Iran Opposition Stages Sitdown
December 16, 1951 — The Associated Press

The Mossadegh Project | July 9, 2014     

Anti-Mossadegh Leaders
Continuing Sitdown

RALLY TO MOSSADEGH’S SUPPORT — Iran’s Deputy Prime Minister Hossein Fatemi is raised on the shoulders of frenzied nationalist supporters, outside Parliament building as the crowd rallies behind Premier Mohammed Mossadegh. TEHRAN Iran, Dec. 15 (AP)— Thirty opposition deputies and newsmen on a sitdown in the Iranian Parliament building announced tonight they will stay there until doomsday unless Premier Mohammed Mossadegh accepts a four point ultimatum.

The oppositionists demanded that the government guarantee freedom of speech and press, assure the personal safety of those participating in the sitdown, deny statements by government supporters to the effect the opposition is financed by the British controlled Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. and promise to end “government gangsterism”.

The ultimatum was delivered to a committee of six pro-government deputies, headed by Deputy Premier Hussein Maki, [Hossein Makki] after five hours of negotiations with the opposition leaders. The government supporters went to the bedside of the ailing premier to get his reply.

There is growing evidence that the government is worried by the stubborn opposition of the sit-down participants. The oppositionists, led by a wealthy right-wing deputy, Jamal Imami, [Jamal Emami] have said they will camp in Parliament until the Mossadegh government falls. However, the premier is apparently just as determined to fight the opposition to the bitter end. Government supporters now are searching feverishly for a compromise basis.

The sit-downers are reported to be trying to round up enough additional support to win a no confidence vote against the government in the Majlis (lower house).

Editors participating in the sitdown today issued their third communique, charging the Mossadegh regime had brought the nation “close to revolution and civil war.” The editors also charged that in last Thursday’s rioting, “gangsters” attacked the home of one of their number, breaking doors and windows and threatening members of his family.

In another attack on the government, 50 opposition Mullahs (Moslem priests) charged that the rioters had beaten and kicked them out of Sepahsalar Mosque adjoining the Parliament Building, where they had taken temporary refuge last Thursday against “insults and threats from our opponents.” They also accused the government of failure to grant religious rights to them.

Meanwhile, 10 persons including a local police chief were injured in pre-election fighting at a religious shrine in Kum, [Qom] in Southern Iran. Such clashes add to the fears of some government supporters that the opposition’s sitdown demonstration in parliament may interfere with the government’s plan to hold national elections. The voting is scheduled to start in the northern provinces on Tuesday.

The opposition seeks to replace the premier’s extreme nationalist regime with a conservative, moderate government more inclined to seek some quick solution to the oil crisis growing out of the nationalization of Anglo-Iranian.

Alternate headlines:

Iran Opposition Stages Sitdown; Demands Rights
Ultimatum Sent To Iran Premier By Sitdowners
Iran Opposition Pledges Extended Sitdown Strike
Oppositionists On Sitdown Strike, Hand Mossadegh 4-Point Ultimatum

Related links:

Iran Votes For MossadeghThe Times Record, February 1, 1952

IRAN: Another Round To MossadeghTIME, December 17, 1951

Press Attack on MossadeqAustralian Associated Press, August 27, 1951

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

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