The Capture of Radio Tehran

1st Broadcast Announcing Coup Victory — Aug. 19, 1953

Ebrahim Norouzi, MD & Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | August 19, 2015                      

“At the Embassy, station personnel were...elated when [Radio Tehran] suddenly fell into royalist hands.” — CIA report (1954)

The Capture of Radio Tehran | Aug. 19, 1953 (AUDIO)

One of the most pivotal moments of the August 19, 1953 (28 Mordad 1332) coup d'état was the takeover of Iran’s main broadcasting facility, Radio Tehran.

This vital asset enabled the monarchists to announce their victory over the government far and wide, quickly distribute their propaganda, and ignite vicious rumors calculated to intimidate all opposition into submission.

That afternoon, after a long break in programming, a gruff voice burst onto the airwaves. It was Seyed Mehdi Mir-Ashrafi, who was both the owner of Atesh (“Fire”) newspaper and a conservative Majles deputy allied with the Court and foreign conspirators. Representing the city of Meshkin Shahr, he had apparently won his Parliament seat as the result of ​election ​​rigging by the royal court.1

Mir-Ashrafi had two major lies to tell his fellow Iranians:

1) Premier Mohammad Mossadegh had ordered thousands of people to be gunned down in the streets of Tehran.

2) Foreign Minister Hossein Fatemi had been savagely beaten to death by angry mobs.

After this, a representative of an Islamic organization affiliated with Ayatollah Kashani enthusiastically chimes in, and then several others are heard chanting hosannas for the young Shah.

Now you can have a listen to this chilling guerilla broadcast, accompanied by our English translation, for yourself.

Radio Tehran: August 19, 1953

Translated by Ebrahim Norouzi, MD — © 2015 The Mossadegh Project

Hello, hello, this is Tehran

Hello, hello, this is Tehran


Happy news

Happy news

In a few minutes, General Zahedi, [Fazlollah Zahedi] the Prime Minister, will read a message from the Shahanshah, [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi]

People of Iran’s cities, stay alert and vigilant

The traitor Mossadegh has escaped

Today, the traitor Mossadegh has gunned down thousands of people in Tehran,

People of the cities, this is Mir-Ashrafi who is talking to you, a Majles deputy,

People, today in Tehran people have revolted and have set fire to Mossadegh’s house, Etalla’at and Kayhan and [inaudible] newspapers,

People have torn Hossein Fatemi to pieces...

[Voice of an Islamist]:

Dear Iranian nation, people of the cities, on behalf of the Organization of Combatant Moslems, I congratulate you for this great historic day.

[Other voices are then heard saying]:

Long live Shah, long live Shah....


1 Reference to Mir-Ashrafi’s rigged election from:
Nationalism in Iran by Richard Cottam (1964)
The Mossadegh Era: Roots of the Iranian Revolution by Sepehr Zabih (1982)
In the Company of My Father, Mossadegh by Dr. Gholam-Hossein Mossadegh

The Capture of Radio Tehran | Aug. 19, 1953 (AUDIO)


Related links:

Causes and Circumstances of Mossadeq’s Downfall | CIA, Oct. 1953

Witness to 1953 Coup: Ebrahim Golestan Recalls 28 Mordad (AUDIO)

Iran Will Take Aid From Anyone, Including Soviet | AP, August 24, 1953

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Tumblr   Instagram