The King and I

April 7, 1953 — The Indian Express

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | June 6, 2013                    

After the 1953 coup, Dr. Mossadegh was charged in military court with attempting to abolish the monarchy. As this front page article in India’s English language daily newspaper shows, Mossadegh had no such intentions. To this day, however, the myth remains...

Mossadeq Wants Monarchy To Stay

The Shah and Dr. Mossadegh TEHERAN, Apr. 6: Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq, Prime Minister of Iran, said in a nation-wide broadcast today that he never intended to change the country’s monarchy into a Republic and become the President himself.

The Prime Minister reiterated his loyalty to the Shah and the Constitution.

Dr. Mossadeq declared: “In constitutional monarchies the sovereign has no responsibility to govern. The Shah should reign and not rule.”

He appealed to the Majlis to pass a committee report which sought to ensure this position so that all differences between the Court and the Government would be removed.

The report was drawn up by a committee of eight Deputies who have been trying to patch up the differences between the Court and the Government.

Dr. Mossadeq is reported to have told Majlis Deputies that if they did not discuss and approve the report, he would introduce it as a bill and make it a vote of confidence.

The committee was set up after demonstrations last month when the Shah announced he was going abroad on a “health pilgrimage.” He later changed his mind.


Dr. Mossadeq said that in the past, the Shah’s sister, Princess Ashraf and his mother always intrigued against the Government. [Ashraf Pahlavi]

In the previous (1950-1952) Majlis, the Opposition drew their main inspiration from these persons, he declared.

Instead of pushing through reforms, the Government had to expend most of its energies fighting such intrigues.

Before the nationalisation of oil there were no differences between the Government and the Court. Ever since nationalisation, however, “such intrigues” had increased.

These were created by Britain to prevent successful oil nationalization in Iran, Dr. Mossadeq declared.

He said he accepted the responsibility of running the country despite old age and bad health only to enforce the oil nationalization laws for the benefit of the nation.

Dr. Mossadeq said he had assured the Shah of his loyalty to him by signing a copy of the Koran in the traditional style and sending it to him.

The Shah’s desire to leave the country last month was not a new thing, he added. He had expressed a desire to go abroad with his Queen for rest and treatment a number of times. [Soraya Esfandiari Bakhtiari]

At one stage, he wanted to go abroad because he felt he had nothing to do.

Dr. Mossadeq said that, while it was true that he did not keep the Court informed of certain affairs in the country, it would be wrong to say he sought to interfere in the affairs of the Court.

For instance, he had not told the Shah about the closing down of the British Consulates last year. He felt that if the Shah took a different decision in this matter because of the machinations of the British, it would have been contrary to the people’s will. It was better that the Government should take the responsibility.

Dr. Mossadeq said the present trouble between the Bakhtiari tribesmen in South Iran and speeches by certain opposition Deputies in the Majlis were all examples of intrigues against his government. Some retired army officers were also involved on the day the Shah wanted to leave the country last month, groups of people had sought to kill the Premier on the wrong assumption that he was responsible for sending the Shah away.

All these were manifestations of court intrigues against the Government, he added.


The Majlis is due to meet tomorrow to discuss Dr. Mossadeq’s request to pass the committee’s report. This would ensure that the Shah acted only as a constitutional monarch. He would give up all responsibility for ruling the country.

Dr. Mossadeq’s supporters–National Front deputies–are meeting tonight to draw up a motion for the purpose.

Radio Teheran announced that telegrams were pouring in from all over the country urging the Majlis to pass the measure without delay.

The Shah and the Queen are now back in Tehran after their holiday on the Caspian coast.


Mr. Loy Henderson, U.S. Ambassador, had a 50-minute interview with Dr. Mossadeq yesterday, according to the influential Persian newspaper “Etelaat” today.

The paper, quoting an official source close to the Prime Minister, said Dr. Mossadeq complained of “American support of Britain in the oil dispute.” It said, he also criticized the U.S. “lackadaisical attitude” towards Iran’s economic plight and especially the American monetary agency’s refusal to grant long-term loans to improve the situation.


The Soviet ambassador, Mr. Ivan Vassiliovich Sadchikov, today visited Dr. Mossadeq to discuss a suggestion that Persia should sell its fishing products to Russia.

Dr. Hussein Fatemi, the Persian Foreign Minister, denied a report that the Soviet Prime Minister, Mr. Malenkov, had invited Dr. Mossadeq to visit Moscow. [Hossein Fatemi]

Dr. Fatemi also announced that the Council of Ministers have decided to return to Germany and Japan their former properties in Persia confiscated by the Allies during the war.

SAFER AT HOME: U.S. Implores Shah To Stay In Iran (Feb. 1953)
SAFER AT HOME: U.S. Implores Shah To Stay In Iran (Feb. 1953)


Related links:

In Defense Of Mossadegh | Letter to Detroit Free Press (Dec. 1953)

Court Martial Rules Itself Legal To Try Mossadegh | AP, November 15, 1953

The CIA Scheme To Have the Shah ‘Dismiss’ Mossadegh — August 16, 1953

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

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