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OVERTHROW OF PREMIER MOSSADEQ OF IRAN
November 1952-August 1953
APPENDIX D,  Report on Military Planning Aspect of TPAJAX
 
                    
                    S E C R E T 










                    APPENDIX D


                     Report on

             Military Planning Aspect

                     of TPAJAX













                    S E C R E T  Military Aspects  Operation TPAJAX      In early summer 1953 Carroll was assigned the task of planning military aspects of TPAJAX.  Several assumptions first had to be taken into account:    A.  Operation would be joint operation with SIS.    B.  Operation would rely heavily upon military        willingness to fight for Shah.    C.  Armed forces in Iran under Mossadeq very strongly        led by pro-Mossadeq officers.    D.  Operational assets within armed forces controlled        by SIS o CIA were not at the outset capable of        executing the military objectives of TPAJAX. Planning tasks which had to be accomplished:    E.  Detailed study of the leading military personali- ties in Iran.    F.  Detailed study of order of battle of the Iranian        Army with emphasis on the Tehran garrison.    G.  Detailed military study of communications, supply        dumps, ammunition depots, command structure Iranian        armed forces, time and distance factors within        Tehran and throughout Iran, including road and        rail nets.    H.  Detailed study military assets possessed by SIS.    I.  Operational assets to be developed by CIA; almost        no military assets were then under CIA control.                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T       George Carroll in Washington began a staff study pre- liminary to drafting a military plan.  Persons who were particularly helpful in the preparation of this study were Jerome F. Begert, Willima Fowlkes, Jr., Eugene E. Cilsdorf, Elizabeth E. McNeill, Betty J. Caldwell, and Arthur W. Dubois.  This group constituted a branch task force.      Throughout the summer cables were exchanged with the Tehran Station in an effort to procure the latest informa- tion on the order of battle of Iranian armed forces.  The Iranian desk, G-2, Pentagon, was queried in an effort to  obtain whatever information they could get which might help accomplish the above tasks.  Information available in G-2 was almost non-existent.  Biographical information on leading Army figures was extremely scanty.  G-2 did not possess a tactical map showing the military situation in the city of Tehran.  It must also be admitted that CIA too was unprepared for this type of operational plan and a heavy burden had to be laid upon the field at a time when the Tehran Station was already occupied with the opening phases of TPAJAX.      The primary difficulty in staff planning at this time was the fact that neither the field nor headquarters pos- sessed detailed information on military figures in Iran. CIA had heretofore never placed particular emphasis on                         2                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  that type of operational reporting, and we learned as the days went by how extremely important, indeed vital, that type of reporting is.      Throughout the month of June, the branch task force gradually was supplied information from the field which made it possible to begin thinking about the use of the forces within the Tehran garrison.  The field reported that Tehran was garrisoned by five brigades, three infan- try mountain brigades, and two armored brigades.  In addition, four other military forces existed:  the Gen- darmerie, the police, the armed customs guard, and the forces under the military governor.  It was also learned that the young Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Taghi Riahi, and his staff had been drawn primarily from members of the pro-Mossadeq Iran Party.  It had to be assumed that the chief of staff and officers within all sections of his staff were under control of Mossadeq.  I has also to be assumed that at least three out of five of the brigade commanders in Tehran were completely under General Riahi's control.  Those assumptions proved to be correct. SIS reported that Colonel [Ashrafi, military governor of Tehran and commanding officer of the Third Mountain Brigade,] could be relied upon; this later turned out to be incorrect but for staff planning purposes in June it had to be assumed                          3                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  correct.  It was disappointing to learn that Major General Zahedi, Prime Minister designate under TPAJAX, possessed almost no military assets.  General Zahedi, therefore, could not be relied upon to execute his own staff plan.      