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[Page 894]

356. Information Report Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

CS–28662

SUBJECT

  • 1. Interview between the Shah and Dr. Baghai
  • 2. Alleged Statements of Dr. Baghai

REFERENCES

  • CS–278602

SOURCE

  • Paragraphs 1–3: [1 line not declassified]
  • Paragraph 4: [2 lines not declassified]

1. On 16 December 1953, the Shah granted an interview to Dr. Mozaffar Baghai, leader of the Toilers’ Party.3

2. When Prime Minister Zahedi learned of this interview, he sent a message to the Shah expressing disapproval of such interviews.

3. Zahedi has warned Baghai to “watch his step” since Zahedi intends to jail Baghai if the latter gets out of line.4,5 Baghai promised to refrain from active opposition to the Government for six months.

4. Informant states that on 17 December Dr. Mozaffar Baghai made the following statements to him:

a. Tudeh Party members and supporters of former Prime Minister Mossadeq have been trying to induce Baghai to cooperate with them. Supporters of Mossadeq proposed that, if Baghai refrained from at[Page 895]tacking Mossadeq, they, in turn, would support Baghai. Baghai did not accept this proposal and told the Mossadeq supporters that Mossadeq is the cause of all Iran’s present misfortunes.

b. Khalil Maleki, leader of the Third Force, has cooperated with the supporters of Mossadeq and has urged Baghai not to attack Mossadeq.

c. Mullah Kashani has shown himself to be weak.

d. Baghai never realized that Prime Minister Zahedi would be so corrupt and unfaithful. The antipathy of the Iranian people to the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom must be exploited in every possible way.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Files, Job 80–00810A, Box 33, Folder 7, CS Information Reports 28660–28669. Secret; Control—U.S. Officials Only.
  2. CS–27860, December 21, reported that in a meeting with Zahedi held before December 6, Baghai had assured him of his “support but stated that he could not come out openly in support of Zahedi. Baghai promised, however, that his newspaper, Shahed, would gradually lessen its attacks on the Zahedi Government. On 13 December, Zahedi told Source that he was through with Baghai because the latter’s newspaper attacks on the Government were increasing rather than diminishing.” (Ibid., Box 32, Folder 7, CS Information Reports 27860–27869)
  3. Source Comment. It is not known what transpired during this meeting between the Shah and Baghai. The two have been on friendly terms since former Prime Minister Mossadeq began to oppose the Shah. [Footnote is in the original.]
  4. Washington Comment. According to the New York Times dispatch from Tehran, dated 16 December 1953, orders had been issued for the arrest of Dr. Baghai whose newspaper, Shahed, was shut down by the Police on 15 December after it had exhorted the Tehran populace to defy the security forces and “make blood run in the streets.” [Footnote is in the original.]
  5. Source Comment. The Government is determined to prevent Baghai from seeking reelection to the Majlis. [Footnote is in the original.]