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354. Monthly Report Prepared in the Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency1

IRAN

December 1953

A. General Developments

1. Relations between the Shah and Prime Minister Zahedi appear to have improved during this month and opposition forces continue to [Page 867]be kept effectively under control. It is reported that Chief of Staff Batmangelich has lost out with the Shah in his fight for position vis-à-vis Prime Minister. The Government seems to have achieved enough solidarity and popular support to have confidence in its ability to cope with a newly-elected Majlis and effect a satisfactory oil agreement. The Tudeh Party was very little in evidence during this month although a discouraging note appeared in a press report which stated that the new military governor of Tehran has released the vast majority of arrestees who were picked up as suspected Communists following the events of 19 August.

2. The Shah announced the dissolution of the 17th Majlis on the grounds that the incumbent body was neither workable nor representative of the people. This opened the way for election of a new Majlis which the Government announced would take place in the near future and it also removed the political immunity of the principal leaders of more serious elements in opposition to the Zahedi government. It was reported that the Prime Minister is now prepared to arrest such opposition leaders as Kashani and Baqai if they engage in provocative activity.

[Omitted here are unrelated activities.]

5. The main Qashqai leaders, Nasr Khan and Khosrow Khan, traveled to Tehran for the purpose of settling their differences with the Shah and the Government. Nasr Khan had a pleasant but non-committal interview with the Prime Minister and sent a message to the Shah but received no reply. It was reported that the Shah had in the meantime received separate pledges of allegiance from Qashqai sub-chiefs and was prepared to banish Nasr and Khosrow from the coun-try. [1½ lines not declassified]

B. Station Synopsis

[Omitted here are unrelated activities.]

9. The Shah and the Prime Minister are in agreement on a joint slate of candidates to be supported for election to the Majlis. The Station believes that in most constituencies the government supported candidate will win and the Station has been very active in influencing the composition of the government slate. [3 lines not declassified] Headquarters has begun a systematic analysis of all election information with the intent of providing the Station with maximum support and guidance during the electioneering phase. [2 lines not declassified]

[Omitted here are operational details.]

John H. Waller
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO–IMS Files, Job 81–01061R, Box 3, Folder 2, The Current Report—December 1953. Top Secret.