196. Information Report Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1



  • Zahedi Campaign to Replace Prime Minister Mossadeq


  • [3 lines not declassified]

1. General Fazullah Zahedi appeared before the Shah on the night of 19 April 1953 to request that the Shah support Zahedi’s campaign to replace Mossadeq as Prime Minister.

2. The Shah answered (in essence) that he agreed that “something” must be done and that Zahedi was the man to act, but Zahedi should wait until the Shah felt that the time was opportune. The Shah stated that he would give Zahedi a more definite answer on 24 or 25 April.

3. On 22 April 1953 the Shah received Mustafa Kashani, the son of Mullah Kashani, who urged the Shah to take action “now,” thereby capitalizing on public concern over the disappearance of Chief of Police General Mahmud Afshartus.2 3

4. The Shah told Mustafa Kashani to wait “two days—not two weeks or two months, but only two days.”

5. Meanwhile, Prince Ali Reza, the Shah’s brother, told the Shah that he was tired of the present situation and that, if the Shah refused to act against Mossadeq, Ali Reza would act on his own.

[Page 549]

6. Ali Reza was “very busy” among young Army officers, agitating against Mossadeq.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Files, Job 80–00810A, Box 11, Folder 36, CS Information Reports 8640-8649. Secret; Security Information; Control—U.S. Officials Only.
  2. Washington Comment. General Afshartus disappeared on the evening of 20 April 1953 while on duty in Tehran. According to the New York Times of 22 April 1953, a reward of about $6,000 was being offered for information leading to his whereabouts. According to the 27 April 1953 issue of the New York Times, the mauled and garroted body of Afshartus was found about twenty miles from Tehran on 26 April. [Footnote is in the original.]
  3. Washington Comment. According to the same source, Ardeshir Zahedi, son of General Zahedi, and the following three members of the Iranian Retired Officers Association were arrested on 23 April 1953 by order of the Military


    General Ali Ashgar Mozayeni

    General Ali Monnazeh

    Colonel Davalou (FNU)

    The arresting party also went to the home of General Zahedi, but he was absent. After a short interrogation concerning the whereabouts of his father, Ardeshir Zahedi was released. According to an Associated Press dispatch dated 23 April 1953, it was “assumed” that the arrests were connected with the disappearance of General Afshartus. [Footnote is in the original.]