In the early part of July, the branch task force was able to draw up a plan designed to neutralize the Tehran garrison and to isolate all other brigades in Iran.  It appeared at that time that only a very small force could be relied upon by CIA, primarily the Thrid Mountain Brigade in Tehran.  Therefore, our first staff plan was based upon the use of the Third Mountain Brigade for the capture and arrest of the officers assigned to the Chief of Staff, as well as the arrest and neutralization of all other forces in the city of Tehran.      Because of the fact that CIA did not possess any mili- tary assets capable at that time of helping TPAJAX, it was suggested that Station agent Colonel [Aban Farzanegan] be given special training.  [Farzanegan] was trained in a safe- house in Washington with the assistance of instructors from the training division.  [Farzanegan] had no idea what lay before him.  He had never previously participated in any military action, although he had been superbly trained [in] [logistics in the Command and General Staff School at Ft.] [Leavenworth. Further, he had been assistant military]                          4                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  [attache for Iran in Washington for several years, and] before that had been the [Iranian liaison officer to the [United States Military Assistance Advisory Group in Tehran.] [He, therefore, had a good grasp of American army methods.] [He was a Signal Corps officer by profession.]  Because of the extreme sensitivity of TPAJAX, [Farzanegan] was given the lie detector test.  In early July, [Farzanegan] was directed to go to Tehran and to renew all of his old contacts within the Iranian Army.      In June, Carroll was assigned TDY to Cyprus to work with Donald Wilber, NEA Planning Officer, and SIS.  Carroll concentrated on military planning aspects with SIS, and ascertained the extent to which SIS could control Iran military assets.  Headquarters was extremely concerned because the plan assumed that the Shah would sign a firman dismissing Mossadeq without being certain that his Army officers and men were well organized enough to force Mossadeq from office in the event Mossadeq did not obey the firman, since CIA and SIS did not possess military assets capable of being organized into an effective fight- ing force and it was feared that the development of new military assets adn their organization into a fighting force could not be accomplishe in time.      SIS in Cyprus stated that it did have several important                          5                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  friends among the military, but the only officer among their friends then in a position to be of assistance to us was Colonel [Ashrafi.]  SIS agreed that our preliminary military plan must be based on the assumption that Colonel [Ashrafi] would cooperate.  Military Planner Carroll doubted whether one brigade out of five would be sufficient to overthrow Mossadeq and stated frankly that our military plan must be viewed as extremely tentative; he also stated that he hoped upon arrival in Tehran to find other assets in addition to Colonel [Ashrafi.]  From the military point of view the dis- cussions in Cyprus were extremely disappointing because they made it clear that we wanted to accomplish much but had very little with which to accomplish it.  It also made it clear that Carroll and Colonel [Farzanegan] should arrive in Tehran as soon as possible where the military plan would be neces- sity have to be completed.      On 15 July Carroll left for London where SIS studied the military plan for two days and approved it with little comment.  They agreed that, if TPAJAX were to succeed, CIA must start from scratch adn work quickly to find powerful friends among Iranian Army troop commanders.  In London, Carroll with Major Keen and two other British Army officers on duty with SIS, went over two military plans which had been drawn by the branch task force.      Both of our military plans used the same arrest lists                          6                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  for military and civilian persons in Tehran.  These lists were compiled as a result of a long study of pro-Mossadeq Iranians, and later proved to be at least 90 percent cor- rect.  The British approved the arrest lists after their CE expert and their biographical section studied them.  A third arrest list, the Tudeh Arrest List, was studied very carefully by SIS Tudeh Party experts and was approved with- out addition.  It would seem that our appraisal of Iranians must have been based upon approximately the same information.      While these arrest lists were farmed out to SIS ex- perts Carroll sat down to study the two military plans with Major Keen and with the British major.  The first plan was based upon the assumption that [Colonel Ashrafi] was a con- trolled British agent [and that his Third Mountain Brigade would] [follow his commands.]  