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322. Memorandum by the Chief of the Near East and Africa Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Roosevelt)1

The following information from Tehran, Iran dated 19 September, 1953 is evaluated at 3. Sources of this information were competent American observers (B). Subject of the information is “Survey of Current Iranian Situation”.

1. Political:

A. Energetic action against Tudeh Party is gaining increased public respect for new government. However, this partially offset by slowness in bringing former Prime Minister Mossadeq and his advisors to trial.

B. Because of “soft” government treatment of Mossadeq, Mossadeq’s followers and the Tudeh Party are exploiting the situation to set up opposition to Prime Minister Zahedi; the suggestion that Mossadeq “is down but not out” is heard more and more frequently.

C. There is much public criticism of Zahedi’s appointments but few constructive suggestions on possible replacements. It is obvious, however, that part of this criticism stems from disgruntled politicos who have not received jobs.

D. Among factors threatening stability of the Zahedi government, the most serious are signs of friction between the Shah and Zahedi over Army appointments and talk in court circles that Dr. Baghai might be a good man to replace Zahedi.

2. Military:

A. Chief of Staff Batmangelich “is throwing his weight around”, bypassing Zahedi and Minister of Defense Hedayat, and carrying his problem directly to the Shah (who insists that the Army is his).

B. As a result of paragraph 2A above, Batmangelich is the object of Zahedi’s ire.

C. Intriguing jointly with Batmangelich against Zahedi are Generals Deihimi and Akhavi, Deputy Chiefs of Staff, who are also attempting secretly to oust Batmangelich in favor of pro-British General Arfa.

3. Religious: The Shah is courting the favor of the leading Moslem prelates; Zahedi is losing their favor because of his firm stand in resisting clerical efforts to dictate appointments to government jobs.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 80–01701R, Box 3, Folder 12, Misc. Correspondence—TPAJAX. Secret.