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66. Memorandum From the Acting Chief of the Near East and Africa Division, Directorate of Plans ([name not declassified]) to the Deputy Director for Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Dulles)1

SUBJECT

  • Appraisal of Activities [less than 1 line not declassified] with respect to the Iranian Parliamentary Elections

[1 paragraph (5 lines) not declassified]

[name not declassified] concludes that the current election trend, on the basis of results tabulated thus far, indicates that our primary objective of denying to the Tudeh Communist Party representation in the new parliament has met with success, [2 lines not declassified].

Voting began in Iran on 23 December, 1951, and is scheduled to end on 1 March, 1952. As of 14 February, 25 deputies out of a total complement of 136 have been elected. Further reports on the progress of the elections will be prepared as data become available.

[name not declassified]

[Page 215]

Enclosure

SUBJECT

  • Appraisal of activities [less than 1 line not declassified] with respect to the Iranian Parliamentary Elections

In a preliminary appraisal of the influence and activities of [less than 1 line not declassified] with respect to the parliamentary elections now in process, [less than 1 line not declassified] their fundamental objectives with regard to the Iranian elections were (1) to stimulate in the Iranian authorities a determined anti-Tudeh position; (2) to arouse the public to active opposition to Tudeh candidates; and (3) to unite the anti-Tudeh opposition behind those candidates most likely to win public support. Remarkable success has been achieved thus far with respect to the first two objectives; the third has been more difficult of achievement, because of local circumstances and conflicting political ambitions.

Although almost all of southern Iran and much of northern Iran has yet to vote, the current trend on the basis of results tabulated thus far in the north and in Tehran points towards the complete failure of the Tudeh party in the elections, and our primary goal of denying to the Tudeh representation in the new parliament has thus far met with success. The significance of this achievement, [1½ lines not declassified] is underscored by recollection of the parliament of 1944–1946, in which eight Tudeh party members achieved through solidarity a measure of success and influence out of all proportion to their numbers.

On the basis of preliminary returns in the northern provinces, where Tudeh candidates were able to secure only a fraction of the total vote cast, [less than 1 line not declassified] have become confident of success throughout the provinces. In the preliminary Tehran results, based on 100,000 votes out of a total of 140,000, all Tudeh candidates were badly defeated. In every Iranian constituency thus far reported, Prime Minister Mosadeq’s National Front party has been victorious, and the Tudeh party has yet to win a single seat.

[1½ lines not declassified] success in these anti-Tudeh election efforts depended in large measure on preparatory action in advance of the elections, which was directed towards arousing the court, the government, the parliament, press, clergy, and the general public to the Tudeh danger. The riots of 6 December with the attendant upsurge of popular feeling against the Tudeh, coupled with the elaborate celebration of the liberation of Azerbaijan province from the pro-Soviet “Azerbaijan National Government” on the eve of the announcement of elections, marked a definite shift in popular psychology and set the stage for the anti-Tudeh election campaign.

[Page 216]

[5 lines not declassified] Successful efforts were made simultaneously to effect a united front on the part of non-Tudeh candidates, whose political differences were reconciled [1½ lines not declassified]. Following creation of this united anti-Tudeh front, its representatives toured the area seeking popular support for the front and openly denouncing Tudeh aspirants. [8 lines not declassified] The anti-Tudeh publicity engendered by such events also proved of value in support of our objectives.

[1 paragraph (13 lines) not declassified]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 79–01228A, Box 11, Folder 14, Iran. Secret; Security Information.