After a detailed examination of the Target List for Neutralization In the City of Tehran (machine gun factory, Ministry of Post and Telegraph, Office of the Chief of Staff, etc.), SIS stated that the targets we had listed for neutralization were the correct ones and that we had assigned duties for components of the Third Mountain Brigade about as well as any other way they might suggest.      We next turned to an examination of our second military plan based upon the assumption that Carroll might be able to develop assets in Tehran capable of controlling three bridgades.  We all agreed that it would be extremely                          7                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  hazardous to base all of our hopes upon one brigade out of the five in Tehran and that, if possible, we should attempt to develop additional forces.  SIS approved this plan and they then passed both plans up to a brigadier who returned them next day without comment.      During these discussions a cable arrived in London via Cryprus from Tehran in which Tehran Station reported General Zahedi's "military assets."  This message con- firmed all of our fears.  For some time the Station had been attempting to persuade General Zahedi to list his military assets and to indicate how he hope to use them. At last General Zahedi reported.  He claimed none of the five brigades in Tehran.  His military plan assumed that he might be able to use the Imperial Guard, some troops from the Department of Army Transport, components from the De- partment of Police, and components of the Armed Customs Guard.  He also hoped that Colonel [Timur Bakhtiar] might be able to bring troops to Tehran from [Kermanshah.]  SIS asked Carroll to write for them an appreciation of Zahedi's plan.  In that appraisal it was stated that he did not believe the Shah would sign a firman dismissing Mossadeq until Zahedi could indicate to him how Chief of Staff Riahi's control over the Tehran garrison could be broken; further, he felt that if TPAJAX were to succeed military                          8                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  assests must be developed within the five brigades in Tehran.      SIS agreed in London that military tasks should take the following priority:     1.  Seizure and occupation of designated points.     2.  Execution of arrest and detention lists.     3.  Neutralization of pro-Mossadeq military         forces in Tehran.     4.  Neutralization of the city of Tehran.     5.  Reinforcement of pro-Zahedi forces in         Tehran by forces outside of the city.      These priorities were laid down because it was desired that communications be knocked out as soon as possible in order to prevent pro-Mossadeq forces and personnel from communicating with each other.      Carroll left London on the first available aricraft following these conferences, arrived in Tehran on 21 July, and got in touch with [Farzanegan.]      Sifting through [Farzanegan's] operational contact reports covering all of his important conversations in Tehran [after his arrival from the United States], two offi- cers were noted as being of especial promise.  These were contact reports of conversations with Major General [Nadr [Batmangelich] and with Colonel [Hassan Akhavi], both of whom                          9                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  were old and good friends of [Farzanegan].  These two officers reflected the fear of the Tudeh party that was becoming gen- eral after the Tudeh showing of 21 July.  Goiran, Goodwin, and Carroll agreed that it was imperative that Carroll meet as soon as possible with an officer appointed by Zahedi to work on our military scheme.  Zahedi never did designate a military secretariat, and it was necessary for us to develop our own.      Because of General Zahedi's manifestly weak position among the military then on active duty, and because it be- came apparent that it would be necessary for CIA to seize the initiative and to furnish him with a military plan and military forces, the development of Colonel [Akhavi] was stepped up.  [Farzanegan] was directed to determine what assets Colonel [Akhavi] might be able to lead us to. Colonel [Akhavi] first offered a "Plan A" which called for a military coup d'etat without explaining how it was to be accomplished. Then [Farzanegan] was pressed to persuade Colonel [Akhavi] to be more realistic, and on 30 July he received from Colonel [Akhavi] a plan which was more specific but still pitifully inadequate.  Colonel [Akhavi] said he would execute arrests and target lists, neutralize military installations and non-cooperating forces within two hours; this was nonsense. The most important thing Colonel [Akhavi] reported was that he was in touch with three young colonels who might possess                         10                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  important strength within the Tehran garrison.  