158. Editorial Note

On February 24, 1953, representatives of the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom met in Nicosia, Cyprus, to prepare for the possibility of a bid for power in Iran by the Tudeh Party. Representatives of both governments agreed that, should the Tudeh Party attempt to come to power, efforts would be made to preserve the remnants of a free government which could then, from within Iran or from the outside, lead a resistance movement against a Tudeh-dominated Iran. To that end, the U.S. and U.K. officials agreed to (1) establish contact with the Shah to strengthen his resolve to resist a Tudeh push for power; (2) establish contact with an Iranian political leader [Page 452] upon whom Anglo-American representatives could rely to preserve the vestiges of a free government (among those Iranian politicians considered for this role were Zahedi, Makki, Buruijirdi, Sayed Zia, and Mosadeq); (3) initiate a propaganda campaign, using Anglo-American facilities, against the Tudeh both within Iran and outside it; (4) activate a stay-behind program; and (5) maintain contact with potential resistance groups in southern Iran, including the Qashqai and Bakhtiari. The meeting established the guiding principles of Anglo-American cooperation, at both the policy and intelligence levels, and agreed that specific contingency plans would be developed in the months ahead. (Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 80–01701R, Box 3, Folder 12, TPAJAX)