277. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency [text not declassified]1

DIR 16225. 1. The following represents instructions from State with which we concur.

2. [less than 1 line not declassified] officer should take up directly and personally with Ambassador the subject matter of this message.

3. Ambassador should know that DCI requests her to determine soonest the securest and least ostentatious means of establishing contact with Shah now in Rome, for purpose of urging him to issue clear and definitive public statement explaining his actions and reasons along lines similar his conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Berry, on 16 August.2 Following is specific line we believe Shah should follow in statement:

“In recent weeks Shah had felt increasingly that he would have to take action against Mossadeq as the latter became bolder in flouting the constitution. Therefore he decided to take action within the framework of his constitutional power (hence action taken not in any sense a coup d’état). He decided to appoint Zahedi (Identity C) in place of Mossadeq three days ago he sent letter of appointment to Zahedi to capital city with a trusted emissary. The letter was delivered to Zahedi which empowered him to take office. When the messenger arrived at Mossadeq’s house to deliver Shah’s communication he was arrested while trying to carry out Shah’s order. Shah took this action dismissing Mossadeq and appointing Zahedi in his place because Mossadeq had continually violated the constitution and because Shah himself had sworn upon ascending the throne to respect and uphold the constitution. Shah had no choice but to remove the head of a government acting unconstitutionally. When it became apparent that Shah’s orders were not being followed he left the country but stands ready to return when he can to [Page 689] serve the people and in the meantime prays for the independence and safety of the country and that all true patriots will never allow their country to fall under the control of the illegal identity D.” Finally Shah might usefully give public expression to his view that Mossadeq thinks that he can form a partnership with Tudeh Party and then outwit it, but in so doing Mossadeq will become the Doctor Benes of the country.

4. All cables this subject should be sent by Ambassador [less than 1 line not declassified] bearing above indicator. This matter of utmost sensitivity and should be handled by [less than 1 line not declassified] Ambassador accordingly.

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency. Secret. Repeated to Tehran [text not declassified]. Transcribed specifically for the Foreign Relations series from microfilm in the Central Intelligence Agency that no longer exists. See “Sources” chapter.
  2. See Document 271.