326. Monthly Report Prepared in Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency1


September 1953

A. General Developments

1. The new Iranian government, under General Zahedi, seems to be firmly established at the moment having received emergency aid in the amount of $45 million from the U.S. and taken prompt and effective action against the Tudeh Party. There have been indications of internal disharmony between the Shah and his Prime Minister, particularly on the matter of ministerial appointments and control of the Army. On the basis of recent reports, however, there has been some improvement in the Shah–Prime Minister relationship. General Zahedi feels that the Majlis should be reconvened as soon as possible, mostly because the Majlis affirmation is required to settle the oil question, while the Shah feels that the Majlis should not be brought into session because a strong authoritarian government is necessary to provide the country’s internal stability. Ex-Premier Mossadeq has been brought to trial under closed military court, whose verdict will quite certainly be guilty of treason. Zahedi desires immediate execution of Mossadeq while the Shah is still hesitant about going that far. The Shah, however, has issued orders that Mossadeq be killed immediately by his guards in case of any serious Tudeh rebellion.

2. General Zahedi sent Brigadier General Farzanegan, Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, to the U.S. as a secret envoy to thank President Eisenhower for U.S. aid and to feel out the attitude of the U.S. Government regarding substantial increases in emergency aid. Zahedi appeared grateful for the U.S. grants given to Iran about ten days after Zahedi’s take-over, but was disappointed that the amount was not greater. Farzanegan saw various high U.S. Government officials by whom he was given a cordial welcome but from whom he was given no encouragement regarding increased aid at this time. He was, however, given assurance by the Department of State that the U.S. Government [Page 785] would do all possible to encourage the British to reach an equitable oil settlement.2

3. The oil question still holds paramount position in the immediate welfare of Iran. The Zahedi government has begun a propaganda program to soften the Iranian public for a re-opening of oil negotiations with the British. It is too early to predict the chances for an early settlement, although preliminary discussions are now taking place between U.S. and U.K. oil experts in Washington.

4. Persistent reports in the latter half of the month indicated that the Qashqai tribes were preparing for open conflict with the government forces provoked by the issuance of an ultimatum for Mossadeq’s release. However, Qashqai leaders have assured U.S. officials that while winter migrations had started earlier than usual, the Qashqai’s have every intention of remaining at peace with the present government. There were rumors also that the Qashqais had joined forces with the Tudeh Party and at the precise time that the Iranian Air Force was to have made a token show of power over the city of Shiraz in Qashqai territory, more than 80 per cent of the Iranian Air Force planes were put out of action for several weeks by direct sabotage committed by Tudeh members of the Air Force personnel. The Qashqai leaders subsequently admitted Tudeh overtures to them, but denied that they had agreed to any Tudeh alliance.3

5. Throughout the month, the Zahedi government has continued vigorous anti-Tudeh repressions by weeding out known members on government payrolls, by strenuous efforts of the security forces against known Tudeh members and their facilities, and by strong propaganda measures.

6. As reported last month, the change of government has resulted in greatly improved CIA contacts in government and military circles.4 Consequently, CIA capabilities have become greatly enhanced both in terms of short-term political action programs designed to support the existing government and in terms of long-range programs designed to [Page 786] promote the internal stability, general welfare, and strong western orientation of the country.

[Omitted here is operational detail.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO–IMS Files, Job 81–01061R, Box 2, Folder 4, Monthly Report—September 1953—Country Summaries and Analyses. Top Secret; Security Information. The report is attached to a covering memorandum from Roosevelt to Dulles, October 8.
  2. General Abbas Farzanegan had a series of meetings in Washington September 21–23 with Acting Secretary Smith, General Lemnitzer, Harold Stassen, and Herbert Hoover, Jr. In these meetings, Farzanegan thanked U.S. officials for their support of General Zahedi and the $45 million emergency aid package. He informed these officials that the Iranian Government believed it would require additional aid. U.S. officials impressed upon Farzanegan that it would be very difficult for them to assemble an aid package for Iran over and above the emergency aid package already extended. A report of the meeting with Smith is in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1950–1954, 788.5 MSP/9–2153. Farzanegan’s meeting with General Lemnitzer is ibid., 788.5 MSP/9–2353. The meetings with Stassen are ibid., 788.5 MSP/9–2353, and with Hoover, ibid., 888.2553/9–2353.
  3. See Document 324.
  4. See Document 308.