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190. Telegram From the Station in Iran to the Central Intelligence Agency1

TEHE 959. [3 lines not declassified]

1. Political situation Iran “completely changed” over weekend with following results:

A. Zahedi abandoned plans for “direct” attempt replace Mossadeq at present.

B. “Important” elements both National Front and opposition now considering possibilities Mossadeq’s voluntary retirement in favor candidate acceptable both sides, possibly Alayar Saleh, Iran Ambassador to U.S.

C. Zahedi: Action agreeable “solution” mentioned in B above and willing cooperate therein with National Front in exchange for a cabinet post for Zahedi himself.

2. In meeting with Shah on 1 April deputy Hosein Makki urged Shah “prevent” any opposition action against Mossadeq now “because Mossadeq will retire voluntarily within 2 months”.

3. Ayatollahs Kasanf [Kashani] and Ehbeganq [garbled].

4. Above source feels declaration will not be written.

5. Mossadeq cabinet member expressed opinion that “Mossadeq is trapped by anti-foreign forces he unleashed but which have now become uncontrollable “and even if Mossadeq govt falls” there no possibility oil settlement with British because “anti British feeling is too deeply rooted for anyone to solve problem”.

6. Field comment: “Coalition” such as that suggested in para 1 above not unusual in Persian politics where theory “if you can’t lick em join em” is old hat. In this case, Station feels both camps prefer alliance rather than showdown in which each uncertain of outcome.

[Page 521]

7. Source comment: Re para 2 above. This may be entirely selfish move by Makki because of business deals in which he and partner, (Mabugdji—also rec’d Malugdji) (FNU) man representatives selling machinery to 7 year plan and desire keep govt in power at least until commissions paid.

8. Wash only: Source paras 1–4 [less than 1 line not declassified] source para (portion garbled being serviced) [less than 1 line not declassified].

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 89–00176R, Box 1, Folder 18, Political Activities—Iran (Serial 440–579). Secret; Security Information. CS–7982, April 21, disseminated the information in this telegram. (Ibid., DDI Files, Job 8000810A, Box 10, Folder 69, CS Information Reports 7980–7989)