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323. 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 5–17 September, 1953 is evaluated at 3. Source of this information is [less than 1 line not declassified] well-placed to obtain this information (C). Subject of the information is “Rivalry Between Shah and Prime Minister Zahedi Over the Control of the Army”.

1. A power tug-of-war between the Shah and Prime Minister Zahedi over the control of the Army continues to be a serious threat to Iranian stability.

2. Zahedi and General Hedayat, Minister of National Defense, pull against the Shah, Chief of Staff General Batmangelich and the latter’s two deputies, Generals Akhavi and Deihimi.

3. The Shah has replaced Colonel Moini (first name unknown) of Military Police and Brigadier General Timur Bakhtiar, Commander of Kermanshah Brigade, without Zahedi’s knowledge.

4. Batmangelich is resisting the return of retired officers to active duty while Zahedi is pressing for their return.

5. Zahedi now hopes to have General Garzan installed as new Chief of Staff.

6. Rumors persist that General Arfa is behind Generals Deihimi and Akhavi. Akhavi asked “a colonel” to see General Guilanshah and have latter urge Zahedi to make Arfa Chief of Staff.

7. General Vosuk, soon leaving for Iranian Embassy, Washington, was the victim of the Shah–Zahedi power struggle.2

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 80–01701R, Box 3, Folder 12, Misc. Correspondence—TPAJAX. Secret. Printed from an uninitialed copy.
  2. A note at the end of the memorandum reads: “Not transmitted.”