Colonel [Akhavi] also told [Farzanegan] that General [Batmangelich] lacked courage but would stiffen his back should the Shah appoint him Chief of Staff.  Colonel [Akhavi] did not mention General Zahedi and did not seem to be in touch with him.  [Farzanegan] told Colonel Akhavi that he could put Colonel [Akhavi] in touch with one or two Americans whom he had met in the United States.      At this time the Shah also indicated that he did not have control of important military assets.      Carroll met [Akhavi] and [Farzanegan] on 2 and 3 August and begam [sic] staff planning.  Colonel [Akhavi] was full of desire to do something, but had no idea of how to go about it.  He said that he had friends who could control the Second and Third Mountain Brigades but did not trust either Colonel [Ashrafi], Commanding Officer of the Third Mountain Brigade [and an alleged SIS asset], or Colonel Momtaz, Commanding Officer of the Second Mountain Brigade.  Colonel [Akhavi] reported that General [Batmangelich] had told him the day before that if the Shah acted he was ready to perform any service whatsoever and to die for the Shah if necessary. After these early meetings with Colonel [Akhavi], it became apparent that he, himself, was not in a position to command anything and was only hoping that he might persuade his                         11                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  friends to do so.      Carroll then met directly with Colonel [Akhavi] and his friend.  The latter turned out to be Colonel [Zand-Karimi], [Colonel Komtaz's deputy].  Colonel [Zand-Karimi] reported a long list of assets within the Tehran garrison, principally among deputy commanders of brigades and regimental com- manders.  On 6, 7, and 8 August, Colonels [Akhavi, Zand- Karimi, Farzanegan], and Mr. Carroll carried on staff plan- ning based upon the units commanded by friends whom [Zand- Karimi] claimed.  Colonel [Zand-Karimi] stated that his primary friends were [Colonel Hamidi], of the Tehran police; [Colonel] [Ordubadi], of the Tehran Gendarmerie District; and [Colonel] [Mansurpur, Commanding Officer Iranian Cavalry].  He felt certain that ultimate victory would be ours through these friends, and through his friends who were regimental and battalion commanders, among these were important unit commanders in the Tehran garrison: [Colonel Rohani, Deputy] [Commander of the Third Mountain Brigade; Lt. Colonel Khosro-] [Panah, Commanding Officer of the Second Mountain Brigade] [Infantry Regiment; Lt. Colonel Yusefi, who was soon to be named Commanding Officer of the Third Mountain Brigade's Infantry Regiment.]  Through these officers Colonel [Zand- [Karimi] was in touch with every infantry battalion commander in Tehran and with most of the company commanders; however,                         12                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  those officers had not been formed into an organization and were not ready to overthrow Chief of Staff General Riahi's firm control of the Terhran garrison which he ex- ercized through the Brigade Commanders in Tehran.  For instance, if we were to succeed we must arrest Colonel Sharokh, Commanding Officer First Armored Brigade; Colonel Parsa, Commanding Officer First Mountain Brigade; and probably Colonel Ashrafi, Military Governor and Commanding Officer of the Third Mountain Brigade.  Colonel Novzari, Commanding Officer of the Second Armore Brigade would probably remain neutral but we felt it imperative that his deputy, Lt. Colonel Bahrami, be arrested.      It therefore became clear from the military point of view that success might depend upon whether or not General Riahi succeeded in arresting our friends before we arrested his, and that the test of strength would very largely rest upon the amount of security we were able to maintain while attempting to knit all of our friends into a functioning team.      It also was clear that we had to devise a scheme capable of carrying our operations in the event our first platoon of young officers was arrested.  Carroll therefore worked for two nights with Colonels [Farzanegan and Zand-Karimi]                         13                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  devising a system which would work in the event our first team was arrested.  The danger signal we adopted to alert battalion and company commanders to take independent action was the arrest of Colonel [Zand-Karimi] and of his closest friends.  The weakness in our plan lay in the fact that the station would not be in a position to contact battalion and company commanders but would have to depend upon Colonel [Zand-Karimi] to do the job.  