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Mossadegh in US, 1951

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Visit of his Excellency Mohammad Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran, to the United States of America, October 6 to November 18, 1951.



President Truman and Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran. 


Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran signing the guestbook at Independence Hall in Philadelphia with Mayor Bernard Samuels.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh examining the famous Liberty Bell, which rung in 1776, while visiting Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He was joined by Mayor Bernard Samuels.



While visiting the Supreme Court in Washington D.C., Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran chatted with Associate Justice Douglas.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran being greeted by Dean Acheson at the Union Station in Washington D.C.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran waves as he leaves Union Station for the Iranian Embassy in Washington D.C.



President Harry S. Truman greets Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran as the latter arrives at Blair House, temporary Presidential residence in Washington D.C.


Secretary Dean Acheson confers with Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.



Standing at attention in ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetary, near Washington D.C. in the foreground, left to right, Dr. M. Baghai, member of the Iranian Parliament; Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran, Gen. Thomas W. Herren.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran at the tomb of the Unkown Soldier of WWI in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran at the tomb of George Washington at Mount Vernon.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran signed the guest book while visitng Mount Vernon.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran joined others for a picture on the lawn of Mount Vernon.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran visted with Dr. Ali Sastroamidjojo and Mohammed Kamil Bey Abul Rahim while at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington D.C.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran visiting with George McGhee at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington D.C.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran discussing the architectural features of the Supreme Court Building with Lieut. Col. Vernon A. Walters, Justice William O. Douglas, A. Saleh, and Dr. Ardalan.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran is greeted at the National Press Club, Washington D.C., by Henry F. Grady.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran is joined by others as he departs from Mount Vernon.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran on the steps of the Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C., he is joined by Lieutenant Colonel Vernon A. Walters, William O. Douglas, A. Seleh, and Dr. Ardalan (four of them pictured here).



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran inspected the inside of the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. He was accompanied by Lt. Col. Vernon A. Walters, William O. Douglas, A. Saleh, and Dr. Ardalan.



Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran leaving the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. with Lieut. Col. Vernon A. Walters, William O Douglas, A. Saleh, and Dr. Ardalan.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran in a New York City hospital where he went to regain his strength shortly after his arrival in the United States.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran confers in a New York Hospital with Trygve Lie Secretary General of the United Nations and Nasrollah Entezam, Ambassador of Iran to the United States.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran enters the Ritz Tower Hotel in New York, after leaving the Hospital. He is accompanied by Dr. Gholem Hossein Mossadegh, his son, and by Zia Achraf Bayat, his daughter.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran being shown to his seat at the United Nations Security Council by Trygve Lie, Secretary General of the United Nations.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran takes his seat at the United Nations Security Council in New York City.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran takes his seat at the United Nations Security Council in New York City.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran uses headphones to listen to a translation during the United Nations Security Council in New York City.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran delighted by a remark made by Ernest A. Gross at the United Nations Security Council in New York City.



Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran shaking hands with Sr. Gladwyn Jebb at the United Nations Security Council in New York City.



Before his departure for Iran, Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh has his final view of the United States from the airplane at the airport in New York City. With him is his daughter Zia Achraf Bayat.


 

From photograph album “Visit of his Excellency Mohammad Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran, to the United States of America, October 6 to November 18, 1951.

Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh
Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh (Persian: محمد مصدق‎) (May 19, 1882 – March 4, 1967) was prime minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953. Mossadegh’s name is sometimes spelled Mosaddegh or Mosaddeq (note the doubled “d”), the latter of which better reflects the original Persian pronunciation (mosæd’deq) and orthography. He was removed from power by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, and pro-monarchy forces in a complex coup led by British and US intelligence agencies.

Rise to Power

He was a prominent member of the Qajar family. After being educated at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, Mohammed Mossadegh got his start in Iranian politics in 1914, when he was appointed Governor General of the Iranian province of Fars by Ahmad Shah Qajar and was titled Mosaddegh os-Saltaneh by the Shah. He was later appointed finance minister, in the government of Ghavam os-Saltaneh in 1921, and then foreign minister, in the government of Hassan Pirnia Moshir od-Dowleh in June, 1923. Later in 1923, he was elected to the Iranian parliament but resigned shortly after, following the selection of Reza Pahlavi as Shah.

By 1944 Reza Pahlavi had abdicated, and Mossadegh was once again elected to parliament. This time he ran as a member of the National Front of Iran (Jebhe Melli), a nationalist organization which he had founded that aimed to end the foreign presence that had established itself in Iran following the Second World War, especially regarding the exploitation of Iran’s rich oil resources.

