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94. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1

316. After weighing developments in Iran and public reaction thereto during past four days it seems clear that Qavam resignation and triumph Natl Front due to two factors: 1) refusal of Shah, because of innate distrust, to grant powers to Qavam sufficient to maintain order and 2) resultant Govt impotency seized upon by Natl Front organization to play on popular fear that return Qavam meant also return foreign domination Iran.

Admittedly prestige Mosadeq and Kashani had materially declined by time Mosadeq resignation. However, as we have stated in past, successor regime to Mosadeq which wld not clearly have Natl Front blessing, wld require strong measures to establish itself and to stop political, economic, and social deterioration of Iran. For first 24 hours it appeared Qavam wld be able to do this but Front, quickly realizing he had not received and wld not receive real powers, speedily organized its forces. It proclaimed in series manifestos and political statements country in grave danger of foreign domination thru so-called “traitorous clique” as exemplified by Qavam. Deflated figures Mosadeq, Kashani and other Natl Front politicians were again inflated in popular mind to dimensions of time of oil nationalization.

Qavam had no organization in country to beat drums for him. Majlis cld not meet in absence of Front deps and those deps who originally voted for Qavam kept silent. Press after first day likewise did not have temerity to give his regime support but adopted wait and see attitude. Papers did not even dare publish excerpts from N.Y. Times editorial praising Qavam Govt as harbinger of changes for better in Iran.

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Popular demonstrations in Tehran and certain other cities were beginning to have revolutionary flavor. Anti-foreign pro-Mosadeq movement was rapidly assuming anti-Shah, as well as anti-Qavam, attitude. As day progressed in Tehran there was increasing tendency crowds to shout anti-Shah slogans. Similar tendency reported in Abadan. This growing opposition to Shah, taking into consideration Shah’s character together with Shah’s refusal to grant Qavam operating powers he needed to survive, made inevitable resignation of Qavam and accommodation by Shah to wishes Natl Front.

Henderson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 84, Tehran Embassy Files, 1950–1952, classified general records, Box 29. Secret; Security Information. Drafted by Melbourne and approved by Henderson in draft. Repeated to London. The telegram is the Embassy copy as approved and has no time of transmission.