242. Memorandum From the Chief of the Near East and Africa Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Roosevelt) to Mitchell1

Following received from station 16 July:

1. According one Opposition deputy “resignation” of independent and Opposition deputies 15 July—following similar action by members pro-Mossadeq National Movement Fraction—was “considered” act of strategy aimed at heading off public referendum by Mossadeq.

2. Opposition deputy explained thinking behind maneuver in this manner:

A. Objective of National Front “resignation” was to close Majlis and thus eliminate influence of Opposition in that body.

B. Mossadeq intended gain Opposition’s unconditional surrender by “rigged” referendum which would have resulted in his becoming complete dictator.

C. In announcing “resignation,” other deputies, “many of whom fighting secretly against dictatorship”, ostensibly removed necessity for Mossadeq to go through with referendum plans.

D. Opposition’s “ace in hole”, according to source, is that resignations are not legal unless brought up in Majlis session and accepted by assembled deputies. Thus, under present situation, no one has in fact resigned and Majlis sessions may reconvene at any time action is needed—for example: to take Parliamentary action to name new Prime Minister.

3. Opposition deputy explained that Opposition “hard core” of 15 deputies agreed enter Majlis that hour to take bast “until Mossadeq is replaced”. He said Opposition agreed this strategy earlier in evening at meeting with Kashani. This is plan:

A. Deputies will remain in Parliament building.

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B. Kashani, who proposed taking bast with them, will remain in his home to organize groups on religious and2 people for daily “sympathy visits” to deputies in bast.

C. Among those in bast:

(1) Haerizadeh

(2) Ali Zohari

(3) Hoda

(4) Bagai

(5) A.R. Faramarzi

(6) Ahmad Faramarzi

(7) Mir Ashrafi

4. He also stated that:

A. Opposition receiving some financial support “but I don’t know where from”.

B. Opposition agreed stay off streets and in home during 21 July demonstrations.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 80–01701R, Box 3, Folder 12, Misc. Correspondence—TPAJAX. Secret. The recipient is referred to as “Mr. Mitchell” in the original and is not further identified.
  2. Omission in the original.