While discussing this subject, Colonel [Zand-Karimi] stated that he would be able to contact lower unit commanders within 48 hours after receipt of the Shah's firman.      The hesitation of the Shah in signing the firman worked to our advantage for it gave us several more important days in which to discuss with Colonel [Zand-Karimi] the development of our final staff plans which was based upon the use of the units which his friends commanded.  This problem was compli- cated by the fact that Colonel [Akhavi] became violently ill and was later forced to retire to his bed.  As the climax approached, tension increased and it is not inconceivable that tension caused by fear had something to do with Colonel [Akhavi's] illness.  Colonel [Akhavi] did remain on his feet long enough to speak to the Shah on 9 August in an interview which later proved vital to the success of the military phase  of TPAJAX.  Until Colonel [Akhavi] saw the Shah, he was not                         14                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  certain that our friends in the Tehran garrison would act without the Shah's approval.  However, after talking with the Shah, Colonel [Akhavi] was able to tell Colonel [Zand- Karimi] that the Shah did desire military support in the event he should decide to sign the firman.      Colonel [Akhavi] was asked by the Shah whether or not the Army would back a firman dismissing Mossadeq.  Colonel [Akhavi] told the Shah that he had been meeting with Carroll and that a reasonable staff plan was being prepared, one that assured victory if it were carried out properly.  The Shah then asked [Akhavi] for the names of the officers who would cooperate, and Colonel [Akhavi] reported the same names which we had earlier submitted to the Shah through Asadollah Rashidian.  He asked [Akhavi] to meet General Zahedi.      In reporting the substance of his audience with the Shah, Colonel [Akhavi] asked the station if the United States would support General Zahedi.  He was told that it would. Colonel [Zand-Karimi] also accepted General Zahedi.  Both officers stated that they had not been in touch with General Zahedi for several months but believed him to be a very good leader.      During the nights of 11, 12 and 13 August, staff plan- ning continued based upon the use of forty line commanders within the Tehran garrison.  Colonel [Akhavi] met General                         15                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  Zahedi who agreed that General [Batmangelich] might be chief of staff.  General [Batmangelich] expressed the desire to meet Carroll and to discuss plans with him, Farzanegan [in clear], Colonel [Akhavi], and Colonel [Zand-Karimi].  This meeting was postponed until we felt our staff plan was complete enough for General [Batmangelich] to act upon it.      On 11 August Zahedi asked [Akhavi] to have [Farzanegan] come to see him.  General Zahedi and [Farzanegan] talked for three hours.  [Farzanegan] reported that General Zahedi was extremely appreciative of American assistance and asked [Farzanegan] to act as liaison officer between him- self and the Americans for military purposes; he also asked him to become his officer in charge of the Military Bureau which had been meeting with Carroll during the last week.      On 12 August Farzanegan [in clear] took General [Batmangelich] to see Zahedi, and General [Bamangelich] pledged General Zahedi all assistance.  [Farzanegan] also took Colonel [Zand-Karmini] to see Zahedi and the latter reported to General Zahedi progress of military staff planning.  In retrospect it would appear that under more favorable conditions we should have spen more time going over the staff plan with Zahedi and General [Batmangelich], for it was at this moment that the military phase of TPAJAX passed into Zahedi's hands, although Zahedi did not know any of the young officers                         16                     S E C R E T 
                    S E C R E T  involved and General [Batmangelich] knew only a few of them.      During the afternoon of 15 August, Carroll met with General [Batmangelich] and the Military Secretariat composed of [Farzanegan,] Colonel [Akhavi,] and Colonel [Zand-Karimi]. The firmans were expected momentarily and much of the conversation revolved around the question of how long it would take Colonel [Zand-Karimi] to contact our friendly forty line commanders.  After a long discussion everyone agreed action should commence within 48 hours of the re- ceipt of the firmans.  It was also agreed that Colonel [Namiri, Commanding Officer of the Imperial Guard], would deliver the firmans to Mossadeq after he had sent the station a radio set attuned to Colonel [Zand-Karimi's] command net.      Colonel [Namiri] flew to Ramsar with the unsigned firmans on 13 August.                         17                     S E C R E T 

 
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