[ Mossadeq Home Page ] .......   [ Newsroom ]  [ History ] [ Iran Hall [ Iran Online Home]
Iran Online Archive
 
OVERTHROW OF PREMIER MOSSADEQ OF IRAN
November 1952-August 1953
I.  PRELIMINARY STEPS
Redactions in this section could not be restored; shown by [  ].
                    S E C R E T



I.  PRELIMINARY STEPS


     Representatives of British Intelligence met with Near

East and Africa (NEA) Division representatives in Washing-

ton during November and December 1952 for the purpose of

discussing joint war and staybehind plans in Iran.  In

attendance for British Intelligence were Mr. Christopher

Montague Woodhouse, recently Chief of Station for British

Intelligence in Tehran; Mr. Samuel Falle of the British

Intelligence station in Tehran; and Mr. John Bruse

Lockhart, SIS Washington representative.  In attendance

for NEA Division were Mr. Kermit Roosevelt, Chief of

Division, Mr. John H. Leavitt, Chief of Iran Branch;

Mr. John W. Pendleton, Deputy Chief of Division; and

Mr. James A. Darling, Chief of NEA Paramilitary Staff.

     Although it was not on the previously agreed agenda

of the meeting, British Intelligence representatives brought

up the proposition of a joint political action to remove

Prime Minister Mossadeq.  The NEA Division had not intended

to discuss this question at all and was unprepared to do so.

The meeting concluded without any decision being made and

with the NEA Division committing itself only to study in

more detail the political action proposals advanced by

British Intelligence.




                    S E C R E T


                    S E C R E T      In March 1953 a telegram was received from the Tehran Station which stated that General [ ] had contacted the assistant military attache and had requested Ambassador Henderson's views as to whether or nor the US Government was interested in covertly supporting an Iranian military effort to oust Premier Mossadeq.  A meeting was held in the Embassy at which Headquarters personnel, then in the field, and station personnel were in attendance. A cautiously worded reply was drafted at Headquarters and its substance delivered to General [ ].  The reply did not commit the United States in any way but was mildly encouraging and revealed some US interest in the idea.      On the basis of the [ ] overture and other clear signs that determined opposition to Mossadeq was tak- ing shape, and in view of the totally destructive and reck- less attitude of the government of Prime Minister Mossadeq, General Walter Bedell Smith, Undersecretary of State, determined that the US Government could no longer approve of the Mossadeq government and would prefer a successor government in which there would be no National Frontists. The change in policy was communicated to CIA, and the NEA Division was informed that it was authorized to consider operations which would contribute to the fall of the Mossadeq government.  The Department of State and CIA                          2                     S E C R E T
                    S E C R E T jointly informed Ambassador Henderson and the Chief of Station, Roger Goiran, of the new policy and of the opera- tional authorization.  The Director, on 4 April 1953, approved a budget of $1,000,000 which could be used by the Tehran Station in any way that would bring about the fall of Mossadeq.  Full authority was given to Ambassador Henderson and the Chief of Station enabling any part or all of the $1,000,000 to be used without further authority, as long as the Ambassador and the station concurred.      On 16 April 1953 a comprehensive study entitled: "Factors Involved in the Overthrow of Mossadeq" was  completed.  The Study indicated that a Shah-Gneral Zahedi combination, supported by CIA local assets and financial backing, would have a good chance of overthrowing Mossadeq, particularly if this combination should be able to get the largest mobs in the streets and if a sizable portion of the Tehran garrison refused to carry out Mossadeq's orders.      Subsequent contact was made with General [ ]. Although his motives appeared serious, it soon became apparent that he had no concrete plan and was in fact in no position to take action against Mossadeq.      General Zahedi, who at one time was a member of Mossadeq's cabinet, stood out as the only major personality in undisguised opposition to Mossadeq.  For this reason                          3                     S E C R E T
                    S E C R E T he attacted to himself a considerable following.  The Tehran Station, in April 1953, reestablished covert contact with Zahedi through Commander Eric Pollard, the US Naval Attache.  In order to make the covert liaison with Zahedi more effective and reliable, and also for security reasons, Zahedi's son, Ardeshir Zahedi, was selected as the means of contact with General Zahedi in June 1953.  After 21 July 1953, contact with General Zahedi was made directly.                           4                     S E C R E T


 [ Mossadeq Home Page ] .......   [ Newsroom ]  [ History ] [ Iran Hall
The IranOnline.com