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330. Information Report Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

CS–22194

SUBJECT

  • Opposition to the Zahedi Government

SOURCE

  • Paragraph 4: [less than 1 line not declassified]
  • Paragraphs 5, 6, 7: [less than 1 line not declassified]
  • Paragraphs 8, 9: [less than 1 line not declassified]
  • Paragraph 10: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Right-Wing Political Activity

1. On 8 October 1953, twelve former supporters of Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq, including Shamshiri (fnu), a cafe owner and important bazaar merchant, were arrested for participation in an anti-Government conspiracy which had succeeded in closing the Tehran bazaar for several hours. The closing of the bazaar was inspired entirely by right-wing opposition to the Zahedi Government, although the Tudeh Party exploited the incident by calling an independent demonstration on the same day.

2. The Iranian police questioned the twelve arrested persons and interrogated “scores” of bazaar merchants. On the basis of the information obtained from these investigations, Source concludes that the [Page 783]following are leaders of the right-wing opposition to the Zahedi Government:

Hoseyn Makki2

Dr. Mozaffar Baghai3

Mullah Kashani

Mullah Behbehani4

Pro-British Political Activity5

3. The investigations also indicated that the right-wing opposition is bidding for the support of Mossadeq’s followers and is rallying behind pro-British Ali Soheli,6 who aspires to succeed Zahedi as Prime Minister. The interrogations revealed that the bazaar merchants are particularly impressed by the right-wing opposition to Zahedi because they consider the leaders as “British agents” and the merchants therefore assume that the British Government must desire to replace Zahedi.

[Page 784]

4. The British have financed Dr. Baghai in the past and they are paying him at present through Hassan Arab,7 who is very close to Dr. Baghai.

5. Dr. Farokh Faroud8 has organized a new party for engineers and scientists in Iran.9 The new party’s directing committee is composed of the following members:

a. Hoseyn Pirnia, Undersecretary of Finance.

b. Dr. Ahmed Houman,10 who is considered by Source to be the most important member of the committee.

c. Adeshir Zahedi, son of Prime Minister Zahedi.

d. Major Houshang Afshar.11

e. Dr. Farokh Faroud.

6. The committee intends to organize sub-committees throughout Iran, particularly among engineers who administer factories.

7. Ardeshir Zahedi was invited to join the committee in order to allay his father’s suspicions, but according to Source, Ardeshir Zahedi may be unable to control the overwhelming British influence within the group.

8. Ali Mansur,12 a pro-British political figure, has been holding political meetings with “many Iranians who are not trusted by Prime Minister Zahedi.”

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9. Dr. Hasan Ayatollah Imami (Imam Jumeh), pro-British religious leader,13 plans to organize a religious party to support Zahedi and to fight Kashani and Mullah Behbehani. The Imam Jumeh believes that the British should support the Zahedi Government and hopes that his new party will prove to be helpful. He criticized the Zahedi Government, however, for failing to execute former Prime Minister Mossadeq, General Riahi, and the high-ranking Tudeh Party leaders who have been captured.

