22. Telegram From the Station in Iran to the Central Intelligence Agency1

TEHE 121. Re: TEHE 079 (IN 36119). Part One.

1. For our post operational planning estimate of situation 1 May 1951 follows.

2. Majlis selection Mosadeq to succeed Ala on 26 April 1951 came as great surprise even to Seyyid Zia who apparently expected be chosen but believes Mosadeq has committed political suicide and is not displeased. Ala resigned because of conviction Majlis and Senate would pass oil bill in spite of his private opposition and recognition inability to execute. UK protest probably spurred Ala’s action and Majlis determination pass oil bill. Mosadeq has replaced Ala’s policy employ limited force maintain order by policy appeal patriotism Iran. Public to refrain action and avoid disorder. Lack of incident 1 May 1951 first test validity this approach. Mosadeq program of strengthening political independence, assuring economic independence, and extending social justice, well-being and peace of all classes of the population widely welcomed. Cabinet members not yet selected. Ambiguities of oil bill make manner implementation uncertain. Execution Mosadeq program will probably bring showdown between vested interests which have effectively sabotaged past efforts political and social reform and the ill defined and semi-articulate group composed of white-collar workers, intellectuals, students, shopkeepers and skilled laborers. It is from group that Tudeh has derived its main support but this has been to some extent diverted by the National Front and could be even further diverted by Mosadeq’s continued success. Such diversion will be opposed by Tudeh sympathizers who may be expected to exert every effort gain control Mosadeq Government. This will split the National Front and present a serious danger. If Mosadeq can pass liberal legislation on the political front and provide enough money on the economic front to improve living condition of his followers his prospects of defeating Tudeh are good. If he can control it the potential force at Mosadeq’s disposal is probably sufficient to overcome much of the opposition of the vested interests. It is also unlikely if Mosadeq succeeds that Shah will or can oppose him in his program or reform. Mosadeq’s age and ill health provide further uncertainty in any forecast.

Part Two.

[Page 80]

1. View present unsettled political atmosphere few, if any, courses of action open that will have immediate effect. Direct approach out until personnel and course present government determined. Dependent upon this course direct approach to Prime Minister, cabinet members or key appointees may become desirable. On the other hand it may become necessary to attempt to overthrow present government by backing opposition and discrediting or subverting individuals or groups within National Front. Latter’s present mood makes impossible influence now. Position Kashani and Fedayan not yet certain but currently seem anti-Tudeh and supporters Mosadeq. Whittling down Tudeh long-range job as is exploitation of existing groups and formulation of new ones.

2. Current operations and developments follow:

a. News Service:

[1 paragraph (16 lines) not declassified]

b. Printing Press Company. [3½ lines not declassified]

c. [2½ lines not declassified]

d. Investigating possibilities [less than 1 line not declassified] for psychological warfare [less than 1 line not declassified].

[1 paragraph (4½ lines) not declassified]

Part Three.

[1 paragraph (5½ lines) not declassified]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 79–01228A, Box 11, Folder 14, Iran 1951–1953. Top Secret.