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255. Memorandum From the Chief of the Iran Branch, Near East and Africa Division, Directorate of Plans (Waller) to the Deputy Director for Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Wisner)1


  • Problem of Neutralizing Qashqai/Amini Threat to TPAJAX

I. Problem

The Qashqais, particularly Khosrow Qashqai, and their allies, the Aminis, represent a serious potential menace to TPAJAX. Ideally they should be brought to the point of cooperating with TPAJAX. Failing this, they should be neutralized.

II. Background

A. The Qashqais and the Aminis have entered into political alliance. Ostensibly they represent Mossadeq’s most loyal supporters. Actually they are using their position as loyal supporters of Mossadeq to build their own political power for the purpose of eventually taking over the government from Mossadeq.

B. Station has been in contact with both Qashqais and Aminis since the inception of TPAJAX, realizing they represented a powerful political/military/tribal force which must be won over or neutralized.

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C. The major and perhaps insurmountable obstacle to winning them over is their refusal to be associated in any way with a plot involving the British. No mention of TPAJAX has ever been made or inferred but recent developments show the Qashqais suspect U.S. implication in what they believe is a British sponsored plot to oust Mossadeq.

III. Qashqai/Amini Position as Stated by Khosrow Qashqai—27 July

A. Khosrow Qashqai is suspicious of possible Anglo-American cooperation in plan to oust Mossadeq.

B. Qashqai/Amini clique fully agreed to “take orders from U.S. in any American backed plan”2 but would “fight to finish” any plot in which British or British agents involved.

C. Qashqais and Aminis willing to produce blueprint for action and discuss with KUBARK. Their cost estimates are high ($5,000,000 plus $250,000,000 economic aid by loan or grant upon completion of successful action).

IV. Station/Roosevelt Estimate of Qashqai/Amini Position and Proposal

A. Genuineness:

Offer made with Qashqais retaining in their own mind initiative to follow through if we agree—or later betray if it to their advantage.

B. Validity their claims

1. Political support based on their alliance Mossadeq and would materially be reduced if they broke with him. Major political asset their current freedom from British taint.

2. Military support largely valid, although some exaggeration should be anticipated.

3. Tribes. Probably valid.

C. Firmness of Position per III above

1. Threats. Threats to oppose British or British/American plot probably real and they could cause extremely serious trouble. Qashqai decision would await last moment and be determined by Qashqai best interest as latter sees it.

2. Budget. Figures given not necessarily firm (and probably based on ignorance) but we could expect price tag for Qashqai/Amini affiliation to be higher than with TPAJAX.

V. Roosevelt/Station Recommendation to Solve Qashqai/Amini Problem

Proceed with TPAJAX and attempt to enlist under most favorable circumstances cooperation of certain elements of Qashqais/Aminis. If [Page 644]cooperation cannot be gained they should be neutralized. This should be done in such a way as to eliminate danger premature exposure of TPAJAX.

[2 paragraphs (16 lines) not declassified]

VIII. NE/4 Estimate

With reference to heading IV, Station/Roosevelt Estimate of Qashqai/Amini Position and Proposal, NE–4 is in general agreement, with the following comments:

A. Qashqais cannot be expected to be won over to cooperation in TPAJAX if they aware of British participation. If they appear to be won over it would only mean they planning doublecross at crucial point.

B. While the Qashqai state their freedom from British taint is a major political asset, we believe this is not local Iranian opinion.

D [sic]. The Qashqais have cooperated with the British in the past. At the present time, however, it is political suicide to appear to be anything but anti-British and this attitude will continue until such time as Mossadeq falls.

E. We should stick firmly with TPAJAX through period of discussions with Shah.

F. Only if we discard TPAJAX or it fails in execution should we swing to concrete planning with Qashqai/Amini.3

IX. NE/4 Recommended Action

[2 paragraphs (12 lines) not declassified]

C. Discussions in the U.S. with the Qashqais should achieve the following:

1. Remove them from Iran and hence a part of the danger to TPAJAX.

2. Inform them that U.S. finally resolved to save Iran from Mossadeq and Communism. However, no mention will be made to them regarding our present implication in a plot to overthrow Mossadeq.

3. If their stay should overlap the abandonment of TPAJAX then negotiations could be switched to a discussion of their own blueprint.

John H. Waller
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 80–01701R, Box 3, Folder 10, TPAJAX. Top Secret; Security Information; Eyes Only.
  2. Omitted here is a footnote in the original that contains detailed operational material.
  3. In the margin next to paragraphs D, E, and F is a handwritten note by Wisner that reads: “Okay.”