After negotiations for higher oil royalties failed, on March 15, 1951 the Iranian parliament (the Majlis) voted to nationalize Iran’s oil industry and seize control of the British-owned and operated Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). Prime minister General Haji-Ali Razmara, elected in June 1950, had opposed the nationalization bill on technical grounds. He was assassinated on March 7, 1951 by Khalil Tahmasebi, a member of the militant fundamentalist group Fadayan-e Islam. On April 28, 1951, the Majlis named Mossadegh as new prime minister by a vote of 79-12. Aware of Mossadegh’s rising popularity and political power, the young Shah was left with no other option but to give assent to the Parliament’s vote. Shortly after coming to office, Mossadegh enforced the Oil Nationalization Act, which involved the expropriation of the AIOC’s assets.

Responding to the latter, the British government announced it would not allow Mossadegh’s government to export any oil produced in the formerly British-controlled factories. A blockade of British ships was established in the Persian Gulf to prevent any attempts by Iran to ship oil out of the country. Furthermore, the AIOC withdrew its British trained technicians when Mossadegh nationalized the oil industry. Thus, many of the refineries lacked properly trained technicians that were needed to continue production. An economic stalemate thus ensued, with Mossadegh’s government refusing to allow any British involvement in Iran’s oil industry, and Britain refusing to allow any oil to leave Iran.

Since Britain had long been Iran’s primary oil-consumer, the stalemate was particularly hard on Iran. While the country had once boasted over a 100 million dollars a year in exports to Britain, after nationalization, the same oil industry began increasing Iran’s debt by nearly 10 million dollars a month. The Abadan Crisis quickly plunged the country into economic difficulties.

Despite the economic hardships of his nationalization plan, Mossadegh remained popular, and in 1952 was approved by parliament for a second term. Sensing the difficulties of a worsening political and economic climate, he announced that he would request the Shah grant him emergency powers. Thus, during the royal approval of his new cabinet, Mossadegh asked the Shah to grant him full control of the military and Ministry of War. The Shah refused, and Mossadegh announced his resignation.

Ahmed Qavam was appointed as Iran’s new prime minister. On the day of his appointment, he announced his intention to resume negotiations with the British to end the oil dispute. This blatant reversal of Mossadegh’s plans sparked a massive public outrage. Protestors of all stripes filled the streets, including communists and radical Muslims led by Ayatollah Kashani. Frightened by the unrest, the Shah quickly dismissed Qavam, and re-appointed Mossadegh, granting him the full control of the military he had previously requested.

Taking advantage of his popularity, Mossadegh convinced the parliament to grant him increased powers and appointed Ayatollah Kashani as house speaker. Kashani’s radical Muslims, as well as the Tudeh Party, proved to be two of Mossadegh’s key political allies, although both relationships were often strained.

Mossadegh quickly implemented more socialist reforms. Iran’s centuries old feudal agriculture sector was abolished, and replaced with a system of collective farming and government land ownership.

Plot against Mossadegh

Soldiers surround the Parliament building in Tehran on August 19, 1953.
The government of Britain had grown increasingly distressed over Mossadegh’s reforms and were especially bitter over the loss of their control on the Iranian oil industry. Despite Mossadegh’s repeated attempts to negotiate a reasonable settlement with them they refused outright the same terms, and later total control over Iranian oil.

Unable to resolve the issue singlehandedly due to its post second world war problems, Britain looked towards the United States to settle the issue. The United States was falsely informed that Mossadegh was increasingly turning towards communism and was moving Iran towards the Soviet sphere at a time of high cold war fears.

Acting on the fears created by Britain the United States and Britain began to publicly denounce Mossadegh’s policies for Iran as harmful to the country.

In October of 1952, Mossadegh declared that Britain was “an enemy,” and cut all diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom. In November and December 1952, British intelligence officials suggested to American intelligence that the prime minister should be ousted. The new US administration under Dwight Eisenhower and the British government under Winston Churchill agreed to work together toward Mossadegh’s removal.

On April 4, 1953, US Central Intelligence Agency director Allen W. Dulles approved $1 million to be used “in any way that would bring about the fall of Mossadegh.” Soon the CIA’s Tehran station started to launch a propaganda campaign against Mossadegh. Finally, according to The New York Times, in early June, American and British intelligence officials met again, this time in Beirut, and put the finishing touches on the strategy. Soon afterward, according to his later published accounts, the chief of the CIA’s Near East and Africa division, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. a grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, arrived in Tehran to direct it.