Activities of Kashani

10. Prime Minister Zahedi plans to visit Mullah Kashani privately at 1200 hours on 10 October 1953 in Kashani’s house.14 Zahedi will be driven to Kashani’s residence by Major General Guilanshah in a closed jeep, without a bodyguard.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Files, Job 80–00810A, Box 26, Folder 20, CS Information Reports 22190–22199. Secret; Security Information; Control—U.S. Officials Only.
  2. Washington Comment. According to a report from a member of the former National Movement faction, date of information June 1953, Makki was regarded by the Mossadeq Government as a British “agent”. See CS–12839. According to a report from a source close to Zahedi, Makki has violently disagreed with Zahedi’s plans to reopen the Senate. See CS–22075. [Footnote is in the original. CS–12839 is ibid., Box 15, Folder 89, CS Information Reports 12830–12839. CS–22075 is ibid., Box 26, Folder 8, CS Information Reports 22070–22079.]
  3. Washington Comment. According to a report from an informant with close contacts in Zahedi’s family, date of information 23 April 1953, Baghai had joined forces with Zahedi in opposition to Mossadeq. See CS–9550. [Footnote is in the original. CS–9550 was not found.]
  4. Washington Comment. According to a report from a source close to Prime Minister Zahedi, date of information 26 September 1953, Zahedi gave Mullah Behbehani 10,000 tomans (approximately $1,000.00) and again on 3 October 5,000 tomans (approximately $500.00) designed to maintain the goodwill of Behbehani and to keep him politically aligned with the Zahedi Government. See CS–22075. [Footnote is in the original.]
  5. Washington Comment. For further information concerning recent activities of pro-British political forces, see CS’s–20968, –20713, and –21530. [Footnote is in the original. Information on CS–20968, September 25, is summarized in part in footnotes 6 and 9 below. CS–20968 is in Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Files, Job 80–00810A, Box 25, Folder 7, CS Information Reports 20960–20969. CS–20713, September 22, reported on Zahedi’s views a number of personnel matters in the Iranian Government, particularly his growing disagreement with the Ayatollah Behbehani over the latter’s desire to see his son installed as Minister of National Economy. (Ibid., Box 24, Folder 64, CS Information Reports 20710–20719) For CS–21530, October 5, see footnote 8 below. CS–21530 is ibid., CS Information Reports 21530–21539.]
  6. Washington Comment. According to a report from a well-placed source, date of information 19 September 1953, Kazem Sayah, acting on instructions from Seyed Zia Tabatabai, instructed an intermediary to tell Zahedi to appoint Ali Soheli as Foreign Minister. Zahedi, however, quickly recommended Abdullah Entezam to the Shah for this post to prevent the British from “selling” Soheli to the Shah. See CS–20968. [Footnote is in the original.]
  7. Washington Comment. According to a report from a qualified American observer, date of information 12 January 1953, Hassan Arab is a “low grade mobster” who is supported financially by the British, and is the leader of a small, inconsequential group. [Footnote is in original.]
  8. Washington Comment. According to a report from an Iranian with good contacts in pro-British circles, date of information 26 September 1953, Dr. Faroud is a member of a political faction reportedly sponsored by Seyfollah Rashidian and led by Kazem Sayah, pro-British political leaders. See CS–21530. [Footnote is in the original.]
  9. Field Comment. This engineers’ party is not to be confused with the club recently organized by pro-British Sharif Imami, the Kanun Mohandessine (Engineer’s Club). See Paragraph 8 of CS–20968. [Footnote is in the original. Paragraph 8 of CS–20968, cited in footnote 5 above, reads: “Imami, who has long been favorably disposed toward British policy, has organized a new club, Kanun Mohandessine (Engineers’ Club), which includes as members several well-known engineers. Amir Reza Afshar, Managing Director of the Iranian Airways, is a member.”]
  10. Washington Comment. Houman was Assistant Minister of Court in 1951. See SO’s–73845 and –75198. [Footnote is in the original. SO–73845 and SO–75198 were not found.]
  11. Washington Comment. Hooshang Afshar is Technical Manager of the Iranian Airways. [Footnote is in the original.]
  12. Washington Comment. Ali Mansur, who has served as Prime Minister, Governor General of Khorassan and of Azerbaijan, and as Ambassador to Italy, had dropped out of political activities prior to this report. According to a report to another Government agency, Mansur has been supported by the British and by the Soviets at various times. [Footnote is in the original.]
  13. Washington Comment. For further information on the Imam Jumeh, former Speaker of the Majlis, see SO’s–91325, –87695, and –91774. [Footnote is in the original. SO–91325, SO–87695, and SO–91774 were not found.]
  14. Washington Comment. According to a report from an Iranian who has close contacts with Kashani’s group, Kashani organized a meeting for the night of 4 October at the home of Yusef Moshar. Those attending the meeting agreed to re-organize the National Front Movement. See CS–21962. [Footnote is in the original. CS–21962, October 8, is in Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Files, Job 80–00810A, Box 25, Folder 107, CS Information Reports 21960–21969.]