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209. Briefing Notes Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency for Director of Central Intelligence Dulles 1

IRANIAN TUDEH PARTY IS NO LONGER ILLEGAL

1. The Communist Tudeh party is no longer illegal, and can now engage in overt activity, following an Iranian court ruling of 16 May.

a. Some imprisoned members have already been released.

b. It is not clear whether or not this action was approved or sponsored by Mossadeq’s government, which, however, has thus far permitted the decision to stand.

c. A statement by Hossein Fatemi, the foreign minister, who on Sunday said merely that the last word had not been spoken in the matter, seemed to evade the issue of what the government would or would not do.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Files, Job 80R01443R, Box 1, Folder 19, NSC Briefing 20 May 53. Secret. Prepared for DCI Dulles for his briefing of the NSC on May 20. The official minutes of the NSC meeting of May 20 record that DCI Dulles briefed the National Security Council on Iran, and included a “reference to the legalizing of the Tudeh Party in Iran. This development,” Dulles said, “indicated further deterioration for the interests of the free world in Iran.” (National Archives, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Official Minutes 1947–1961, Box 27, 145th Meeting)