revolutionary in Support of the Mostazaf's, wore a beard and started praying for the Ayatollah to wash away your sins ...



Darius Kadivar

Mola Nasredeen For ONCE I agree with You ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

The Shah was indeed a Product of his times.