International Herald Tribune
Iran Archives | 1951-1954

The Mossadegh Project | February 6, 2009    

International Herald Tribune The International Herald Tribune, today a subsidiary of The New York Times, was founded in 1887 and reaches millions worldwide.

Here are news items about Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh from 1951-1954, back when the newspaper was still known as the European edition of The New York Herald.

Oil Up for Grabs?

MAY 14, 1951
LONDON - [The Daily Express says in an Editorial]: Mr. Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Persia, adopts an arrogant and intolerable attitude. He refuses even to discuss the question of oil arbitration. He says that since it is her own oil which Persia has legally nationalized there is nothing left to discuss. But has Persia legally nationalized her own oil? She has done nothing of the kind. What she has done is illegally grab something which belongs not to her but to Britain.

Riot in Tehran

DECEMBER 7, 1951
TEHRAN - Tehran’s jails were crammed tonight with hundreds of Communists arrested after five hours of rioting in which at least five persons were killed and more than 200 injured. More than 500 Communist-led students marched on the Majlis (lower house of Parliament) to protest against the banning of a demonstration in the grounds of Tehran University. One thousand pro-Mossadegh Nationalists poured into the streets to meet them and give battle.

Persian Pledge Wins Aid

APRIL 27, 1952
WASHINGTON: The United States agreed to resume arms shipments to Persia today after receiving a pledge from Premier Mohammed Mossadegh that Persia would support the United Nations, build up its military strength and defend itself against attack “from any direction.” The mutual Security Act requires that nations receiving American military aid must agree to help increase the “defensive strength of the free world.” Persia is sharing a $396,250,000 fund with Greece and Turkey.

Threats From Mossadegh

OCTOBER 14, 1952
LONDON: Premier Mohammed Mossadegh’s latest “ultimatum” in the Anglo-Persian oil dispute neared its expiration tonight and it was clear that the British would not meet his terms. The British were asked to pay Persia $56,000,000 before the mission left England, and $81,200,000 within a month. Mossadegh has openly voiced the threat of breaking off relations at least twice in the last month. He coupled it with violent attacks on the British economic blockade of Persian oil, threatening “dangerous eventualities.”

Persia Breaks With Britain

OCTOBER 16, 1952
TEHRAN: Premier Mohammed Mossadegh today broadcast an announcement that his government is “unfortunately obliged to break diplomatic relations with Britain.” The reason was that “the British government has so far prevented our reaching an agreement” on the oil dispute. “The Persian nation always has looked with respect to the British nation, and hopes that the authorities of that government will give more attention to the realities of the present world situation and the awakening of nations.”

U.S. Rules Out Extra Aid

JULY 9, 1953
WASHINGTON: President Eisenhower has told Iran’s Premier Mohammed Mossadegh that the United States cannot extend special aid to Iran to help that country out of budgetary troubles arising from the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute. An astonishingly frank exchange of letters between the President and the Premier came to light with a dispatch from Tehran saying the White House had threatened to cut off economic aid to Iran unless Premier Mossadegh settled the oil controversy.

Shah Flees to Baghdad

AUGUST 16, 1953
TEHRAN: Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi and Queen Soraya fled to Iraq today after government forces stopped an attempt by officers of the Imperial Guard to oust Premier Mohammed Mossadegh. The couple, in their personal plane piloted by the Shah, slipped across the Iraqi border to Baghdad. After Dr. Mossadegh smothered the attempt by the Imperial Guards to dislodge him, he dissolved the Majlis and ordered the arrest of opposition Deputies and some 100 persons reportedly involved in the attempt.

Royalist Coup in Iran

AUGUST 20, 1953
TEHRAN: Maj. Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi swept Premier Mohammed Mossadegh’s government out of existence today [Aug. 19] and proclaimed himself Premier in a nine-hour coup d'Ètat in which more than 300 Iranians were killed and hundreds of others were injured. Under tank fire from forces loyal to Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi and Gen. Zahedi, Dr. Mossadegh fled tonight from the Hitler-like “bunker”, protected by machine guns, near his home here. His whereabouts was still unknown late this evening.

Mossadegh on Trial

NOVEMBER 8, 1953
TEHRAN: Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh said today that he is still Premier of Iran and shouted denials that he is mad, as he went on trial for treason against Shah and country. “I’m legal Premier!” Dr. Mossadegh shouted, as the first session of his trial opened in the Hall of Mirrors at Saltanatabad Barracks. “I’m not mad!” He charged that his prosecutor, the Army Judge Advocate General, was illiterate. Dr. Mossadegh went on trial for “attempting to overthrow the constitutional monarchy of this country.”

Death Penalty for Premier

NOVEMBER 16, 1953
TEHRAN: The government prosecutor today demanded that a military court sentence former Premier Mohammed Mossadegh to death for treason. Hossein Azemoudeh, the prosecutor, told the court that he had received hundreds of letters demanding the extreme penalty for the defendant. Some legal experts have expressed belief that the demand for the death penalty is academic since the military penal code prohibits executions of persons over 60. Dr. Mossadegh is at least 73.

Iran Mob Stabbing

MARCH 14, 1954
TEHRAN: Iranian Army officers found and arrested former Premier Mohammed Mossadegh’s fugitive Foreign Minister Hossein Fatemi yesterday, but a screaming mob knifed and seriously injured him before he could be jailed. After an eight-month manhunt, an army major caught the ex-Foreign Minister, who had grown a long, black beard as a disguise. He had been living in a Tehran suburb. Mr. Fatemi, wearing purple pajamas and a bathrobe, was rushed by jeep to military headquarters.

Execution In Tehran

NOVEMBER 10, 1954
TEHRAN: Ex-Foreign Minister Hossein Fatemi, accused of treason to Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, was executed by a firing squad at dawn today. Fatemi, who was former right-hand man to ex-Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, now serving three years’ solitary confinement on charges of trying to dethrone the Shah, went to the firing stake of Ghasr Barracks near Tehran at 2:30 a.m. (GMT). Unlike the executions of 20 security officers and a civilian found guilty of helping a communist military espionage ring in the armed forces, Fatemi’s execution was both secret and unexpected. According to court sources, both the Shah and army authorities favored postponing the execution of Fatemi until he recovered from a stomach ailment.

"Evil deeds in Iran? British are suspects No. 1"

FEBRUARY 9, 2006
Excerpts from IHT article by Michael Slackman:

And as every Iranian schoolchild knows, it was the British who engineered the coup that brought to power the dictatorial Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who founded the hated dynasty that lasted until the Shiite revolution in 1979.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

If there is one contemporary event that continues to anger many people, it is the coup staged in 1953 that ousted the prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, and reinstalled the shah, who had fled the country. Although the Central Intelligence Agency was involved in ousting Mossadegh, popular sentiment here holds that it was British intelligence that pulled the strings.

"The British were responsible for ending Mossadegh’s rule," said Mustafa Jahangard, 26, who runs a fruit and vegetable store in central Tehran.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The British Embassy occupies a large compound in Tehran and is tucked back inside, behind a tall brick wall. Reza Razavi said he had run his pen store on a corner, across from the wall, for 12 years, and had never, to his knowledge, had a British customer from the embassy. He said it was easy to believe that the British are up to no good because of recent charges made public by Russia about a British diplomat caught working as a spy - and of course, the Mossadegh affair.

Related links:

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Archives on Iran: 1941-1953

TIME’s Man of the Year Article Examined, 60 Years Later

Tofigh, Iran’s Premier Humor Publication

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

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