The plot, known as Operation Ajax, centered around convincing Iran’s monarch to use his constitutional authority to dismiss Mossadegh from office, as he had attempted some months earlier. But the Shah was uncooperative, and it would take much persuasion and many meetings to successfully execute the plan. Meanwhile, the CIA stepped up its operations. According to Dr. Donald N. Wilber, who was involved in the plot to remove Mossadegh from power, in early August, Iranian CIA operatives pretending to be socialists and nationalists threatened Muslim leaders with “savage punishment if they opposed Mossadegh,” thereby giving the impression that Mossadegh was cracking down on dissent, and stirring anti-Mossadegh sentiments within the religious community.

Mossadegh became aware of the plots against him and grew increasingly wary of conspirators acting within his government. He set up a national referendum to dissolve parliament. Some purport that the vote was rigged, with Mossadegh claiming a 99.9 percent victory for the “yes” side. Allegations that Mossadegh was resorting to dictatorial tactics to stay in power were in turn cited by US- and British-supported opposition press as a reason to remove Mossadegh from power. Parliament was suspended indefinitely, and Mossadegh’s emergency powers were extended.

Inside Iran, Mossadegh’s popularity was eroding as promised reforms failed to materialize and the economy continued to suffer due to heavy British sanctions. The Tudeh Party abandoned its alliance with Mossadegh, as did the conservative clerical factions.

To remain in power Mossadegh knew he would have to continue consolidating his power. Since Iran’s monarch was the only person who constitutionally outranked him, he perceived Iran’s 33-year-old king to be his biggest threat. In August of 1953 Mossadegh attempted to convince the Shah to leave the country. The Shah refused, and formally dismissed the Prime Minister, in accordance with the foreign intelligence plan. Mossadegh refused to quit, however, and when it became apparent that he was going to fight, the Shah, as a precautionary measure foreseen by the British/American plan, flew to Baghdad and on from there to Rome, Italy.

Commentators assumed it was only a matter of time before Mossadegh declared Iran a republic and made himself president. This would have made him the head of state, something Mossadegh had promised he would never do.

Once again, massive protests broke out across the nation. Anti- and pro-monarchy protestors violently clashed in the streets, leaving almost 300 dead. Funded with money from the U.S. CIA and the British MI6, the pro-monarchy forces quickly gained the upper hand. The military intervened as the pro-Shah tank regiments stormed the capital and bombarded the prime minister’s official residence. Mossadegh surrendered, and was arrested on August 19, 1953.

One of the leaders of the coup, General Fazlollah Zahedi, was proclaimed Prime Minister. The Shah himself, after a brief exile in Italy, was rushed back to Iran and returned to the throne. His attempted overthrow and subsequent restoration to power had all occurred within a week.

Mossadegh was tried for treason, and sentenced to three years in prison. Following his release he remained under house arrest until his death in on March 5, 1967. The new government under the Shah in August 1954 reached an agreement with foreign oil companies to “restore the flow of Iranian oil to world markets in substantial quantities.” [1].

Legacy

The extent of the US role in Mossadegh’s overthrow was not formally acknowledged for many years, although the Eisenhower administration was quite vocal in its opposition to the policies of the ousted Iranian Prime Minister. In his memoirs, Eisenhower writes angrily about Mossadegh, and describes him as impractical and naive, though stops short of admitting any overt involvement in the coup.

Eventually the CIA’s role became well-known, and caused controversy within the organization itself, and within the CIA congressional hearings of the 1970s. Die-hard CIA supporters maintain that the plot against Mossadegh was strategically necessary, and praise the efficiency of agents in carrying out the plan. Critics say the scheme was paranoid and colonial, as well as immoral.

When the Iranian revolution occurred in 1979, the overthrow of Mossadegh was used as a rallying point in anti-US protests. To this day, Mossadegh’s image in Iran is mixed. His secularism and western manners have made official government praise mild at best in the now fundamentalist theocratic state. Yet many others still view him as a victim of US aggression.

In March 2000, then secretary of state Madeleine Albright stated her regret that Mossadegh was ousted: “The Eisenhower administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons. But the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development and it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America.” In the same year, the New York Times published a detailed report about the coup based on CIA documents. [2].

Mossadegh had a flamboyant personality and was well-known for theatrics, including weeping, fainting, and napping in public. His numerous eccentricities, such as wearing his bathrobe in parliament made him a well-known figure. His controversial actions captured the attention of the world, and he was named as Time Magazine’s 1951 Man of the Year.

In early 2004, the Egyptian government changed a street name in Cairo from Pahlavi to Mossadegh, to facilitate closer relations with Iran.

World Historia

Related link – http://tinyurl.com/d9m9dk3

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  1. Farhad Malekafzali
    February 1, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Time to raise money for Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh endowed chair in Iranian studies at a prestigious university.

  1. September 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

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