Mossadeq’s Spy Service

Ultra-Paranoid Anti-Mossadegh CIA Propaganda

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | August 18, 2023                      

CIA Documents on Iran, Mossadegh, 1953 Coup | 1951-1954

In order to help mobilize unknowing Iranians of all stripes against the government, the CIA wrote propaganda pieces to be translated into Persian and published as editorials in Iranian newspapers.

The following undated piece is especially slanderous. It claimed that their wicked target, Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, was spying on practically EVERYBODY in order to maintain his domination over the country (except the Communists!).

The “spying” charges were of course completely made up. None of the available CIA files, in fact, contain a single word about this fabrication.

The time frame of this propaganda gem was probably around spring or summer of 1953. Mossadegh was overthrown in August, and tried in military tribunal court for a series of alleged crimes — none of them spying.

CIA Documents on Iran, Mossadegh, 1953 Coup


Mossadeq says he is the savior of Iran, but he does strange things for a savior. Mossadeq says he wants to save Iran from the army and he has cut down the funds for the army and has stirred hatred among the officers and men. But many of us remember what it was like in Iran before we had an army. Many of us remember the raiding and pillaging of the tribes. Many of us remember the burned villages, the stolen goods, the disruptions to trade and travel. We would like to ask Mossadeq how he will save Iran from the tribes without an army. We imagine he will ask his good friends, the murderous Qashqai Khans, to protect us.

Mossadeq says he will save Iran from the landowners. However, he has received large sums from landowners such as the Aminis. We too want to save Iran from the landowners but we wondered what Mossadeq does with this money. Does he use it to help our farmers buy their own land? No! Mossadeq uses this money to build up his private spy service. And does he spy against the Soviet Tudeh Party that tried to rob Iran of Azerbaijan? No! He spies against his friends who helped bring that national movement into power and who helped Iran regain its oil. Mossadeq’s spies are protecting Iran by watching the homes of Hakimi, Shayegan, Maki, Dr. Baghai, Haerizadeh and Shams Qanatabadi. [Ebrahim Hakimi, Ali Shayegan, Hossein Makki, Mozaffar Baghai, Abdol-Hassan Haerizadeh, Shams Ghanatabati] They are protecting Islam by watching the homes of Ayatollah Kashani, Ayatollah Behbehani, Mullah Hasan Falsafi, Navab Safavi and the Masjid-i-Shah. They are guarding against Bolshevism by watching the headquarters of the Iran Party, the Third Force, The Sumka Party, and the Arya Party. They protect us from enemy propaganda by spying on the newspapers Tehran-i-Mossavar, Jebheh Azad, Kayhan, and Mard-i-Asia. They are safeguarding our army by watching the Officers Club, the Retired Officers Club, and the house of General Riahi. [Taghi Riahi]

Is this the way you save Iran, Mossadeq? We know what you want to save. You want to save Mossadeq’s dictatorship in Iran!

Mossadeq’s Spy Service was declassified by the Central Intelligence Agency on June 21, 2011. [Annotations by Arash Norouzi]


Related links:

Along the Road Toward Dictatorship | CIA Propaganda (August 1953)

Mossadegh “the swooning swami of Tehran” | Bill Henry, Oct. 1951

“Mossadeq Likely To Control Things For Some Time” | CIA Memo, March 1953

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

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